Edmonds Park Tables

A Brief Introduction…

At Ping Pong In Vancouver, our focus is to create and maintain a list of where to play table tennis in Vancouver, with an emphasis (so far) on highlighting free, outdoor places to play ping pong. We’ve also been focused on trying to encourage parks planners here in Vancouver to add safe table tennis infrastructure to Vancouver’s parks, much like what has been done with tennis over the years. Sadly, Vancouver doesn’t have one park-based table tennis installation with nothing in the works despite our efforts at promoting the idea. The closest we get in Vancouver to park-based table tennis infrastructure is Empire Fields where there are 3 table tennis tables set in the middle of a busy pedestrian concourse with no separation and consideration for safety.

Meanwhile, in Burnaby, parks planners are listening to residents. In a recent redevelopment of Edmonds Park, three new Cornilleau “Park” table tennis tables were installed on a dedicated asphalt pad next to the tennis courts, complete with a rules-of-play sign to make this table tennis court official. Great job, Burnaby! When will Vancouver do the same?

Ping Pong In Vancouver's Evaluation

The Tables 95%

The tables used in Burnaby’s first official table tennis installation are the extremely popular Cornilleau “Park” model. These are sturdy, outdoor, composite tables with a decent bounce and built to last for years. The table top rests on a very large, nearly indestructible steel legs. The net is made from 1/4 inch steel riddled with honey-combed shaped perforations. These tables should last forever but… already vandals have been busy trying their best to ruin the tables one of which is noticeably bowed near the centre on one side where there are no legs, a weak point in the design of these tables.

The Playing Area 90%

The size of the playing area for this three-table installation is excellent with at least 10 feet of asphalt extending behind both ends of the tables so players won’t be at risk of breaking an ankle (see the danger at the Kits Beach in Vancouver). The tables are a wee bit crowded towards the west side of the asphalt plaza and could be better spaced out.

The Wind factor 40%

Outdoor ping pong players learn to live with the wind. Over time, the wind suppresses a player’s hubris and teaches vague lessons about waiting or not, all the while toying mercilessly with the 3 gram table tennis ball. So, for any table tennis installation to incorporate, even by accident, any sort of wind block is like a gift. The installation at Edmonds Park has chain link fencing along two sides of the playing area, the northwest and southwest perimeters. A chain link fence will disperse the wind to some degree, but the wind-buffering effectiveness of the southwest fence, behind one end of the tables, is boosted by lightweight fabric, installed to prevent the ball from passing through. At the time of our visit, however, this barrier had been slashed in several places by vandals. This public ping pong installation has the lowest wind factor of all the outdoor installations we have reviewed so far, along with the oasis we call the Oxford Place Tables.

Busy-ness 75%

As one would expect at a facility of this calibre, the Edmonds Park ping pong tables are well-used. But, with three tables and well-marked rules limiting play to 30 minutes when others are waiting means you won’t have to wait too long to play. You’re likely to meet potential playing partners here. Edmonds Community Centre, just across the park, has a well attended indoor table tennis program.

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