Since the invention of the game in the 70s, Air Hockey tables have been a much-loved addition to any home, rec room, or arcade. It is one of the fastest paced games and is a fun way to sneak some exercise into your daily routine. Whether you’re buying an Air Hockey table for personal or commercial use, there are a few things you should consider.1. Playing Space
The most important thing to consider when shopping for an Air Hockey table is arguably how much space you have to spare. When it comes to fun, bigger is always better, but you may have to compromise your fun in favor of player comfort.
With this in mind, there are different sizes of tables you may want to look at. The average table is 4-7ft with the smaller ones better fit for children and beginners. Regulation size is however 8 by 4 feet, so if you’re a serious player or you’re looking to host tournaments and attract pros to your establishment, this is the size for you. Whichever size you go for, you’ll want to have at least 3 feet free on each side for optimal play.2. Materials Used in Construction of the Table
Sturdier materials mean a longer lifespan for your table. Here are some specific things to look out for:
The Rink Walls: the rink walls get the most impact, so you want to go for one that’s made with high-density aluminum or nylon. They are not only durable but also provide the best rebound.
Play Field: This should have a wear-resistant laminate covering for easier and smoother play. If you want a table that’s worth every penny, you should also look out for the motor. A good motor should be high output, have a Plenum chamber for even air distribution and be UL approved.
Legs: The table legs should be made out of reinforced steel or wood laminate. Make sure the table has leg levelers and give it a push to make sure it’s sturdy.3. Battery Powered or Electrical
This is usually determined by the size of the table. Smaller tables are usually battery powered and are best for little kids and people who don’t play for long hours. A battery powered table is preferable if you intend to play outdoors, but an electrical table is essential for smooth playing as batteries aren’t capable of powering the powerful fans that come with larger tables. If you want a part of both worlds, you can go for a hybrid table which usually has rechargeable batteries.4. Manual or Digital Scoring
You can go either way, but technology always makes things easier and more fun. A manual table allows you to play by your own rules and allows for takebacks and helps avoid accidental goals. With a digital scoring system, no goal is left unrecorded, and you can focus on getting the best out of your game.5. The Size of the Puck
This is usually determined by the size of the table. Small pucks (2 ½ inches) are okay for kids, but teenagers and adults need large pucks (3 ¼ inches). Smaller pucks tend to fly off the table because of how lightweight they are and can be quite frustrating for more aggressive players.6. Appearance
Some tables feature bright colors and lights perfect for an arcade while some are sleek and would be right at home in a sophisticated game room. Whichever style you choose, go for one that fits your intended use and game room décor.7. Lighting
Some tables come with overhead lights and backlights that reflect in the pucks and mallets –ideal for arcades and dimly lit rooms. Others are designed for recreational use at home and don’t have any arcade-style features and are generally cheaper.Conclusion
Although you can go cheap and buy a table for $50-$250, you may have to pay over $1000 for a table that’ll give true value for your money.
You may also consider a Boom-A-Rang style table. This cuts the table size to half and players stand on the same side so you can place the table against a wall.