When they grow up, your kids probably won't remember all the nights they wasted staring at screens or sticking headphones in their ears to ignore you. What they will remember is the rainy afternoons spent drinking soda, cracking jokes, and hanging out as a family.
That's the power of a quality game table. You don't have to know how to play it. (It's honestly more fun if you don't!) The only criteria is to come together for some quality time with loved ones. Those are the moments that truly last!
One of the most popular game tables is air hockey. Its for homes, bars or anywhere that believes in the power of camaraderie.
But selecting the best model for your purposes and venue can be a headache.
That is why we have created the Air Hockey Table Buyer's Guide.
Here, we'll break down the differences between full-size, folding, or tabletop air hockey models, what materials should be used in a goodquality air hockey table, and the most important features you should know about.
Step 1: Choose the Size of Your Air Hockey Table
Before even opening our air hockey catalogue, measure your available space.
A full-sized table requires double the space of a folding or tabletop model. Full-size tables measure approximately 6ft L X 32inch H x 4ft W. You will need at least 12ft x 8ft on each end to allow for free range of movement. If your available space doesn't allow for a table to always sit out in the open, you may choose to opt for a folding air hockey table. When folded up, these tables measure less than 2 feet – easy to hide away in a closet or lean against a wall. When in use, they expand to approximately 6 feet in length Again, you'll want to leave room for freedom of movement on both ends.
The tabletops are the smallest versions. These are great for small rec spaces, multipurpose rooms, or children. They and they can't fold. But because they don't have legs so you can put them on the floor, on the bed, or even on your dining room table. These models measure approximately 42 inches long.
Step 2: Check Out the Air Hockey Table Blower
An air hockey table is not an item you purchase based on looks alone. The most important component of any air hockey table is the motor.
Have you ever tried to shoot a puck around an air hockey table that wasn't turned on? It's almost impossible. The blower is what makes the puck come to life – using strong and steady airflow on the playing surface to remove friction and allow for big, fast movements with minimal force.
The most common motor is a 110-volt blower. That is the standard, but there are stronger blowers, for example 120-volt blower. Some heavy duty air hockey tables use two blowers, like Hathaway Phantom air hockey table or Harvil 7ft air hockey table . These options are more expensive and not necessary for casual play.
Most motors must be plugged into the wall with a power cord. There are battery-operated models. But they're less powerful, and you may end up switching out batteries quickly depending on how often you play. We recommended corded tables.
For a less expensive option, you can also consider a push hockey table. These do not require a motor – therefore they're not technically "air hockey." But again, if you've ever tried to push a puck around an air hockey table without airflow, you know it's much more difficult and the quality isn't the best.
Step 3: Make Sure the Table Is Stable
Stability is also of prime importance with an air hockey table. These things take quite the beating! Whenever we find ourselves in the middle of a fast-paced game, there's generally plenty of bumping into the table to reach for the perfect shot, pucks flying into the side, and exuberant (or devastated) fist slams.
When browsing our catalog, look for thick, sturdy legs. Many come with connected with panels or bars for added support. Another feature you can look for are "leg levelers." These are small, circular bases at the bottom of the table legs. They make sure that the playing surface is always 100% straight, no matter if the floor below the table is slanted or not.
Step 4: Keep an Eye on the Details
The most important part of every air hockey table is the playing field. The field should be smooth and not too colorful. A color field distracts from the location of a quick-moving puck. That is why most air hockey tables come with a playing field that looks like air hockey arena. It is white with small red or blue dots on the field. You can pick the air hockey table with black or green playing field if you want, just make sure that there aren't more than 5 colors on the field so that the pucks stand out.
Step 5: Think About the Brand of the Table
As impartial judges, we will never tell you which brand is best in our eyes. But we do encourage you to opt for established brands over unknown companies. Well-respected brands come with more options to choose from, as well as good warranty and replacement parts. Sometimes it is better to spend a little more for a good quality product than to buy a new table every few years.
With these five steps in mind, enjoy the hunt for your perfect air hockey table! Feel free to browse our entire collection here. If you don't see exactly what you're looking for, let us know and we'll see how we can help!