One of the staple games in arcades and game rooms, Air Hockey, is a beloved sport for all ages. It is about two players competing to score points in the opposing goals. In its basic form, it is a combination of ice hockey and billiards. The game plays on a low friction smooth surface, also known as an Air Hockey table.

Playing Air Hockey is fun, entertaining, and exciting. Players around the world consider it as the best indoor game. To play the game requires exceptional skills such as hand-eye coordination, footwork, and endurance. Your main goal is to score more points than your rival. With a mallet or striker, you push the puck across the table into the opposing goal.

Moreover, it challenges players to create strategic gameplays to stay ahead of the competition. By observing their opponent, they get to know their vulnerabilities, weaknesses, as well as strength. Then, they take advantage of this information to win the game.

What Is The Best Air Hockey Table To Buy?

Pool Tables Comparison Chart

Finding the best air hockey table ensures you get your money’s worth. This list gives you hockey tables that boast the best features and quality made to elevate your gameplay experience.

1. Triumph Fire ‘N Ice 

Triumph Fire ‘n Ice LED Light-Up 54” Air Hockey Table Includes 2 LED Hockey Pushers and LED Puck

Enhance your air hockey experience with this LED-lit 54-inch hockey table. It features cool graphics, an LED puck, and LED strikers. The light from each corner flashes when you make a goal, making the game more exciting and thrilling. It is also much sturdier with its four legs supported by cross braces and levelers to ensure excellent gameplay.

Highlighted Features:

  • 54-inch Air Hockey Table equipped with LED lights
  • LED lights flashes when you score a goal
  • Sturdier and stable legs with cross braces
  • Has built-in leg levelers to make sure even surface
  • Comes with two LED mallet and one LED puck
  • LED electronic scoring system with abacus

2. Lumen-X Lazer Air Hockey Table By Triumph Sports

Triumph Lumen-X Lazer 6’ Interactive Air Hockey Table Featuring All-Rail LED Lighting and In-Game Music

Make your matches more thrilling with this air hockey table by Triumph Sports. It features interactive LED lighting, in-game music, and a built-in electronic scoring. Dual blower motors ensure you get even airflow pressure throughout the playfield. Combined with an MDF tabletop, you’ll have the smoothest gameplay experience.

Highlighted Features:

  • Interactive LED lights and in-game music
  • Equipped with two blowers for even airflow
  • Smooth and durable  MDF playing field surface
  • With a built-in digital electronic scoring system
  • Includes a light-up puck and two strikers
  • Fitted with 2.5-inch leg levelers

3. Fat Cat Polar Blast Air Hockey Table with Folding Legs

Fat Cat Polar Blast 6’ Air Hockey Table with Folding Legs for Easy Storage and Included Pucks and Pushers for Fast Paced Action

The perfect addition to a game night. With this portable air hockey table, you can quickly and easily store and set it up whenever or wherever. Its compact design does not sacrifice quality in gameplay. With a sleek surface and even airflow from its powerful blower motor, every game is smooth and fast.

Highlighted Features:

  • Lightweight but has durable and high stability built.
  • Foldable legs make for better storage and portability.
  • Comes with two pucks and two pushers
  • The surface has powerful and even airflow.
  • Equipped with safety locks and levelers for each leg
  • Has built-in slide scoring

4. ESPN Sports Air Hockey Game Table

ESPN Air Hockey Game Table: Indoor Sports Gaming Table Set with Equipment Accessories - 2 Paddles, 2 Pucks, and LED Electronic Score Keeper - 5 Feet

The high-gloss playfield surface of this air hockey table provides players with ultra-smooth puck gliding action. Moreover, its premium quality blower fan distributes air more evenly across the entire gaming surface. Your match gets more exciting with its LED electronic scorer with integrated sound effects and button controls.

Highlighted Features:

  • Comes equipped with LED digital overhead scoring
  • A high-quality blower fan provides even airflow.
  • Sports leg supports and protective corner caps.
  • Has reinforced playfield apron and top rail
  • Includes four pucks and four pushers
  • 6-inch leg levelers provide better stability

5. EastPoint Sports NHL Air Powered Hover Hockey Table

NHL Power Play Air Powered Hockey Table with Table Tennis Top - 80 Inches - Includes Hover Hockey Pucks, Pushers, Table Tennis Balls, Paddles, and Net

This 2-in-1 versatile gaming table allows you to play two sports with just one piece of equipment. It is the perfect addition to your rec room. Everyone in your family and friends can have double the fun. Whether it is a game of ping-pong or air hockey that they want, this table is all you’ll need.

Highlighted Features:

  • Multi-purpose two games in one table
  • Is equipped with automatic scoring and a sound system
  • Includes all accessories for playing both table tennis and air hockey
  • Quick and very easy to set-up
  • Has scratch and wear-resistant surface
  • With built-in leg levelers for a perfect balance

 

6. EastPoint Sports 84-Inch Air Powered Hover Hockey Table

EastPoint Sports 84"" Hover Hockey Table, x-Cell Hover Hockey Table (1-1-34497-DS)

A durable table is what you need to make sure it could endure rough plays for a very long time. This air-powered hockey table showcases a remarkably smooth surface coated with GlazaTek. It keeps the playfield shiny and scratch-free for more matches.

Highlighted Features:

  • An exceptionally smooth and durable GlazeTek surface
  • Playfield is scratch and wear-resistant
  • Includes in-rail LED scoring and sound system
  • Leg levelers ensure an even and well-balanced gaming table.
  • Set-up is quick and easy.

7. Atomic Contour Air Powered Hockey Table

Atomic 7.5’ Contour Air Powered Hockey Table with ScoreLinx Mobile App Technology

Upgrade your gameplay experience by connecting your air hockey table to your mobile device. The app ScoreLinx transforms your phone or tablet into an interactive scoreboard for an exciting and thrilling match. You can customize each game with color, graphics, animation, and in-game sound effect of your choice.

Highlighted Features:

  • ScoreLinx App compatibility
  • Built with Bluetooth enabled scoring system.
  • Solid construction and sleek design
  • Powerful but quiet motor
  • Comes with two pucks and four strikers

What Do You Need To Consider When Purchasing Air Hockey Tables?

An air hockey table is an excellent accessory for your home, place of business, and others. It is perfect enjoyment for kids, as well as adults. With so many air hockey tables to choose from, it can be hard to pick one that suits your needs.  To help you make the decision, here is a list of things to consider before purchasing an air hockey table:

What Are The Different Types Or Air Hockey Tables?

As time went by, the traditional style of air hockey table had also evolved. The conventional air hockey table comes in large and small sizes. Small air hockey tables are best for personal or non-professional use. It is rectangular-shaped with a center-line marking between the two playing sides.

And, there is the Boon-a-rang style air hockey table. It is an air hockey table that is much smaller in size compared to a traditional one. Its namesake is due to its playing field shape, allowing players to stand beside each other while playing. The design is very unusual and eye-catching, as well as helps save space.

What Is The Standard Size Air Hockey Table?

The standard size of air hockey tables found in arcades is between 6 to 7 feet in length. This size of table fits most game rooms better compared to a larger one. Additionally, you can also find compact models that measure up to 5 feet diagonally. It is perfect for children or smaller players to enjoy.

For adult players, a larger playing area is more idyllic. With more distance for the puck to travel, it gives you more time to react. It is also more exciting and fun to play. Large air hockey tables are also more durable and sturdy.

If you need an air hockey table for commercial use or a tournament, you should look for USAA-sanctioned tables. These are up to the latest standards and can hold up longer to heavy use.

How Much Does An Air Hockey Table Weigh?

air hockey table weight

Air Hockey tables can weigh between 38 pounds to 385 pounds. It all depends on the size, components, and materials that make up the table. An average small table that measures 48-inch diagonally is around 38 pounds or 17 kilos. In comparison, a 96-inch table can weigh approximately 385 pounds or 175 kilos.

A much bigger pro table is much heavier than the previous one because of the quality of construction and materials used. It is imperative to make allowances for the weight of the table before purchasing. It would be best to consider how much weight capacity the floor of the room you will install it can handle.

Which Materials Are Best For Air Hockey Tables?

Most hockey tables use MDF wood because they are durable. In terms of weight, wood composites are much lighter than real wood. Plastic is another material incorporated into the table, such as legs, interior sides, etc. It is cheap but tough and very durable.

What makes an air hockey table the best is the smoothness of its surface. When constructing the playing field, manufacturers typically choose wood with laminate material. It allows the puck to move smoothly, with less friction. 

However, laminated tops are fragile and can easily dent, crack, or bent when struck. The second type of material used for coating is plastic. A thin layer of plastic is not as durable as a laminate, but it is cheaper.

Besides the materials, you have to ensure that the table’s construction gives it more stability and strength. Tables with a tapered design are the most comfortable to use. It sports several supporting beams that help strengthen the table’s weak points. The only disadvantage to it is that it can get quite big and bulky.

What Extra Features Are Essential For Air Hockey Tables?

Depending on your budget or table of your choice, air hockey tables come fitted with extra features or accessories. The most useful or essential additions you should consider are the leg levelers and a digital scoring system.

Scoring System
Digital scoring systems can come already built right into the table. It makes scoring a lot easier and more accurate than manual scoring. There is no more need to lose focus on the game to keep track of the score.

There are two most common types of scoring systems: a simple counter and a timed scorekeeping system. A simple counter allows players to play for as long as they like. The tallied score determines the winner of the game. On the other hand, in a timed scorekeeping system, the player who has the highest score at the end of each game length is the winner.

A table can either have a split or single LCD screen scoring system. Split scoring systems are much easier to use. Each of the two screens faces each side of the table for easy viewing.
Leg Levelers
Screwed at the bottom of the table are small feet. You use them by rotating each foot to adjust the table’s height. It is handy when you want to lower or raise a side of a table to level it on top of an uneven floor. 

How Does An Air Hockey Table Work?

how air hockey table works

The design of an air hockey table mimics the look of hockey rinks. Fans funneling air into the surface through small holes distributed evenly recreates the effect of ice in traditional hockey. The airflow and the sleek surface material allows smooth gameplay. These attributes work to keep the puck slightly airborne and control the speed and direction of its movements.

What Are The Purpose Of The Circles On An Air Hockey Table?

The hundreds of tiny holes in the surface let air escape from the fans installed under the table. Airflow must be consistent throughout the playing field.

With cheaper tables, you can find fewer but bigger holes. It works well when the puck moves fast, but the design creates areas with no airflow in which a slow-moving puck can get stuck. To compensate for this, manufacturers use laminate to prevent it.

Fans or motors have a direct effect on how even the airflow distributes to the table. Less expensive tables use a single blower motor. It makes airflow pressure more concentrated in the center and decreases around the edges. A table with dual blower motors is best if you want better quality games for developing your skills.

Do Air Hockey Tables Need To Be Plugged-In?

Air hockey tables can come equipped with AC adapters, which powers everything from the blower motors, LED lights, scoreboards, etc. This type of power system needs to be plugged-in to work. There are also small air hockey tables that have a battery-based system. It has rechargeable batteries that allow you to use it outdoors or wherever you go.

How Do You Maintain Air Hockey Tables?

Your air hockey table can endure a lot of rough play. However, to keep your air table in its best working condition, it needs a few maintenance works. 

Playing Field Surface
The most important part of your regular upkeep should include cleaning the surface of the playing field. You can use surface cleaners to wipe the area, then gently polish it with a rag.

Make sure that you don’t clog the holes of the table with the cleaner, though. Cleaning and polishing the playing field surface helps reduce friction and prevent dirt buildup. Another useful tip for you is to run the fans while buffing. It helps by blowing out the cleaner residues that may have gotten into the holes.
Fans And Motors

The blow motors also need to get checked every once in a while. Dust can collect in the fans, which can affect the quality and airflow efficiency of the system. Keep the unit clean and dust-free, focusing on the intake and filter as much as possible.

Who Invented Air Hockey?

In 1969, Bob Kenrick, Brad Baldwin, and Phil Crossman invented Air Hockey. They were former engineers of Brunswick Billiards, who have a good reputation in manufacturing pool tables. Another person credited for creating the game is their partner, Bob Lemieux.

Their group was able to bring air hockey tables to pizza parlors, community centers, etc., with the help of Brunswick Billiards. It quickly grew into popularity in 1974, and tournaments pop-up all over the US.

However, during the 80s, its popularity started to wane because of technology. But, all thanks to Mark Robbins, the game was ready to make a new start. He was responsible for convincing Dynamo Corporation to include Air Hockey on their list. Dynamo Corporation is a successful manufacturer of foosball tables.

What Are The Basic Air Hockey Rules?

Air Hockey is one of the rare games that you can enjoy without knowing the rules. However, if you want to play competitively, learning the guidelines will give you an advantage. Fortunately, Air Hockey rules are easy to comprehend and pick up, even for beginners.

Objective Of The Game – Landing the puck in the opposite goal gives you one point each time. The player or team to score 7 points first wins the game.
Number Of Players – You can play Air Hockey one-on-one or doubles. A simple toss coin decides which side of the table begins the game. The players alternate starting off the game with the opponent for each round.
Players Position – Each player must stand on their respective sides behind the table’s centerline. Players switch sides after each game to keep it exciting.
Time Outs – A single 10-second time-out is allowed for each game. And only when the puck is not in play. However, in case of injury, you can call out an additional time-out.
Scoring – Beyond the puck going in, you award a point when it stops and tilts inward at the goal. It also counts when the puck rebounds out then back in or when a foul or interference prevents it from making it in.
Striking The Puck – You can only hit a puck using the mallet; otherwise, it is a foul. Players are not allowed to lift the matter to top the puck. 

The difference in gameplay you can observe during tournaments and competitions are:

Mallet Grip – To allow more wrist actions, players place their fingertips behind it instead of gripping the knob at the top. It helps you move around the table quicker.
Triangle Defense –  It is where a player keeps his striker centered approximately eight inches from the goal. Players can easily block straight and bank shots in this position.
Drifting – Players often hit pucks in set patterns, including L, center, diamond, and diagonal.
Organized Shots – Hitting the puck in a specific location on the striker delivers it in the opposite direction. 

Which Equipment Do You Need To Play Air Hockey?

Like in any sports, some pieces of equipment are necessary to play Air Hockey. Here are three things you’ll need:

Plastic Puck

A puck that measures 2¾ inches in diameter is ideal for a small air hockey table 6 to 7 feet in length. Larger air hockey tables, on the other hand, requires 3¼ -inch diameter puck. It comes in various colors and features like glow-in-the-dark. They also design pucks for quieter gameplay. Besides round, there are other shapes available such as octagon and triangle.

Strikers Or Mallets

Mallets, pushers, strikers, or pushers are what the players use to hit the puck. You choose a mallet depending on the size of the puck and the air hockey table. Moreover, it can also come with or without felt pads at the bottom. Its purpose is to protect the playing field’s surface. However, some find the felt affects the speed of their reaction time.

Air Hockey Table

A typical air hockey table has a smooth plastic surface. Raised edges surround the playing field that keeps the puck from leaving the table. Tiny holes riddle the tabletop evenly to give way to air blown out by fans under the table. It creates a frictionless playing field and keeps the puck floating, almost levitating.

Is Air Hockey A Professional Sport?

Air Hockey is an intense sport that attracts competitors around the globe. It comprises various tournaments like spinoff tournaments or double elimination tournaments. Furthermore, spinoff tournaments are the most exciting because they get to determine their ranking. Players had the opportunity to contend with others with the same skill levels.

Formed in 1975, the United States AirHockey Association (USAA) created its games and competition standards. USAA works hand-in-hand with the Air Hockey Players Association, established in 2015. These two regulatory bodies of Air Hockey sports share similar players and rules.

As of today, the longest winning record holder is Tim Weissman. He won the title for nine years consecutively. On the other hand,  Colin Cummings is the youngest champion at 16 years of age.

Final Thoughts

Air hockey has grown into becoming one of the most popular bar games in history. People of all ages come to love and enjoy the game no matter their skill levels. Air hockey tables are an accessory and now a staple to every game room, arcade, pizza parlor, etc.

Whether it is for professional or amateur gameplay, air hockey tables can bring a lot of fun and excitement into a room. With this buying guide, finding the perfect table to purchase should not be too hard. Now, you can polish those skills and perfect those strikes. You need only to make sure that you have all the fun playing the game.