Have you ever played air hockey? Those who have tried playing this game soon become addicted to it, wishing they had an air hockey table in their homes.
Nevertheless, these tables are available for players to purchase for their game rooms. They feature a sizeable smooth playfield surrounded by rails to prevent the puck from leaving the playing surface.
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Tips for Buying An Air Hockey Table
There are slots at both ends of the playfield serving as goals. A motor is in charge of producing air and delivering it through tiny holes.
These are the main qualities to look for in air hockey tables when buying one.
Before buying an air hockey table, you have to keep in mind the available space in the room where you plan to place it. In order for both players to feel comfortable while playing, there should be one meter of free space between the player and the edge of the playfield. Otherwise, you won’t be able to move around and demonstrate your shot techniques.
The size range of these tables is between four and eight feet in length. The dimensions should be taken into account when planning how to carry it inside the room. Although the scoring gantries and legs can be detached, carrying them into your home can be a real struggle.
Choose between a large puck and a small puck
Apart from the length of the air hockey table, you should determine the size of the puck. Models designed for small pucks of 2 ¾ inches have a less powerful fan when compared to the more powerful fan of models designed for 3-inch pucks. The role of the fan is to lift the puck from the tabletop and keep it floating.
Small-puck tables are perfect for young teenagers and children, as they don’t hit the puck too hard. Large-puck models are designed for adults, as they use more force when hitting the puck. The former are unsurprisingly more affordable. See this source for some useful instructions about building a DIY low-cost air hockey table.
Check the construction and motor
The construction of air hockey tables is vital for their overall quality. Models with solid wood construction are of remarkable quality, unlike those constructed out of plywood.
Since players tend to lean on the table a lot during the game, its legs might break on them, especially if made of plywood. Also, the playing surface of plywood models is often uneven, making the experience less enjoyable.
The playfield material is also significant when making a choice, as it affects the quality of the game. Air hockey tables designed for home use generally have wooden or plastic playfields covered with low-friction vinyl.
Conversely, commercial models usually have metal or steel playfields, which are resistant to damage. Some high-end playfields are made with polycarbonate, responsible for their transparent ability.
The largest part of the playfields is flat. Anyhow, some of the latest models include curved playfields, making the puck slide towards the center. The rails are responsible for giving the puck a rebound, thus surrounding the playfield. Usually, these are made of plastic, with the exception of high-end air hockey tables featuring metal rails.
Rink wall quality should also be considered, as these walls influence the game experience. Nylon and aluminum rink walls are believed to provide excellent rebound qualities.
Laminate, on the other hand, is used to replace aluminum in cheaper models but dents a lot under the force of the puck. See this link, https://sciencing.com/nylons-properties-uses-8627049.html, to learn about the properties and uses of nylon.
Motor quality has to be taken into account if you wish for optimal airflow on the playfield. Make sure the motor is powerful in order not to overheat and cause loud noise.
Consider the scoring system
Another thing to bear in mind when buying an air hockey table is the way in which you will be keeping score. Some models use a digital tracking system, which tracks each goal from the beginning to the end of the game.
Other models use a manual way of score tracking, such as a whiteboard. Many players prefer to keep score manually to disregard any accidental goals.
Learn about maintenance
Air hockey tables don’t need plenty of maintenance to perform optimally. Players are advised to keep the playfield clean by using a surface cleaner and a rag. The cleaner will ensure there is no dust or grime accumulation, which causes friction.
Nevertheless, you aren’t supposed to use large quantities of the cleaning agent while cleaning the surface, as you might block the holes. You are also suggested to occasionally check the condition of the fan unit, as dust build-up leads to unit inefficiency.
This fast-paced game is excellent for relaxation.
It suits both kids and adults!