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Foosball Table Buyer's Beginner Guide (2024 Edition)

 

Foosball Table Buyer's Beginner Guide

A foosball table is an excellent addition to any home. It's great for teams, takes up little space, and isn't as pricey as you may imagine.

When it comes to features, Foosball tables arguably come with more gameplay variations than other table games like pool or table tennis. As such, various factors need to be considered to ensure you get the best one for your needs and preferences. But not to worry - that's precisely the reason for this guide - to help you make an informed decision.

We'll first discuss the overall factors that every table should have, followed by specific features depending on your needs. Indeed, a big early factor that narrows it down is dependent on why you're buying the table. 

First, a couple of things to note:

  • The focus of this guide is for adult foosball tables. While there are¬†small tabletop versions and kids-size models, our focus here is on the full-sized¬†2v2 ones
  • Foosball tables vary slightly in various sizes, the¬†dimensions¬†are fairly similar at 5ft x 2.5ft, so we won't discuss that as a factor.

 

Must-haves

Regardless of variation, any worthwhile foosball table ought to be sturdy, and this is down to components such as its frame, legs, playing surface and rods.

 

1. Sturdy Frame and Legs

Because jerking happens a lot during an intense foosball game, you'd want the stability a sturdy table brings. A frame made of durable materials doesn't sway and thus compromise on playing experience, and prevents easy jerking of the rods which can cause longer-term table damage.

The legs should be made of steel and well-constructed, because a poorly designed one will cause levelling issues. The legs should also come with leg levellers for easy levelling.

Overall, sturdier designs are slightly pricier but will play much better while serving as a lasting investment. If it's about or under 40kg, it's probably isn't meant for serious play.  

 

2. Playing Surface and Rods

Because you'd also want a level playing surface for consistent ball roll, opt for tables with a quality laminate or glass surface to ensure the ball rolls smoothly and doesn't bounce unpredictably. 

High-quality tables usually have steel, hollow rods that provide better control compared to lightweight rods. You should also spin them without any resistance.  

 

Key Features

Now that we've covered the must-haves, below are considerations regarding the features of a foosball table, a lot of which depend on your purpose - whether it's casual play at home, institutional use at schools and offices, commercial use, or competitions.

 

1. Telescopic

Telescopic rods are rods that do not protrude on the opponent's side, and therefore deemed to be safer especially if there are kids around. If you're buying for your home or a school, telescopic rods are an option to help prevent injuries.

Telescopic rods also come with a cleaner, minimalist look that offers a nice aesthetic for modern homes, and can be found in models such as the Aston II Foosball Table.

 

2. Glass Top vs Open-Play

A glass-top cover ensures that the playing area (and players) is safe from damage, isn't filled with foreign objects, and the balls don't go missing. A glass cover also protects against dust. For corporate and commercial involving public use, you'd want a glass-top foosball table as it offers protection. 

Open-play tables on the other hand are great for casual play. Such tables allow you to manually move the ball that's stuck at the edges, are lighter to move around, and are easier on the eyes without the reflection of a glass top. 

 

3. Fast vs Slow Play Features

If you enjoy the frenetic, fast-flowing foosball, features like ramps literally ramp up the speed of play. Ramps help the ball move moving along edges where they would typically get stuck. A playing surface like glass has also less friction, allowing the ball to travel faster. Of course, you'd get more random goals but that's part of the game! The Stadium Foosball Table and Tour Foosball Table come with beautiful glass surfaces that are smooth, promoting faster end-to-end action play.

On the other hand, if you prefer slower, more deliberative play (especially for competitions), opt for a table without ramps, and a laminate surface with more grip that provides you more control over the ball. The Elite ITSF-Tournament Foosball Table is one such option for players who wish for a slower-paced game that's geared towards competition.

 

4. Outdoor / Indoor

Unlike Football which is great in the rain, foosball played under wet conditions will damage your table - unless you've got a weather-resistant foosball table!

Usually made of composite material that are known for all-weather qualities, these outdoor tables are intended to be placed in a yard or rooftop and are great alongside barbecue or swim sessions! Check out Cornilleau's Origin Foosball Table that's a work of art whether outdoor or indoors!

 

5. Others

  • Brands:¬†While you could simply opt for¬†branded model, we find that (after trying various sets ourselves) it's¬†as important to pass the feel test, because each table is made to different cultural and¬†body proportions (e.g Asian vs European). Nothing beats personally trying it out and having a hands-on experience.¬†We offer both branded tables by¬†Tornado, Elite, FAS and Cornilleau,¬†and OEM models that play as well as branded ones.
  • Players: The better tables come with Counterbalanced players that stay horizontal when released, making it easier to set up shots and control the game. There are also options between a one-goalie or three-goalie setup, the former of which is an additional challenge.¬†
  • Coin and ball-release mechanism: For commercial, you definitely also need one of these to collect those earnings from users and control the number of balls being played.
  • Same-side ball¬†return:¬†This ensures the ball is returned more accessibly on either player's side, and you don't have to stretch over to the ends to retrieve each time after scoring a goal. This is quite understated because trust us, it can get tiring doing so 10-15 times a game!¬†

By considering these factors, we hope you are now better equipped to select a foosball table that meets your requirements in terms of quality, features, and budget, ensuring hours of fun and enjoyment for you and your friends or family.

Check out our selection of some the best soccer tables at best prices, including top brands like Tornado, Elite, FAS and Cornilleau.

 

 

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