Foosball tables have been increasing in popularity recently and manufacturers are hustling to produce a plethora of options to keep consumers buying -- today making a good decision on a quality foosball table can be a tough call.
A Full Sized Foosball table can cost any where from $200 for a lower end option to $1500 for the higher end non-coin-operated varieties. Additionally, the high demand for this entertaining luxury has made it common to see several foosball tables of the exact same make, model and quality bracket selling for prices that vary by several hundred dollars.
Taking time to shop around can be very profitable. It would also be quite advantageous to do some research into the foosball table so that your decision comes from a good perspective. ManCaveMaster to the rescue: here are some of the basics to professional and recreational "Foosballing".
Did you know that in a Foosball Tournament, "spinning" the rods is illegal? This is important to think about before you purchase your table; this way you will know if you want to purchase a high-end premium table or a quality toy/game that would be a hit with the kids and provide some wholesome entertainment.
Of course, if you want to add some prestige to your man cave - and price is not the deciding factor - you may want to consider buying a premium table. In order to begin honing the skills to shred with the pros, you will need a quality work of art with a consistent roll and this comes from a well crafted table, using matching quality materials.
You will need a unit where the little figures, the surfaces and the ball have a consistent and even roll. That will allow you to apply such techniques as scooping, pinning and maneuvering the ball with precision and grace.
Of course, a foosball table of this caliber is going to cost you upwards of $600. Even if you are purchasing a gift for children - and the gift is only intended as a toy - you may think that a premium table is overkill. But consider the additional investment in going premium might pay off in the long run.
Another good reason for opting for a premium quality table is the kind of attention and company it attracts --and we are not talking about kids here. Adults are playful and competitive to. And a true skill game can consistently attract a die hard following of neighbours, friends, coworkers and relatives who show up to kick back and play ball in an environment that demands more grown-up skill than youthful vigor.
Finally, Premium Tables will last you longer and can have damaged parts or components replaced as needed.
Best Age Range For "Foosers"
This largely depends on whether you are buying a toy or an actual activity that can develop into a competitive skill. Kids as young 6 can pick up on the rules of this game and have a fun time knocking the ball around with their friends for countless hours - for smaller children a foosball table with adjustable legs would be ideal. (The official height of a foosball table is 36 inches).
There are events, pro tours and other professional competitions that feature kids 17 years and older. There are also many kids in their early teens who have entered these competitions and won.
This kind of hard-core gaming requires superior equipment. Then there are the really "big kids" with full beards, credit cards and adult level vernaculars - and levels of competition that require high-quality foosball tables to properly stand up to ongoing use and abuse.
For high-level competition in the frat house, sorority basement or man cave, you are going to need a premium table.
The Best Spot For Your Table
An official foosball table measures 30 inches by 56 inches. Don't forget, you will need plenty of room for the sticks that jut out from either side. The recommended room size is 7 foot by 8 foot. This will give you about a foot over the end and three feet over each side. For bigger, rowdier kids you may need a bigger room. There are also some very sharp looking varieties of Foosball tables and even some custom finishes to match the decor of your room.
If you are looking for a budget-friendly option, you will want to be aware of the major manufacturing flaws so you don't end up with a pile of uneven chip-board that will be out of commission in a month. Following are some important things to check before purchasing a bargain foosball table:
Is the Surface flat? Place a marble in the center of the field and check what happens. Did it roll this way or that? Does it have any irregular rolling patterns that could put games on a tilt? Check for any dead zones, especially in the corners where the ball may enter and be unreachable to the players. Some tables have adjustable legs so that they can be levelled out on any surface.
Rough playing is an important part of entertaining Foosball, so you will want that the side walls are held together well and not going to be yanked apart by 13 year olds. Lower quality tables are usually held together with pegs and glue, while quality tables are fastened with sturdy brackets and even ornate metal framework. The thickness of the walls is also a measure of quality (but not always) a thicker wall is a good sign.
Give the rods a firm bounce off the wall and see if it causes the structure to shake. A sturdy structure is a good sign. If it shakes before you buy it: imagine what will happen on day 2 of hard gaming...
There might come a time when you are ready to move on and sell your trusty table. If you were price-savvy in the first place, you should have no problem selling your table locally while still fetching a decent price for it. Taking advantage of websites for local listings as opposed to costly shipping across the country will increase your margin.
As with anything, visible wear diminishes your resell value. One more reason the go with a higher quality grade table.
For a detailed Foosball table review and comparison, take a look here.