When it comes to air hockey hockey, there's no substitute for playing on a full sized air hockey table. We've mentioned full sized tables in many of our other articles, but often in the context of how they compare to the "run of the mill" home air hockey tables. In this article, we'll focus solely on the biggest luxury tables and how they compare so you can decide which one to get for your house, office, or business.
Important: These are all full-sized tables for the home that don't function with coins or require any sort of card or cash to play.
How Big Is a Full Sized Air Hockey Table?
The largest tables on the market measure 99 ½” L x 51 ¼”W x 31”H. There are only three companies that make tables of this size: Gold Standard Games, Valley-Dynamo, and Brunswick (although we've recently had trouble finding Brunswick's air hockey tables). While there are several other commercial-quality tables made by these companies, they aren't all full sized. For the sake of this list, we will only list tables that are 99.5" in length and 51 1/4" in width or slightly bigger.
Please note: Having an overhead will increase the size a bit with heights reaching around 70 inches.
Why Get a Full Sized Table?
If you've ever read the rules and regulations of professional air hockey, then you may have notice that there are several strict guidelines when it comes to the equipment. A smooth game of air hockey isn't dependent on one thing. Everything from the table surface, the blowers, the rails, the puck, and even the mallets can completely change the dynamic of the game.
A full-sized table is similar to the conductor of an orchestra. The airflow, the surface, and rails on full-sized tables are designed to support the best pucks, the best mallets, and deliver the highest level of game play. Try playing with professional pucks on a regular table and you're stuck with a slow game and little to no ability to bank the puck off the rails.
Side Note Story: We were at our local arcade the other day which has an absolutely beautiful full-sized Dynamo Firestorm table. However, we immediately noticed that the puck would quickly come to a stop and not float. When it would hit a rail too hard, it would often go flying off. Upon inspecting the puck, not only was it too light and too small, but it was also dented and scratched. The damage on the puck was preventing it from sliding and the lightness of it was causing it to fly off.
The point being, monitoring the pieces and accessories on a large table is just as important as the table itself.
List of Full Sized Tables
Although there are more tables available, we made this list to give you the greatest variety of features and range of affordability. Please note that because prices vary, the cost on the tables may be subject to change from the time of writing this article.
Gold Standard Games Tournament Ice
The Tournament Ice is the no-frills value model from Gold Standard Games. It's a full-sized commercial table that's designed for the home without flashy arcade features. By eliminating things like flashing lights and overhead electronic scoring, the company is able to offer the Tournament Ice at a comparatively lower price than many tables with these functions.
In fact, this table doesn't come with any electronic features at all, so you've got to keep track with the abacus located on the sides. However, we'd trade a full sized table for electronic scoring any day of the week.
Gold Standard Games Tournament Pro
Contrary to the Tournament Ice which has zero electronic attributes, the Tournament Pro has one: side-mounted electronic scoring. While we said we'd gladly trade electronic scoring for a full-sized table, it's even better to have both! Rather than having to shift a bead on a counting device, it's much easier and engaging to let the table do the counting for you. The more functionality the better.
Gold Standard Games Tournament Pro Elite
The Tournament Pro Elite is the final table for this product line. It's also the one with the most features. Not only is it fully regulation sized, but it's got every bonus feature you could hope for: overhead scoring, overhead lighting, and even a black light so you can play with glow in the dark pucks. You certainly don't need all this to play good air hockey, but if it's within your budget, more power to you!
Valley-Dynamo Pro Style w/ Overhead Scoring
The Valley-Dynamo Pro Style is a pretty standard full sized table with overhead lighting and scoring. It's got a classic look and is probably similar to tables you're used to seeing in the arcade. We can't say that we particularly recommend this one over any of the Gold Standard Games tables. Having played on tables from both brands, we can confidently say you're going to be getting top quality from either or.
Valley Dynamo Firestorm
We've saved this table for last because at the time of writing this article, it has the most features of any home full-sized table on the market. Not only does it have black lighting, white lighting, and overhead scoring, it's also got a handy shield on the side of the table.
Not only is the shield good for stopping pucks from flying off, it discourages people from mindlessly placing their drinks on the table. No matter how careful you care, accidents do happen, so having such a precaution built in is a great thing.
Let's face it, all of these tables are a huge commitment. Whether it's your price range or the available space to put them in, there's plenty of reasons why these tables might be out of reach for you. Luckily, we can provide you with some alternatives.
If you want to see some other options be sure to check out our full air hockey table buying guide as well as our review of the Fat Cat Pockey. Either will give you some alternative ideas if you can't get your hands on a full-sized table.
As always, please use the comment section below if you have any questions.