Air hockey is a game that appeals to anyone and everyone. Every age group can enjoy a good game of air hockey and every skill level is welcome to enjoy the game. It is a remarkably easy game to learn and that breeds a huge variety of audiences that play the game.
This inevitably leads to very varied playing styles and with every playing style, different accessories hold different values and advantages. There are many accessories that give a different feel to the game altogether. The table obviously plays a huge part in setting the standard of game flow but other details such as the puck and mallet also play a part.
How to Choose the Best Air Hockey Mallets
Mallets, also known as strikers and pushers for air hockey, play a huge role in the game. They are the tools through which a player influences the game. In other words, it is their weapon in the field. Choosing the mallet is important to suit the conditions of the game.
1 - Size of the Mallet
One of the first factors that affect the performance is the size of the mallet. Bigger mallets cover a larger area on the table and thus require lesser diligence and reactions when defending. The puck finds it harder to get past and scoring becomes slightly more difficult.
The official size of the mallet is 95mm which is very adequate and competitive for a 7ft table. Lower age groups playing at a 7ft table may want a larger mallet.
Playing at smaller tables may be better using a smaller mallet to keep the game fun. This will replace the shorter range of motion so that higher dexterity is still required to get the mallet behind the puck.
2 - Material
The mallet can be made of many materials mallets that are used professionally generally are very hard and tough so that no ounce of force is left un-transferred into the puck. The harder the material, the better the mallet as long as you are comfortable with the weight and friction of the mallet.
3 - Weight
The weight of the mallet is an important factor to consider. The heavier the mallet, the more the force behind your shots. As a tradeoff, heavier mallets are difficult to maneuver. Using lighter mallets can affect your agility and are also very suitable for children. Pros usually play with heavier mallet models to give them great force behind their shots.
4 - Felt Pad Under Mallet
Using a felt pad serves the purpose of protecting the table from scratches and other wear and tear. When playing at home, it is often advised to use a felt pad to increase the life of your table but when playing a high level game, you may want mallet without felt pads. The reason behind it is that felt pads increase the friction between the table and mallet. This slows down your game slightly and takes away from accuracy and control which leads to below premier performance.
While talking about felt pads, you should also keep in check the dirt accumulating in the felt pads. A dirty felt pad can wear the table down faster instead of protecting the table by acting like sandpaper scratching the surface very rapidly.
5 - Aesthetics
The final consideration you may make in choosing a mallet is the aesthetics. This is primarily for less than serious players who want to add bonus zing to their game. Or maybe your mallet can leave your opponent agape so you are free to score as you please!
Features of the Top Air Hockey Pucks
Like mallets, pucks also come in different sizes and varieties. They too have a great impact on the game and should be considered before any purchase is made.
2 - Weight
The weight of the puck is a very crucial factor in how the game feels. Lighter pucks usually accompany the cheaper models. This is down to the fact that cheaper tables have less powerful blowers so they cannot keep the heavier pucks levitating.
Having a heavier puck is much better. The game plays smoother and the puck is far more accurate. The puck also does not fly off the table, a feature ubiquitous in lighter pucks. Heavier pucks usually only play at more expensive tables that have blowers that can handle the weight so if you have a cheaper table model, a lighter puck is best suited.
3 - Quality
The quality of the puck is very important. You need to make sure the puck is made of durable material that does not scratch easily. Pucks can get scratched a lot and scars on the puck can start to spell disaster for your table. A puck that is resistant to eroding is the best as you will not need to replace them soon. It is also advisable to keep a few pucks in reserve so you aren’t left searching for one when you need to play.
4 - Shape
Pucks come in different shapes as well. The well-known standard circular shape is the real deal but if you are bored, you may add a new twist to the game.Triangular and octagonal shaped pucks add new dimensions to the game and can make your home game a deliciously enjoyable laughter fest! In the end, the game is about enjoying yourself and if you are not enjoying, what’s the use of playing.
Best Air Hockey Pucks and Mallets Deals
As we are talking about pucks and mallets, we decided that we should review some of the deals on amazon right now. These deals for pucks and mallets are some of the better ones and you should check them out of you are looking to load up on your air hockey equipment supplies.
Jollylife is offering a pack of 2 mallets and 4 pucks for a very reasonable price. This deal is a great one if you are looking to replace your accessories cheaply.
This deal is designed for the people who need a cheap deal for their home air hockey table and hence the manufacturers do not package the product. This saves the cost of packaging the red colored mallets and pucks. The pushers are a good 95mm wide which is the official size and come equipped with a felt bottom that protects your table from wear and tear.
The pucks are light, however, and tend to fly off the table. The felt bottom is also reported to come off after a while and needs to be re-glued. The pucks are also a smaller than regular size. If you have invested in a high quality large table, you may want better pucks and mallets but for small sized tables and for children, you may want to invest in these.
- Cheap and affordable
- Nice size of mallets
- Felt comes off
- For small-sized tables only
- Suited for home use only
Billiard Evolution 5 Pucks
The Billiard evolution 5 puck package has an assortment of multi-colored and differently shaped pucks. The pack features two standard round pucks; two octagonal pucks and one triangular puck. The diameter of the round puck is 63mm (2.5 inch) which is suitable for less than full sized tables. The pucks are also differently colored and add to the vibe of the package.
The pucks are, however, pretty light and fly off very often; especially on full sized tables. The blower on good tables is too powerful for their weight and they tend to glide too high and wear off course sometimes. The plastic used in making these pucks is very light and the pucks are very thin which takes away durability and you may be ordering new pucks again soon. They do add an interesting twist to the game though and play well on smaller tables.
- Cheap and affordable
- Different shapes add fun dimensions to the game
- Vibrant colors
- Play well on small tables
- Very light pucks
- Tend to fly off the table
- Not suitable for large tables
- Not durable, tend to wear off quickly or sometimes even break
Billiard Evolution 2 Mallet 4 Pucks
Billiard Evolution’s 2 mallet 4 puck package is a pretty handy one. It contains 2 cream colored mallets accompanied by 4 black pucks. The mallets are 3.75 inches wide which is a good size for a large table. The pucks are 2.5 inches in diameter (63mm) which is decent for a mid-sized table.
The pucks and mallet are a decent quality package and offer a bit of durability for the low price. The mallet comes with a felt bottom that protects the table from wear and tear. The deal also has a nice bag with draw strings which is a welcome bonus addition. The pucks and mallet seem to be adequate for small to mid-sized tables but for high end tables, you may want to get more expensive accessories. These lie in the low price bracket for home based players to stock up on their supplies without spending much.
The pucks are light which is inevitable given the low price and mostly enjoyable for the kids. Adults may be dissatisfied by the weight of the puck but durability is not an issue. At larger tables, the puck flies off often and doesn’t perform to the level of a good high-end table.
- Cheap and affordable
- Good size of mallets and puck
- Felt bottom protects the table
- Durable equipment
- Light pucks
- Light mallets
- Not suitable for larger tables, only for small sized tables
Vktech Air Hockey Puck & Pusher Combo
The Vktech package offers 4 red mallets and 4 red pucks in their lineup. The mallets are 96mm in diameter which is great for medium to large sized tables. The pucks and mallets are made of hard bright red plastic with is pretty sturdy. The pucks have a 63mm diameter which serves a mid to large sized table well.
The Vktech package is the most expensive out of our picks but is deserves a spot in the list. This is because the pucks and mallets are very sturdy and durable and can last substantially longer than the others in the list. The mallets come with a felt covering on the bottom and are adequately heavy. The pucks aren’t overly light either and will suit a mid-table game without too many hiccups.
The pucks aren’t the heaviest though and may not suit a large table or professionals looking for a game. The felt on the mallets also are not for the very keen players but keep the health of the table up.
- Very durable
- Reasonable price
- Sturdy and heavy mallets
- Decent pucks
- Puck on the light side for large tables
- Slightly below excellent quality
Brybelly One Dozen Air Hockey Pucks
The Brybelly package of 12 pucks is also an advisable purchase. The package includes twelve red pucks that measure a diameter of 2.5 inches or 63mm.
There is nothing too flashy in the package and they are sold as so. There price is extremely affordable and the deal serves a great way to stock up on pucks if you are tired of chasing them around the room.
The pucks are a bit light but that is not unexpected given the price tag of the deal. The deal is an excellent one for a small sized table that is used by novices and kids. Medium to large table sizes may require better puck models but no deal comes as affordable as this one. It will put you out of puck worry for a long time.
- Very affordable
- Relatively durable
- Light pucks
- Only suitable for small tables
- Nothing flashy, just stock pucks
So there we have it, a full overview cum guide on how air hockey accessories help you in the game and what to buy when you are in the market for the products. Happy Playing!