Finding the best foosball balls is no easy task, simple as it might seem. You need to put real thought into your decision.
There are also many different types of foosball balls. You’d be surprised at just how many, what makes them different, how they're made and what they're made with.
What I'll do here is help you understand them better so that you can make the right choice that fits you personally, allowing you to purchase the best foosball ball for your needs.
What are Foosball Balls Made Of?
Because there are many different types of foosball balls, it means that they're all made of a variety of materials.
The different variations of foosball balls also vary according to location. For example, in Europe, the foosball balls are generally made of cork, whereas in America they’re made from plastic, or a mixture of cork but with a slick, smooth and glossy finish.
The difference in location also has something to do with the way people play foosball in different places. That's another determining factor when discovering which is the best foosball ball.
Europeans play foosball a little more strategically and it's a little more advanced than in America where it’s fast paced, rougher and louder.
There are four main types of foosball balls; textured, cork, traditional and smooth. Textured foosball balls – which are more commonly found in the US – have a dense and rigid feel thus allowing it to be pinned down between the table and the little man.
They're best suited for high-speed travel and aggressive play but they are louder when bounced off the walls.
Cork Foosball Balls
Cork foosball balls, as previously stated, are common in Europe due to their more strategic style of playing.
It’s more advanced than that played at an American table; perfect execution as well as deception. These balls make a more muffled sound and travels quicker.
Traditional Soccer Balls
Traditional soccer ball foosball balls are more for the low end, cheaper foosball tables.
These foosball balls, unfortunately, don’t give an authentic experience that foosball has to offer. This is due to the fact that tables that use this type of foosball balls are more often used as toys.
The biggest disadvantage is that these balls aren't great performers due to the inset lines which keep the ball rolling, creating concern that the table isn't leveled.
Their extremely slick coating is another downfall making it harder to pin, grip or control them. They also create a loud noise when playing. They're main advantage is that they're cheap.
Smooth Foosball Balls
Last but not least are smooth foosball balls. They're similar to traditional but with slight improvements.
One of the biggest differences is the lack of inset lines, which means it’s easier to predict how they'll roll, but they're hard to control due to its slick coating.
It's also difficult to pin these balls down. Out of all the options, this one creates the loudest sound.
How to Choose a Foosball Ball
When you consider your options, the other things to consider are size, weight and your friction factor.
Foosball tables can support different sizes of foosball balls, thus making it important for you to ensure that ball you select will fit the openings in your table. If the ball is smaller than the entry it may become harder to control.
Weight is another important factor as it makes a difference. The lighter the ball, the faster it moves, but with speed becomes unpredictability and a lack of control.
A ball with more weight is obviously completely the opposite, making it easier to dictate the pace of the game but this does sacrifice some of the fun, making it slow and dull.
When it comes to friction it’s all about that finishing touch, the outer layer. A plastic ball or a ball that’s smooth to touch isn't as easy to pin down, that’s why it’s more advisable to find a ball that’s stickier and provides adequate grip, these balls are easier to control.
Roll With It
So, now you see just how many things there are to consider when purchasing a foosball ball, it isn’t nearly as easy as you thought it might be. Hopefully, you’ll find comfort in the information that will lead you to decide on the best foosball ball.
I implore you to understand what style suits you best and think about the style in which you play.
Here's a video tutorial on doing some bank shots with your new foosball balls.