Air hockey is a tried and tested arcade game, one that many of us remember from our childhood. As you have grown into your adult years, and arcade games seem to be a less common sight, you may have invested in an air hockey table of your own.
Whether it is to re-live childhood memories, teach your own children, or simply a fun accessory in the man cave, you will be needing a decent stock of pucks.
After all, what good is an air hockey table if you don’t have any pucks? Lucky for you, they are not difficult to come by, but there are few key factors to be aware of when looking out for the best air hockey pucks. Read on to find out just what you need to up your air hockey game.
What is an Air Hockey Puck Made From?
Most air hockey pucks are made from a plastic called Lexan polycarbonate resin. This material is popular for pucks due to its scratch resistant properties, its toughness and the fact that is can easily be manufactured in a large variety of colors – not essential, but an added bonus.
The size of the puck you require will depend on the size of the table you have. If you're lucky enough to have enough space for a full-size table, one that is 7 foot or larger, you need to be on the lookout for pucks that are 3 ¼ inches.
This is the full size that is available for commercial tables (just like the ones you remember from the arcade). For tables smaller than 6ft, opt for a 2 ½ inch puck. The size (along with the weight) will affect how well your puck moves on the table. It needs to be just right to glide along the cushion of air created by the table. Keep reading to learn more about air hockey pucks and weight.
The weight of air hockey pucks come in a large range – anywhere between 6 and 45 grams. It may come as no surprise that the larger the puck, the heavier it is. Like size, weight depends greatly on the area of the table.
If your pucks are too heavy, they will not glide along the table. Too light and you will find yourself with flying pucks that are not only dangerous, but a nuisance to chase after.
Finding the best air hockey puck to suit the needs of your table and your playing needs, you may need to experiment a little, but do keep in mind the size of your table.
This one may come as a surprise, but did you know that air hockey pucks come in different shapes? The circular shape is by far the most common, but for some variation (and a whole lot of fun) try playing with a triangular or octagonal puck. They move in the same way, but with exciting directional changes, definitely adding a new dimension to your game!
Whilst the color of an air hockey puck won’t affect your game, they are certainly fun. For a unique experience, try out a fluorescent puck with a backlight – and enjoy some glow-in-the-dark excitement!
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Air Hockey Puck Maintenance
An air hockey puck needs to remain smooth in order to float nicely on the table. Unfortunately, general wear and tear is bound to happen, especially if you play with vigor!
Regularly check your pucks for dents and any build up of unwanted material such as dust or dirt. You can always try to re-smooth your puck, but your game won’t be the same.
It is always best to replace any damaged pucks. For this reason, it is strongly advised to have an abundance of spares on hand so you can continue playing when you notice a damaged puck.
When it comes to using the best air hockey pucks, this guide is crucial. Pucks are an inexpensive, yet necessary part of the game. In fact, they are so important that you cannot play without them! Be mindful when choosing the size and weight of your puck and remember to make a purchase based on the size of your table.
Checking your pucks for damage will ensure a smooth game and don’t forget to add some variety by including pucks of different shapes and colors. All that is left for you to do is buy a variety of pucks and have fun playing and experimenting!
Here is a video comparing a new puck with an old one.