How foosball gained its popularity
Harold Searles Thornton was the first person to patent foosball after he was inspired by a matchbox. Later, his uncle Louis P. Thornton introduced the game to America and patented it in 1927. In 1950, Belgians established the first foosball league around the time that it had started becoming a popular fixture in pubs and cafes in America and Europe. The game became more renowned after E. Lee Peppard, a bar owner in Montana, started the Quarter Million Dollar Professional Foosball Tour tournaments with high prize stakes of $1000 to $20,000.
In 1976 When the European Table Soccer Union was launched in 1976, different countries had already adopted different playing styles as the addictive foosball continued to evolve. This is reflected today in the preference of one-man goalie system and non-counterweight foosball men by Europeans and purists who like a demanding game which is slower but more geared towards skills and techniques while Americans are more inclined towards counterweighted players and 3-man goalie configuration which focuses more on power and speed. The French version of the game concentrates on control and mimics football’s playing style, and German’s variety features soft playing surfaces which require more strategy when shooting.
Foosball undoubtedly enjoys immense popularity because of the all-inclusive nature of the game which can be set up anywhere and played by people of all ages and skills.
- KICK makes affordable and high-quality foosball tables in various sizes and styles.
- KICK has a warehouse in Texas which facilitates free same day shipping.
- KICK foosball table reviews indicate excellent customer support including fast response and replacements.
- Most of their foosball tables come with a lifetime warranty which also makes spare parts for each model readily available.
- Their foosball tables can be quickly and easily assembled using the instructions included with the unit and the installation video on KICK’s website.
Features to consider when choosing a foosball table
The following are the key features that you should factor in before choosing a foosball table for a well-informed purchasing decision that will work best for your needs.
Dimensions and weight
The full regulation size foosball table has a length of 56 inches, a width of 30 inches and a height of 36 inches and varied weight of 120 up to 360 pounds. To accommodate more individual needs and preferences, smaller and lighter tables are available in a wide range of dimensions, from models like KICK Triumph Black and KICK Splendor which are close to regulation size to compact and portable tabletop options with a measurement of 40 x 20 x 10 inches.
When considering the size, remember to factor in additional space around the table so you can fit the rods and have sufficient room to play and move comfortably. The ideal weight is the one that will keep the foosball table stable when you are playing.
Sturdy and durable construction
Solid wood, composite and particle board are the three types of material mostly used to construct foosball tables.
Solid wood made of hardwood are sturdy and durable but costlier and prone to warping in a humid environment. Composite is an ideal option for outdoor models because it is more resistant to moisture and humidity. Particle board construction is common in lower end tables because it is more affordable, but it can warp or weaken over time.
To limit the effects of humidity and extend your table’s lifespan, consider solid wood tables made with hardwood and particle board tables made with the high-quality medium-density fiberboard (MDF) featured in the models we have recommended in our KICK foosball table reviews.
Playing field thickness
The thickness of the playing field influences the strength, sturdiness and durability of your table and the speed and accuracy of the ball. Choose a playing field with a minimum thickness of half an inch like KICK Venture Foosball Table’s which provides a smooth surface for better control of the ball and faster shots, and can put up with extensive play.
Avoid playing surfaces with slippery finish which makes it more difficult to control the ball and stickers which peel, fade or roll up.
Playing rods and handles
Since rods and handles are used to control the players, their overall construction will definitely impact your performance.
Foosball tables mainly come with solid or hollow rods made of steel. Hollow rods are lighter and move quickly and more smoothly for a fun, fast-paced game. They are considered the best quality and are usually found in expensive professional models. They are suitable for seasoned players and 3-goalie configurations. On the other hand, solid rods move slowly due to their heavier weight which makes them suitable for beginners, 1-man goalie set up and players who rely more on skills and techniques than speed.
The third type, telescopic rods, is much less common because it is mostly used as a safer alternative in high-end models designed for a family with kids.
Rubber and wood make the best material for handles because they provide a comfortable and firm grip and, unlike metal and plastic, are less likely to be smooth and slippery if your hands become get sweaty.
Foosball men and goalie configuration
Top-rated foosball tables include sets of uniformed and counterweighted foosball men for diverse gameplay. For instance, KICK Splendor Foosball Table comes with one set of 26 uniformed foosball men and another set of 13 red and 13 blue counterbalanced men made of ABS. When released, counterbalanced men remain in horizontal position off the playing surface to stay out of the way and open the field up for clear shots and passes.
Foosball tables typically come with one goalie or three goalies, which refers to the players attached to the rod closest to the goal. But as you can see in our KICK foosball table reviews, all the models we have recommended include kits to configure both types of goalie systems to match your style and skill. The kits feature ramps which are placed in the corners and plastic stop rings placed over the empty holes on the 3-goalie rod to configure the setup to 1-man goalie.
1-man goalie is preferred by advanced players who want a more challenging game which requires more skills to defend your goal while 3-man goalie setups are ideal for beginners who may prefer a faster game but need more assistance in defense.
Ultimately, the goalie setup and inclusion of counterbalanced foosball men will depend on your personal preference although a versatile Pro KICK foosball table which comes with adjustable setup options for goalies and foosball men can give you more value.
While the majority of foosball tables offer a warranty with an average duration of one year, PICK offers a lifetime warranty for all the models we listed and ranked earlier in our KICK foosball table reviews.
Adjustable Legs: Levelers are essential features which adjust your table’s legs to keep the playing surface even and flat and to accommodate players of different heights. KICK Foosball Table Liberty Black, 48-Inch which is a starter model for kids and newbies has adjustable legs which will accommodate your child’s growing height.
Ball Retrieval System: Consider built-in front or side ball return which speeds up retrieval of the ball.
Cup holders: KICK Splendor Foosball Table and KICK Venture Foosball Table are among the models with detachable and collapsible cup holders on the ends for refreshments and replenishment during gaming sessions.