Category Archives: Indoor

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The Best Pool Tables for 2020 : For Bars, Basements, & Man Caves

Pool is one of the most popular games all over the world. The sport can be played in bars and there are even world championships where the best pool players come together to test their skills. Having your very own pool table can definitely take away some of the boredom and even relief some work stress when you get home after a long day at the office.
Top Pool Table Comparison Chart

PictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?

3. EastPoint Sports Masterton Billiard Pool Table
$Check Price on Amazon

2. SIMBASHOPPING USA 8′ Feet Billiard Pool Table$$$Check Price on Amazon

3. Hathaway Hustler 7’-8’ Pool Table
$$$Check Price on Amazon

4. Mizerak Dynasty Space Saver 6.5’ Billiard Table
$Check Price on Amazon

There are various types of pool tables and they all fall under different price ranges for you to choose from. Many of the features will be great for improving your game, while other tables should be great for simply having a little fun with friends at a party, but a pool table is definitely something that you should look into buying if you want to spice up your man cave.
We have set out to find the best pool tables and also look for the pool tables that will offer you the best value for your money. These pool tables are all good for having at home and with a few modifications, they can even be used in your pub if you own one to bring in a little extra income.
But before we dive into the top pool tables, you will need to understand how to buy the best pool table when you are searching for one on your own. There are certain features that are really important and then a few that will only be great for more of the advanced players, but let’s look at a few of these important features:
Pool Table Buying Guide
Professional pool tables can be really expensive and therefore, we have set out to show you some of the features that you will need to consider looking for in your cheaper pool table to ensure that you still get great value for your money. Having all of these features will also be expensive, therefore, you can choose the table with the features that you need to save you a few bucks.
Type
There are two types of pool tables that you will have the opportunity to choose from. These two tables are the American pool tables and the English pool tables and both of them vary quite a bit as you will see later on.
Size
the size of the table must be taken into account and while the 7-foot table is the most common because it does not take up as much space, the pool tables can go up to 9 feet long. American pool tournaments are usually played on the 9-foot tables and they also offer a great opportunity for you to play some snooker as well. The average pool cue is 4 feet long and this must be taken into account and we recommend having a 14 by 11 feet room at the minimum to fit your pool table in.
Pool Dining Table Option
The pool dining table is a little different from the standard pool table and it offers much more leg space underneath. These tables are also a little cheaper than your average pool table and they will offer you great multifunctional use and also improve the space usage in the home as less space will be wasted.
Construction
There are two types of construction to choose from. The first type is the wood laminated MDF style. These pool tables are cheaper and they are not made from high-quality woods. Plywood is used most commonly. The slate bed tables are more durable and they are made from solid wood. The wood can be of your choosing, but they are more expensive. The slate bed will also allow you to customize the style of the table much more.
Added Accessories
When purchasing a pool table, you will receive a set of balls depending on the table and the game and also a cue to start with as well as a triangle, but there are also more accessories to choose from and we recommend adding accessories like specialized brushes as well as snooker ball to have some fun.
With these five features, you can really simplify the choice of the table that you want to buy. We do consider the dimensions to be really important, especially since it will have an impact on your playing experience. One of the hardest choices is usually between American and English pool tables, so let’s have a look at the difference.
American Pool Table vs. English Pool Table
American Pool Table
The American pool table is a little bigger than the English pool table and this is because the balls are bigger. The cue ball is usually 2 ¼ inches and will be hard to pot on the English pool table. The pockets are also a little wider in design and this will be the best pool table to start out with.
English Pool Table
The English pool table is a little smaller in terms of the pockets and it features a furry design that will slow down the game. The cue ball is 2 inches big and even though this might not seem like a big difference, it does have a huge impact on the play. English pool also uses a smaller cue to play with and this is around 6 to 8 mm wide.
Now that you have a better understanding and more knowledge on how to choose the best pool table, it is time to look at the best pool tables and how they can help you improve your game and also provide great fun for the family.
Best Pool Table Reviews
(links below are to latest prices on Amazon.com)
 

EastPoint Sports Masterton Billiard Pool Table
Dimensions: 87 inches L x 50 inches W x 31 inches H
Here’s a table that excels in the arena of VALUE.  While some tables can have a price point of well over $1000, the Eastport is less than half, but still offers hours of serious fun.  When I say SERIOUS fun, I mean fun that adults can have on a decent table that doesn’t feel like it was purchased from Party City or Wal-Mart.  It’s sturdy and features traditional style ball and claw legs and parlor style drop pockets.  The scratch-resistant LusterLong finish is strong enough and durable enough to pass the test of time (and children!).  Its built-in leg leveling system is a real convenience when you’d like a well-calibrated/leveled table.
You won’t just get the table, but a nice assortment of accessories like 2 Wooden Billiard Cues, 1 Set of Billiard Balls, 2 Pieces of Billiard Chalk, 1 Billiard Triangle, and 1 Table Brush.  
The ideal room size (uncluttered) for this table would be around 13 feet by 17 feet.  Keep in mind however, the price point of this table should warn you that it’s not exactly a high-end competition table with stellar quality parts.  The legs are a composite plastic, and a number of purchasers have been disappointed by details like ease of assembly (or lack thereof) and the quality of the side bumpers (more dead than other tables).
Pros:

Saves a little space
Really affordable
Looks great!
Easy to level

Cons:

Can be complex to set up
Not the best for improving your game
Construction quality is not 100%

 

 
Simbashopping USA 8-Foot Pool Table
Dimensions: 98 in. length x 54 in. width x 31.50 in.
The Simbashopping USA pool table is a substantial step up from our #1 choice, and it’s hands down the better table.  The catch?  It’s well over the $1K price point.  That said, you’re truly getting what you pay for, like pro-size dimensions, chrome inserts on the corners, ball return system and lots of other small things (aesthetics are excellent with the blue cloth playing surface).  It weighs in at 339 lbs so it’s a sturdy, substantial piece of furniture rather than being a “toy” in the corner.  
Of course, foot levelers are included along with accessories like15 Numbered Balls with Cue Ball 15 Red Balls with Cue Ball 6 Balls of different colours 6 cues (4 Cannon and 2 Rest shafts with rest head) Scoreboard, Pool Table Cover, Brush to clean the Cloth, and 2 chalks.
This is your #1 choice for a Solid and Strong table, and if you can cough up the green, I’d suggest going with this table over the Eastpoint Masterton.
Pros:

Extremely durable
Strongest and most sturdy table of all our options
Includes all the added accessories to get you started
Can be leveled quite easily

Cons:

Extremely heavy
Will need a large room
Expensive … ish

 

 
Hathaway Hustler 7 or 8 foot Pool Table with Blue Felt
Dimensions: 87-in L x 48-in W x 32-in H
The Hathaway Hustler comes in a little more expensive than our #1 option but less than our #2 option.  It’s a good choice for someone with a moderate budget but wants a “real” pool table with a quality name and a pool hall “feel” to it.  It looks pretty good I’d say and it features K-66 gum rubber bumpers or cushions.  It’s made of high-quality MDF, and features independent leg levelers, chrome corner connectors and lots of accessories.  They would include (2) Two-piece 57″ pool cues, 2.25-in pool balls, racking triangle, and cue chalk.  It’s covered with level 3/4 in. thick CARB certified MDF with blue felt.
This U.S. designed table offers a 180-day  manufacturer warranty.  Overall, based on price vs. quality and customer feedback, we’d give this table a cautious “buy” rating.  However, as you’d expect, it’s not without its detractors.  No table option gets a 5-star rating, and there are purchasers who have not been happy with the Hathaway table.  Be sure to read all the reviews on Amazon and weigh the odds for yourself.  
Pros:

Looks Great
More than 3/4 of purchasers give it a 4 or 5-star (out of 5) rating

Cons:

Overall quality issues seem to come with some tables according to Amazon customer feedback

 
Mizerak Dynasty Space Saver 6.5’ Billiard Table
Dimensions: 82.3 x 46.5 x 9.5 inches
The Mizerak Space Saver is a much-needed answer to the overwhelming “elephant in the room” (kind of literally!) when you walk into a games room and are greeted by nothing other than a huge billiard table.  Some are up to 10 feet long.  Mizerak has designed this table to bring you the feel and fun of a traditional pool table in a reasonably-sized package of only 6.5 feet.   Rubber perimeter cushions offer excellent rebound qualities and the leg levelers allow for precision installation.  Pockets are not isolated so you don’t need to walk around the table to get the balls.  It features a rail system that leads balls to the end of the table where gathering them is easier.   The bamboo laminate finish looks rich and refined and goes with most interior decors.
The double-sealed MDF play surface resists warping, but it’s not perfect.  A set of balls wth triangle and chalk/brush/table cloth are all included.
We like this table for its overall value and easier use given the smaller size (and more manageable price tag!).
Pros:

Nice looks
Easier to fit in a “normal” house
Lower price

Cons:

Not great to practice if you’re looking to tweak the finer points of your game on a regular-sized table

 

 

Final Thoughts & Recommendations

Pool tables are great to have when you entertain guests, but we also consider it to be a specialty item. Pool tables should be taken care of to increase the longevity and we hope that you managed to find the ideal pool table for your needs.
We would like to thank you for reading this article and we hope that you are now able to buy your very own pool table with all the right knowledge of the features. We would also like to encourage you to let us know if you agree with our list and if you think we might have missed any of your favorites.
 

The post The Best Pool Tables for 2020 : For Bars, Basements, & Man Caves appeared first on Sport Consumer.


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The 8 Best Foosball Tables for 2020

Tags :

Category : Foosball , foosball table , Indoor

 If you’re in the market for a foosball table, you might be surprised at how many options you have. There are a wide range of foosball tables with a lot of different features available. Some are meant for beginners, some for advanced tournament level players. You’ll find a wide range of prices, too. Whether you’re looking for a foosball table for your kids or hoping to compete, it’s important to pick the right table with the right features.
To help make this a little easier, we’ve rounded up eight of the best foosball tables around. We cover a lot of different types of tables so you’re sure to find one that suits your needs. But first, let’s take a look at the things you need to know about buying a foosball table to make sure you get the right one.
Top Foosball Comparison Chart

PictureNamePriceWhere to Buy?

1. Tornado Sport Foosball Table
$$$$Check Price on Amazon

2. KICK Splendor Foosball Table
$$Check Price on Amazon

3. Sport Squad FX40 Foosball Table
$Check Price on Amazon

4. American Heritage Element 58-in. Foosball Table
$$$Check Price on Amazon

5. Tornado T-3000 Foosball Table
$$$$$Check Price on Amazon

6. Garlando G-500 Indoor Foosball/Soccer Game Table
$$$Check Price on Amazon

7. KICK Royalton Foosball Table
$$Check Price on Amazon

8. EastPoint Sports Newcastle Foosball Table
$Check Price on Amazon

Buyer’s Guide
The best way to describe foosball is that it resembles a little soccer game. Each team tries to score a goal with a miniature team spaced out across the table. There are eight poles in total, four for each team, and the player turns the handles to move the ball down the field to score a goal. Foosball is a great game to play at home, in a dorm, bar, or arcade. It’s a game that accessible to almost any age and skill level. Let’s take a look at the specific things you need to look for to make sure you get the table that will work best for your needs.
Types of Foosball Tables
There are a few different kinds of tables you can buy:
Stand-Alone Tables
This is a standard foosball table that is composed of a tabletop resting on four legs. Most stand-alone tables are made of wood and high-quality materials and can be pretty heavy; in fact, some weigh upwards of 300 pounds. Because of their weight and due to how they are designed, these tables aren’t designed to be moved around. Higher quality stand-alone tables can handle a lot of rough play. All stand-alone tables look a little different, but some are designed to look like a nice piece of furniture that you’d be happy to leave in your living room. They’re usually more expensive and much higher quality.
Tabletop Tables
If you want a foosball table but don’t have space or a lot of money to spend, a tabletop foosball table is portable, versatile, and much more affordable. They are made to sit on top of a larger, sturdy table like in the kitchen or dining room. They’re smaller and are meant to be used for short periods of time and them moved or stored. You can even put one on a coffee table for young kids to play with. If you’re considering buying a table top foosball table, make sure that the bottom has a scratch protecting surface so it won’t ruin your table.
Multi-Game Foosball Table
These are a great idea for a family because they feature a wide range of entertainment options. Usually, the rods are removed and the surface can be changed to accommodate a variety of games from table tennis to checkers. You can find these in stand-alone or tabletop versions. While they are usually a little pricey, they really offer a wide range of games and are really versatile. We did not include any of these in the following reviews but instead chose to focus more on traditional foosball tables. But, if you’re looking for something more versatile that lets you play a lot of games, you might want to look into multi-game tables.
 Different Features to Consider
 Foosball tables have a really wide price range and there are a lot of different features available that will affect how much you’ll pay.
The first thing you need to decide is how you’ll be using the table. Maybe you’re looking for something that your young children can play within the game room or you want something that is going to get a lot of tough play in a dorm. You’ll need very different features for each of those environments. How long are you hoping your table will last? Do you need your table to be good enough to accommodate the players as they grow? How important is it to you that your table is regulation size?
Here are some to consider:

Table Size

An official, full-size table measures 56 x 30 inches. You also need to account for the space taken up by the rods and the people playing. You’ll need to leave a few feet of room around the table to make sure everyone can play comfortably, so a full sized table requires quite a bit of room. There are tables that are slightly smaller than this that will take up less room. Tabletop tables are a good option if you’re worried about space because they’re typically significantly smaller than standard size. Remember, full-size tables are good for seasoned players while smaller ones will be better four younger players and beginners.

Materials

Less expensive tables use lower quality materials. Particleboard or MDF is a popular material that is used on some lower end models. It comes in various thicknesses. The thicker it is, the more durable it will be. Generally, anything less than a half-inch thick is not going to be very strong. Over time, particle board and MDF can weaken or warp and joints can start to become loose. These tables are less expensive but won’t last nearly as long as tables made of different materials. You can also find table made with special high-quality MDF or that are coating in a finish that helps them stay durable and last a little longer.
High-end foosball tables are made from solid wood of a composite material. Solid wood or composite can last for a long time, but make sure you choose a strong, hardwood. Softwood will act like MDF or particle board over time and warp or bend. Wood tables should be at least an inch thick to make sure it’s strong enough to stand up to abuse and last for a long time.

Rods

There are a few things to know about rods. Steel rods are best for foosball tables. There are three kinds of rods: hollow, solid, and telescoping. Hollow rods are lighter and can make the game move faster because the player has more control and can achieve faster kicks. Solid rods are heavier and can be better to learn on. Telescoping rods are a feature found on some high-end machines. These rods don’t slide out of the opposite side of the table during play and are a safe choice for a home with small children. They’re nice to have but are less durable than other rods.

Playing Surface

The markings on the playing surface should be inside the laminate. Less expensive, lower quality tables will sometimes use stickers, which will wear and fade over time and can affect the playing surface. It’s important that the markings on the surface are correct and permanent because they help you line up your shots.

Players

Tables can either have one or three goalies. This means that the rod closest to the goal can either have one or three men on it. One man goalies make the game a little harder because it’s more difficult to defend your goal while three man goalies make it a little easier. Three man goalies usually lead to faster games while one man goalies require more focus and skill. For anyone just starting to learn, a three-man goalie is best. Some tables will come with set-ups for both so you have the option of changing them if you want to.
Another thing to pay attention to with the players is whether or not the players are counterweighted. This is how professionals play and makes the game a little better to play. Counterweighted players have weights that allow them to stay in a horizontal position when you let go of the rod. This keeps them off of the playing surface, which makes gameplay go faster, smoother, and out of the way when taking shots.
Whether you use a one or three-man goalie or if you want counterweighted players boils down to personal preference. It’s a good idea to find a table that gives you a little bit of wiggle room and allows you to change between a one or three-man goalie and counterweighted or uninformed players. The more versatile your table is, the more use you’ll get out of it.
Now that we took a closer look at the features you need to know about to decide which it the right foosball table for you, let’s take a look at the eight best foosball tables of 2017.
Foosball Table Reviews

Tornado Sport Foosball Table

The Tornado Sport Foosball Table is a pretty basic table but because it’s constructed of such high quality, its simplicity is easier to appreciate. It even has the look of a classic, traditional table. The cabinet is made of better grade MDF than some other tables. This MDF is one inch thick and weighs around 200 pounds. It’s a sturdy, substantial table that should be able to take a beating and last a long time.
This table is not going to move around during play, no matter how into it you and your friends get. The legs are designed so that shims can be used to adjust the table in case it’s uneven. The steel rods are hollow and lightweight which results in easier, faster gameplay. The players are not counterbalanced, which is one of its few downsides. Counterbalanced players are available from the manufacturer, but you’ll have to purchase them separately. This is not only inconvenient, it also adds a substantial amount to the price.
Tornado is a pretty well know company in the foosball space and they even sponsor the World Championships of Foosball (table soccer)!

Pros:

Can take a beating and last
High quality, heavy duty table
Lightweight rods for fast gameplay

Cons:

Players are not counterbalanced
Ordering additional counterbalanced players increases cost quite a bit

 

 

KICK Splendor Foosball Table

The Kick brand has a reputation for providing high-quality tables at an affordable price so it’s always worth taking a good look at what they have to offer. This model measures 55 inches and is their largest, most popular table.
Despite weighing only 115 pounds, this table is solid and sturdy and can handle pretty intense play. You can also adjust the legs so you’ll get a level playing surface wherever you choose to set this one up. Some less expensive tables don’t have a very smooth playing surface, but the Kick Splendor Foosball Table has a nice, level playing surface. The balls roll nicely on it and it has a great graphic, too.
This table comes with two sets of players, counterbalanced and uniformed. It’s nice to have a choice since everyone has different preferences, but switching out one set for another can be tedious. The rods are solid and quite heavy but make gameplay a little more controlled.
Pros:

Reasonable price
Comes with counterbalanced and uniformed players
Solid and sturdy

Cons: 

Assembly instructions are a little confusing

 

 

Sport Squad FX40 Foosball Table

If you don’t have room in your house (or your budget) for a full-sized foosball table, the Sport Squad FX40 Foosball Table was made for you. This is a tabletop game you that weighs only 15 pounds that you can set on your kitchen or dining room table. Play when you can, put it away when you’re done. It’s an ideal compromise.
This foosball table is designed to play calm games with friends and is not designed for serious, intense games. It won’t truly provide the same experience as a full sized table. That said, for a fraction of the price, you can enjoy calm friendly games with your friends or your children.
If you don’t want to put it on your good tabletop, it also has legs that you can easily set up. It’s small, doesn’t take up much room, and is ideal for young kids. It’s also portable and easy to store while still being sturdy and durable.
This is a great foosball table to get if you’re looking for a way to entice your kid away from his tablet or cell phone or if you want something fun to pull out when you have friends over. It’s not really meant to be used as a table for serious players and won’t be able to handle being bumped and banged around a lot.
Pros:

Affordable price
Portable
Lightweight
Easy to store compared to other tables
Used with legs or on table top

Cons:

Only meant for casual play

 

 

American Heritage Element 58-in. Foosball Table

This is one heck of a beatiful-looking table and that’s why you’ll pay through the nose for it!  It’s designed very well with details that can be easily overlooked like decorative metal accents and glossy black and silver players.   It’s mostly engineered wood and it has a washed brown maple veneer.  This is a really good looking table. If you’re looking for a table that looks nice enough to keep in your living room (even if you don’t use it as much a you’d like), this is it!
It features 2 ball returns and 4 balls.  Most owners comment on the heavy-duty nature of the design and feel, and there are no serious negative comments about this table.  American Heritage is the world’s largest billiard table maker, so I’m thinking that should speak to the quality and design of this piece of fine furniture!
There are a few downsides to this table. The first is that it’s fairly heavy at around 189 pounds. It’s difficult to transport and you’re probably not going to want to move it one you get it assembled. And speaking of assembly, it’s a little difficult to put together, but even those owners who mentioned this, give it a full 5-star review.
Pros:

Gorgeous table that you can leave in your living room
Great for experienced and new players
Heavy-duty design

Cons: 

Heavy
Difficult assembly
Expensive

 

 

Tornado T-3000 Foosball Table

This is probably the most solid, durable foosball table you’ll find. If you’re looking for something that can stand up to rough play and will last a really long time, the Tornado T-3000 might be the table for you. It’s made of 1 ½ inch stainless steel laminate and weighs a whopping 355 pounds.
It’s loaded with features that make gameplay even more enjoyable. It’s really stable and isn’t going to get jostled around by even the toughest players. The playing surface is thick and level with no dead spots. Rods are smooth and telescopic and give the player a lot of control with wooden handles. The players are designed for control and quick play.
While this table is great as far as gameplay, the stainless steel exterior is not as attractive as a traditional wood finish. This might not be a table that you’d be happy with having in your living room. In addition to being really heavy, it’s also really expensive. This isn’t a table for a casual player, although anyone can enjoy it, it’s a big investment to make if you’re not serious about the game,
Pros: 

Durable
Tough
WIll last a really long time

Cons:

Not as attractive as a wooden table
Expensive
Very heavy

 

 

Garlando G-500 Indoor Foosball/Soccer Game Table

The G-500 table from Garlando is made of high-quality MDF that’s 1 inch thick, a good thickness for MDF which should provide a lot of stability. The steel rods are covered with anti-rust chromium so they’ll last for a really long time without bending, rusting, or wearing.
This table weighs about 160 pounds. That’s heavy enough that it’s not going to wiggle or shake during gameplay but light enough that it won’t take more than two people to move it. You might even be able to relocate it after it’s been assembled with some help.
The rods are telescopic so they don’t come out the other side, making it impossible for anyone to get poked. The playing surface is made out of tempered glass so gameplay tends to be really fast since there aren’t any imperfections on the surface to slow down the ball. The players are not counterweighted, which is something most experienced players prefer because they tend to make the game go a little smoother.
One small negative with this table is it doesn’t come with any way to level the table if it’s tilted. Some table will come with lifters that can be inserted in the legs to help make the surface flat. It’s a little thing but an odd one not to have on such a high-end table.
Pros: 

Sturdy
Durable
Great features for enhanced gameplay

Cons:

Players not counterweighted
No table levelers

 

 

KICK Royalton Foosball Table

This is a pretty solid midrange table that can take a bit of a beating during gameplay. It comes with leg levelers, which help keep the playing surface flat even if the floor the table is set up on is not. There are even optional cup holders, which is an accessory that you don’t really need until you have it. Then you’re not sure how you lived without it.
The playing surface is pretty smooth and reliable with no dead spots to speak of. The rods are chrome plated and strong enough that they won’t be bent or damaged even during intense gameplay. It comes with both counterweighted and uniformed players so you have some versatility in gameplay.
The table has a butcher block design but comes in a warm brown finish so it’s nice to look at as well as being a great table to play on. It’s about 103 pounds, heavy enough for stability but light enough to move around with some help. Assembly is a little tricky and the instructions aren’t very clear. Once you work through that, though, this could be a foosball table that gets a lot of use in the game room year after year.
Pros:

Nice looking finish
Counterweighted and uniformed players
Solidly build

Cons: 

Instructions unclear

 

 

EastPoint Sports Newcastle Foosball Table

The Newcastle Foosball Table by EastPoint Sports is an affordable option for anyone who wants a foosball table for light play and casual use. Weighing only 83 pounds, it’s made of MDF that is sealed with a Luster Long finish to give it a little more durability and resistance to wear.
Because this is such a light table, it’s easily moved and jostled around which means it’s not a really good table for intense, competitive play. It’s a little smaller than a full sized table, too, but only by a few inches. The rods are high performing and it comes with oversized leg levelers. While this table might not be a good choice for hardcore players, it’s ideal for a family just learning to play.
One nice thing about this table is that it looks nice enough to leave prominently displayed in your home. The wood finish looks high quality and it will go with a lot of decors.
Pros:

Inexpensive
Looks high quality
Lightweight

Cons

Won’t hold up to intense competitive games.

 

 
Final Thoughts & Conclusion
Those are the eight best foosball tables for this year (in our humble opinion). There’s quite a variety here so you should be able to find one that suits your needs perfectly. A foosball table will make a great addition to any basement with other table games such as ping pong, pool, and air hockey.
The Tornado Sport Foosball Table is a basic table that it well made and really sturdy. Despite being MDF, it’s well constructed and heavy, can tolerate a lot of action and will last a long time. The legs are adjustable so you’ll always have a flat playing surface and, although the players aren’t counterbalanced, the rods are hollow lightweight for fast gameplay.
The KICK Splendor Foosball Table is solid and sturdy while only weighing around 115 pounds. The legs are adjustable and it has a solid playing surface with an eye-catching graphic. You get uniformed and counterbalanced players with this one, so you can use whatever ones work best for you and your crew.
For a great tabletop foosball table, try the Sport Squad FX40. At only 15 pounds, it’s portable and easy to store. Set it up on your dining room, kitchen, or living room coffee table. Keep in mind that this and all tabletop tables aren’t designed for heavy, intense play. But this one is perfect for adults or children who are just starting to learn.
The American Heritage Carlyle is really durable and designed to handle tough play. It has a durable, reliable glass countertop that has minimal dead spots and friction and keeps the ball rolling fast and smooth. This is a great table for experienced players and for anyone just starting to learn. It’s also nice enough to set up in the living room.
If you’re interested in getting a table that is top quality and almost competition level, the Tornado T-3000 is arguably the highest quality table out there. It’s made of stainless steel laminate, very heavy and solidly built, and can handle even the toughest play. It has telescopic rods and men that are made for quick, precise play. It’s also one of the most expensive tables around, but if you’re looking for something that will last a lifetime and intend to play hard, this is the table for you.
This is a mid-range table that is made of thick MDF and won’t wiggle or shake as much during play as some other MDF tables. It’s light enough that you could move it from room to room with some help but not so light that it makes play too jittery. The playing surface is made of glass and so has little to no imperfections or dead spots.
Another offering from KICK, the Royalton is a durable table that can stand up to some tough play. It comes with counterweighted and uniformed players and chrome-plated rods. With leg levelers, a smooth playing surface, and optional cup holders, this is a great table for a family with young children to use in the game room for years to come.
The EastPoint Sports Newcastle Football Table is an affordable, lightweight option for light, casual use. Most MDF tables aren’t very durable but this one is coated with a Luster Long finish that keeps it resistant to wear and tear. Its finish looks high quality and you wouldn’t even mind keeping this one in the living room. It has high performing rods and oversized leg levelers. This is a great choice for families with young children.
If you’re ready to invest in a foosball table, the number of different ones available might be a little overwhelming. The price range could be confusing, too, because there really are foosball tables available for all price points. It’s hard to know where you can skimp and what you really need to find a table that will not only fit your playing needs but also last a long time. Use the information in our buyer’s guide to figure out what to look for and then be sure to check out our picks for the eight best foosball tables for next year if you’re still looking. We cover a lot of ground so I’m confident you’ll find the one that will work for you.
 

The post The 8 Best Foosball Tables for 2020 appeared first on Sport Consumer.


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The Best Sport Stacking Cups and Timer Mats

What is Sport Stacking?Sport Stacking is without a doubt, America’s fastest growing new sport/activity (or at least in the top 5 for sure!).  In fact, it’s such a popular sport (ya, we’ll call it a sport for simplicity), that it has its own governing body for competitions and rules called the World Sport Stacking Association or WSSA!   If you’re new to this sport, here’s an overview of what’s going on!Also known as cup stacking or speed stacking, sport stacking is a sport that involves stacking (by hand) 12 specially designed cups (sometimes a different number like 9) in a predetermined order or sequence and then unstacking them again as fast as you can.  The cups are made very specifically for this sport and any attempt to use your plastic tumblers at home will only result in frustration. The cups have holes in the bottom to let air flow freely during the stacking process and prevents the cups from sticking together when you start unstacking them.  They’re also made of a very slippery plastic that further reduces adhesion to one another.  Stacking sequences are typically pyramids of 3, 6 or 10 cups, and competitions are based on individual times or one on one player competitions.  Competitions and popularity are growing so fast that new world records are being set nearly every month!  Let’s try to unpack the reasons why!BenefitsAt first glance, it may appear that sport stacking is just another fad like hula hoops or yo-yos.  On one level, that’s exactly what it is.  However, it seems there have been copious studies done around the world on the benefits of sport stacking, ranging from physical, to mental and emotional benefits that can be life-changing!  According to information gathered by Speed Stacks (a company with the only officially-sanctioned cups that can be used in competition in WSSA tournaments), one of the most common comments they receive from parents and school administrators is that sport stacking goes a very long way towards leveling the playing field for otherwise “disadvantaged” kids!  Non-athletics kids can now compete head to head with skilled athletes in school, and they often win.  That raises self-esteem which in turn motivates them to work harder not only in P.E. class, but in other subjects!  WOW!  It seems tough to believe that a set of plastic cups can move a slacker to become an academic overachiever who graduates top of the class from med school!Much of this academic improvement is achieved by students because they are forced to use both the right and left sides of their brain. When students sport stack they are crossing the “midline” of their bodies and developing new synaptic connections in their brains. These new connections help to spur brain growth which in turn promotes greater academic achievement. Parents, caregivers and teachers the world over have endorsed this sport since it promotes fitness, agility, concentration, and quickness!  Who wouldn’t want that?!  Even school Physical Education programs incorporate speed stacking as part of their curriculum. A study conducted at the University of Wisconsin by Dr. Brian Udermann, confirms that stacking improves hand–eye coordination & reaction time by up to 30%.  Incredible!  Who need mind-numbing video games?!  In another study at Towson University, a significant increase was found for elementary school students in comprehension skills, suggesting that Sport Stacking may improve students’ reading comprehension skills, regardless of race or gender.Consider Trey!Unlike many other activities and sports, there seems to be something nearly “magical” about the effects of sport stacking.  Dozens (probably way more) stories have come to light about kids whose lives are forever changed in a nearly incalculable way for the better.  Consider a young man named Trey Griffith!  When Trey’s dad Jimmy found out his son was on the Autism Spectrum he was rightly concerned he may never be able to bond with his son over any common connection to a sport which Jimmy loved.  Trey found a set of stacking cups in his sister’s closet, and after a couple years and some great practice sessions with Dad, Trey became one of the fastest sport stackers in the world at age 12.  This is but one of countless stories that warm the heart and jerk the tears!A Bit of HistoryWayne Godinet came up with the idea for sport stacking WAY back in 1981 while working for the Boy’s and Girl’s Club in Oceanside, California.  Sports were a bit component of the club, but Wayne saw that often children were tired of traditional sports and some didn’t like sports at all.  So, in an epic attempt to alleviate that problem, he took paper cups from the kitchen and made the kids stack them as fast as they could.  The specifics of what that looked like are the topic of a whole new post, but for now, let’s just say the activity or sport was very well received and it became more than just another boring pastime at the Boy’s and Girl’s Club!  Godinet realized that plastic cups would work better but discovered the problem of cups sticking together.  He added a hole in the bottom and the first stacking cup was born!Popularity grew even further to the point that Godinet started his own cup-making company called the Karango Cupstack Company, and by the end of the 1980’s he had sold around 25,000 sets of cups.  He then started an annual competition in Oceanside and later appeared with his championship team on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson!The CupsEarlier, we covered some of the history of the cups from paper to plastic to hole-making.  Because of how the cups are made and their surprisingly low price point, it’s simply not worth making your own set.  Even if you did, it would have a very different feel than the “official” cups which means that you would need to become accustomed to the official cups to set any records or even just compete!  The cups are reinforced with ribs inside which also serve to separate the cups from each other when they are nestled together.  The outside of the cup offers good grip since it is slightly textured.  The insides are smooth in order to slide out of the nestled position easily.  The cup bottoms (which could be called tops since they are facing upward) have at least 1 hole to allow air to pass while stacking and unstacking, and some cup designs have as many as 4 holes.  There’s even a company which makes cups with NO bottom (or top) to allow for no air resistance at all!The GoodsIf you think that a set of cups is all you need to enjoy the sport, you’d be wrong!  Well, mostly anyway.  We purchased 2 sets for our kids only to find out within one day, that we were lacking in other essentials!  In order to have fun competing (even if it’s just against yourself), you’ll want to have a timer.  It’s no good to have a stopwatch since you cannot accurately start or stop time during the stacking process which often takes only several seconds.  Enter the stack mat.  Stack mats (AKA “stacking mats”) are specially designed mats that decrease cup movement but more importantly, incorporate a sensitive timer used for practice and competition timing.A Bit of a Controversy!We mentioned the company Speed Stacks earlier, which happens to be the best-known and most prolific maker of Speed Stacking equipment like cups, mats and timers.  In 2001, the World Sport Stacking Association was founded to promote and govern sport stacking competitions, but the problem was that the owners of Speed Stacks were the founders of the WSSA.  Why is that a problem?  Well, it might not be if it wasn’t for the fact that the ONLY cups that could be used in official competitions were cups MADE BY SPEED STACKS!  Yikes!  That’s not even a hidden conflict of interest!  It seems the stacking world has come to terms with this situation, however, there are many critics who contend that sport stacking can’t grow until the governing body is an independent body that is not influenced directly by brand, products and companies that dictate rules to their own benefit.That being said, Sport Stacks makes (arguably) the best cups, mats, and timers in the world, and many competitors really don’t care about the business politics behind the scenes.With lots of great cups and a huge variety of mats on the market, let’s see what our team has chosen as the top equipment and supplies available anywhere! Best Sport Stacking Supplies Reviews Speed Stack Stack Station ProThe Speed Stack Stack Station Pro is really one of a kind.  We couldn’t find any competitors!  With Speed Stack having a virtual monopoly on higher end equipment, our reviews focus on their products simply because of the standardized quality and variety available.  This station includes a tournament display pro head and data cable with a G4 Storm mat and pro timer.  A surface with no bounce is imperative, and the Stack Station Pro is ZERO BOUNCE!  The legs are removable and they’re welded (rather than riveted or pinned) for a very solid feel.  If you’re looking to practice for official WSSA competition or just feel like a tournament winner, you’ll want the table/station to be official WSSA height.  Guess what?  YES, this is the official WSSA height of 30 inches!ProsOfficial height of WSSA competition tablesSturdy, stable construction with zero bounce qualityConsAt over a hundred bucks, it can be a bit restrictive in price for the casual player Speed Stacks – 30 Set Sport PackOkay, let’s be honest here!  You won’t need this pack for your 1-3 kids even if they’re all really into the sport!  The sport pack is for schools or other organizations that are equipping at least half a dozen serious competitors or a kid’s club with dozens of interested players!  It contains 30 sets of cups, 6 StackMat Pro (mats plus timers) and video instruction including online curriculum.  It’s an organized system that really gives the sport an academic and serious note!ProsWAAAYYY better pricing than buying all the components separately which would cost nearly $2000, so paying 1/4 the price ain’t so bad!Offers instruction on video and online curriculumConsNot much here other than price.  The value is insanely good (about 1/4 of the price of buying all items separately) but you’re still paying hundreds of dollars! Speed Stacks G4 STACKMAT ProThe G4 Atomic Punch Mat and G4 Pro Timer are a combo used by many of the world’s top stackers.  It’s really on par with the cream of the crop in this category.  We recommend it because the reviews online are stellar (and plentiful) and we know you’ll not be disappointed by the quality.  It has an accuracy to within 0.001 seconds and it features a data port which allows connection to an external display.  Batteries are included (yes, you read that correctly!!!) and as expected, it’s endorsed by the WSSA.The Speed Stacks G4 StackMat Pro is the winner of at 2018 Family Choice Award which recognizes the best in children’s and parenting products.  The Family Choice Award is one of the absolute most family-friendly and coveted award programs in the U.S.ProsWinner of the Family Choice AwardsThe most accurate timer availableConsThinner than some expectedPrice?  Speed Stacks CompetitorHere’s probably the best “deal” on our list.  It features 12 Speed Stack Cups in any one of 6 VERY COOL color combinations.  Click the name just above this line to see the options!  It has a GX timer and GX mat and a stacking stem (meant to carry and store the cups but does not help in stacking).  It also offers online stacking instructions as do other Speed Stacks products.ProsWinner of the Family Choice Awards (as are all Speed Stacks products in general in 2018)Very funky choice of bright and loud colorsConsThe only real negative would be that some customers received something other than what was ordered.  This results in extra effort and aggravation to rectify the situation with Amazon, but eventually, it turns out well in the end. Speed Stacks Sport Stacking SetFor those wishing to get their feet wet (metaphorically of course) in the sport of speed stacking, without breaking the bank, we strongly recommend this sport stacking set.  While it does not include a timer, mat or stand, it does offer an attractive price point to get you started with the feel of actually stacking cups.  It also offers you the choice of red, purple, pink, orange, green or blue cups.  The quick release stem is also included and it’ll help you carry and store the cups in an organized way.  On the stem you’ll find a QR code to bring you to an online training video to give you a jump start on your road to learning and enjoying one of America’s fastest growing sports!As with all Speed Stacks products, this set fits in the general category of “winner of the 2018 Family Choice Awards” which is quite an accomplishment for any product from any company!ProsOfficially endorsed cups (by the WSSA)Comes with a carry/storage quick release stemWinner of the Family Choice AwardConsDoes not come with timer, stand/table or mat  SpeedStacks Pro Cubing Pack – G4 Voxel GreenOkay, true, this is not officially a cup stacking mat, but we had to throw it in because the mat is dual-purpose.  It can be used for cup stacking AND you can use it for Rubiks Cube timing as well.  The timer itself is 100% the same as the speed stacking timer.  It’s a G4 Pro Timer (as good as SpeedStacks makes) and the accuracy is super tight to 0.001 seconds. CAUTION:  The only issue with the Cubing Pack and mat is that the width is NOT ideal for cup stacking.  It’s narrower and therefore it’s perfect for cubing.  If you’re into both stacking and cubing, we’d suggest keeping the timer and just buying 2 separate mats which will definitely not break the bank!ProsIncludes interchangeable timer for both stacking and cubing matsIncludes SpeedStacks’ best timer (G4 Pro)ConsNot ideal for sport stacking since the mat itself is not wide enough for 3 stacks of cups beside each other (3-6-3). Sport Stacking Primer/Overview/Lowdown … you get the idea!  The post The Best Sport Stacking Cups and Timer Mats appeared first on Sport Consumer.


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