The History and Origins of the Air Hockey Table

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Though air hockey is now a popular game enjoyed by people of all ages, it actually has a pretty interesting history. The game was invented in the early 1970s, and though it was initially met with skepticism, it quickly gained popularity. 

Today, air hockey tables can be found in arcades, restaurants, and homes around the world. Here’s a look at the history and origins of this beloved game.

What is air hockey table?

An air hockey table is a unique type of sporting equipment designed to simulate the thrilling game of hockey on a flat surface. It typically consists of a large rectangular or square-shaped playing field, surrounded by sidewalls and raised edges with an open center. The entire table is set atop a bed of tiny holes that create a cushion of air which create a cushion of air that allows the puck to move freely and smoothly across the surface. This low-friction environment prevents any bouncing off obstacles, giving players greater control over their shots.

What is the origin of the air hockey table?

The origins of the air hockey table can be traced all the way back to the early 1970s. It was developed by Brunswick Billiards employee Bob Kenrick and engineer Phil Crossman as an alternative to popular games at the time such as table tennis and handball. The two men designed a unique type of sporting equipment that closely mimics the thrilling game of hockey on a flat playing surface.

Today, air hockey tables come in many different shapes and sizes, allowing people of all ages to enjoy the classic game at home or in public spaces such as arcades, game centers, and amusement parks. Thanks to its popularity over the years, it has become one of America’s favorite pastimes and continues to draw fans from all around the world!

Tips for Choosing the Best Air Hockey Table

Choosing the best air hockey table can be a bit of a challenge, especially if you’re new to the game. To ensure an enjoyable experience and enhance your playing skills, there are several factors to consider when selecting one. Here are some tips to help you get started:


Tables with larger playing surfaces provide more space and room for creative shots and defensive strategies, while smaller tables offer a faster-paced game with less time to plan strategic moves. If you’re looking for convenience, then a smaller model may be the right choice; however, if competition is your goal, then it’s best to opt for something bigger.

Table Materials

 Air hockey tables come in various materials such as MDF (medium-density fiberboard), plastics, or metals like aluminum or steel. For recreational use at home, MDF provides sufficient durability; however, if you’re looking for something more robust that won’t wear down quickly, then metal models are the way to go.

Blower & Puck 

The blower located beneath the surface of an air hockey table helps keep pucks afloat in midair by creating frictionless currents which enable them to glide across the surface with greater speed and accuracy. 

As far as pucks go, it is typically best practice to avoid plastic ones since they tend to lack the grip needed during gameplay due to their lightweight nature. High-quality rubberized or stainless steel pucks provide better control over shots and spin capabilities as well as longer-lasting results over time.


Look for tables that come with items such as scoreboard displays, puck retrievers, and side guards which can help keep score and give you more accuracy without having to chase errant shots all over the floor! It also pays off in terms of safety as these accessories prevent players from unintentionally getting too close during intense moments of play.

No matter what type of air hockey table you decide on, being aware of these key factors will ensure that you receive the most out of your purchase while making sure that everyone involved has an unforgettable experience!

What are the different types of air hockey tables?

The most common types of air hockey tables include full-sized arcade models that are typically found in commercial locations such as arcades and game centers, smaller tabletop versions that are ideal for kids or recreational use, and miniature tabletop versions that can be used indoors or outdoors.

Full-sized arcade models are the most common type of air hockey table and the closest to the traditional game experience. These tables feature a large playing surface with raised edges to keep the puck within bounds and an open center with four support legs at each corner. 

The more compact tabletop versions are perfect for smaller spaces such as dens, rec rooms, or garages. These models are generally made from lighter materials such as plastic and wood composites so they’re easier to transport when needed. 

Miniature tabletop versions are available in both battery-powered and manual formats which makes them suitable for indoor or outdoor use. These models usually feature a slightly raised surface area around the edge to keep the puck within bounds while still allowing it to move freely across the playing field.

What material was the first air hockey table made of?

You might be surprised to learn that it wasn’t made of fancy materials like modern versions. In fact, the first air hockey table was crafted from plywood and some basic hardware items. That might not seem like a lot, but it turns out that those simple materials were enough to create the iconic game that we all love today. 

It just goes to show that sometimes the best things come from humble beginnings! So next time you’re enjoying a game of air hockey, take a moment to appreciate the creativity and ingenuity that went into creating the very first table.


Air hockey tables are a classic game that can be found in arcades, bars, and game rooms all across the world. Though its popularity has waxed and waned over the years, it remains a firm favorite for many people. 

Its simple rules and fast-paced game-play makes it a great option for both casual and competitive players alike. If you’re looking for a fun game to play with friends or family, air hockey is a great choice. So next time you’re at the arcade or out with friends, consider giving it a try!

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Tony Fisher

Tony Fisher

I like to hit that puck! As hard as I can, and score a quick one. Here I'll share the best info on the best indoor game there is!

About Me

I like to hit that puck! As hard as I can, and score a quick one. Here I’ll share the best info on the best indoor game there is!

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