Choosing a football table
Choosing a football table is not really very complicated. It's often a crush that pushes us to choose one model over another, and amateurs often have a fairly precise idea of the model or brand they want. Still, you have to ask yourself a few questions.
Who is the table football intended for?
Of course, we are not going to choose the same foosball table to equip a bistro or a child's room. A family model won't need a coin-operated machine, and it won't necessarily be useful if it's too heavy either. On the other hand, the bar model should be able to collect money from a party, and it should remain firmly on the floor. Players are sometimes a bit brusque, especially after a few drinks, so stability is really important.
For a bistro, an association, or any other public place, you need to look for a solid and durable model. It's obviously quite expensive, but it's better to invest in a foosball table that will survive several generations, rather than a model that will go to pieces after two or three years of intensive use.
For a family football table / foosball you should allow about 1.50 m on each side of the table football handles, to be able to play comfortably. Otherwise, players will be less inclined to challenge themselves.
Of course, as with everything, it is often a question of budget. A good, durable table football table always costs a little money, and it's even quite an expensive game. You should count on a minimum of €800 for a very good football table, and the most famous brands easily exceed €1,000. Always keep in mind that it is an investment, and that a brand model will be kept for a very long time. If the body and feet are in good condition, everything else can be changed or repaired.
Is it better to put €1,000 into a piece of furniture of very good quality, which you will keep for 20 years and which you will be able to resell for quite a bit more after several decades? Or is it better to buy a 300 € table football table that will be good to throw away after 4 or 5 years, or even less for those who play very often? For us, the choice is quick.
You have to be careful with certain Chinese brands which are numerous, and offer copies of table football between 300 and 600 €, but which really don't hold up in terms of resistance, finish and playing sensations.
The playing experience
From one good table football to another, there are not really big differences. The Gerflex or vinyl mat, the aluminium players, the bars that slide perfectly, you will not be out of place when you switch from one model to another.
Some brands, however, favour a more spectacular game. This is the case with Stella with her taller players who can control the ball with their head when they are turned over, and even take head shots with a bit of control. Stella's side boards allow the ball to rise more easily. On the other hand, bowls are much rarer than on a Bonzini.
The choice of the ball
Having a good football table is great, but without the ball it's useless! There are different types of balls, and each one has its qualities and defects. First of all, it is important to know that all balls are compatible with all table footballs. It is therefore a question of how it feels to play, or where it is used.
The traditional balls are the cork balls. They have always been used and they are perfect for good control. The cork hangs well on the players, so the game is technical. Beginners will sometimes block their strikes, but the more you practice, the harder you hit. It is the ideal ball for bowls because it has a better rebound.
Plastic balls came later. The bar owners love them because they are very solid. You don't need to replace them very often, it saves money. On the other hand, they slide more easily and are therefore harder to control. For hitting, beginners appreciate them. The ball goes off more easily and harder.
Finally, in recent years, the ITSF ball has made its appearance. It is the perfect compromise between the hardness of plastic and the grip of cork. It allows masterful hits, perfect control, and a game that is fluid, fast and technical at the same time. It's top of the line.
We tell you more about the balls in our comparison of the best table football balls, and check our awesome football table accessories.