Amateur and professional air hockey enthusiasts alike often claim that their success lies in their choice of air hockey paddles. The paddle, frequently referred to as a mallet, striker or pusher, is the rounded game play tool used by each player to volley the puck back and forth throughout game play, and though it appears to be a small, hard piece of plastic, those who regularly play the game swear by their favorite paddles, and state that most players do not place enough stock or value in the importance of the paddle.
Game enthusiasts are familiar with the importance of their air hockey paddles in the controlled drift of the puck. “Drift” is the term used to respond to the controlled motion of the puck from one player’s side of the table to his opponent’s table zone. Similar to a “spin” motion in ping pong (table tennis), drift attacks can be made that inflatable paddle board appear to be coming from a one angle, but when struck, may spin off in another direction, because the player is able to put an undetectable spin on the incoming puck through use of their paddle.
Some of the best-selling paddles on the market today re designed by Sportcraft and Playcraft. Many tables come with a set of generic air hockey paddles, but it may be worth your while to invest $5.00 to $10.00 online or at a local sporting goods store. While typical air hockey paddles are shaped like a sombrero, there are some deviations from the traditional design. Low-top paddles have a shorter nub, and ergonomic paddles, such as the Sportcraft Turbo Hockey Power Pushers, have a built-in handle for easy handling and less friction when playing. The Sportcraft brand power pushers also come with a light-up feature option. Some paddles come in glow in the dark plastics, in a variety of colors and in a number of sizes, ranging from 1 to 4 inches in diameter.
Having a hockey paddle that fits your hand, and which you can hold onto while playing at a high rate of speed can be crucial to your playing strategy. The mallet may be your last line of defense when your attacker aims their puck at your back rail. Having a mallet of sufficient size, you can block their shot and protect your goal. Take a little time and research the options when purchasing your new set of air hockey paddles. Finding the right fit can make all the difference in your game.