Gold Standard Games is a brand that specializes in professional-grade air hockey tables. They are based in the USA and their products carry a high price tag with matching build quality and performance. Their line of products tops with the Tournament Pro Elite air hockey table which is one of the most expensive air hockey tables on the market and for a very good reason. In this detailed review, we will see what makes this table so expensive and go through all of its features. On top of that, we will compare it to similar models that cost less and see exactly are the ups and downs of buying it!
Overview and Features
Before this table even hits your game room, the first thing you will notice is its price. The high price tag puts it in a very exclusive club of air hockey tables that is very competitive. This is another reason why downsides or compromises here are going to be exponentially bad than they would’ve been on cheaper models. It is also the reason why this table is suitable only for people that really want top-shelf quality or simply don’t have a budget.
Design & Build Quality
The design of the Tournament Pro Elite is unique in its own way and features a solid brown/gold structure with gold standard games decals around it. One standout feature is the overhead scoring unit. It has both black and white light on it to help with the atmosphere and has two large (LED) displays that keep the score of the game automatically for you.
On all sides, there are professional-grade low-profile aluminum rails that are high-density as most other models at this price. They provide a good amount of bounce which stays consistent during the life of the table. At the top of the playing surface, you have a centerline and a face-off circle just like in other models from Gold Standard Games. The goals are reinforced and won’t give you any troubles or misreads.
Another thing that is worth mentioning is the design department is that this table is a commercial-grade one but instead of a coin mechanism it comes with a free-play button. This feature is what makes it unique for home users and a bit less-than-ideal for commercial use at bars and game saloons.
The set-up is one of the things that you will most definitely need help with here. Since the table weighs a ton (almost literally), you will need at least 3-4 people to move it into the desired location. Once there, it is fairly easy to put the legs and level it, assuming you still have many people to help you with that. One thing that I don’t like is that, despite the heavy price tag, the company still charges you extra to assemble your table. Delivery times are a bit long so many sure you plan ahead and free up your afternoon for the day you get it.
The thing that defines the performance of this table is the blower motor. It is powerful and reliable and it also delivers a professional level of speed and consistency in your gameplay. It doesn’t require frequent servicing and can go for hours at a time without an issue. One thing that I’ve noticed is that it is a bit too loud, just like most other tables from this brand. This is a notable downside since there are cheaper tables that produce far less noise when played.
Scoreboard & Accessories
As I mentioned earlier, the scoreboard here is a true standout feature and will wow your guests. It sits at an overhead unit that has two large LED displays on both ends. It tracks the score automatically and I haven’t found any type of issues with the score tracking like on some of the cheaper air hockey tables from the brand. Both the scoreboard and the table itself are designed by the air hockey champion Mark Robbins!
As for accessories, you don’t get much with this table. As standard, you get regular pucks and mallets (paddles) which are quite good, to be honest, but still feel a bit underwhelming for a table priced that high.
One thing that is absolutely sure here is that this table is quite massive. It measures 4’3.25″ in width, 8’3.5″ in length, and is around 40 inches high at its playing surface. This, along with its playing area, makes it regulation-sized and quite comfortable to be played by adults. However, younger kids will have a harder time playing on it due to its relatively high playing surface. Weight-wise, it weighs 650 pounds mainly thanks to its massive wooden frame and thick walls and legs. All that weight makes it stay sturdy when being played on, though, and also allows you to lean on it without moving it one bit.
If you want to learn more about the different air hockey table dimensions and what could fit into your game room, head over to my dedicated article on the topic!
Price & Warranty
As I’ve pointed out a few times already, this table does cost a small fortune. It sits at the top of the price list of most air hockey tables out there. Despite that, it does deliver performance and longevity that suit its price tag, making it a decent value for your money, as crazy as that sounds. In other words, if you’re looking for something that will last longer and won’t deteriorate rapidly over the years, this will definitely pay its worth over time. When it comes to the warranty, things aren’t as great since it only comes with 1-year full warranty coverage.
Now, let’s sum up some of the ups and downs of the Gold Standard Games Tournament Pro Air Hockey Table!
Advantages and Disadvantages
- Professional-grade build quality
- Regulation-sized play area
- Extremely durable
- Superb performance
- Has two lighting moves
- Overhead scoring unit
- Comes with pucks and mallets
- Quite bulky
- Very heavy, will need at least 4 people to move
- Blowing motor can be noisy
- Extremely expensive
- Not great for commercial use due to the lack of a coin mechanism
- The assembly costs extra (but is recommended)
GSG Tournament Pro Elite Vs American Heritage Billiards Monarch Air Hockey Table
There aren’t a lot of air hockey tables in the price class of the GSG Tournament Pro. However, there might be some cheaper alternatives that could be worth your time. If you’re specifically looking for an air hockey table for your game room, the American Heritage Billiards Monarch Air Hockey Table might be worth putting on your shortlist. It costs significantly less and delivers similar performance.
Both these tables have dimensions close to one another and both have regulation-sized playing fields. While the blowing motor of the GSG table is superior, the American Heritage table does bring plenty of performance of its own and is equally reliable over the long run. All in all, if you want a table that will be good enough for casual games and will last plenty of time, both these tables are ideal for you. However, if you’re on a tighter budget, I suggest opting for the American Heritage Billiards alternative!
Conclusion and Rating
The Gold Standard Games Tournament Pro Elite Air Hockey Table is a model that truly stands out with its overall quality, durability, performance, and above all – consistency. It delivers pro-levels of performance on its regulation-sized playing area. That, combined with its powerful motor inside, makes for an air hockey experience that only the best tables out there offer.
The major downside to having all that is that this table costs more than twice its close competitors. And while it does bring a significant quality, this price is justified only if you’re an avid air hockey fan or have no limits to your game room budget. As a whole, I gave it a score of 4.5 out of five stars mainly due to its weight and price, other than that this is as good as it gets!