Selecting a board can be daunting, what with the number of options, colors, and materials. That said, it helps to think about the value of “showability” and “playability” when choosing your board.
"Crokinole Showability" or What Makes a Beautiful Board
So what do we mean by “showability”? Aesthetics are a big part of your purchase, as Crokinole boards take up a central place in your game room. Buying a Crokinole board is akin to buying a piece of furniture - you think about what you like, but you also think about making an impression on friends and family.
So what contributes to “showability”? Well, beauty truly is in the eye of the beholder.
Some prefer the simplicity of the tournament-style round boards, while others find the octagonal shapes more unique. Regardless of shape, make sure you’re happy with the color combinations of your board. Several board companies are testing creative color combinations to satisfy this need. Color can be achieved through staining or via the selection of different woods. For instance, the board below (The Baltic Bircher with Numbers) is made of cherry rails, a baltic birch base, and a baltic birch top board. But, the base is stained a mahogany red to achieve additional contrast, making for a compelling look.
Also, check for the level of craftsmanship on the board. Has the edge of the playing surface been banded? Are there special elements to the railings like unique joinery or laminates used to provide extra color? Are there custom elements to the center hole that add value to the piece? Some suppliers add design elements like numbers or chess / checkers boards printed on the back.
The way the lines are done also matters. There are different techniques - everything from wood filler or epoxy resin to lines done by screen or UV printing. Generally, all things being equal, look for a line thickness and color that matches the rest of the board.
"Crokinole Playability" or What Makes an Enjoyable Playing Experience
There’s very few things like gliding your biscuits across a smooth, even playing surface. While some prefer a faster, slick surface and others prefer something a bit more forgiving, we all crave consistency - we want to trust that if we execute our shot, the board will live up to its end of the bargain.
So what to look for when it comes to playability?
Ask yourself the following: Does the board provide a consistent, smooth play?
There are other questions like: “Is my hand comfortable when making a shot?" or “Is it easy to retrieve and record my 20 shots?”.
At the crossroads between playability and showability are the bumpers. We’ve seen bumpers made of several materials but brass screws with rubber bushings is becoming the standard. Make sure the bumpers are at a nice height and drilled properly.
During the process, try to check out as many product reviews or play on your friends' boards to see what you like and don’t like. And just our $.02, but get the one you really want! A Crokinole board can be expensive, yes, but if you get the one you love, it truly is the gift that keeps on giving!
Happy holidays everyone!