Tornado is the big name in the Foosball world and their Sport and Classic tables are right in the sweet spot of price and quality for many people to put in their home game room or man cave.
But how do you decide on the Tornado Sport vs. Classic table?
The primary differences between the two are that the Tornado Sport is less expensive, lacks counter-balanced men, and has a thinner (1″) cabinet while the Tornado Classic is more expensive but gives you better build quality and durability with a 1.5″ thick cabinet, counter-balanced men, solid wood handles, and overall better build quality and durability.
If you are not an aggressive Foosball player and simply want a high-quality table that will look great in your home, I would recommend saving some cash and going with the Tornado Sport. You can CLICK HERE to check availability on Amazon.
Tornado Sport vs. Classic Comparison
|No (but upgradable)
|Adjustable (commercial grade levelers)
|3 man goalie
|3 man goalie
|VIEW ON AMAZON
|VIEW ON AMAZON
Tornado Sport Foosball Table
The Tornado Sport Foosball Table is the most affordable option in the Tornado lineup.
Tornado is well known in the Foosball world for the superior build quality of its tables. They make some of the best tables in the world. The sport falls a little short of the durability of their higher-end tables but it still is far superior to many other brands on the market.
If you are looking for more budget-friendly options, check out our list of the Best Foosball Tables Under $500.
Build Quality and Durability
Tornado is known for its build quality and durability when it comes to Foosball tables and the Sport is no exception. Despite being the most affordable Tornado model, it is exceptionally made.
At 205 lbs. this is a very sturdy table that will last years or even decades (if cared for properly) in your home.
The table features a 1″ thick cabinet. The “cabinet” refers to the outer enclosure and forms the primary structure of the table itself. A thicker cabinet means a sturdier table.
Weight is important because aggressive play may cause the table to move or bounce around if the table is not heavy enough. That is certainly not a problem with either of the two tables on this list. Both are over 200 lbs. and are sturdy enough to hold up to some aggressive play.
However, if you are hosting regular matches with your friends and play daily, then the Sport may not be enough table for you. With such consistent use over time, you may want to consider upgrading to the sport.
The Tornado Sport does lack some of the more “pro” level features of the Tornado Classic.
For example, the players are not counterbalanced. Counterbalanced players mean that they stay in the position you put them in…even when you’re not holding the handle.
This can be extremely important if you play a lot of 1 on 1 matches. You will want to be able to turn the offensive players out of the way when your goalie and defensive players have the ball so that any shots from the back will not be blocked by your own players.
Of course, this becomes less important if you usually play 2 on 2 matches, because then someone will have their hands on all of the players at all times.
Keep in mind, however, that you are able to upgrade the players that come with the Tornado Sport.
If you really want counter-balanced players but don’t need to spend the extra money for a more durable table, then just pick up the Sport and get the players separately. You can CLICK HERE to find the Tornado brand counter-balanced players. This can save you hundreds of dollars.
Another difference is the handles.
The Sport has rubber handles. I’m not sure I would call this a downgrade from the Classic’s wood handles though. The rubber handles are more comfortable and offer a better grip.
They do wear out eventually, though. So over time, you will have to replace the handles.
Another difference that doesn’t seem like a big deal to me is the way the ball return is set up. On the Tornado Sport, there is a ball return on either end below the goals.
This is different from the side return of the classic.
It really doesn’t make any difference in gameplay and is really more personal preference than anything else.
Who Is The Tornado Sport For?
The Sport is a perfect model for anyone that wants a high-quality Foosball table in their home but don’t want to pay the premium prices of the higher end Tornado tables.
You’ll still get the world-renowned Tornado playability and quality at a much lower price.
In addition, the wood finish probably fits better with the design of your game room or man cave than the plain black coloring of the Classic.
If you’re interested in picking up a Tornado Sport table, you can CLICK HERE to see availability on Amazon.
The Tornado Classic Foosball Table is a step up in the Tornado lineup from the Sport. This is one of the tables that comes to mind when you think of the Tornado name. It is one of their most popular models.
That means an increase in build quality and durability but also a big jump in price from the Sport.
Build Quality and Durability
The Tornado Classic is more sturdy than the Sport and has a 1.5″ thick cabinet.
This adds an extra 20 lbs. to the table compared to the Tornado Sport, bringing it to 225 lbs. That makes the Classic just that much more stable and durable.
The classic also has a .75″ laminate playfield compared to the melamine playfield (of the same thickness) in the Sport. Melamine is a type of laminate but in this case, the laminate on the Classic table is stronger stuff. It is more resistant to moisture, chemicals, heat, and force.
That means that the Classic is less prone to warping over time which can have a huge impact on gameplay.
To be fair, warping doesn’t seem to be a documented problem with the Sport according to online reviews and comments, but if you get a Classic table, you can rest assured that it is that much less likely to happen.
The Tornado Classic is the least expensive Tornado Foosball table to feature counter-balanced players.
I described what this means above.
You should also know that counter-balanced players are one feature that is a requirement for most Foosball tournaments. So if you have dreams of playing competitively, then you’ll want to go with a table that has this feature.
The handles on the Classic are solid wood. While not as grippy as the rubber handles on the Sport, this is a more traditional feature for Tornado tables.
The wood handles will last almost forever and tend to be more consistent than the softer rubber handles if you are playing at a very high skill level.
Both of these tables have 125″ hollow steel rods. The hollow rods are lighter and allow for faster gameplay.
The ball return on the Tornado Classic is located in the middle of the table. This saves you from having to reach over to the end of the table.
However, it also means you have to wait for the ball to roll around to the side before restarting play after a goal.
I never saw an advantage to one over the other but you might have a personal preference.
Who Is The Tornado Classic For?
The Tornado Classic is perfect for you if you want to get into the higher end of the Tornado lineup and buy a table that will last a very long time and stand up to frequent aggressive play.
If you are outfitting a home game room and aren’t a tournament level Foosball player then you probably don’t need the tournament level tables they offer. Of course, if you are a tournament level Foosball player, you also probably don’t need to read my explanation of the differences between these two models!
If you’re interested in buying the Tornado Classic, CLICK HERE to check availability on Amazon.