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So I recently decided to dive into the world of crokinole. I've always thought, "what is this stupid looking board and how can it be any fun"?
Then I saw that Mayday Games had a new redesigned board that they were pushing. I was a bit reluctant to put out $200+ for a Muzzies or Hilinski's. I have read enough posts to know that they are the makers of quality boards in crokinole.

Finally, I saw a sale price on Mayday's website and decided to order the new board straight from the source. Boy, was I disappointed. The board was well packaged when it arrived, but the board was so badly marked that a drunken sailor hired to do QC should have rejected it. To Mayday's credit, they sent a return label and refunded the full amount once they received the return.

Now I was faced with paying considerably more to get a well crafted product or just give up on the whole crokinole thing. Then I came across a new maker who (currently) only sells via Ebay. Puzzler Games. I contacted the maker and found that he is a furniture maker here in the U.S. who enjoys the game and decided to try his hand at making custom boards. I took the bait, considering I chose one "upgrade" and the total was only $178 including S&H via FedEx.

Just like the Mayday board, it arrived well packaged and then I opened it... Boy, was I impressed. Total quality and craftsmanship through and through. His trade mark is the beveled edge rail and he also places a convex piece in the twenty hole which allows easy disc removal.

After learning and playing with friends and family, I can say I have added myself to the realm of crokinole enthusiasts. You get thrill of pool, marbles, pinball, shuffle board and curling all in one (well, elements of all of those anyway).

After my research and experience, I would recommend without reserve any of these three crokinole boards:

Puzzler Games (currently only made to order via Ebay)
http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-53200-19255-0/1?type=4&cam...

Muzzies.ca

Hilinski.net


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Matthew Rooks
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Willard's boards (found at crokinolegame.ca) are excellent as well.
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Phil Thron
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ldsdbomber wrote:
probably worth tracking down someone, or some place that has some boards and try the game first. If youre going to shell out that kind of money at least be sure its the kind of experience that you will enjoy and will give you value for money


In theory, I completely agree. However, for me it was a jump-in-or-stay-out-of-the-pool decision. I know absolutely no one with a board, but even more importantly, I know myself and my inclinations well enough that I was 99.44% sure that I would enjoy the game. I made a leap of faith last year and got a Muzzies board and it has been one of the best game purchases I've made. Great game...
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Det var bara en hake...
Sweden
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If it's such a great game, how come half of the "reviews" only talk about component quality and purchasing experiences?
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Demian Johnston

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Kaffedrake wrote:
If it's such a great game, how come half of the "reviews" only talk about component quality and purchasing experiences?


This is a fair question. I think it's really a matter of the game mechanics being extraordinarily simple. Like Billards or Shuffleboard, the rules of the game are short and the play is quick.

As a consequence of the physical nature of this dexterity game, the enjoyment of the game is nearly as impacted by the quality of your equipment as it is the level of skills. Ever play pool on a not-true table? Or play shuffleboard on a sticky surface? This is distinct from board games like cribbage or backgammon, where the luxury of the equipment is merely luxury.

Crokinole is not a mass produced game, and although companies like Mayday are trying, the differential between their offering and a handmade board from Willard, Murray (Muzzies), Joel (Puzzler), or Carl and Stan (Hilinski) makes it worthwhile to consider the higher end boards. For people new to the game, the price of entry can be steep, yet often their find their board to be newly a work of art. Lastly, given the expense and the unfamiliar territory of paying on homemade websites, and worrying about international shipping, potential buyers want to know they can purchase with confidence that they will receive what the are hoping for.

The four craftsman I mentioned are some really great people, and I would recommend doing business with any of them. My current favorite is my Willard board, but I've played on all 4 kinds of boards: they are wonderful too.
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David Janik-Jones
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Waterloo
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I'm fortunate to live in Waterloo, Ontario, a community surrounded by Mennonite craftsmen. There are some crokinole boards available around these parts that are simply gorgeous works of craftsmanship. I personally like Willard boards, but many of the handmade ones are nice.
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that Matt
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Ann Arbor
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Kaffedrake wrote:
If it's such a great game, how come half of the "reviews" only talk about component quality and purchasing experiences?

Because Mayday got involved.
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jigmelingpa wrote:
Willard's boards (found at crokinolegame.ca) are excellent as well.


Are Willard's board also plywood and MDF?

Nevermind,I see they're all pretty much plywood and MDF.
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