For over a century, the best Crokinole boards have remained a staple of family game nights throughout Canada, earning this unique game of precision and dexterity a reputation as the country’s best-loved board game.
Not that the Canadians are the only ones to enjoy it. Over the past few years, Crokinole has enjoyed a steady rise in popularity throughout the United States and around the world thanks to its exciting, fast-paced nature.
If you’re one of the many new fans looking to try out the game for yourself, you’ll find today’s guide invaluable.
Below, we look at the 5 very best Crokinole boards out there, including those suitable for absolute beginners as well as those preferred by the pros.
What is Crokinole?
A Canadian classic that’s slowly but steadily gaining a fanbase across the world, Crokinole is a traditional board game that traces its roots back to Perth County, Ontario where it was invented in the late 1800s by master woodworker Eckhardt Wettlaufer as a gift for his son.
While that original board has gone on to take pride of place in an Ontario museum, the game as a whole has gone from strength to strength over the past 100+ years, even developing its own World Crokinole Championship which attracts players not only from Canada but also the United States and Europe.
Skill, strategy, and ingenuity are the keys to success with this one as you pit your wits against your opponents in an attempt to get your discs into the highest-scoring segments of the crokinole board.
The first player or team to reach a pre-agreed score wins the whole game, though not before all players have enjoyed shooting their discs in this fun and thoroughly engrossing game.
If you’re looking for a breakdown of the rules, see our complete guide to Crokinole that contains step-by-step gameplay instructions, helpful scoring tips, and more.
When you’re done with that, join us back here and use our in-depth guide to help you choose the best crokinole board to buy so that you can start enjoying Canada’s favorite board game for yourself.
Top 5 Best Crokinole Boards 2020
|1.||BryBelly Crokinole Set|
|2.||Cape Fear Real Hardwood Crokinole Board|
|3.||Rustik Crokinole 2-in-1 Set|
|4.||Taran Games Pro Edition Crokinole Board|
|5.||Kroeger Deluxe 3-in-1 Game Set|
1. BryBelly Crokinole Set
When coming up with our criteria to determine the best Crokinole boards around, we decided that to be worthy of a place on our list; each board had to score well in four important categories:
- It had to be solid and built to last.
- It had to be designed for easy gameplay, with a surface that wasn’t so slippy that the discs went shooting right off the table, but not so rough that the discs barely moved at all.
- It had to represent good value for money.
- Finally, it had to look the part. After all, who wants to spend their leisure time playing on an ugly game board?
More so than any other board, the BryBelly Crokinole Set scored high in each category, making it a clear pick for the number one spot.
Need a board that’s solid and built to last? That’s this one. Built from genuine, high-quality wood, it’s evident that a great degree of care and attention went into ensuring this is a sturdy board that can withstand years of casual gameplay.
Speaking of gameplay, the BryBelly Crokinole Set triumphs in that department too.
The playing surface has been expertly finished to give it just the right amount of friction so that gamers of all abilities can compete on an even playing field.
In terms of value for money, this is one of the more affordable sets out there, and while its smaller size may rule it out of official competition use, it’s perfectly priced for a high-quality family board game.
What’s more, all of the discs (known as “biscuits”) are included, and there’s even a checkers board on the other side in case you wanted to change things up.
Finally, there’s the aesthetic appeal. While it might not be the most important quality, it still matters and in that regard too, this attractive, well-designed board earns top marks.
All in all, this makes for a winning combination that earns this one its reputation as the best Crokinole board on the market today.
2. Cape Fear Real Hardwood Tournament Size Crokinole Board
If you’re looking for a Crokinole board to enjoy the occasional light-hearted game with friends then honestly, any one of the options featured in this guide will do the job.
If, on the other hand, you’re a committed Crokinole player who’s serious about getting involved in competitive play, then there’s really only one choice for a board that will help you take your skills to the next level.
With a 26″ playing surface, the Cape Fear Real Hardwood Tournament Size Crokinole Board is built to regulation standards, meaning it’s the same size as the ones you’ll be playing on if you take part in your local league or decide to take on the best players from around the globe at the next Crokinole World Championships.
Of course, that’s not the only reason why we love this board so much.
The playing surface is made from a gorgeous Maplewood, offset by the laminated plywood ditch and walls.
This makes this by far one of the most beautiful Crokinole boards we’ve ever come across, and if that was all that Cape Fear had to offer we’d still be tempted to give them a mention in this guide.
Fortunately, there’s much more, to like about this one.
That maple and plywood construction also ensures outstanding strength and durability, ensuring that you really do get what you pay for in terms of quality craftsmanship.
Finally, the surface has been sufficiently waxed to create a nice, smooth surface that’s perfect for competitive play.
Though it may not be a little excessive for beginners, the Cape Fear Crokinole board is definitely a worthwhile investment for diehard fans of the game.
3. Rustik Crokinole 2-in-1 Set
Easily the best entry-level crokinole board we’ve seen so far, the budget-friendly Rustik Crokinole 2-in-1 Set is an ideal way to give the game a try and see how you like it without breaking the bank.
If you do find you like it, you’ll be able to get hours of enjoyment out of this board thanks to its sturdy, damage-resistant wooden construction, and vinyl-covered playing surface.
That surface not only gives the whole thing a handsome appearance, it also helps the discs slide across the board, making it much easier for beginners to play a competitive game.
Speaking of the discs, they come included in the set and are as well made as to the board itself.
If, after trying all that out you discover that you love Crokinole just as much as we do, you can always upgrade to a premium quality board.
That said, this one is strong enough that there might be no need to upgrade for years if you’re only playing the occasional casual game.
And if you decide that Crokinole isn’t for you?
No problem. The great thing about this being a 2-in-1 set is that you can just flip it over and play checkers instead.
On the downside, the playing surface on the Rustik Crokinole board is only 22″ in diameter, a good few inches from the standard 26″ used in tournaments.
That rules it out as a viable option for competitive play, but then again, that’s not what this board was designed for.
Instead, it was designed to be a solid starter board capable of providing plenty of disc-shooting fun for casual players, and to that end it more than delivers.
4. Taran Games Pro Edition Crokinole Board
If you’re in the market for a premium quality, professional-grade Crokinole board but found there was something you just didn’t like about the Cape Fear board we looked at earlier, then this exceptional Pro Edition Crokinole board from Taran Games is definitely a solid alternative.
With its laminated Beachwood surface and stunning contrast of light and dark materials, lend the board a stylish and elegant look that would perfectly complement your other high-value, deluxe game boards such as those used for Chinese Checkers.
The surface has been expertly waxed to ensure appropriate smoothness so that those biscuits (included in the set) can glide around the board and go exactly where you aim for them to go.
We’d be remiss if we didn’t also mention the size of this one. Built to tournament standards, the Taran Games board comes with a 26″ diameter playing surface, making it a great choice if you want to practice for competitive play.
Finally, our favorite feature is the handy storage box for keeping your discs in. Made from real wood, the box lid features holes to place the included pegs for keeping score, making it both super attractive and super practical.
5. Kroeger Deluxe 3-in-1 Game Set
Finally, we come to the Kroeger Deluxe 3-in-1 Game Set, a remarkable value-for-money option that combines the classic Crokinole game we know and love with setups for both checkers and backgammon.
Straight away, it would be easy to complain that by cramming the latter two games side-by-side onto one surface of the board, Kroeger have made it so that you can’t really enjoy either game as well or as comfortably as you could if you had a full-sized board for each one.
Still, that’s really only a small complaint if you view the backgammon and checkers components as an added bonus and focus purely on the Crokinole, because when it comes to that game, Kroeger do as good a job as any game manufacturer out there.
Measuring 27″ in total with a 21″ playing surface, this one isn’t set up for tournament play but makes a great addition to any family game room thanks to its tough, damage-resistant construction and beguiling real wood finish that comes well waxed to ensure a suitable level of friction.
If you do decide to use the other side of the board, Kroeger have helpfully included a set of backgammon dice, while the 30 wooden discs (also included) can work for either checkers or Crokinole.
Well made and reasonably priced, this is another top choice if you’re hoping to buy a quality beginner-friendly board that ensures hours of fun.
Crokinole Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose the Right Crokinole Board for You
With so many premium-level options out there, choosing the best crokinole board for you and your friends or family can be a tricky decision.
To help you make your mind up, there are a few key things you might want to consider.
If you read through our top 5 Crokinole board reviews, you’ll know by now that there are essentially two types of board:
Those that are tournament size, and those that aren’t.
Tournament size boards are typically 30″ in total diameter with a 26″ playing surface, while others (often known as traditional boardS) tend to be a few inches smaller with a 22″ playing surface.
If your only ambition is to play a few casual games at home on your next family game night, this will not make too much of a difference. You can still have just as much fun on a traditional board as you can on a tournament one.
If, on the other hand, you’re looking to up your game and play competitively, you’ll need to practice on a board that’s the same dimensions as those used in official tournaments. In that case, it’s worth spending the extra money on the tournament board.
Even at the lower end of the pricing scale, Crokinole boards aren’t exactly cheap, so if you’re going to spend a decent amount of money on one, then it pays to know that you’re getting a sound return on your investment.
With that in mind, pay attention to the quality of both the materials and the way they’re put together.
The best Crokinole boards feature a maple playing surface which not only provides a strength and durability that guarantees long-lasting use but also ensures the playing discs can slide easily around the board.
On that note, we should also mention that some of the better boards out there have also been pre-waxed.
Again, this helps with slideability and ensures that the board’s smoothness doesn’t wear down over time and ruin the quality of your board.
As you’ll have noted above, some Crokinole boards come with checkers or backgammon (or occasionally both) printed on the reverse.
This can make them a great choice for casual players, especially if you’re looking for a versatile option to keep things interesting at your regular game night.
Keep in mind, however, that most multi-game options are designed on the smaller traditional boards.
This means that you can have either several games in one or a tournament-grade board, but not both, so you’ll have to decide which is more important to you before you buy.
Which is the Best Crokinole Board to Buy in 2020?
Having said all that, only one question remains:
Which one of our top five boards should you actually spend your money on?
It’s not as expensive as some of the professional-grade tournament boards yet still provides outstanding value for money in terms of quality, materials, and playability.
That said, choosing the right board is all about your individual needs, and to that end, you might find that a different board is a much better fit.
If you’re looking to take your game to the next level and play competitively, then the Cape Fear Real Hardwood Crokinole Board will undoubtedly prove to be a worthwhile investment.
If, on the other hand, you’re just starting out and want to see how you like Crokinole without spending much money, the entry-level Rustik Crokinole 2-in-1 Set is a great way to try out this Canadian classic while still keeping an eye on your wallet.