Skateball (Bally, 1980)


Total rating

This game got 40 approved ratings and currently scores 7.489 out of 10 points.

This ranks the game #126 in the Pinside Ranking.


Score breakdown in the 4 main categories:

Game design: 7.759

Artwork: 7.564

Sounds/Music: 4.96

Other Aspects: 7.657

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Ranking history

An overview of this machine's ranking over the last years. Lower is better.

Rating history

An overview of this machine's rating over the last years. Higher is better.

Found 17 ratings (with comment) on this game

There are 17 ratings (that include a comment) on this game.
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2 months ago
Need more plays to complete rating.

* Asymmetry: Excellent.
* Backhands:
* Ball Time: Excellent.
* Drops (Sweepable): Excellent.
* Flasher Blinding:
* Flippers (extra): Excellent. 4!
* Free Ball earning: ?
* Fun/Lastability:
* Hazards: Excellent. middle drops are at a good height. danger post on right saucer
* Inlane Flow: Good. Left is like Fathom, right is a 50/50 post in the middle. bizarre.
* Lateral movement/Nudging: Excellent.
* Multiball: NONE.
* Originality: Excellent.
* Outlane save-ability: Good. rubbers on both sides
* Pop bumpers: Good - just for 1-2-3 scoring
* Rules (Time and Order-based): ?
* Scoring Balance: ?
* Shots per flipper: maybe 10 total.
* Skill shot: ?
* Slap Saves: Bally, so it's OK.
* Sound/Callouts/Voice: Weak, no voice, and the sounds are weak.
* Spinners: 1
* Stop n Go/Flow: Excellent. just a saucer.
* Taunting: NONE
* Theme/Art/Lights: Excellent.
* Toys/Gimmicks: 4 flippers is neat.

PROS: Great art package, 4 flippers and tons of drops. Decent inlane/outlanes.
CONS: no skill shot, no multiball, no voice, weak sounds.
5 months ago
I'm glad to say that this pin is in the lineup. It is one of those machines that you can have a great game and a horrible game back to back. This keeps some people from playing it, but it brings me back for more.
1 year ago
Played it at the Belgian Open 2014, nice ruleset for a game of this period, and very cool backglass that is real 70s.
1 year ago
I love the artwork of this game. It´s a pure 80´s game. Surfboards, beach, skateboards, palms, and the girls too. Finally, I love the way to get the extraball.
1 year ago
I absolutly love this game! One of the most fun games of that era for sure. I even enjoy it more than EBD honestly. Fun ruleset that makes you shoot all over the playfield and it can be super fast. If you see one, play it!
2 years ago
I sold mine, now I want it back... :-(
2 years ago
Drop targets are the name of the game here. I really liked the small flipper in the top left. You can rack up some serious points if you can control it up there for awhile. Very fun to play as there are lots of targets to aim at. Backglass is ugly at best...pretty much weird al on a skateboard. Worth a quarter if you ever see it.
2 years ago
A great 70's solid state by Bally. What's not to love about the art package? The shots are good, and definitely one of my favorites.
2 years ago
I love the artwork of Skateball. The mustaches, nipples and the van on the backglass make me feel like I'm in the early 80's. I am a big fan of the bright colors used on the machine and it looks great in the dark. The gameplay is fun, more fun than my Gorgar machine. The sounds aren't great but they suffice. Fun overall game, great artwork.
3 years ago
I owned this machine for about a year.... It just wasn't that great. pretty slow, and I was this machine's target market back when it was new, and I thought it looked pretty dorky back then.... The BG is very lame. Not sure if I didn't have my machine set up correctly, but I just wasn't really a big fan. Targets are good, but middle ones are a drain monster. Many others seem to love, I just am not one of them
3 years ago
Skateball is a shooters game that keeps you on your toes at all times.

The Pros: 11 drop targets and 4 flippers. Lots to shoot for. Hit the flashing arrow on the top target bank 3 times to light the collect bonus award. Build the game up and hit the saucer on the right. With bonus maxed + 100k, it can be huge. The outlanes make you work your nudging skills and flipper traps. The art package is nicely done and the colors are warm. Kinda makes you want to go skateboard, or surf after you play your pinball game. The stabbin' cabin is way sweet on the BG. The Freres/Hudson package is fantastic. Note that there are a great deal of options to work with for this game in the software. Set this game up and try some different options. A real shooter and a true player.

The Cons: In my dreams there is a saucer in the upper right hand corner of the pf (Pssssst... multiball). Clip the switch on the right inlane to prevent the bonus cheat that players found from the twitching the right flipper.

Takeaway: Get one if you can. This PF is a borrows heavily from the layout of Williams Flash and considering what a landmark game that was... Claude and his team did a great job and gave it that "Bally feel" that made so many of the Bally decks of this vintage great. Quite possibly his best design. Considering how much I like Flash Gordon, that's saying quite a bit. I was lucky to get mine with a super nice pf and bg. There are many ways to get a good score, but if you do not set your shots up or you miss a target, this game can be hard to recover from a mistake! If you think this game is too easy, you have set it up too easy. Own your game and play/adjust it as it should be. For me, playing this game never gets boring, ever. Low raters on this game need to do their homework... or play my table to feel the the pin-pain of the Skateball love.

Got my BG signed by Greg Freres. Righteous!!!! You gotta love, the love van... man.

I love this game sooooo much! I have set mine up super nasty, so getting the ball back into the proper lane for the ball return is not laughing matter. Between that and a tight tilt, this game is very unforgiving to uncontrolled play and lane drains. The feed out of the saucer is strangely inconsistent and makes every shot into the saucer something to consider. Will it feed the ball nicely to the upper flipper for a reliable shot from there? Do I need to make sure that I am able to trap the ball on the lower flipper? You'd better be on your toes as you have a fraction of a second to make a decision. Asymmetrical inlane/outlanes require different techniques and choices depending on whether you are on the left or the right hand side of the deck. Find a copy and play on Players!

Note that this game has many reviews where people either own or used to own this table. The people who have really gotten to know this deck have let us know that this is a righteous deck. And just in case you don't believe me, talk to the person going around here with the name "Sk8ball". I think he knows a think or two about this game and what makes a deck a quality player, or not.

Skateball is Tom Sims (RIP) approved!
3 years ago
Great early 80's Bally! Great and rewarding shots!
3 years ago
Skateball is a cool looking game concerning playfield & backglass. Even has great pop bumper caps. Cabinet artwork is ok, but could have been made awesome w/ a bit more effort. I like the gameplay & speed of play. Another excellent game from one of the greatest years of pinball -- 1980. I'd be happy to have one in a home collection.
3 years ago
Skateball is a great early SS game. Fairly straightforward rule set: 1) hit drop targets 2) build up your multiplier 3) earn that extra ball.

It's the younger brother to the legendary Flash. Personally, I like the theme and art on Skateball more than Flash. I realize I am in the minority on that one.

Skateball plays fast, has great flow, and is a drop target paradise! But, don't shoot at the middle bank. It's a sucker's shot where you're probably going to wind up with a ball straight down the middle.

It's unfortunate that Skateball does not have a multiball feature: if so, this game would be a MONSTER!

Unfortunately, lots of the playfields get really worn on the crossover plunger shot and in the orbit shot. I'm luck enough to have come across a NOS playfield to bring mine back to life.

It's hard to call Skateball underrated because those that have played it give it high praise. But, it is certainly not recognized as often as it could be.

It really is a great player. My first pin. When I bought it, I had no idea what I was buying. It's all been downhill from there :)
3 years ago
very underated
4 years ago
I love this machine...the colors, the "summer" theme, the many different shots, the on field specials, 1 mil. scoring so no annoying rollover issues, love the "ocean" background noises, 4 flippers, interesting ball launch path. Out lanes are different, and easier to save an otherwise drained ball with some nudging. Upper 3 bank drop targets are easy, whereas the "skate" bank has some tricky shots, saucer is a tough shot. That classic solid bally "feel".... this one is staying in the collection (unless I find one in even better condition!)
6 years ago
TOTALLY RADICAL! Killer 70's style artwork on playfield and backglass and awesome cabinet art,maybe my favorite. Pretty simple game but plays fast and great! Knock the drops down over and over for big points.Can get some real long playing balls going.Love the saucer and spinner sounds. Other sounds take getting used to but are very satisfying. The across the playfield plunger shot and 4 flippers are real guest favorites due to their relative uniqueness. A Bitchin game. i guess i am in love with the surfer chick on the back glass.
There are 17 ratings (that include a comment) on this game. Currently showing results page 1 of 1.

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