Time to take it back to the basics. Shuffleboard has been a beloved table game since the early 20th century, with various iterations across the globe. As a pastime, shuffleboard is both a spectator sport, and a casual game to play with friends and strangers alike. It can be intimidating to play shuffleboard if you’ve never really played properly before. Today, we’re going to go over some shuffleboard shooting basics, so that the next time you’re in a bar or arcade, you’ll be ready for a game or two.
Shuffleboard pucks, or shuffleboard weights, are specially designed to be used on the polished, waxed surface of the shuffleboard table. Most shuffleboard puck sets you will find available for sale are rated for professional play. The most common shuffleboard puck size you will find online is Size 2, 5/16”, which weighs 300 grams. Shuffleboard pucks are commonly made of stainless steel. The plastic or aluminum caps for the pucks determine which player or team the puck belongs to. Red and blue are the most common cap colors, but other colors are available. In a shuffleboard set, there should be 8 pucks total. If you have a shuffleboard table at home, it’s a good idea to keep an extra set available, just in case.
Holding A Puck
Before you can shoot like a pro, let’s go over the basics of holding a puck. Place the puck on the play surface, with your dominant hand, and hold it there. Your palm should cover the top of the puck, with your thumb behind the puck, facing you. Keep a light grip and don’t let your fingers touch the tabletop. Then, slide the puck up and down a few times without letting go, to get an idea of the table’s speed. If the table has been freshly waxed or treated, this will make a difference. If your puck is not sliding at all, the table may need to be brushed and cleaned. Shuffleboard wax provides both grip and slide and is essential to play.
Once you’re comfortable with the table speed, it’s time to shoot. Move and extend your arm in one fluid motion, and releasing the puck in the same direction. Your strength and control determine the puck’s path.
Growing Your Skills
Even when practicing alone, learning the weight and feel of the pucks can change the way you play and shoot. Before you can land hangers— pucks that land in the third scoring section and hang over the lip of the table—you want to be able to shoot accurately. The further your pucks slide down the table the better, and it’s not just about speed. All those little nuances are learned over time. The best thing you can do to grow your shuffleboard skills is to play often, against players of differing skill levels. When you feel confident in your basic shooting skills, you will be able to incorporate some advanced and trick skills, like the English backspin or side wheeling. Try shooting with both hands for angled shots.
Now that you’re ready to hone your skills, be sure to check out our collection of gorgeous shuffleboards for your home or business. We offer some of the best prices you’ll find, plus accessories and custom options.
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