Shuffleboard Materials: A Guide
Generally, shuffleboard courts (the full-sized, tournament-style variants) are made of concrete lined with a sort of plastic laminate or reinforced vinyl. Some full-sized shuffleboard courts are of the roll-out variety, and are portable. These courts are usually made entirely of vinyl or a pliable plastic polymer. Shuffleboard cues are generally made with sturdy, polished wood. However, aluminum or fiberglass cues are also available. Aluminum cues are durable, lightweight, and inexpensive, but they are also weaker than the others and tend to vibrate. Fiberglass cues are often wrapped in smooth polyester, and they feature a stronger strike than aluminum cues. Wood is generally regarded as the best cue material, as it is incredibly sturdy and powerful, and it looks beautiful too. It is generally more expensive than the other materials.
Obviously, shuffleboard tables designed for personal use cannot be made from concrete. These smaller shuffleboard tables are made from high-quality wood, usually maple, and they are quite durable. Mahogany and oak are two common substitutes, and they are also featured as table rails or legs as well. Wood shuffleboard tables are coated in a thin protective layer of plastic laminate, a synthetic material designed to resemble real wood and protect the table from moisture and sun damage. Wood-grain vinyl can also be used, as an inexpensive alternative to all-wood shuffleboard tables.
Some modern shuffleboard tables feature a clear polymer coating, rather than a plastic laminate. This cover eliminates the need for frequent re-finishing, and the polymer is less likely to peel or suffer damage than common plastic laminates.
Finally, shuffleboard tables are coated in a layer of wax. These waxes come in different “speeds,” so you will have to pick the right one for your level of play. This wax should be changed about once every month.