Among the shuffleboard community, there is always a debate about the best shuffleboard wax to use. Some even say that shuffleboard is not necessary for your shuffleboard table.
There is a lot of arguments being mentioned by both parties.
In this guide, we try to answer all of the questions related to shuffleboard powder in an objective way.
The goal is to help you understand what this is all about and learn if shuffleboard sand is right for your table or you can live by without using it.
What Is Shuffleboard Wax?
Shuffleboard wax goes by many names such as powder, dust, salt, cheese, sawdust, silicone, and sand.
Whatever you choose to call it, they all refer to the same thing. Shuffleboard wax is a dry powder-like material which is sprinkled on the surface of shuffleboard tables.
This is done to reduce friction on the playing surface, thereby resulting in a smoother glide of the shuffleboard pucks.
Shuffleboard sand is categorized by speeds ranging from 1 to 7. A speed rating of 1 is the fastest, and this is best used on large tournament-size tables.
On the other hand, a speed rating of 7 is the slowest, and this is best used on smaller tables that are less than 12ft long.
Shuffleboard tables have a naturally smooth finish so is it necessary to use shuffleboard powder on a surface that is already smooth?
Well, yes, it is.
Playing without shuffleboard powder can potentially end up ruining the table surface no matter how smooth the finish.
Besides, if you play without the wax, then you will notice that the puck doesn’t glide.
What Is Shuffleboard Powder Made Of?
Different brands employ different materials in manufacturing their shuffleboard wax.
The most common material used to make shuffleboard powder is dry silicone beads.
This looks like dry powder and the miniature beads behave like tiny ball bearings for the puck.
The powder, acting as a ball bearing, allows the shuffleboard puck to slide smoothly across the playing surface from one end of the table to the other.
Another popular material used is a mixture of dry silicone beads and ground corn (cornmeal), and this combination is used to create different speed levels.
At other times, the powder may contain compressed walnut shells, and long ago, it was made out of sawdust.
Finding the right silicone powder is just as important as finding the right shuffleboard table.
Some players may even go as far as mixing different shuffleboard powders to come up with a concoction which works perfectly for their style of play.
External factors such as temperature and humidity at different times of the year may affect the shuffleboard table as well as how the playing surface interacts with a specific type of wax.
Therefore, mixing different powders may help the player come up with the optimum concoction for their table, playing speed, and kind of play.
Does Sand Speed Up Shuffleboard?
The whole reason behind the application of shuffleboard powder is to allow the pucks to glide smoothly across the playing surface.
This is achieved by reducing the friction between the puck and the playing surface.
Shuffleboard powders which are made purely out of silicone beads are the fastest type of powder.
This means that with these powders, the puck flies down the table with very little resistance.
Pro shuffleboard players can handle such speeds with ease, but what about the rest of us?
To give the players a little more control over the pucks, some manufacturers will make shuffleboard powder made from a combination of dry silicone beads, sand, and ground corn.
This results in a medium-speed shuffleboard powder which offers some resistance for easy control of the puck.
Shuffleboard sand helps speed up a game, thereby making it more fun and enjoyable.
At the same time, it helps maintain control of the puck for accurate shots.
How to Wax A Shuffleboard Table?
There are several steps to follow before applying shuffleboard wax onto the playing surface.
Without following the correct procedure then you might notice some inconsistencies in your ability to throw the puck.
Step 1: Start by cleaning the entire surface of the table. This can be done using a specialty cleaner and a soft cloth or using a shuffleboard table brush. Using the chosen tools, push existing wax off the table and follow by wiping away any remaining grains.
Step 2: After cleaning the table, apply the silicone spray. This is done in a sweeping motion and make sure you coat the entire playing surface. The silicone spray you are using should be designed specifically for use on shuffleboard tables so as not to damage the playing surface.
Step 3: Wax the table by applying your preferred shuffleboard powder.
The video below might help give a better explanation of this entire wax application procedure.
Can You Reuse Shuffleboard Wax?
While playing shuffleboard, you might notice that a lot of the powder ends up getting into the gulley during a game.
This powder ends up building up after several games, so what should one do with the excess powder.
You would be pleased to know that shuffleboard powder can be reused.
The powder that gets in the gulley could be scooped up and sprinkled on dry spots during the game, or you could put it in a container and recycle it for later.
Shuffleboard wax can be reused a couple of times, but it is not always advisable to do so.
The tiny silicone balls present in shuffleboard powder become jagged and uneven once the pucks have been used on the powder.
Continued use of such powder, therefore, may end up damaging the playing surface.
If you really must reuse your shuffleboard wax, then do it about 3 or 4 times at most. Additionally, make sure you clean it first before reuse. For this, you are going to need a kitchen strainer and a dry bucket.
Simply sieve the powder through the strainer to get rid of any dirt and impurities the powder might have collected from the gulley.
How to Choose Right Shuffleboard Power for Your Table?
As previously mentioned, differences in environmental conditions such as temperature and humidity at different times of the year may affect how the playing surface of a shuffleboard table interacts with a particular type of powder.
Additionally, shuffleboard powders come in different speed rating ideal for different table sizes.
An increase in speed reduces control and vice versa. Therefore, faster powders are better suited for longer tables, while slower powders are better suited for shorter shuffleboard tables.
Using a slow powder on a long table with have the pluck sliding at extremely slow speeds, and that cannot be any fun now, can it?
Your style of play is another factor to take into consideration when buying shuffleboard powder. If you find that the puck is flying across the table appearing like a blur, then switch to a slower wax.
On the other hand, should you find that you need to boost the speed of the puck, then upgrade to a faster wax.