Shuffleboard Sand: Everything You Need to Know

We've picked the most helpful info about shuffleboard sand: why you need it, how to choose the right one and how to use it properly
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Last updatedLast updated: August 20, 2021
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If you own or are thinking of getting a shuffleboard table, then you need to make sure that you have some shuffleboard sand on hand. This powdery material is sometimes referred to as shuffleboard wax, though it doesn’t resemble standard wax in the least. It is actually quite powdery and is sprinkled on the surface of the table instead of spread.

Though it might not seem like it, this sand is extremely important to playing shuffleboard since it allows pucks to glide down a table easily. It also helps to preserve the table as well. In this article, we will guide you through everything you need to know to make sure you find the right shuffleboard dust for your needs.

What’s shuffleboard sand?

Shuffleboard Sand: Everything You Need to Know

As we mentioned above, shuffleboard sand is sometimes referred to as shuffleboard wax. Both of these names are a bit confusing since neither of them is quite right. This material acts in the same manner as wax, in that it helps to lubricate the surface, but it is more like sand in that it is a powder. As such, it is understandable that both names are used on occasion, but which one is the more accurate of the two? Well, to answer that, we need to get a clearer idea of what this shuffleboard table lubricant is made of. No matter what you call it, it is an essential part of owning a shuffleboard table since they are quite different from other table games, like air hockey, in that they need additional lubrication to keep working correctly.

What it’s made of

When shuffleboard was first introduced as a table game, players used to sprinkle sawdust onto the table to help their pucks move along smoothly. Of course, this also worked to dry out the wood eventually, which caused the tables to break down too quickly. Thankfully, this is no longer the case. Most shuffleboard wax nowadays is made from a combination of cornmeal and silicone beads. These two materials work well together to help lubricate the surface of the table without drying out the wood too much.

Some waxes are also made with walnut shells instead of dry cornmeal, so pay special attention to this if you, or someone who might play on the table, has a nut allergy. If that is the case, then you definitely want to make sure that you get a container of shuffleboard dust that is made with cornmeal instead.

Of course, even if you are using a wax that doesn’t contain walnut shells, it could have come into contact with them in the factory. Most companies are not too careful about cross-contamination, so you might want to use a silicone spray instead if you have a severe nut allergy. That way, you can be sure that there is no chance at all of you or your family/friends coming into contact with even trace amounts of walnuts.

Qualities of a good shuffleboard dust

When you are looking for a good shuffleboard wax, you need to know the different qualities to keep in mind. After all, every wax, and table for that matter, are a bit different. As such, you need to make sure you find the right one for your particular playing needs.

Types

Shuffleboard Sand: Everything You Need to Know

You can usually tell what the powder is made with by looking at the color of the wax. Shuffleboard wax comes in three distinct colors, which are yellow, brown, and white. Yellow wax is made from cornmeal and silicone, while brown is made with walnut shells and silicone. The white powder is made completely with silicone and no other additives.

Depending on the type that you choose, you can expect your pucks to go faster or slower. If you are looking to get a bit of speed, but don’t want the pucks to get away from you, then brown shuffleboard dust is your best bet. This powder cuts down on friction but will still give you some control. Shuffleboard wax that has cornmeal added is in the middle in regards to speed, while pure silicone will absolutely make your pucks fly across the board, so be wary before applying too much of it at one time.

Table length recommendations

As you are well aware, shuffleboard tables come in a variety of lengths, with some only measuring about 9 feet in length, while others can stretch all the way up to 22 feet. These different lengths, as you might have guessed, will require different types of shuffleboard wax. Basically, the longer the table, the less friction you are going to want on it since the pucks need to travel farther.

The opposite is going to be true on a shorter table, obviously, since the pucks don’t need to travel nearly as far. As such, you need to have a clear understanding of the speed rating systems for these waxes, which we discuss below.

Speed rating

Each of the different shuffleboard sands that are available on the market is all rated with a numerical system. This system denotes which waxes will provide you with the most lubrication or the least lubrication based on your needs. Basically, the lower the number, the lower the friction, and the faster the pucks will travel.

Therefore, if you have a larger table, you are going to want to go for a lower number wax, such as a 1 or a 2. These offerings from Triple Crown or Zieglerworld are good options in this regard. On the other hand, if you have a smaller table, you want to go for a higher numbered, slower wax, like a 3 or a 4, possibly even as low as a 6 like this container from Sun-Glo. Of course, if you are on the fence about which one you should purchase, it doesn’t hurt to get both levels to try them out. That way, you can find the perfect wax for your particular needs.

How to apply shuffleboard salt

Shuffleboard Sand: Everything You Need to Know

When applying shuffleboard salt, you need to pay close attention to where you place it. While it might be tempting to sprinkle it all over the table, you might not want to do that since this could make it nearly impossible to hit the shots that you desire. As such, don’t be afraid to experiment a bit with where you place it when you are just practicing. This will give you a better idea of the best places to put it when you are playing for real.

Applying shuffleboard wax is a very simple process. All you need to do is gently sprinkle it onto the location that needs lubrication and then spread it out with your fingers to give an even coating. You don’t want a giant pile of it in any one spot since this will actually slow your pucks down rather than let them glide easily along their pathway.

Cleanup

Though shuffleboard wax is an essential part of playing the game correctly and helping to preserve your table over time, it still needs to be cleaned up. If you leave old wax on the table, then it is going to collect lots of dust and grime, which will slow down the surface quite a bit. Thankfully, all you need is a damp cloth to wipe it off of the surface, and you should be good to go again. Just make sure that you allow the table to fully dry before you apply new shuffleboard dust so that it doesn’t gunk up immediately.

Final thoughts

As you can see, getting the right shuffleboard sand is absolutely essential to playing on a shuffleboard table correctly. It helps the pucks speed down the surface and will make it much easier to make accurate shots. Just make sure that you get the right type and speed (lower numbers for large tables and higher numbers for smaller tables) for your table so that you can play as effectively as possible. With the right wax in place, you will be able to have a lot more fun with your shuffleboard table while also protecting it against wear and tear over the years.

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