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The Ultimate Guide To Making Your Air Hockey Pucks Slide More Smoothly

Have you ever played air hockey and struggled to get the puck to slide? Perhaps it appears as though every air hockey table you play on, the puck comes to a halt and refuses to move. To that end, in this post, we'll discuss everything you need to know about air hockey pucks and how to improve their glide.

What Is The Puck Called In Air Hockey?

Air hockey pucks are Lexan polycarbonate resin discs. Yellow, red, and green are the standard colors for USAA and AHPA-approved pucks. A covering of thin white tape is applied to the face-up side during competitive play. Air hockey pucks are available in a variety of shapes (triangle, hexagon, octagon, or square).

Are There Different Size Air Hockey Pucks?

When it comes to puck size, professional air hockey standards are extremely stringent. While the official rules specify that a puck must be "exactly" 3.5 inches in diameter, all of the professional air hockey tables' full-sized replacement pucks are 3 1/4 inches in diameter. This is not to say that these pucks should always be used.

How Can I Make My Air Hockey Puck Slide Better?

Playing air hockey is a fast-paced and entertaining experience. You'll have a better time playing air hockey if you keep the table's components in excellent condition. The surface of the air hockey table will gradually become less slippery with use. If we are to keep it in working order, we must ensure that the air hockey table is frequently maintained. To improve the sliding of your hockey table, there are numerous steps you may take.

A hand holding a paddle strikes a puck on an air hockey table
A hand holding a paddle strikes a puck on an air hockey table

Clean The Fans

Small fans are located under the air hockey table. This sends air to the little holes on the table's top, resulting in the puck's smooth glide. If the fans become clogged with dirt and debris, the motor drags and the puck cannot glide and slide correctly over the table.

Consult the manual that comes with the air hockey table for cleaning instructions. Pull apart the table to find the fans. Spray the fans with compressed air to clean them.

Maintain A Regular Cleaning Program

Maintaining a regular cleaning regimen can also help your table perform better. Of course, you should not clean it too frequently or too infrequently, since both can damage your table. Cleaning it once a month is advised. One or the other, but never both.

Use Lubricant

The air hockey table is usually polished using silicone-based lubricants. Using excessive silicon-based lubricants will give you a fast-paced and intense game. However, the puck's movement will become more irregular, making it harder to predict.

Spray the silicone lubricant on a microfiber towel or soft cotton cloth and buff the table. However, the effects of the silicon-based lubricant are long-lasting. So there is no need to repeat the process. After a few months, reapply the lubricant to maintain the results.

Clean And Apply Wax To The Pucks, Mallets, And Tabletop

Dirt and debris on surfaces can increase friction between surfaces, resulting in poor gliding and sliding. So, clean all surfaces, including the pucks and the mallet. Turn on the fan and clean the tops. Then clean down your other equipment with a moist cloth and mild detergent.

Clean The Holes In The Table

Small perforations on the table's top provide a pocket of air to suspend the puck during play. This will help the puck slide better across the table. With improper maintenance, these holes can become filled with dirt and debris, reducing puck lift and sliding. Also, when using the table, the puck's movement can feel rough, bumpy, and sluggish.

There are ways to unclog these holes, but they can be hard and difficult. Because if you clean the holes too aggressively, you risk harming the equipment. Use a vacuum with a flat hose and set it to the lowest setting. Then slowly glide it over the table, covering each hole for enough time to remove any dirt and debris.

Avoid using powder cleaners that require you to mix them with water to form a solution. Insufficient mixing might cause huge clumps that further block the pores. Also, avoid using fabric rags because the lint and fibers from the rag can block the holes.

If the vacuum cleaner does not remove all the dirt from the holes, use a toothpick to clean them. Regular cleaning of the air hockey table's holes is required to keep it in good condition.

Cover Your Air Hockey Table When Not In Use

Prevention is always preferable to cure.It would help if you tried to keep dust and debris off your air hockey table's surfaces. Leaving it open invites dust and further cleaning of the equipment. Invest in a tablecloth to cover your air hockey table when it's not in use. Make sure it's long enough to cover your table completely.

Use Appropriate Cleaner

Many individuals use harsh cleansers like bleach, which only erode and ruin surfaces. While making your own cleaning agent is cheaper, using approved air hockey cleaners is safer.

Summing-Up

Maintaining your equipment will allow you to enjoy your air hockey table for longer. To enjoy the game, the puck's ability to slide over the air hockey table is required. Now that you know how to address these issues, you can enjoy your air hockey table!

About The Authors

Tyrese Griffin

Tyrese Griffin - Tyrese started her education in the performing arts at the prestigious Alexander Hamilton Academy in Los Angeles. She returned to civilian life after serving in the United States Army as a tracked vehicle operator, and started writing short stories and screenplays, as well as directing short films and music videos. She has published six novels, which have sold over 200,000 copies, as well as audiobooks and short stories for anthologies, and has earned several awards.

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