Though your opponent will probably blame it on lack of skill, there may be issues with your shuffleboard table’s alignment if your pucks repeatedly drift to the middle of the playing surface or off the edges of the table.
While checking and adjusting shuffleboard table alignment is relatively simple, this can vary from table-to-table based on preference. For all of your shuffleboard table alignment questions, McClure has prepared a guide on how to get the perfect balance for your playing surface.
The first step in determining if your shuffleboard table’s alignment needs adjustment is based on the condition of the playing surface. If your surface is rough, uneven, or showing visible damage, it is most likely that the surface needs to be refinished. For help with this, you can find a guide on refinishing shuffleboard tables here.
While shuffleboard alignment is ultimately determined by preference, standard professional shuffleboards are typically set up to be slightly concave, or curving inward in the middle. This slight concave curve helps to keep pucks on the table’s playing surface, though excessive curve can drastically reduce the challenge of aiming pucks and is not recommended. On the contrary, there are some people that prefer a perfectly flat table for challenging gameplay.
To find the sweet spot for your shuffleboard table alignment, we recommend sliding a piece of standard printer paper under the center of a straight edge. See the picture below for an example of checking your table alignment.
As a general rule, the paper should be able to slip under the center of the straight edge, though it should be difficult or impossible to slide the paper under the straight edge near the sides of the board. If your shuffleboard passes this test, it should be fairly close to standard alignment.
If you find that your shuffleboard table’s alignment is off, you will need to use your shuffleboard table’s climatic adjusters. You can find an in-depth guide on loosening and tightening climatic adjusters here, though keep in mind that the effects of these adjustments can take 24-48 hours to show. After calibrating the climatic adjusters, you can check the new alignment by shooting pucks down the playing surface.
When testing the motion of the pucks, it’s best to shoot along the sides of the playing surface. This should give you a clear indication of whether the pucks are drifting toward the middle of the board, or if they’re drifting off the sides.
Should the pucks still slide erratically or to one side after completing the paper test, there is a chance that your table needs to be refinished or that the table’s legs are off-balance. While a damaged surface should be visible to the eye, measuring the legs should determine whether or not the balance is off.
Regardless of your alignment preference, all tables should be regularly maintained with cleaning solution, silicon spray, and shuffleboard wax to keep your table in optimal condition. You can find an in-depth guide about maintaining and cleaning your table here.
After all of these steps have been completed, you should have the perfect alignment for your shuffleboard table.
Looking for shuffleboard wax, climatic adjusters, or other vital supplies for your shuffleboard table? You can find our complete listing of shuffleboard supplies here.