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Shuffleboard Powder: What to Know About This Magical Dust

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Is that stuff really necessary?

The first time I encountered a shuffleboard table at a bar, I was a little confused. It was a beautiful long wooden table. But it was covered in dust.

This waxy substance was all over the table. It would move around and spread in different directions as the pucks glided through the powder towards the opposite end of the table.

After each game, the players would sprinkle some more of this saw dust-like material on the table. They seemed like they knew what they were doing. They even scooped some up during the game and dropped it on certain spots before they shot.

I thought it was peculiar. But as it turns out, this dust is a critical element of the game.

It’s actually called shuffleboard powder. And there are a few interesting bits of info about shuffleboard powder that any serious barroom shuffleboard player or table owner should know.

Here’s what you need to know about shuffleboard powder (or wax, dust, etc.) to enhance the performance and longevity of your shuffleboard table. 

Shuffleboard Powder is Part of Routine Table Care and Maintenance

Shuffleboard powder is one of the key ingredients in keeping your table in tip-top condition. Here’s a very simple breakdown of where it fits in the process.

First, you should clean a shuffleboard table on a regular basis. And, to do this, you can use a specialty shuffleboard table cleaner to remove dirt and grime off the playing surface.

Then, for added protection and performance, you can coat the table surface with a light application of silicone spray. This spray lowers the surface tension of the table. That’s why the powder spreads so easily. Applying the the spray before the powder is essential for a fast and smooth glide.

The powder is the finishing touch. You should always apply shuffleboard powder lightly and evenly over the silicone-coated playing surface. If you use too much powder, it will pile up and slow down the pucks on the table.

Shuffleboard powder helps the pucks glide down the table. Without the powder, there wouldn’t be much gliding at all. The game would be much less fun.

Also, what’s great about this powder is that it allows you to fine tune the action of your pucks on the table.

Types Shuffleboard Powder: Tailored to Table Length, Speed and Control

3 Pack of Sun-Glo #1 Speed Super-Glide Shuffleboard Powder Wax
Twin Pack of Sun-Glo #2 Speed Shuffleboard Powder Wax
Twin Pack of Sun-Glo #3 Speed Shuffleboard Powder Wax
Sun-Glo #4 Speed Shuffleboard Powder Wax 16 oz
Sun-Glo #5 Shuffleboard Powder Wax (16 oz.) (Pack of 2)
Product
3 Pack of Sun-Glo #1 Speed Super-Glide Shuffleboard Powder Wax
Twin Pack of Sun-Glo #2 Speed Shuffleboard Powder Wax
Twin Pack of Sun-Glo #3 Speed Shuffleboard Powder Wax
Sun-Glo #4 Speed Shuffleboard Powder Wax 16 oz
Sun-Glo #5 Shuffleboard Powder Wax (16 oz.) (Pack of 2)
Speed / Table Length (General Guidelines)
Fast Powder for longer tables (18 - 22ft)
Still Fast, 14 - 22 ft tables
Medium Fast, 14 - 20 feet
Best for 12 - 18 feet tables
Slower powder, best for 9 - 12 foot tables
3 Pack of Sun-Glo #1 Speed Super-Glide Shuffleboard Powder Wax
Product
3 Pack of Sun-Glo #1 Speed Super-Glide Shuffleboard Powder Wax
Speed / Table Length (General Guidelines)
Fast Powder for longer tables (18 - 22ft)
Buy On Amazon
Twin Pack of Sun-Glo #2 Speed Shuffleboard Powder Wax
Product
Twin Pack of Sun-Glo #2 Speed Shuffleboard Powder Wax
Speed / Table Length (General Guidelines)
Still Fast, 14 - 22 ft tables
Buy On Amazon
Twin Pack of Sun-Glo #3 Speed Shuffleboard Powder Wax
Product
Twin Pack of Sun-Glo #3 Speed Shuffleboard Powder Wax
Speed / Table Length (General Guidelines)
Medium Fast, 14 - 20 feet
Buy On Amazon
Sun-Glo #4 Speed Shuffleboard Powder Wax 16 oz
Product
Sun-Glo #4 Speed Shuffleboard Powder Wax 16 oz
Speed / Table Length (General Guidelines)
Best for 12 - 18 feet tables
Buy On Amazon
Sun-Glo #5 Shuffleboard Powder Wax (16 oz.) (Pack of 2)
Product
Sun-Glo #5 Shuffleboard Powder Wax (16 oz.) (Pack of 2)
Speed / Table Length (General Guidelines)
Slower powder, best for 9 - 12 foot tables
Buy On Amazon

Shuffleboard powder is made from different materials. For example, the fastest types of powder are made from pure silicone beads. As you can imagine, this means the pucks will fly down the table with maximum speed and very little resistance.

But pure silicone based shuffleboard powder also requires a long table. This means a table that is at least 18-22 feet. 

Using powder like this requires a high level of skill and finesse to control the pucks and place accurate shots. As such, it’s really only for pro-level players. But is there even such a thing in the world of shuffleboard?

Yes, there are pros, semi-pros and competitive tournament shuffleboard players. And these players all use either silicone based powder or some blend of silicone with another material, like ground corn, when they want to add a little more control.

But for the rest of us, a medium speed powder will usually do. This is what you’re most likely to find at a bar or other casual shuffleboard playing environment.

You can use medium speed shuffleboard powder on a wider range of shuffleboard tables, ranging from 14 – 22 feet. These powders consist of a blend of materials. Maybe a little silicone with some sand and cornmeal, for example.

Next are the slow speed powders. These powders are designed to provide maximum resistance while allowing for enough glide to play on tables between 9 – 12 feet.

Slow speed powders are made with very little, if any, silicone. These powders are necessary to maintain control on smaller tables. But they provide a lot of resistance and would likely ruin your game on a full length table.

To see an example of how the powders are classified according to table length, speed and skill level, check out Sun-Glo powders.

They make 7 different shuffleboard powders. The powders are numbered from 1 -7 in order of speed, with 1 being the fastest.

ZieglerWorld also makes the full range of shuffleboard powders and waxes, with high-quality ratings from serious players and long term table owners 

In general, the #1 category powder is made from pure silicone ball bearings and intended for professional use on full-length tables. The #7 is the slowest shuffleboard powder. It’s designed for small tables and max control.

Try Mixing the Powder

Every shuffleboard playing environment is a little different.

Table Shuffleboard Powder Sand - Sun-Glo Sampler Six-Pack
Try a sampler and mix speeds for a custom blend.

You never know how temperature, humidity or other factors might affect the table. These factors all affect the type of powder to use. 

Also, there’s usually a mix of skill levels in a group. For this reason, it’s helpful to keep a few different types of powder on hand.

Try different ratios and mixtures. You might find the optimum balance for your speed, table and type of play. Experiment a little to see what works best.

What about all the powder that’s pushed into the gully?

A lot of shuffleboard powder ends up in the gully during a game. Players can use this excess powder to cover dry spots during the game.

On Sale
Hathaway Shuffleboard Brush, Dark Cherry Finish
Use a shuffleboard brush to keep it clean.

But there is still a lot leftover. And this powder starts to add up after a few games.

One bar-owner I know has a simple solution to clear the powder out of the table gutters: A gutter scoop!

Amerimax Home Products 8300 Getter Gutter Scoop, Red
Use a gutter scoop to remove wax, sand and powder from the gully.

Just slide it along the gullies after every few games. And you can even recycle the powder for later.

So far, that’s about as much as I know about shuffleboard powder. 

It’s definitely necessary; it improves the quality of play and increases longevity of the table. It could even be called a defining characteristic of the game. 

And as you learn more about how to play shuffleboard, you can also learn how to customize the type of powder based on the desired speed of play, level of control and length of table.

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7 thoughts on “Shuffleboard Powder: What to Know About This Magical Dust”

  1. Is it possible to clean or sift the powder that you scoop out of the gutters before you re-use it? It always seems to accumulate bits of dust or hair or whatever.

  2. hi is there a tool that I can use to even distribute the powder on the table? I’ve noticed it is heavier in some areas vs others

  3. Plase guide me
    I started playing indoors ( ballroom ) at a community centre they don’t use any gliding it’s extremely hard if we would spray the disk with silicone can it get slippery unsafe for the line dancers ? Please have a suggestion I love the game Thanks a million Katy

  4. 5 gallon shopvac with a good filter. Suck it up once a week. Get a good size strainer. We got at a restaurant store. Pour powder through strainer and then use a funnel to fill cans. Works great.

    -22ft board;silicone/meal mix

  5. What I am looking for is a mixture that the snow birds put on the outdoor shuffleboard courts in Arizona. I know bird seed is part of it but I would like the recipe.

  6. ZieglerWorld Table Shuffleboard Sand works best. The Gold sand product provides a good speed on a long table and fast speed on a shorter table. They also have a sampler pack! ZieglerWorld.com

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