Shuffleboard is a very popular game that’s pretty simple to pick up, you’ll just new a few essential pieces of equipment to get started. In this article, I’ll guide you through all the equipment you need to get started playing shuffleboard including some top picks and where to find them.
Floor (Deck) or Table
There are two types of shuffleboard: table and floor (deck), and both require a completely different set of equipment. Table shuffleboard is very popular in pubs, bars and hotels, whilst floor shuffleboard can be played at local courts. Table shuffleboards are becoming very popular editions in at-home games rooms so we will start off here.
Check out my guide to deck vs table shuffleboard to learn about the differences.
Table Shuffleboard Equipment
To play table shuffleboard you will need:
- A shuffleboard table
- Shuffleboard wax
- Wiperboard/ brush
- Shuffleboard cleaner
- Silicone spray
Let’s go through each piece of equipment in a bit more detail.
A shuffleboard table consists of the plank, which is a piece of hardened maple that sits in the cradle. The space in between the plank and the cradle at each short-end is called the horseshoe, and the gaps on either side of the long-end of the table are known as the gutters.
If you are looking to purchase a shuffleboard table for your home, there are quite a few different considerations you need to make.
Shuffleboard Table Sizes
Regulation shuffleboard tables are 22′ in length and 1’8″ in width. However, you can purchase smaller shuffleboard tables for home-use which can range from 8′-22′ in length. This refers to the playing surface, and the size of the cradle will also add around 10″ around the table.
As well as factoring in the space available, consider that smaller shuffleboard tables are more budget-friendly which makes them a very popular option for home use. Although, if you are looking for something to practice on for competitive playing, having a table as close to the regulation 22′ length is important.
|Shuffleboard Table Size||Dimensions Including Cradle (length x width)||Space Needed Around Table (length x width)|
|9ft||9’ x 2’6”||11’6” x 4’2”|
|12ft||12’ x 2’6”||14’6” x 4’2”|
|14ft||14’ x 2’6”||16’6” x 4’2”|
|16ft||16’ x 2’6”||18’6” x 4’2”|
|18ft||18’ x 2’6”||20’6” x 4’2”|
|20ft||20’ x 2’6”||22’6” x 4’2”|
|22ft||22’ x 2’6”||24’6” x 4’2”|
Make sure you also factor in the space needed around the table. You ideally need 30 inches on each end the table to give you enough room to play. You can place a shuffleboard table against a wall to save room, but in an ideal world, around 20 inches of elbow room is ideal.
And don’t forget to factor in the height as well. Of course, the table will be much shorter in height than the player, but you need to consider any hanging or mounted lighting as well, or if you are using a scoring system that will be placed over the table. On average, a shuffleboard table is around 30″ tall.
You’ll also need to think about getting the table in the room. Some larger tables will split into pieces to allow you to get them through a door or up the stairs, but make sure these pieces can be moved into the area you are intending to set the table up before purchasing.
Some shuffleboard tables have an electronic scoreboard system, whereas others use a manual system. The electronic systems give the table a more modern look but do cost more and take up more room in terms of the height needed.
You also need to make sure the table is well lit. Many tables have lights attached to the sides of the table at each end to light up the boards, but if not, you can purchase them separately and attach them yourself.
Popular Shuffleboard Table Brands
There are many different brands which offer high-quality shuffleboard tables. Here is a list of the most popular:
- Barrington Billiards
- C.L. Bailey Co.
There is a big price range between different tables so check out my article on the cost of a shuffleboard table to find out everything you need to know.
Here are some images (all link to Amazon) of shuffleboard tables.
Weights, also known as pucks, are the discs used to play shuffleboard. You push them from one end of the board to the other, with the aim of placing them the further towards the end without them tipping off into the horseshoe. Weights are usually made from metal and have a coloured top to identify each player’s set.
Each player or team will have 4 weights. The player’s take it in turn to push one of their weights from one side of the board to the other. The player with the weight closest to the end wins the round. The score of the weights which are ahead of their opponents weights at the end of the round are totalled, and this score is given to the winning player. The game is played until the winning score is achieved, which is usually 15 (or 21 when playing in teams).
Shuffleboard weights come in two sizes which have a diameter of either 2 5/16 inches or 2 1/8 inches. They are made out of plated steel and often have either a blue or red cap, but other colours are available. The caps are also replaceable so can be switched if they become damaged. Different caps have different textures, which affects the feel when playing.
Here are some top picks with links to Amazon so you can check the current prices. The images also link to Amazon.
In order for the weights to glide from one side of the shuffleboard to the other, you will need to use shuffleboard wax. This has a similar appearance to sand and is usually made from silicon but can also include crushed walnut shells. The wax is applied in a thin and even layer to prepare the blank before playing.
There are different types of wax which equate to different speeds, with the faster waxes having a higher silicon concentration. One of the most popular brands of shuffleboard wax, Sun-Glo, has 8 different speeds of wax. They are all numbered, with #1 being the fastest.
Here is a link to Sun-Glow #3 Shuffleboard Wax on Amazon which is one of the most popular options available as it offers a good level of speed but also plenty of control.
Here is a demonstration on YouTube of how to apply the wax properly.
A wiperboard is used to clean the shuffleboard before applying the wax. You simply use it to brush all the existing wax off the table into the gutter or horseshoe area. The wax that ends up here can be collected an reapplied. The purpose of brushing the board before playing is to ensure that the new layer of wax applied is done so evenly.
They’re pretty inexpensive but an essential bit of kit if you own your own board. Check out the Naissgo Shuffleboard Brush on Amazon for an affordable and high-quality option.
It’s a good idea to give your shuffleboard a deeper clean using a dedicated shuffleboard cleaner at least monthly to ensure it stays fresh. Most cleaners are simply sprayed on and wiped off which takes just a few minutes. This process should be done after using a wiperboard to remove the wax.
Check out the Sun-Glo Shuffleboard Spray Cleaner on Amazon for an affordable and effective option.
Applying a shuffleboard silicon spray to your table periodically is a good idea to ensure the surface is primed. You do this after cleaning the board using the wiperboard or using a shuffleboard cleaner, but before applying the shuffleboard wax. This helps to protect the finish of the board and reduce the risk of scratching. Many brands recommend doing this weekly, but it may not be necessary if you are only playing a couple of times a week.
Check out the Sun-Glo Silicone Shuffleboard Spray on Amazon for the current price.
Floor (Deck) Shuffleboard Equipment
Floor (Deck) Shuffleboard Equipment
To play floor shuffleboard you will need:
- A court
- Shuffleboard sand/ beads
- Let’s go through the details of each item.
Floor shuffleboard is played on a court which measures 52′ in length and 10′ in width. The scoring zones are sectioned into triangles and points are awarded according to which zone the disc is in at the end of a round. The surface of the concrete is usually concrete, but any hard and flat surface is usually suitable.
Check out the diagram below. You’ll notice the scoring zones (6′ in length), and the end-zones (in orange), which marks where the players stand to take their turn. These zones can be painted onto a surface, or you can use a roll-out style court which can be easily transported such as this
Shuffleboard is played using discs which are pushed from one end of the court to the other with the aim of scoring the highest points. The discs have a diameter of 6″ and are just less than 1″ in thickness, weighing roughly 15 ounces. Each team (or player if not playing in a team) has 4 discs each.
Check out this set of discs on Amazon.
Image links to Amazon
The cues are used to push the discs from one end of the court to the other. They are usually made from aluminium and measure around 75″ in length, although different sizes are available.
Check out this Allen Shuffleboard Cue on Amazon.
Image links to Amazon
Shuffleboard Beads/ Sand
The court is covered in a thin and even layer of shuffleboard beads, also known as sand to help the disks glide from one end to the other when pushed using the cues. This can be made from either glass or plastic, with glass being the optimal choice for concrete courts.
Here’s a link to some glass shuffleboard beads on Amazon so you can check out the current price.
Before playing each game, the shuffleboard beads are swept away using the brush to clean the board. Then, a fresh layer of beads is applied to the surface. Brushing the board and applying a new layer of beads is the best way to ensure that the surface is coated in a thin and even layer to help the discs glide consistently over the court.