Shuffleboard is becoming so popular in cities across the United States, understanding the tips and tricks used by the professionals will help to improve your game and make you that much more of a competitor. The basics are easy to understand. Your puck should have enough momentum to reach the higher score zones but not too much momentum that the puck goes too far over. Avoiding underscoring and being out shot by your opponent are basic strategies. Developing a more sophisticated strategy takes a bit more understanding.
Puck Handling and Placement
Understanding the proper way to hold and shoot shuffleboard pucks will improve your shuffleboard credibility and help you to win games. First, set the puck on the surface of the table with your dominant hand and hold it steady. With your palm covering the top of the puck, your thumb should be behind the puck and nearest to you. Lightly touch the sides of the puck, but your fingers may not touch the shuffleboard tabletop.
Not all tables are created equally. Before beginning play, it is always a good idea to understand the table’s speed and if there are any curvatures. Slide the puck up and down a few times without releasing it in order to assess the particular table. When you’re ready to shoot the puck, simply extend your elbow forward and direct the puck through your hand movement.
Throwing hangers will take some practice, but understanding that the placement of your puck and how it interacts with your opponent’s puck can help you to win games. Blocking your opponent from scoring may prove to be just as effective, in some cases, as getting the puck all the way down the table.
Using the English Backspin
There are also shooting techniques for more control. Applying the English backspin is a shooting technique to establish more control and is good for those whose shots err on the side of too much power. Using your thumb and forefinger, backspin can be applied to your puck. The backspin can slow it down, so experiment with how much you want to apply.
The Knock Off
Side-wheeling is a technique where you shoot from the side of the table, using your third and fourth fingers to guide the puck. Side-wheeling is a method used to control shots that are risky for the opponent to knock off. Using this method, you can keep your puck close to the sides without falling over.
There is the chance that your competitive opponent might try to knock these off, but in the process, fall into the gutter themselves. Using this technique is good for compensating when playing on warped tables because when there is too much curvature, it may be wise to start from one side anyway.
Remember that each table and opponent is different and using these strategies at the right time will improve your game. Practice with different levels of power and spin to determine how well you can master control and precision.