Anyone can play this game no matter how great skill or how little skill they have. It just takes two people to have a great game and one extra person is easier to find than 5 or more when you want to play other games. To get the most enjoyment out of air hockey you have to make sure the puck and the paddles slide perfectly, as this will greatly improve offensive and defensive tactics as you play. All you have to do is follow the upcoming tips to have an air hockey table worth playing on (see our comparison of the best air hockey tables for home). Take a few minutes to read about how you can make your paddles and puck slide better for that perfect air hockey competition.
How to Make your Paddles and Pucks Glide
Getting these air hockey essentials to slide better is a matter of a little common sense and some practical cleaning habits. Here are the different ways to get the game up for smooth action.
Keep the Dust Off
Dust is the biggest problem you will have when trying to get your paddles and puck to slide effortlessly across the ‘rink’. Prevention is always the best and least expensive option you have to accomplish this objective. All you have to do is keep the game covered by a blanket, tarp, or some plastic when you are not using it. Keeping the dust off makes sure the air holes do not get clogged or the surface from becoming too gritty to slide over. When you are ready to play, it only takes a couple of seconds to get the cover off. Additionally, keeping a clean table can lead to the air hockey table lasting longer.
Use the Goldilocks Cleaning Schedule
There is a problem when you clean too often and when you do not clean often enough. You have to find the right frequency of cleaning times to keep your ‘rink’ smooth for the paddles and the puck to slide over. This is called the Goldilocks principle. It is where your cleaning times are just right to maintain the perfect amount of slickness on the surface for your paddles & puck to slide over. Cleaning just before a game is good but clean just once if you are playing a series of games in one night.
The Cleansing Agents Matter
It is almost second nature to reach for bleach or other chemical cleaners. Resist that temptation as these chemicals actually harm your ‘rink’ surface. Then avoid trying to create your own cleansers. Those may be too powerful for the game as well. Stick to those cleansers that are made specifically to clean the surface and keep the game intact. Then make sure to follow all instructions that come on the package including the ones for the air hockey polish you need. That special polish will help your paddles and puck slide well. If it is applied right.
Everyone knows that silicone sprays make almost any object nice and slippery. But there is the concept that too much of a good thing is not that good at all. Over spraying the silicone can make the ‘rink’ too slippery and thereby ruining your game. A little goes a long way and less is always more when it comes to silicone sprays and air hockey tables. Make sure to buff the silicone with a nice clean cloth or two. Every three months approx. is a good time frame between silicone treatments.
Keep the Fan Clean
If you only have one then this job is not going to take long or be that difficult. To have your paddles and puck slide right, you need good airflow. You can’t get that needed airflow without a clean fan. Keep the fans free from dirt and dust and both the paddles and the puck will slide easily. Also, dirty fans can blow the dust, etc., into the holes and clog them up so you need a clean fan all the time.
Clean the Air Holes
This is essential as dirt and grime can come from anywhere. Plus, the air holes are small so they get clogged pretty easily. Make sure all the air holes are nice and clean all the time. A toothpick will help but you do not want to clean from the top down. If you do, the dirt remains in the air passageways and can return to the homes sooner than you would like. Powdered cleaners that dissolve in water can leave particles behind that clog the holes. it is best to avoid most cleansers when you do this task.
Paddles and pucks are made from hard plastic. But that construction material does not stop them from getting nicks and cuts. Sand your paddles and pucks to remove those nicks, etc., using fine-grit sandpaper. Good maintenance helps the game move smoother
When you have a regular cleaning schedule you will find the task of maintenance a lot easier. The dirt and grime do not build up and the chore will go by quickly. Just take your time and do the chore correctly so that you can have a lot of fun playing air hockey.