Is your air hockey puck flying off of the table? This guide contains three tips to fix the most common causes of the issue.
Let's get right to it...
Why does the puck fly off?
Pucks going into mid-air usually means that there's something wrong with the puck itself and not your table. Usually it is a sign of too much airflow on a puck that is too light.
Most air hockey tables don't have any way of turning down the amount of air that the table is giving off. This means that the problem cannot be a addressed at the blower level.
It could also be the case that your puck is damaged or dented and no longer sits evenly on table's surface.
In summary, your air hockey puck may fly off because it is damaged or has some deformities, it is too light or because you are using a mallet that is too heavy.
Now that you know why it happens, here are our tips to get it fixed.
Tips to Stop Your Puck From Flying Off
1. Sand Down Your Puck
If you take a look at your puck and notice that it's got some deformities, there's a chance that you can sand it down. Take a really fine grit sand paper and use it on the side of the puck that you play on.
Try to get the puck as smooth and as even as you possibly can. If the puck is completely messed up, it may be a better use of your time to replace it.
In the event that your puck always had issues, you'll want to read the next tip (replacing it with a heavier puck). If you know that the issues you're having are from the puck being damaged, then you can simply replace it with one that is the same weight.
Even though it may sound a bit strange, sanding down the puck is actually quite a common occurance. In fact, most people who play air hockey seriously will keep really fine grit adhensive sandpaper circles close to their table. If the puck starts moving a bit slow or weird, it makes it easy to do a quick sanding.
You can also sand them as part of regular maintenance.
2. Get a Heavier Puck
Often times, air hockey table manufacturers will include pucks that are far too light for a given table. Likely, it is simply done as a cost saving measure. However, it could also be because these brands are typically not fully dedicated to air hockey. Most of them have many different game room products that they sell so they likely haven't taken the time to perfect the little details such as the weight of their pucks.
If you're not sure what kind of puck to get - check out our guide to the best air hockey pucks here.
However, if you don't have time, we'll break it down really quickly..
Dynamo-Valley makes some of the top-quality arcade and commercial tables on the market, but they also make some excellent weighted pucks. These pucks are typically a fair amount heavier than the ones that come with your table.
If you’ve got a full-sized arcade air hockey table then you’ll probably want to check out their 3.25 inch large puck. But be sure to do a quick measure of your goal to make sure that it will fit.
For most middle of the road tables, you’ll want to check out their smaller 2.5 inch medium sized puck. It’s more likely to fit in your goal-end. Additionally, if you get a puck that’s too heavy, you’ll have the opposite problem of it not moving at all!
3. Get a Lighter Mallet
Force = Mass * Acceleration.
If you're playing with a heavy mallet, it may give you the ability to hit the puck far harder than the table can handle. The extra mass on the stick may give you the ability to get too much force behind the shot. This is especially true if you're a strong person that's using the proper shooting technique.
It is likely the case that the puck won't go flying off right away, but will happen when it hits the rails. Improper rails on the side of the table aren't capable of fully absorbing the force of a hard shot. Getting a lighter mallet will make your shots have less force and something that your rails have a better shot of handling.
We actually made a guide on finding the best air hockey mallet for your table. We listed out a few options from big to small so we highly suggest checking it out.
If none of these things worked, then it may be time to start thinking about getting a new air hockey table. If you're planning on taking the game seriously, then a full-sized table is going to give you the best game-play and the least amount of issues like these.
The thing about the tables in the link above is that the blowers, motor, rails, and surface are all working in sync with each other. You'll be able to throw heavy pucks on them and get excellent sliding, banking, and run little risk of them flying off.
What Do You Think?
Did these tips work for you or did you find another little tweak that did the trick for your situation?
We'd love to know so that we can help our readers solve their air hockey problems!
Please use the comment section below to let us know how you stopped your pucks from flying off.