Two beautiful twin girls play air hockey

Air hockey puck flying off the table: How to fix it?

Anyone who has ever enjoyed a game of air hockey knows the exhilaration of the small puck gliding effortlessly across the table, the tension building as it ricochets from side to side. However, there’s one thing that can bring this thrilling experience to a screeching halt – the Air hockey puck flying off the table. If this issue is threatening the tranquility of your game room, you’ve come to the right place.

The size and weight of the puck, particularly the small puck, play a pivotal role in this common problem. Contrary to what one might think, using a larger puck is not always the best solution. It may seem logical that a larger puck would be less likely to go astray, but the rules and regulations governing sanctioned air hockey competitions state otherwise.

Similarly, while it might be tempting to resort to unconventional ways to keep the puck on the table, it’s important to remember that maintaining the integrity of the game is paramount. Therefore, any changes we make must abide by the sanctions of official air hockey rules.

In this article, we’ll delve into the various factors that can cause your air hockey puck to keep flying off the table and provide proven solutions to help you fix it, so you can get back to enjoying your beloved game. Whether you’re dealing with a small puck or a large one, we’ve got you covered.

Why does the puck fly off?

The air hockey puck flying off the table is a common issue that can be frustrating for players. There are a few reasons why this happens. 

  1. The first is that the table may not be level, causing the puck to roll towards one side and eventually fly off. 
  2. Another reason is that the surface may be dirty or sticky, preventing the disc from sliding smoothly and causing it to bounce around. 
  3. Additionally, if the players are hitting the puck too hard or too high, it can result in the disc falls off the table. 

By addressing these factors, you can prevent the puck from flying off and enjoy uninterrupted gameplay.

Tips to Stop Your Puck From Flying Off

By following these tips, you can prevent the air hockey puck from flying off the table and enjoy uninterrupted gameplay.

1. Check the Table Level

The first step is to ensure that the air hockey table is level. An uneven surface can cause the puck to roll towards one side and fly off. To check the level, use a spirit level or place a ball in various parts of the table to see if it rolls or not.

Checking the table level is an essential step towards preventing the air hockey disc from flying off the table during a game. An uneven surface can cause the disc to roll towards one side and eventually falls off the table, leading to interruptions in gameplay and frustration for players.

To check the table level, players can utilize a spirit level, which is a tool used to detect the level or plumb of a surface. A spirit level contains a liquid-filled vial with a bubble in the center, providing an accurate indication of whether a surface is level or not. Players can place the spirit level in various parts of the table and observe the bubble’s position to determine whether the table is level or not.

Another technique to check the table level is to place a ball in various parts of the table and see if it rolls or not. If the ball rolls towards one side more than the other, it can indicate an uneven surface.

If the table is uneven, players can adjust the legs’ height to level it out correctly. Most air hockey tables come with adjustable legs to ensure that the surface is level. Using a spirit level or another leveling tool, players can adjust the legs’ height until the table’s surface is even. Once the table is level, the puck will slide more uniformly throughout the game, leading to a smoother playing experience.

2. Clean the Surface

Keeping the surface of the air hockey table clean is essential to prevent the disc from flying off during gameplay. Dirt and grime can accumulate, making the surface sticky or rough, reducing the puck’s velocity and adversely affecting the gameplay. Cleaning the surface regularly can help prevent these issues and ensure a smoother playing experience.

The first step in cleaning the surface is to unplug the air hockey table and remove the puck from the playing surface. Next, use a dry cloth to remove any loose dust or debris from the surface. If the surface is severely dirty, use a mild cleaning solution such as warm water and dish soap to clean it. Avoid using abrasive cleaners as they can damage the surface.

air hockey table surface

When cleaning the surface with a cleaning solution, apply it to a soft cloth and gently rub it over the surface. Be sure to remove any excess solution with a dry cloth immediately after cleaning. The surface should be left to dry for at least an hour before using it again.

For a deeper clean, use a specialized air hockey table cleaner. These cleaners are specifically designed to remove grime and dirt from the table’s surface without damaging it. Before using any cleaner, read the instructions carefully to ensure that it is compatible with your table’s surface.

Cleaning the air hockey table’s surface regularly can help improve the game’s flow and make the puck glide more smoothly, preventing it from flying off during play.

3. Adjust the Airflow

Adjusting the airflow of an air hockey table is an essential step in preventing the puck from flying off the table during gameplay. The airflow creates a cushion of air that reduces friction between the playing surface and the disc, allowing it to glide effortlessly. However, if the airflow is too high or low, it can cause the puck to falls off the table.

To adjust the airflow, players can locate the air hockey table’s air blower, which is typically located at one of the table’s ends. Players can adjust the airflow by turning a knob or switch that controls the blower’s power. As each air hockey table is different, consult the user manual to ensure that you adjust the right controls.

If the puck is flying off the table frequently, reducing the airflow might help. A lower airflow can decrease the puck’s speed, making it easier for players to control its movements. However, a low airflow can also reduce the fun and challenge of the game, as the disc may move sluggishly across the table.

On the other hand, if players find that they need to hit the puck harder than usual, increasing the airflow can help. A higher airflow can make the disc move faster and provide more of a challenge for experienced players. However, too much airflow can cause the puck to bounce off the table, making it difficult to control the disc.

Finding the right balance of airflow is key to preventing the puck from falls off the table. Experiment with different airflows to find a setting that allows the puck to glide smoothly for optimal gameplay. Always consult the user manual before adjusting the airflow settings and avoid making drastic changes until you understand how it will affect the game.

4. Use the Right Mallet

Using the right mallet is an essential factor in preventing the air hockey puck from flying off the table. The type of mallet you use can significantly affect how the disc moves on the surface. Some mallets come with a rough or sticky surface that can grip the puck, causing it to fly off during intense gameplay.

Alternatively, some models may be too heavy, making it difficult to maneuver the puck effectively. Choosing the right mallet can improve your gameplay and prevent the disc from flying off the table.

When selecting a mallet, consider the following factors:

1. Weight: Choose a lightweight mallet that is easy to control and allows the puck to glide smoothly across the surface.

2. Material: Look for mallets made with high-quality materials like wood, synthetic, or carbon fiber. These mallets offer a smooth surface that allows the puck to glide easily without getting stuck.

3. Comfort: Choose a mallet with a comfortable grip that fits your playing style. Some mallets have a textured grip, which can improve your control, while others might have a smoother grip for a more relaxed gameplay experience.

4. Size and shape: The size and shape of the mallet can affect how the puck moves on the table. Some mallets come in a round shape and might make it harder to control and maneuver the disc. Look for mallets with a standard oval shape that fits comfortably in your hand.

Remember, using the right mallet can make all the difference in preventing the puck from flying off the table. Experiment with different makes and models to find the one that works best for your playing style. A good mallet combined with other strategies like controlling your shots and keeping the surface clean can significantly improve your air hockey gameplay.

5. Control Your Shots

One of the reasons why the air hockey puck flies off the table is due to players hitting the disc too hard or too high. In air hockey, it’s vital to have good shot control to maximize your accuracy and prevent the puck from getting out of control. Here are some tips on how to control your shots and avoid disc falls off the table:

1. Aim Low: When taking shots, aim for the lower corners of the opponent’s net. Low shots are harder to defend against and reduce the chances of the puck flying off the table.

2. Use Angles: Try to hit the puck at different angles to confuse the opponent and prevent the disc from getting out of control. Using angles can create opportunities for rebound shots and increase your chances of scoring.

3. Vary Your Shot Strength: Just like aiming, varying the force behind your shot can help you control the puck better. Experiment with different speeds and force levels to find the best shot power that works for you.

4. Follow Through: Make sure to follow through with your shots by completing the stroke fully. A proper follow-through will help you maintain control over the puck and prevent it from bouncing around.

5. Practice: Finally, perfect your shot precision by practicing regularly. The more you practice, the better your shot control will become, and you’ll be able to keep the disc in play for longer periods.

By following these tips, you’ll be able to control your shots better, prevent the puck from flying off the table, and increase your chances of winning.

a young man controls his shot in air hockey

6. Position Yourself Correctly

Positioning yourself correctly is a critical factor in preventing the air hockey puck from falls off the table. Standing too close or too far from the table can affect your gameplay and control over the puck. To maximize your performance and prevent the disc from flying off the table, follow these guidelines:

1. Stand at the Correct Distance: Stand at approximately three feet away from the table to ensure that you can reach all four corners comfortably. Avoid standing too close or too far from the table, as this can limit your movement and control over the puck.

2. Stand in the Correct Position: Position yourself perpendicular to the table and maintain a balanced stance with your feet shoulder-width apart. Keep your knees slightly bent to improve your balance and reaction time.

3. Keep Your Eyes on the Puck: Always keep your eyes on the disc to maintain control and follow its movement. Avoid getting distracted by your opponent’s movements or the audience to maintain your focus.

4. Move Around: Move around the table to maintain your control over the disc effectively. Shift your weight and move your body to follow the puck’s movement and ensure you’re always in the correct position.

5. Use Your Non-Dominant Hand: Use your non-dominant hand to stabilize yourself while moving around the table. Place it on the table to support your movements and improve your balance.

By following these guidelines, you can position yourself correctly, improve your control over the puck, and prevent it from flying off the table.

7. Repair or Replace Air Hockey Table

If the surface of the air hockey table has been damaged by a blow and is now uneven, the first step is to assess the severity of the damage. Minor scratches and dings can usually be fixed using an epoxy or wood filler. However, if the damage is severe, such as a large crack or hole in the surface, the entire playing area may need to be replaced.

To fix minor damages, follow these steps:

1. Clean the Surface: Use a dry cloth to remove any loose dust or debris from the surface.

2. Apply Filler: Apply a small amount of epoxy or wood filler to the damaged area. Use a plastic spatula or putty knife to smooth out the filler and ensure that the surface is level.

3. Sand the Surface: Once the filler is dry, use sandpaper to smooth out any rough edges or excess material.

4. Clean the Surface: Clean the surface with a dry cloth to remove any dust and debris from sanding.

If the entire playing area needs to be replaced, it’s best to contact a professional air hockey table repair company. They can assess the damage, recommend the best course of action, and ensure that the table is restored to its original state.

What’s the rule when the air hockey puck flies off the table?

In most cases, the players can continue the game by retrieving the puck and placing it back on the table. However, there are specific rules in some competitions that define what happens when the disc flies off the table.

Generally, when the puck falls off the table during gameplay, the game pauses, and the disc is returned to the player who was last in control of it. That player resumes play from the point where the puck left the table. If the disc flew off the table due to a violation of the rules, such as hitting it too high, the opposing player gains possession of the puck and resumes play.

In some competition or tournament settings, other rules may apply. For example, some rules state that if the puck leaves the table on a rebound, the player who shot the disc loses possession, and the opponent starts with the puck. Additionally, if the puck leaves the table while the goalie is controlling it, the opposing team may gain possession.

It’s important to note that air hockey competitions can have different rules on how to handle the puck leaving the table. Players should review the competition’s official rules before participating in any matches or tournaments to ensure they understand the regulations.

Chuck the Puck Air Hockey

Chuck the Puck Air Hockey is a popular variation of the traditional air hockey game that removes the frustration of the puck flying off the table. 

In Chuck the Puck, the disc is attached to a rope or string that runs through the table’s center. The rope is fastened to a pole outside of the table that moves the puck back and forth. This design allows the players to play the game with little to no downtime due to the disc flying off. 

However, some players may find the rope or string obstructive and prefer to play the traditional air hockey game.


In conclusion, dealing with an ‘air hockey puck flying off the table’ can be frustrating and disruptive to the flow of your game. It’s a common issue that can affect the enjoyment in your game room, regardless of whether you’re using a smaller puck or a large one. However, as we’ve discussed, there are practical solutions that can effectively address this problem without compromising the essence of the game.

Strategies like adjusting the airflow, ensuring the levelness of the table, and selecting the appropriate puck size are all methods sanctioned by professional organizations, such as the United States Air Hockey Association (USAA). A smaller puck, while more likely to fly off the table, can be controlled with careful play and correct table maintenance. Conversely, a large puck may be more stable, but can potentially alter the gameplay experience.

It’s important to remember that while enjoying the fun and excitement of air hockey, adherence to the rules and regulations of the game is crucial. The USAA sets these standards not only to ensure fair competition but also to uphold the integrity of the game we all love. So, next time the puck goes astray, remember the tips shared in this article, bring it back on the table, and keep the fun going in your game room.


What size pucks do the professionals use?

Professional players use regulation-sized pucks that are 3.25 inches in diameter and weigh between 2.5 to 3.5 ounces. These disc are made of a durable plastic material that can withstand the high-speed impact and friction that occurs during gameplay.

How to flip a hockey puck in the air?

Flipping a hockey puck in the air is a fun trick that can add some style to your game. Here’s how you can do it:
1. Start by holding the disc flat on the table, with one side facing up and the other side facing down.
2. Use your dominant hand to push the disc forward and upward, while giving it a slight spin.
3. As the disc leaves the table, quickly flip your hand over so that your palm is facing upwards. This will allow you to catch the puck as it comes back down.
4. As the disc starts to fall towards your hand, use your other hand to guide it back onto the table.
While flipping a hockey disc in the air can be a fun trick, it can also be dangerous if the puck flies off the table.

No votes yet.
Please wait...

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *