Replacing Pool Table Rails Can Improve Gameplay

When To Replace Pool Table Rails

If you’re playing on a pool table that’s more than a few years old, you may start to notice that your shots aren’t quite bouncing off the side rails the way they used to. Maybe the balls aren’t ending up in the positions you expected after contacting the pool table side walls. If your pool table is causing you to miss shots, then it may be time to replace your pool table rails.

By replacing worn out pool table rails with brand new rails, the performance of a pool table is improved dramatically. New pool table rails which will have more bounce & elasticity, and that leads to better action and increased accuracy on the pool table.

Pool Table Rails Affect Gameplay

When pool table rails are old & worn out, the balls won’t respond properly. Dull, dead rails will cause you to miss shots because the balls’ angles and rotational energy are absorbed by the rail, instead of reflected. Trick shots are also literally impossible to achieve with worn-out rails, since their deadened bounce makes it too hard to get reliable practice.

A rail that is too old will cause a hollow “THUD” sound as the ball rebounds from side to side. An easy way to understand whether your pool table rails need replacement is to listen for that “THUD” as the ball bounces off the side; that sound tells you that the ball is connecting with the pool table wall, and the rails or bumpers are too worn out to properly bounce back.

Testing Pool Table Rails

The “Feel Test” is another way to determine to see if a pool table’s rails need replacement. Simply run your finger along the rail edge, and press or squeeze firmly every few inches to see how much give the rail has.

If you can press in more than a quarter of an inch, or any less than an eighth of an inch, that means the pool table rail doesn’t have the healthy bounce it’s supposed to have.

Another effective test is shoot the cue ball straight across the long side of the table, exactly how you would break, but with no other balls on the table; the ball should be able to roll across the table’s full length at least four times.

 This pool table rail test is referred to as the BCA Test, short for the “Billiards Congress of America Test”.

Pool Table Rubber Replacement

To clarify the terms: the words “rails”, “bumpers”, “cushions”, “railings”, & “rubber” all refer to the same area of the pool table. That means “pool table cushions” are the same things are “pool table rails”. Sometimes it’s even called “pool table rubber”, since the rails are usually made of a rubber material.

Rubber is used as the primary source of material for cushioning pool table rails. Pool table rubber is durable, but it is also prone to damage when placed in environments with extreme humidity, temperatures, or outdoor elements.

Pool tables located outside, or even in a garage, are at much higher risks for prematurely-aging rubber rails, when compared to pool tables in rooms or basements. Consider keeping a pool table cover on your pool table when it’s not in use, since that can prevent pool table rails from being exposed and drying out,

Contact Billiards Direct

If your pool table rails need replacement, Billiards Direct’s pool table repair team is ready to help. Visit our Price Quote Generator for a free, custom quote for pool table rail replacement. Contact Us with your pool table rail replacement questions.

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