If you have lately felt that the playability of your pool/snooker table is not the same, and the ball doesn’t travel at the same pace upon hitting different sides, it could be because of the bumpers/cushions.
Because they seem to be out of your control, and some don’t even know the purpose of these, it’s normal to be unaware of their importance.
So, what exactly are bumpers/Cushions on a pool table?
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Some call them bumpers while some call them cushions. They are found on all sides of your table, sticking to the rails which of course, only visible from the top. And a piece of cloth that sticks to them giving them the cover, underneath on each of these is a cushion.
If your cushions/bumpers are in good shape, they are going to give you a decent push once it hits them so it keeps travelling. And when these cushions are wearing off or dead, that momentum behind the ball disappears.
So, if you are going through the same thing, and you are sure that the issue lies in your bumpers/cushions, you’d like to know what types of these and which one you should buy.
But before that, I’d like to tell you that always consult with the manufacturer if you are unsure about them. Different tables are made for different profiles of cushions. And it’s not possible to fit a different profile cushion in a table that’s made for another type.
Different tables are made for different profiles of cushions. And it’s not possible to fit a different profile cushion in a table that’s made for another type.
K66 profile cushions are quite popular these days. These are used in non-Brunswick tables, measuring 1 1/18” across the cushion top, and 1 3/16” high at the back.
If you have purchased a Legacy Billiards table, your table is likely to have a cushion of this profile.
K55 profile cushions are another of famous cushions profiles going around. This is used in Brunswick tables made after 1975. It measures around 1 1/4” across the cushion top, and 1 5/16” high at the back.
U23 profile cushions are the third of the most popular cushions being used in modern tables. Generally, there is no such advantage of using a particular profile, but these names are for the sake of your convenience so that you can choose the profile that would fit perfectly in your table.
Some people also call them rubbers, which is for a reason. Actually bumpers are made of hard rubber which is glued to the rail when you install them on your table.
Canvas is also glued to rubber so that it doesn’t bounce more than once when the ball strikes the cushion.
The quality of your cushion depends on the rubber used. If the rubber is of high quality, you’ll experience a significant difference in play. Conversely, if it isn’t then you’ll see inconsistent pace behind the ball.
Pool cushions are your long-term investment. Therefore you must always prefer quality over cheap price. They are supposed to last for more than a couple of decades. However, if they are of cheap quality, then you might have to buy and install new ones in under a decade.
Before we move ahead, I’d like to clear this confusion — or misconception among many people. Your table size is not the criteria to decide what profile cushion you need. Instead, it’s the profile your table has always had.
If you are unsure, you can always ask the manufacturer. But that doesn’t mean if your 8 ft table or 9 ft table is going to have the same profile cushions that other tables of the same size have.
So, do you want to determine the profile of your cushion? Are you unsure which profile it belongs to? Let’s do this!
Despite this technique, the ideal way to determine this is to ask the manufacturer. It is a trend that tables of one series and brand often have the same profiles cushions/bumpers.
How do I know if my pool table bumpers are bad?
The way your ball will slow down after hitting them, or either it will stop dead, thus, you’ll have a rough idea that your bumpers need to be replaced.
How do you test a pool table cushion?
If you are trying out a certain brand of cushion and want to test their quality, the ball must travel a minimum of 4 lengths of the table without jumping.
What are pool table cushions made from?
All cushions are made of rubber. However, it varies from the quality of different rubbers how good they are going to perform.