Story by: Katrino Reyes
Having the best equipment is key when it comes to having the best playing experience with billiards. More specifically, a player’s cue stick is one of the main sources of the pool player’s shooting prowess.
Nowadays, there are different cue sticks to choose from and players can choose them depending on their playing style or their budget. Here are some things to consider while purchasing a cue stick.
Every cue stick comes with the shaft, which is the slimmer part of the stick with the tip part that players use to hit the cue ball.
Shafts have differences in durability. Wooden shafts tend to warp or bend over time especially when stored in a car or a high-temperature area. Carbon fiber shafts are considered the most durable as they are less susceptible to damage, and they do not warp when stored in a car.
From a more advanced standpoint, cue shafts can also be classified through their level of cue-ball deflection. Deflection occurs when the cue ball moves away from its intended path due to sidespin.
Standard wooden shafts have the highest deflection, therefore adding sidespin on the cue ball requires more effort in adjusting aim. Low-deflection wooden shafts and carbon fiber shafts have the lowest deflection, therefore there’s much less effort needed when trying to compensate for sidespin while aiming.
Weight is another thing to consider while buying any type of cue. The recommended weight for playing cues is between 17 to 19 ounces while breaking cues is recommended at around 20 ounces or higher.
Some players just opt for a heavier cue to shoot better finesse shots and add more spin action on the cue ball while some opt for lighter ones to reduce arm strain.
According to pool player Thomas Doughman, cue stick weight depends on the shooter’s preference, more specifically on how they stroke the cue ball.
“Some people like more of a pendulum motion so they buy something that’s a little bit heavier because they rely on the weight to carry their stroke,” Doughman said. “
Cue sticks come in different prices from affordable ones to premium, expensive ones. In stores like the Billiard Factory in Jacksonville, their cue prices range from around $100 to around $2,000.
To have the best possible experience, the finest cues that the store has to offer are the best possible choice. Sticks that are cheap or mid-range are recommended for those who are starting to play, but it would not hurt to buy a premium-priced one either.
“You can start at the lower end until you feel comfortable that you’re going to stick with it and play and devote some time to it,” said Gary Newman, sales representative for the Billiard Factory.
Every pool player has a playing cue that resonates with their playing style and identity, which is why purchasing one should be done meticulously. Playing pool can be much more enjoyable if players play at their best, and what better way to accompany that than having equipment they’re comfortable using?