What To Consider When Buying A Pool Cue
If you have been playing at a friend’s house or your local community hangout, it is highly likely the only type you have used is the one-piece house cue. These are great for beginners or the casual player, but for those who have taken an interest in the sport, it is important they get the right equipment to improve their gameplay and enjoy pool at a whole new level!
Many players notice an immediate difference in the quality of play when they buy their first two-piece pool cue. These models have superior performance and consistency to the one-piece models, making them great for any serious player. On top of that, you will likely become familiar with your particular brand of cue stick and establish a feel for the way it shoots. This makes it easier for players to find their own style of play as finding the right angles and draw backs will become second nature.
Whether you are purchasing your first model for use at home or at the local community space, there are a few things to consider when looking at purchasing a pool stick.
Find The Right Cue For Your Budget
For most people, the type of stick they purchase is based on their budget. Finding the right one may seem intimidating, but a budget helps narrow down your options and prevents you from feeling overwhelmed. Considering a player’s skill can also help set the limit on how much you are willing to spend. The good news is that no matter what you can afford, any two-piece model is better than playing with an old house stick.
Consider Skill Level
Many beginners often find dependable starter cues in the $100 range. These work well for anyone who enjoys the occasional game or is just beginning their billiards journey. Once they begin competing or playing more regularly, however, they may want to upgrade to something much more substantial and of better quality.
Do Not Overlook Function & Performance
A decent quality, two-piece model will always outperform any one-piece house stick at the local bar or pool hall. Bar models get used regularly, meaning they are often roughed up and likely have damaged or inferior tips, warped shafts, loose ferrules, and questionable quality.
Purchasing your own pool stick, or ordering a custom cue, means you receive a higher quality shaft with a tip, ferrule, and taper designed to shoot straighter and provide more spin when necessary. The wood is usually properly cured to make it stronger, more durable, and better able to maintain its straightness. Two-piece types are also well-balanced and shaped to provide a smooth, comfortable stroke.
Another factor affecting the performance is the use of low deflection technology. Low deflection sticks are what professional pool players use. These are built with special manufacturing processes and components that improve the accuracy when applying a side spin during a game. They also tend to be more forgiving on straight shots, which makes them great, even for a beginner player. There are a variety of brands to choose from on the market, including CueTec and McDermott.
Choose The Right Weight And Balance
Most pool cues are anywhere between 18 to 21 oz. in weight. House cues tend to be built with most of the weight in the butt, which can pose difficulties for any shooter that has a shorter arm length. For those with a shorter-than-average arm length, a forward-weighted model is a better fit. Meanwhile, those with average or larger-than-average arm lengths might find the back-weighted cues are better for their style of play.
Find A Look That Fits The Player’s Personality
When it comes to buying your first pool cue, function might trump fashion. As a player grows more experienced, however, they may want a stick that better represents them and their playing style. Budget and the level of the player still matter, but even the most inexperienced players can benefit from the confidence given to them by a model that fits their personality.
Cue Stick Materials
The best quality cues use North American Grade A maple for their cue shafts because that type of wood tends to provide the best feel, flexibility, and durability needed for the best pool-playing experience.
Some manufacturers have started creating varieties with carbon fiber shafts. The appeal of this type of material is that it makes the stick lighter and improves upon its performance and consistency. Those made from carbon fiber are more expensive though, so only experienced or professional players tend to purchase them.
Besides the material, you need to understand the types of cue tips that are available on the market. Most models come standard with a medium-hardness, layered leather tip. Layered tips are created by pressing and gluing multiple thin strips of leather. The process creates a more consistent tip that holds its shape better over time, meaning less maintenance. Layered styles also tend to be higher quality, so it is recommended that most players stick with this kind, unless they have a specific brand or hardness they prefer.
Softer tips hold cue chalk better, making them less likely to miscue, or hit the ball incorrectly during a play. On the other hand, the extra compression requires a bit more maintenance to keep a consistent shape. Harder tips require less shaping, but do not hold chalk as well, which can lead to miscues if you do not reapply chalk often enough. Medium hardness is designed to be the best of both worlds and offers plenty of grip with minimal maintenance.
Some brands come with a tip constructed from a single, thick layer of pressed leather pressed into the right shape. These tips are usually less expensive and provide a distinct hit that is preferred by some old-school players, but they require more maintenance to keep their shape. If a stick you want to buy has this type of tip on it, you might want to consider upgrading to the layered style.
Choose West State Billiards And Gamerooms
With a variety of cues from the best in the billiards industry, West State Billiards and Gamerooms is sure to have the one you are looking for, regardless of needs or budget. We even provide replacement tips, cue cases, and racks so you can properly store and transport your latest addition to your entertainment room. Our knowledgeable staff can also help you find the right brand and fit for your level and style of play. Come visit one of our three showrooms to find the right fit for your player.
Since 1946, West State Billiards & Gamerooms has been providing the Los Angeles, Orange County, Ventura, and San Diego areas with high quality service and even higher quality billiards cues, game furniture, and more. We are committed to providing the highest quality of customer service in Southern California.