log in
sign up or:

with google or facebook


By using this site you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service

forgot password?

Hopping the ball

Hopping the ball

Hey guys, another break-related thread.

Some pros say (Sigel and Archer) that it's better to hit the rack with 70% power WITHOUT hopping the cueball rather than 100% power WITH a cueball hop.


I disagree. For me, hopping the ball makes it so much easier to plant the ball on the center of the table. It's not like "wasting" the power affects my performance much.

Opinions of professional and experienced players here is appreciated.

Self-work: Here I only put 50% of power on the break WITH hop to control the cueball. Criticisms is very appreciated. (Please don't mind the spread of the balls. The wooden slate and REALLY DIRTY cheap cloth really makes it so hard to break on this table as compared to Brunswick tables that I have played on clubs with really clean Simonis 760 cloth).

Hopping the ball

Replies & Comments

  1. TheIshterFenwick on 12/9/2009 12:47:41 PM

    I just read something today where a person practiced 1,000 9 ball breaks. His conclusion is slightly less power pockets a ball more often and he gets better control, position on cue ball. Hop or not I don't know.

    He also agrees with what I've been told, it's better to break close to the spot near the kitchen. Since I switched to this position, 3 or 4 inches either side of the spot my scratch rate on the break has gone way down. Maybe 1 in 10. I also pocket a ball around 60% of the time.

    My partner has also made the change reluctantly and has seen a improvement also. Same applies to 8 ball. Hit the head ball slightly off center using low right or left english. Seems to be working so far.

  2. TheIshterquickshot on 12/9/2009 1:31:41 PM

    Listen to fenwick. He is telling you the same thing the heavy hitters said. Less power, fewer scratches, and a higher percentage of balls sunk. Rabbits hop....not Q balls. If you keep looking for the 400 gorilla tips your game will go no where.

  3. TheIshterMitch Alsup on 12/9/2009 2:19:14 PM

    I also agree with Fenwick:

    The break is more about precision that it is about power. Ask yourself why the Pros banned the soft break a few years ago? Answer: too many break and run outs. Bus since the soft break is not banned for amateaur events, learn to pot a ball on every break and if you cna run out you have a ibg (very big) advantage over anyone else in the building.

  4. TheIshterFenwick on 12/9/2009 9:20:23 PM

    Well to be fair I wasn't talking about a true soft break. Just not a break where you throw your whole body into it. Knowing you get no power on the back stroke I pull back slow and finish with a normal stroke and low left draw but at about 17-19 mph give or take. Tonight I broke dry twice but pocked 4 balls on the break 3 times. 1 scratch in the side pocket. 8 for 12 games tonight. Not bad for a B rated player going against a master player. More importantly I had a shot on the 1 ball and ran out twice.

  5. TheIshterTheIshter on 12/12/2009 11:22:27 PM

    Originally posted by quickshot
    If you keep looking for the 400 gorilla tips your game will go no where.

    I don't "keep looking for 400 gorilla tips". I simply used information from the video and quoted Archer. The whole point of the topic is hopping the ball. The speed and power is mostly irrelevant since hopping the ball doesn't necessarily require maximum power.

    Originally posted by Fenwick
    Tonight I broke dry twice but pocked 4 balls on the break 3 times. 1 scratch in the side pocket.

    But that's the thing with not breaking from the side cushion - consistency. Having one ball (hypothetically the wing ball) made on every rack is much better than having 4 balls in a couple of racks PLUS dry breaks.

    As Sigel said, the closer the cue ball is on the middle of the headstring, the more likely there is a shot on the 1. The closer to the side cushion, the more likely there's a ball made, but less percentage of having a shot on the lowest ball.

    But see, if you can practice and control the cue ball breaking on the side cushion, there would be no need to sacrifice dry breaks to get the cue ball on the center, and that's exactly my point on this topic. Hopping the ball increases the chance of planting the ball on near the center of the table (regardless of power). There's also a higher chance of the cue ball NOT getting hit by other balls and away from the middle of the table. I've made observations that a lot of times the cue ball avoids contact with other balls when it's airborne.

  6. TheIshterFenwick on 12/14/2009 9:55:47 AM

    I can accept your findings. If and when I can break from the side and make the cue go airborne I might switch. For what it's worth the most consistent break I've come across lately is a lady with a true soft break. Corner ball every time and a shot on the 1 ball.

    "As Sigel said, the closer the cue ball is on the middle of the headstring, the more likely there is a shot on the 1. The closer to the side cushion, the more likely there's a ball made, but less percentage of having a shot on the lowest ball."

    That's why I break closer to the middle. I want a shot on the 1 ball and pocketing a ball 5 or 6 out of 9 is good enough for me for now.

  7. TheIshterMitch Alsup on 12/14/2009 3:04:21 PM

    But hopping the ball also dramatically increases the chance of the ball leaving the table--this must e avoided.

  8. TheIshter8ball48043 on 12/21/2009 1:06:34 PM

    I've seen it BOTH ways. I've seen guys that break the HELL out of the rack: Keep the cue ball on the table AND pocket a ball or two (9-ball break). I've also seen guys who pull back a little and pocket the wing ball on the side of the table from which they break.

    Personally, I prefer the softer break. Still make the ball, but get MUCH BETTER cue ball control.

  9. TheIshterMitch Alsup on 12/21/2009 3:59:48 PM

    Consider, for example: if your opponent is not as good a player as you are, consider a soft break and your ability to pick the rack apart versus his. You can win a lot of game with a soft break even when you don't pot a ball on the break.

  10. TheIshterFenwick on 12/21/2009 6:49:21 PM

    Agreeing with Mitch. I just watched the 2009 International Challenge of Champions Finals this weekend and none of the players were sending the cue ball airborne. Maybe a little hop at best. I also saw several dry breaks. I would rather pocket a ball and leave the cue ball center table then try for a world record speed break. It's where you leave the cue ball that matters the most to me. I don't use a true soft break. I hit them pretty hard with outside english so the cue ball hits the side rail.

  11. TheIshterRayal on 1/5/2010 2:56:43 AM

    I notice when I full all out power break that I tend to not get the hit on the one ball like I want. Its probably pulling the tip to one side due to my whole body getting into the break. Also I drop the CB too many times like that.

    I found that like Fenwick said that I drop an object ball around 60% of the time from taking a more controlled strike on the one ball at about 80-85% power. I also made a good habit of laying my cue stick down where the tip is pointing at the one ball and then I set the CB just to the left of my cue stick about 4" and behind the tangent about 4" before each break. It gives me a more consistent starting point every time to gauge my results from break to break. I also use a Tip Pik and that cuts down on miscues. I aim just left or right of the one ball by about a quarter inch with lower english. That seems to stop the cue ball flying in the air. I'm thinking over a period of time that keeping the ball from hopping increases the movement of the object balls, less scratches, and more dropped balls on the break. Different strokes for different folks though.

    We do have a guy that has the loudest (really loud) and hardest break I have ever seen. He hardly ever makes a ball on the break though, and almost everyone has mentioned that. So the other day a couple that are in our tournament said they figured it out what he was doing wrong. He was hitting the one ball straight on. They asked him why and he said to position the cue ball in the center of the table the highest percentage of the time. So I think if he just hit a quarter of an inch to either side of the one ball he would pocket a lot more on the break. I'm not telling him that though because he is around 260 pounds and 6'5" tall....lol...he might hit me on the head.

upload a photo or document

use plain text or markdown syntax only

log in or sign up

Sign in to ensure your message is posted.

If you don't have an account, enter your email and choose a password below and we'll create your account.


Hopping the ball

  • Title: Hopping the ball
  • Author:
  • Published: 11/29/2009 3:09:42 PM
  • Last Updated: 11/29/2009 3:10:44 PM
  • Last Updated By: TheIshter