buckshotshoey on 1/26/2010 6:25:41 AM
I would like to add a Viking cue would be an excellent choice. A 13millimeter shaft with a 19 oz total weight would be a good place to start. 12 1/2mm If you have small hands. The viking cue has 4 joint options ( mostly for feel of impact), a good tip (Le-Pro), and a interchangeable weight system---better left for the dealer to change it for you as to try to do it yourself. Some McDermitt cues are now being made overseas So find that out first before you order one. As for viking, they are still made in USA. I have a Viking VM 25 and have played on a league since 2002, practiced thousands of games (2 years on my own table) been through many cue tips, and the cue still plays like the day I got it. A cheaper one starts at 170.00 msrp. You can get better prices through most of the dealers. Take good care of it and it could last a lifetime. I expect mine to do just that.
Oh, one more thing. Don't forget at least 30.00 in the budget for a case. Preferable a hard shell case. And dont leave your cue in a cold or hot car. You wont like what could happen to it.Mitch Alsup on 1/26/2010 10:22:38 AM
First I would like to inform the long term player with 4 posts that there is a caps lock key on his keyboard that seems to be stuck. Typing in all caps is known as YELLING, and we don't take kindly to it.
Secondly, there are plenty of "just fine" cues available starting around $60 and proceeding higher. For the first time cue buyer there are some things you shold be aware:
1: No mater how carefully you try you will not be able to keep dings and dents off of the shaft. Thus, your first cue should be considered a write-off (long term). As you accumulate kicks, and dents, you will gain an appreciation how how careful one has to be to prevent these things from happeninig. So consider your first cue a 2 year useful life.
2: 80% of the "hit" is in the tip, 15% in the shaft and 5% everywhere else. So to the very largest degree, if you don't like how the cue plays, start changing the tip until you find one that you like. Thus all the graphics, inlays, points, rings,... do not alter the playability of the cue--just the depth of whats left in your bank account.
3: As a beginner, you should be aware that you can "get used to" practically any cue you so choose. Weight doesn't mater, but better players gravitate towards lighter cues (17.5 gr to 19 gr); balance maters some (but heavy to nose heavy) and for these reasons, I dislike metalic coupling between butt and shaft. Steel and bronze couplers almost invariably make the cue nose heavy.
4: after you play with your first cue for a couple of years, you will be in the position to know what kind of graphics, points, rings, inlays, veneeers you might linke in a long term cue. You will also be in a position to understand how the shaft interacts with the hit--and be able to make rational decisions about low-deflection shafts versus traditioinal shafts.
5: Finally, since there are may tapers available, and several tip diameters available, you migt be in a position to make a call on the agressive 11.5mm tips versus the 14mm passive tips and play off the tip playability with the shaft deflection to find the shaft that is right for you.
6: once you get into the $400 catagory, you can get a full custom cue--you just have to research the internet to find the makers.