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Help Choosing My First Pool Cue

Help Choosing My First Pool Cue

I am a university student who just introduced himself to the game of pool.

I have always been fascinated by the game, I just have never had the chance to play it until now. The pool table that I have access to has had better days, being a table in a university residence and all, but its what I have been playing on. I have been using a random pool cue from Canadian Tire (a Canadian big box store) and I am enjoying having matched against random people in my residence.

I have come to a hitch in my game though. I am at the point where I know how to use english and how to make my shots, but the equipment is holding me back. With a cork tip glued on to a beat up junk pool cue and playing on a pool table with rips in the felt where you can see the slate, you can only play so well. There are billiard places around here but i would like to practice more with a good cue but I have no idea what one I should get.

From what I have gathered from my own playing, I am focusing more on english, so would a smaller pool cue tip would be in order? The cue I have now feels horribly awkward in my hands and I miss numerous shots that I know I can make. I'm not the most financially stable student so price might hinder my purchase a bit.

Any help would be appreciated, as looking at all the pool cues online by myself was a bit daunting to me because I do not know what to look for.

Help Choosing My First Pool Cue

Replies & Comments

  1. TheAardvarkguest on 12/13/2008 12:10:14 AM

    So you are looking to purchase your first pool cue? Just know in your mind, that as you get progressively better, you'll be acquiring new cues.

    For your first cue, I'd suggest simply by following your price range. You won't need anything too fancy and any of the big-name cue makers will do just fine:

    • Lucasi Cues
    • Meucci Cues
    • Viking Cues
    • Cuetec Cues
    • McDermott Cues

    They all have cues which range from $100 to $1,000, so it's your pick. In choosing, you should consider the things you want in the cue.

    • How the cue looks - It has to look somewhat decent, but too extravagant - that's just... weird.
    • The "feel" of the pool cue - When you hold the cue with just your back hand so the cue is parallel to the ground, does it sit nicely in your palm?
    • The weight of the pool cue - Whatever you prefer. Light sticks (18 oz) or heavy sticks (22 oz) they all shoot the same, but it's about how they sit and feel in your arms that makes them different. Hit a few balls around, and see for yourself.

    After this purchase, you'll be stoked to get back on the tables. Improve your game and once you get to the next level, it may be time to upgrade your cue again.

    As for the newly acquired skill, English, a smaller tip is not such a bad idea. It is best to get your brand new shaft "tapered" even more than it already is. Have it tapered down to 12 mm. This is a personal preference of mine, because I don't like shooting with bulky cues and shafts.

    Good luck choosing your first pool cue!

  2. TheAardvarkquickshot on 12/13/2008 7:24:20 AM

    I have a Player brand pool cue that I paid $79 for 2 years ago and it is still doing fine as is my game.

    Having said that, any one of the name brands that were mentioned above will have an offering in your price range. But, most of them come with a standard 13 mm tip in the price range you are looking i.e. under $100. Don't go too cheap or you will not be happy.

    You may also find that your game will be off with the new stick until you get used to it. If you are missing a lot of shots stop using so much english and concentrate on your regular shots. Obviously the table you are using is not the greatest so that also presents a problem.

    I have two tips for you for when you get your new pool cue.

    • DO NOT, DO NOT, DO NOT let anyone else use your cue stick
    • Make sure you keep the shaft clean.
  3. TheAardvarkMitch Alsup on 12/13/2008 4:27:26 PM

    You should get in the mind-set that your first pool cue is going to be a "write-off".

    During the first 6 months of having your first cue, you will end up learning how delicate the surface of the shaft is with respect to dents, nicks, and being stood against the edge of a table, careless drops, bangs, and other incidents. After this learning experience, you will understand how to avoid these issues, and no amount of prior lecturing will give you this knowledge.

    With that said:

    • You CAN get used to any shaft if you play with it long enough, and yes, various shafts are significantly different. It took me 6 full hours on a table to get used to a Predator shaft after a Lucasi standard shaft (which is a very old shaft).
    • Pool cue tips make a significant difference in the playability of the cue as a whole. Before giving up on a shaft, try at least 4 different kinds of tips in the medium-to-hard category.
    • If you have your own cue, you will want to use the same chalk all the time, so you should own and carry your own chalk.
    • A cue case is basically mandatory. The pool cue case can be soft, hard, cloth, vinyl, wood, leather, or whatever.

    With all of the above, I would stick in the $70-$150 for your first cue, unless you basically are not cost sensitive and then just get what you want. At the entry level, the kind of cue does not matter as much to your game as having the SAME cue all the time adds to your game.

  4. TheAardvarkpatrickp123495 on 2/16/2009 7:03:09 PM

    If you really want a semi-good quality cue buy a Players cue. It would get you on the right road. If you really want spin, add a Moori tip or a sniper tip. As you get better and better you might want to get a cue in the $300 range, but I could be wrong.

    Also, don't buy a soft pool cue because you are probably wasting your money on that one. Get a hard cue case instead. Some brands to consider would be Instroke, J&J, Talisman, Jack Justis etc. Cases can last a long time and hard pool cue cases require little to no maintenance.

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Help Choosing My First Pool Cue

  • Title: Help Choosing My First Pool Cue
  • Author: (Andrew Sharpe)
  • Published: 12/3/2008 7:40:03 PM
  • Last Updated: 12/3/2008 7:42:00 PM
  • Last Updated By: TheAardvark (Andrew Sharpe)