What things are important in selecting a cue?

When selecting a cue at a pool hall or bar, the basic things you should check include:

  1. Make sure the tip and ferrule are firmly attached to the end of the cue, with no cracks in the ferrule or cue wood.
  2. Make sure the tip is not hardened and glazed-over on the surface.  If it is, it won’t hold chalk and the tip won’t grip the cue ball very well (especially with off-center hits, intentional or not), which could result in miscues.
  3. Make sure the cue is straight.  You can check this by rolling the cue on the table, making sure it doesn’t wobble too much.
  4. Choose a cue weight that feels the most comfortable.

When selecting a cue to purchase, also try to find a cue that has:

  1. a natural pivot length well matched to preferred bridge length (especially with a break cue). If you prefer a longer bridge, an LD shaft could offer some advantages.
  2. a stiffness and tip hardness resulting in preferred “feel” and “hit.”
  3. an optimal weight for you (especially with a break cue).
  4. a length that is appropriate for your height (especially if you are really tall or “vertically challenged”).

Otherwise, just pick something in your price range that looks and feels good to you. The following video covers many of the important things to consider:

The most important advice concerning choices for both playing cue weight and tip hardness is to pick something and stick with it so you can develop a complete and consistent feel for shot speed control (and CB deflection).

The choice of cue is not as important as some people think, as long as you spend time to get accustomed to it. Don’t keep changing equipment, thinking a new or different cue will make you a better player. That is not the case. A good player can play well with any decent cue with a decent tip, assuming the player is familiar with the cue.

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