Buying your own pool cue can be a confusing business as there are so many different brands on offer. Because of this it is important that you do not jump straight in and buy the first cue that catches your eye.
I agree that most people will purchase a cue first of all because of its aesthetic appeal but you don't have to be a cue maker to realise that aesthetics do not reflect the playability of a cue.
Players who want to improve their game all come to the conclusion that they require their own playing cue. This is very important to a pool player's development, a player builds a bond with a particular cue and get used to the way it feels and the way that it plays. A player that is playing regularly cannot get this same consistency from a standard house cue. You cannot guarantee that a house cue is straight or that the tip will do a proficient job.
When buying a cue it is important to try and get the right feel as if you just buy the first thing you come across then you could be spending hard earned cash on an instrument that you are not happy with in the long run. My advice to anyone purchasing a cue is to try as many different types before you buy. Ask friends, family or other regular players down at your local pool hall if you can play a few racks with their cue. This will give you a better understanding of what suits you and what doesn't.
When ordering a cue make sure that it is the correct weight for you, not only should it be comfortable, but also having the wrong weight can make a huge difference to the feel of the cue. I have had many players in the past that have come to me to purchase a cue and have just ordered the weight that I have in stock rather than waiting the couple of weeks whilst it is ordered.
The next thing to consider is the shaft; the majority of pool cue shafts are made from Maple, this is a very hardwearing wood. You have to decide whether you are going to go for a plain Maple shaft or one of the name brands like Predator or Meucci. The name brand shafts are excellent for what they offer but it is also reflected in the price, both of the manufacturers mentioned claim to have the least cue ball deflection when playing with side English. The predator has a very stiff hit created by the laminating of ten pieces of maple in a cylindrical pattern. The Meucci has quite soft whippy feel to it, which is caused by the flat lamination of 32 thin pieces of maple. Both cues are excellent but there are a whole host of other manufacturers out there whose cues would suffice. Another thing to look out for is shafts layered with fibreglass. These cues do have extra strength through the design but the feel of the shaft can get very sticky and jerky through your bridging hand, the main brands that use this are Cuetec and Scorpion.
When a manufacturer releases a new range of cues they more than likely will all play the same what you are then paying for is the level of decoration, or the exotic woods that have been used in the inlays. For example in the Predator 4K Series you would get the same feel from the 4K1 at ?380 as you would get from the 4K7 at ?720. The only difference would be the hole in your pocket. But don't be put off, if you like a cue and are happy with the feel and playability then go for it, who am I to stop you?
To sum up the important things are:
· Try before you buy · Get the right weight · Select the type of shaft to suit you · Get the price right · Choose the decoration to suit you.
When you have combined all of these factors then you should get years worth of playability and pleasure from your investment. Some cues if looked after may even grow in value.
By P. Williams http://www.americanpool-network.co.uk