If you’re at a bar or pool hall, you’re probably used to just grabbing a cue stick off the racks on the wall. However, if you’re serious about playing pool and want to get better, you’ll eventually have to buy your own cue stick. It may not seem obvious, but using a good cue stick can dramatically improve your game. The following are four steps to choosing the right cue stick.
1. Select the Right Size of Cue Tip
The first step to choosing the right cue stick is selecting the right size. The selection of cue sticks is determined by the diameter of the cue tip end. If you’re a new player, you’ll want to start with a larger cue tip. The standard stick has a 13 millimeters diameter at the tip end.
However, you can always select a different size if you prefer. Cue tips are available from 12 millimeters to 14 millimeters, giving advanced players options when choosing the size of cue tip. Small tips can help players put a side-spin on the ball known as English. Larger tips can help get the balls into the pocket.
2. Choose the Correct Weight
Just like the size of the cue tip, cue sticks come in a variety of weights. Again, deciding on which weight to go with will depend on your skill as a player.
Professional pool players often go with a weight of 19 ounces. However, as a beginner, you’ll want to stick with something lighter, such as 15 ounces. A smaller stick can help with accuracy and ensure you hit the Cue Ball.
There are a couple of tips to keep in mind. First is if the shaft feels heavy in your back hand, you’ll want to go with a lighter stick. The second is that a lighter stick is better for people who are shorter.
3. Get the Right Shaft for Your Hand Size
The shaft is the largest part of the cue stick. Getting the right size is crucial to helping you as a player. The diameter of the shaft is very limited, ranging from 12 millimeters to 13 millimeters. While the range of size is very limited, they do come in 1/4 millimeter increments. With that said, you’ll want to base your decision on how comfortably the cue stick fits in your hand.
4. Know Which Shaft Taper To Go With
The last step to choosing the right cue stick is deciding on which shaft taper to go with. The taper refers to how the cue stick is wider as its base and smaller at the cue tip end, hence the shape. Generally, cue sticks come in two main taper styles: Pro and Straight.
The Pro Taper gets its name because of its popularity with the pros. A Pro Taper has a size of diameter from the tip to about 15 inches- along the shaft. This helps keep the tip from moving while the cue stick is touching your hand.
The other style, a straight taper, has an elongated cone shape down the whole of the cue stick. This is probably the style of cue you’re used to when playing in a pool hall. New players will probably want to stick with a straight taper as they provide a more stable stroke. If you know which taper you’re ready to play with, head over to Billiards King for a great selection of cue sticks to choose from.
By following these four steps, you should be able to pick the right cue stick for your game.