Break cue weight
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brigeton
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Break cue weight - 03-10-2020, 03:51 AM

I am 67 and don't have a very strong break. In 8 ball I spread the balls fairly well but only make a ball about 25 or 30% of the time.
I have a break cue that a friend gave me several years ago, I don't even know the make. It's 19oz.
Last week I subbed on a league and didn't have my break cue with me so I borrowed one. It was very heavy, I asked the weight and the owner said as much weight as he could get in it. 26-27oz? I couldn't break with it at all. The owner is younger, stockier than I and probably quite a bit stronger.
The next day at home I took my break cue and removed the weight bolt bringing it down from 19oz to 16oz and thought I was spreading the balls a little better but 16oz seems pretty light. I am thinking about cutting that weight bolt in half and trying it with about 17.5oz. I looked at some break cues online and they seem to come either 18 or 19oz.
Also I never practice my break except playing games with my wife in the evenings. Maybe practicing my break would help some.
  
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03-10-2020, 07:25 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by brigeton View Post
I am 67 and don't have a very strong break. In 8 ball I spread the balls fairly well but only make a ball about 25 or 30% of the time.
I have a break cue that a friend gave me several years ago, I don't even know the make. It's 19oz.
Last week I subbed on a league and didn't have my break cue with me so I borrowed one. It was very heavy, I asked the weight and the owner said as much weight as he could get in it. 26-27oz? I couldn't break with it at all. The owner is younger, stockier than I and probably quite a bit stronger.
The next day at home I took my break cue and removed the weight bolt bringing it down from 19oz to 16oz and thought I was spreading the balls a little better but 16oz seems pretty light. I am thinking about cutting that weight bolt in half and trying it with about 17.5oz. I looked at some break cues online and they seem to come either 18 or 19oz.
Also I never practice my break except playing games with my wife in the evenings. Maybe practicing my break would help some.
You're putting yourself out to pasture at only 67? You're still plenty young to have a strong break. Speed is important in breaking, but if you go too light you may start to lose some accuracy. I recommend that you consider keeping your break cue above 18 ounces. This way, the cue ball won't be flying all over the place on you. Yes, practicing helps too!
  
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03-10-2020, 09:06 AM

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Originally Posted by FranCrimi View Post
Speed is important in breaking, but if you go too light you may start to lose some accuracy.
You might lose some CB speed too. Our arm muscles can't move faster and faster indefinitely as cue weight goes down. There's a crossover point where less weight doesn't increase stroke speed - I think that's the optimum cue weight (for that person) for breaking.

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03-10-2020, 10:00 AM

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Originally Posted by Patrick Johnson View Post
You might lose some CB speed too. Our arm muscles can't move faster and faster indefinitely as cue weight goes down. There's a crossover point where less weight doesn't increase stroke speed - I think that's the optimum cue weight (for that person) for breaking.

pj
chgo
Does anyone have any numbers on the difference in max stroke speed when using a light cue (like 17oz) and a heavy cue (24 or 25oz)?

A 17oz cue will send the cb away at about 1.48 times faster than the speed of the cue/stroke at impact, compared to 1.52 times faster with a 19oz cue and around 1.6 times faster with a 25oz cue. So i was just curious, how much faster can the average arm swing a 17oz cue when compared to a 19oz cue or a 25oz cue ?


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03-10-2020, 02:39 PM

Good question. We need Dr. Dave to test the subject matter with a BreakRAK, four or five cues and a hundred ex students. As a geezer myself I wonder if there would be a difference based on age demographics.
  
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03-10-2020, 03:32 PM

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Originally Posted by BC21 View Post
A 17oz cue will send the cb away at about 1.48 times faster than the speed of the cue/stroke at impact, compared to 1.52 times faster with a 19oz cue and around 1.6 times faster with a 25oz cue. So i was just curious, how much faster can the average arm swing a 17oz cue when compared to a 19oz cue or a 25oz cue ?
So that's an 8% CB speed increase for a 47% cue weight increase. And since speed is squared in the kinetic energy equation, does that mean it would take only a 7% speed increase to do the same thing?

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03-10-2020, 05:11 PM

Guys, guys --- you're forgetting the human element here. There are other things involved in breaking, like body movement and the timing of that movement. It may change as the players preference for weight changes. Your calculations will only take you part of the way. It truly is an individual decision because every person is different --- especially when it comes to swinging the cue fast players react differently to it.
  
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03-10-2020, 05:12 PM

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Originally Posted by Patrick Johnson View Post
You might lose some CB speed too. Our arm muscles can't move faster and faster indefinitely as cue weight goes down. There's a crossover point where less weight doesn't increase stroke speed - I think that's the optimum cue weight (for that person) for breaking.

pj
chgo
Not scientific by any means but i tried all three, light(16-17) med(18-19) and heavy(20+)oz. break cues. By far the most action was with the medium. My J&J weighs about 18.5oz and with a WDUltra tip it explodes a rack.
  
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03-10-2020, 05:46 PM

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Originally Posted by FranCrimi View Post
Guys, guys --- you're forgetting the human element here. There are other things involved in breaking, like body movement and the timing of that movement. It may change as the players preference for weight changes. Your calculations will only take you part of the way. It truly is an individual decision because every person is different --- especially when it comes to swinging the cue fast players react differently to it.
Good point. The numbers only account for the basic variables... cue stick weight, stroke speed, and cb weight. The effect of the players movement/hold on the cue is not considered, though surely makes a difference.

I've never seen anyone measure stroke speed, only "break speed" using that fancy smakrack or whatever it's called. So an approximate stroke speed can be calculated based on the velocity equation rearranged to solve for stick speed....

Stick speed = (cb speed x (stick weight + cb weight)) / (2 ◊ stick weight)

I think that's right.

So using a 22mph break result with a 19oz cue would look like this...

Stick Speed = (22mph x 25oz)/(2 ◊ 19oz)
= 14.5 mph

So I was just wondering how much faster can someone swing a 19oz cue, or 17, when compared to swinging a 25oz cue. I've always heard you can stroke a lighter cue faster, but I don't recall ever seeing anything about the actual difference in stroke speed.

All I know is I can break much better with a heavier cue, like 22 to 23 oz without feeling like I have to stroke it too hard/fast.


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03-10-2020, 06:02 PM

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Originally Posted by Patrick Johnson View Post
So that's an 8% CB speed increase for a 47% cue weight increase. And since speed is squared in the kinetic energy equation, does that mean it would take only a 7% speed increase to do the same thing?

pj
chgo
Yep...That's what it looks like.

A 19oz cue traveling at 14.5mph would send the cb off at 22mph. The same 19oz cue traveling at 15.6mph (7% faster) would result in a 23.5mph cb speed (8% faster).

I am using...

CB speed = ((2 x stick weight) x (stick speed)) / (stick weight + cb weight)


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03-10-2020, 06:10 PM

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Originally Posted by BC21 View Post
Yep...That's what it looks like.

A 19oz cue traveling at 14.5mph would send the cb off at 22mph. The same 19oz cue traveling at 15.6mph (7% faster) would result in a 23.5mph cb speed (8% faster).

I am using...

CB speed = ((2 x stick weight) x (stick speed)) / (stick weight + cb weight)
Ummm... Since the two speeds are proportional, the percentage change has to be exactly the same if the stick is the same unless you hypothesize some nonlinear mechanism like the tip breaking down above a certain speed.


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03-10-2020, 06:42 PM

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So that's an 8% CB speed increase for a 47% cue weight increase. And since speed is squared in the kinetic energy equation, does that mean it would take only a 7% speed increase to do the same thing?
The fact that the kinetic energy goes up as the square of velocity doesn't have anything to do with the percentage change, I think. The speeds are all proportional. Changing the stick weight changes the proportionality constant.

The general nature of the problem is that if you begin with a very light cue (one ounce) you will have a poor result because the cue bounces off the cue ball and the energy transfer is poor.

For a six ounce cue, the energy transfer is perfect -- the cue stops dead -- but not much energy is in the cue stick. The cue ball will be moving the same speed as the stick except for about 10% loss due to the tip, etc.

For 18 ounces, the ball will leave at maybe 140% of the speed of the stick. (Due to the square relationship mentioned above, that's actually twice the energy.) The stick will probably be going slower than for six ounces, though.

For 36 ounces, there will be a problem for most people getting the stick up to speed so there will be a net loss.

For 180 ounces, there will be a problem getting the stick up to speed for everyone, and the ball speed will be less than twice the stick speed. (Twice is the upper limit but practically it's less because of the loss of energy in the tip.) 180 ounces is a bad choice. It would be interesting to see someone try it, though.

Exactly where the maximum ball speed is reached for a particular player for the full range of stick weights depends on a lot of things but mostly I think it is how strong he is and what he is used to.

The general theory of how all this must work says that weights close to the best weight (say +- 2 ounces) will not be drastically different. A 2-ounce difference is about 10% in weight and that is expected to cause something like a 1-2% difference in ball speed.

This is the same kind of very general physical situation that makes the half-ball follow angle vary so little with cut angle. The smooth maximum happens when you have two contrary effects. In the case of the follow angle you have the angle of deflection to the side which increases with a fuller hit, but you have the follow which tends to take the ball straighter ahead for a fuller hit. The result for the half-ball follow angle is that it is almost the same for changes in cut angle of +-15 degrees depending on how much change you want to allow in the cue ball deflection angle.


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03-10-2020, 08:50 PM

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Ummm... Since the two speeds are proportional, the percentage change has to be exactly the same if the stick is the same unless you hypothesize some nonlinear mechanism like the tip breaking down above a certain speed.
Lol. Yes, the speeds are proportional. I should've just said about 7 to 8%, because it's closer to 7.5% in the example I used. Just doing the math quickly, rounding numbers, I got 7% cue speed difference causing an 8% cb speed difference and overlooked the common sense of the speeds changing proportionally.


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03-11-2020, 02:19 AM

Well you guys have turned this thread into something pretty interesting. It would be cool if Dr Dave did an test with different people with different arm strength and measure break speed.
I think strength training especially curls to strengthen the biceps would certainly help. Then you could get the same cue speed with a heavier cue.
Baseball players swing a bat with a weight in the on deck circle to make their regular bat feel lighter. I wonder how much it helps. It would seem someone has tested this with bat speed but maybe it's just an old myth.

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03-11-2020, 07:41 AM

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Originally Posted by brigeton View Post
Well you guys have turned this thread into something pretty interesting. It would be cool if Dr Dave did an test with different people with different arm strength and measure break speed.
I think strength training especially curls to strengthen the biceps would certainly help. Then you could get the same cue speed with a heavier cue.
Baseball players swing a bat with a weight in the on deck circle to make their regular bat feel lighter. I wonder how much it helps. It would seem someone has tested this with bat speed but maybe it's just an old myth.
Itís not strength per say but fast twitch muscle fibers
Curls may not develop them
  
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