Chalk Experiment Results, with Video

dr_dave

Instructional Author
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I recently performed a set of experiments to objectively compare the following brands of chalk: pre-flag Master, Master, Lava, Blue Diamond, and Kamui.

Four different tests were performed to determine:
a.) the amount of cling/skid/kick caused by a chalk mark on the CB.
b.) the number of sidespin shots possible with a single application of chalk before miscuing.
c.) the miscue limit for maximum sidespin
d.) and how long chalk marks persist on the CB after multiple shots.

The following video shows the tests and summarizes all of the results:

NV F.1 - Pool Chalk Experiment - Does the brand really make a difference?

The short answer to the question "Does the brand really make a difference?" is: No.

For the long answer, see the video.

Here's a summary of the main conclusions:

1.) Chalk marks on the CB cause cling/skid/kick. Kamui resulted in the largest cling/skid/kick.
2.) Maximum sidespin and the miscue limit are the same for all chalks.
3.) Blue Diamond and Kamui persist on the tip longer, so if you don't chalk often or well, they could offer an advantage.
4.) Blue Diamond and Kamui chalk marks stay on the CB longer, possibly resulting in more frequent cling/skid/kick.
5.) Squirt (CB deflection) does not vary with chalk type.

Enjoy,
Dave
 
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ChicagoRJ

EEEEEXCELLENT ;)
Silver Member
Miscues were the exact same for all chalks ? Also, what was the number involved before the miscue ?? Thanks
 

Mr. Bond

Orbis Non Sufficit
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Good stuff Dave.
I'm looking forward to watching this.
(And thank you for taking the time to do it)
 

dr_dave

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Miscues were the exact same for all chalks ? Also, what was the number involved before the miscue ?? Thanks
I didn't summarize the results in the video immediately after that particular experiment (... I meant too), but they are summarized and discussed at the end of the video starting at 17:27.

The Blue Diamond and Kamui chalks persisted on the tip longer than the others (especially the Kamui). However, I don't think anyone would recommend hitting many off-center shots in a row before chalking in a real game.

Regards,
Dave
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
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my findings too

I dried some of my Masters blue in the oven at low temperatures. I kept it in carefully sealed bags and it played better than blue straight from the factory, more like green. That isn't surprising, I find green harder and dryer than blue but it doesn't stay on the tip as well, my opinion.

Then I found a piece of Masters that had been forgotten on the back porch in South Louisiana for a few months. The humidity is high enough you can reach out and grab a big double handful of air and wring it out! This very moist blue chalk was pretty messy but it played better than factory chalk too.

This convinced me that there were only a few possibilities: Either (A)the folks that make Masters were totally clueless or trying to sabotage themselves or (B) as regularly as I and most even moderately skilled players chalk the exact chalk they use doesn't matter much.

I had two or three cubes of various exotic chalks I had toted around for months, gave them away to somebody that would use them. Not using a chalk holder one thing I found I liked was sanding the paper and glue away from one side of two pieces of Masters blue and taping them together to form one big piece. Worked better with the brush on technique of applying chalk and for some reason seemed to last much longer than two pieces not taped together.

Hu
 

dr_dave

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Good stuff Dave.
I'm looking forward to watching this.
(And thank you for taking the time to do it)
How do you know it is good if you haven't watched it yet? ;)

I'm glad you are looking forward to it. It was a lot of work, and I hope people enjoy it.

Careful experiments are the only way to dispel "anecdotal myths" and "marketing claims."

Catch you later,
Dave
 

dr_dave

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Are you going to test any other popular chalks, namely Predator and Balabushka?
I don't plan to test any others, but I hope people will do their own sets of experiments using the procedures I demonstrated. It's not that difficult and it doesn't require any special equipment.

In retrospect, I wish I had also tested Predator (and others). I also wish I had tested a really cheap off-brand of chalk purchased at a department or sports store. Although, based on the results of the other tests which covered a wide range of chalks, I would be very surprised if the results and conclusions were any different with additional chalks currently available.

Regards,
Dave
 

StraightPoolIU

Brent
Silver Member
A test with off brand department store chalk would be interesting because anyone who has attempted to use it knows how different it is than mainstream brands. I suspect it's more than marginally worse than all other chalks.
 

measureman

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That's good stuff, but you left out the most important part.
Which chalk would taste best with a bottle of "Hanks" famous water?
 

Mr. Bond

Orbis Non Sufficit
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....
Then I found a piece of Masters that had been forgotten on the back porch in South Louisiana for a few months. The humidity is high enough you can reach out and grab a big double handful of air and wring it out! This very moist blue chalk was pretty messy but it played better than factory chalk too.
....
Hu

It might surprise you how similar the humidity levels are in Chicago and New Orleans, particularly in the afternoon.
88-63 N.O. vs 80-60 Chi
http://www.shorstmeyer.com/wxfaqs/humidity/rh.html
 
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pacemonster

"Billiard" Mike
Silver Member
That's good stuff, but you left out the most important part.
Which chalk would taste best with a bottle of "Hanks" famous water?

HAHA...blue and red chalk always left a bad taste during English class in a corner with an eraser in my mouth. No firewater to be found :(
 

pacemonster

"Billiard" Mike
Silver Member
It was a lot of work, and I hope people enjoy it.

Careful experiments are the only way to dispel "anecdotal myths" and "marketing claims."

Dave, thank you for all you do. Your hard work and dedication to our sport is applauded by me. I'm glad you took the time to dispel some myths and claims with video proof. I agree with you as I wish you had included some "thrift-store" branded chalk as well. Especially against the more expensive brands of chalk out there. I would consider those results very interesting for all to see.
 

dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
Dave, thank you for all you do. Your hard work and dedication to our sport is applauded by me. I'm glad you took the time to dispel some myths and claims with video proof. I agree with you as I wish you had included some "thrift-store" branded chalk as well. Especially against the more expensive brands of chalk out there. I would consider those results very interesting for all to see.
Maybe the next time I'm at Walmart, I'll buy a piece of cheap "thrift-store" chalk to give it a try.

Catch you later,
Dave
 

jalapus logan

be all. and supports it to
Silver Member
I dried some of my Masters blue in the oven at low temperatures. I kept it in carefully sealed bags and it played better than blue straight from the factory, more like green. That isn't surprising, I find green harder and dryer than blue but it doesn't stay on the tip as well, my opinion.

Then I found a piece of Masters that had been forgotten on the back porch in South Louisiana for a few months. The humidity is high enough you can reach out and grab a big double handful of air and wring it out! This very moist blue chalk was pretty messy but it played better than factory chalk too.

This convinced me that there were only a few possibilities: Either (A)the folks that make Masters were totally clueless or trying to sabotage themselves or (B) as regularly as I and most even moderately skilled players chalk the exact chalk they use doesn't matter much.

I had two or three cubes of various exotic chalks I had toted around for months, gave them away to somebody that would use them. Not using a chalk holder one thing I found I liked was sanding the paper and glue away from one side of two pieces of Masters blue and taping them together to form one big piece. Worked better with the brush on technique of applying chalk and for some reason seemed to last much longer than two pieces not taped together.

Hu

Well, this is all well and good and all, but it sounds like your chalk baking would result in a rather bland offering. May I suggest a hint of minced garlic, a pinch of sea salt, and maybe a drop or two of sesame oil. I think that would perform quite well in Dr. Dave's next blind taste test!
 

BRussell

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thanks for the great test and video Dave.

I think it's also important to remember that there's a massive cost difference between these chalks. As a rough estimate, the lower tier like Master is about $.30 per cube, the middle tier like Blue Diamond and Predator are about 10 times that cost, or about $3 each, and the Kamui is about $30 or 100 times the cost of Master.
 

center pocket

Got Heart?
Silver Member
Thank you for doing this test!!! I always use masters and will continue to do so without a second thought now.
 

dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
Thanks for the great test and video Dave.

I think it's also important to remember that there's a massive cost difference between these chalks. As a rough estimate, the lower tier like Master is about $.30 per cube, the middle tier like Blue Diamond and Predator are about 10 times that cost, or about $3 each, and the Kamui is about $30 or 100 times the cost of Master.
I thought of mentioning this in the video, but I wanted to stay as neutral and non-critical of the companies as possible.

Regards,
Dave
 

ShootingArts

Smorg is giving St Peter the 7!
Gold Member
Silver Member
It might surprise you how similar the humidity levels are in Chicago and New Orleans, particularly in the afternoon.
88-63 N.O. vs 80-60 Chi
http://www.shorstmeyer.com/wxfaqs/humidity/rh.html

Never gave it any thought but not too surprising with the lakes there. Had a few guys from Chicago in my crews working industrial construction over the years. They didn't like it down here summer or winter! Seems like they should have been right at home. Maybe they were, might have been why they left home though!


Well, this is all well and good and all, but it sounds like your chalk baking would result in a rather bland offering. May I suggest a hint of minced garlic, a pinch of sea salt, and maybe a drop or two of sesame oil. I think that would perform quite well in Dr. Dave's next blind taste test!

I think you are on to something, add a little onion and bell pepper to that and you start getting close to something I wouldn't share with Dave. A few real bacon bits cooked myself to sprinkle over it, I'm started to drool over the idea of cooking up some chalk!

Hu
 
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