Grip question for Dr. Dave

longhorns2

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've hear everyone debate about the weight of the cue for breaking, with some saying a light cue can go faster, or a heavier cue has more force, etc. I know f=mv, so they're both right in a way.

But anyway, my question is whether a grip where the cue is firmly in your hand generates more force than a grip more in the fingertips. My gut feeling is that if your hand is connected to the cue, then the weight of your hand is added to the weight of the cue, without any real drawback from reduced speed.

Anyway, sorry if this has already been asked and answered.
 

Black-Balled

He Rides the Skies
Silver Member
When is the hand not connected to the cue?

I think your theory is incorrect, sorry to say. At least not correct in any measurable way that isn't more greatly defined by other differences (like wrist flexibility differences).
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
I've hear everyone debate about the weight of the cue for breaking, with some saying a light cue can go faster, or a heavier cue has more force, etc. I know f=mv, so they're both right in a way.

But anyway, my question is whether a grip where the cue is firmly in your hand generates more force than a grip more in the fingertips. My gut feeling is that if your hand is connected to the cue, then the weight of your hand is added to the weight of the cue, without any real drawback from reduced speed.

Anyway, sorry if this has already been asked and answered.
Dr. Dave's answer:

https://billiards.colostate.edu/faq/grip/light-vs-tight/

The cue tip is in contact with the cue ball for such a short period of time (see tip contact time), and the hand flesh is so flexible compared to the cue tip, the grip cannot have any significant influence during tip contact.
What he's saying is the hand's soft flesh gives, "disconnecting" the hand from the stick during tip/ball contact, so it's only the stick's weight moving the CB - the weight of your hand/arm/body aren't involved. You might as well throw the stick at the CB (if you could do that accurately).

pj
chgo
 

Patrick Johnson

Fish of the Day
Silver Member
I've hear everyone debate about the weight of the cue for breaking, with some saying a light cue can go faster, or a heavier cue has more force, etc. I know f=mv, so they're both right in a way.
If you can move a heavier cue as fast as a lighter one, then you'll get a faster CB speed with the heavier cue. But if you can move a lighter cue faster, then you can probably get a faster CB speed with the lighter one (greater speed can matter more than greater stick weight).

pj
chgo
 

longhorns2

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Dr. Dave's answer:


What he's saying is the hand's soft flesh gives, "disconnecting" the hand from the stick during tip/ball contact, so it's only the stick's weight moving the CB - the weight of your hand/arm/body aren't involved. You might as well throw the stick at the CB (if you could do that accurately).

pj
chgo

Sounds logical, but as you start the forward stroke on more forceful stroke, it seems like a lot of the flesh has already shifted.

And is there any scientific proof of why the tip/ball contact time is not long enough for it to actually make a difference? I've heard the contact time explanation for why soft/hard tips wouldn't make a difference on spin as well
 

Cornerman

Cue Author...Sometimes
Gold Member
Silver Member
I've hear everyone debate about the weight of the cue for breaking, with some saying a light cue can go faster, or a heavier cue has more force, etc. I know f=mv, so they're both right in a way.

But anyway, my question is whether a grip where the cue is firmly in your hand generates more force than a grip more in the fingertips. My gut feeling is that if your hand is connected to the cue, then the weight of your hand is added to the weight of the cue, without any real drawback from reduced speed.

Anyway, sorry if this has already been asked and answered.

Momentum, not Force, equals MV.
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Sounds logical, but as you start the forward stroke on more forceful stroke, it seems like a lot of the flesh has already shifted.

And is there any scientific proof of why the tip/ball contact time is not long enough for it to actually make a difference? I've heard the contact time explanation for why soft/hard tips wouldn't make a difference on spin as well
Contact time is on the order of 1/1,000th of a second. A blink of an eye is something like 1/3sec. Not enuff time to make a difference, literally. Break shot is kinda like a golf swing in that hand/grip pressure naturally increases with cue/club speed. I start out with just a little more pressure than a regular shot knowing its going to automatically increase. Don't overthink this. Try both, one tight and one relaxed. See what works.
 

ceebee

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I wonder if the poster wants to know where to place his hand, for maximum efficiency. I like to place my hand about 2-3 inches forward of my natural gripping area, to give my arm more strength in the task at hand.
 

tim913

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I've had problems with my grip my whole life, been to instructors to try to figure it out, but it didn't help. The grip I play with the most is just the hand and wrist at normal relaxed position and cue cradled by middle two fingers. I am most accurate with this grip but I don't get as much action from the CB unless I use more ummmppphh! After awhile I feel like I'm just pushing the cue around with no feel, like having a log attached to my elbow, I then switch to the grip where my thumb and forefinger are cradling the cue and then I rotate my pinky and hand away from the cue. With this grip I get a lot more action with minimal force, but feel I lose some accuracy with longer shots due to more deflection with the looser grip. I used to fight switching back and fortth but just do it now as needed. I've always played at the highest level(handicap) in any league I've been in and have beaten a few pros as I used to play some of them on a regular basis. I don't fight it anymore and found out from some instructors that there are pro level players with more problems than this, but I still wish I could figure it out .. must be a BRAIN malfunction thing!
 

garczar

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I wonder if the poster wants to know where to place his hand, for maximum efficiency. I like to place my hand about 2-3 inches forward of my natural gripping area, to give my arm more strength in the task at hand.
Same here. Its more of hit than a regular stroke. Chokin-up helps get more power into the cb.
 

longhorns2

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Contact time is on the order of 1/1,000th of a second. A blink of an eye is something like 1/3sec. Not enuff time to make a difference, literally. Break shot is kinda like a golf swing in that hand/grip pressure naturally increases with cue/club speed. I start out with just a little more pressure than a regular shot knowing its going to automatically increase. Don't overthink this. Try both, one tight and one relaxed. See what works.

But the cueball and object ball are probably in contact for even less than that, and it's enough time for the OB to be affected in many different ways. Just saying it's less than the blink of an eye doesn't mean much.

And I'm not just asking in terms of breaking. To take it to the extreme: if you have the same cue suspended by a string hitting the cueball at 10 mph and one held in your hand at 10 mph, then would there be any significant difference in force applied to the CB?
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
... And is there any scientific proof of why the tip/ball contact time is not long enough for it to actually make a difference? I've heard the contact time explanation for why soft/hard tips wouldn't make a difference on spin as well
Yes. This has been measured a couple of times. Basically it is a measurement of how rigidly the hand can hold the stick. Compared to how hard the tip is, the hand is very soft and springy. The bottom line is that by holding the stick very, very tightly, you might increase the effective mass of the stick by something like 1% which will get less than 1% increase in ball velocity.

So yes, a very tight grip (and the same stick speed) will move the cue ball very slightly faster. A very tight grip has disadvantages mentioned above.

Beyond that, I think working hard for a small increase in break speed is the wrong thing to work on. Study Corey Deuel.
 

longhorns2

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Yes. This has been measured a couple of times. Basically it is a measurement of how rigidly the hand can hold the stick. Compared to how hard the tip is, the hand is very soft and springy. The bottom line is that by holding the stick very, very tightly, you might increase the effective mass of the stick by something like 1% which will get less than 1% increase in ball velocity.

So yes, a very tight grip (and the same stick speed) will move the cue ball very slightly faster. A very tight grip has disadvantages mentioned above.

Beyond that, I think working hard for a small increase in break speed is the wrong thing to work on. Study Corey Deuel.

Thanks for answering. So say you cut a groove into the butt of the cue and crammed your hand into it to "pre-shift" your flesh. Or just for the sake of argument, you had a robot with a metal hand gripping the cue and his hand wouldn't shift at all, then would you have a significant increase in force?
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
... Or just for the sake of argument, you had a robot with a metal hand gripping the cue and his hand wouldn't shift at all, then would you have a significant increase in force?
That was actually a problem for the initial version of Iron Willie which is Predator's cue-testing robot. The grip was too tight. In effect an extra 20 ounces or so of the swing-arm was added to the weight of the cue stick. When a group of us were running tests with Willie in 1998 we added a layer of bubble wrap to the grip to try to fix things. I believe Predator has since put in a flexible or pliable grip material which acts more like a hand and lets the cue behave like a cue.

I suppose you could put something like a pistol grip on the cue along with a clamp that you could tighten down on your hand until you could not stand any more pain and then the cue would play a little heavier. Or you could just use a heavier cue.
 

longhorns2

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
That was actually a problem for the initial version of Iron Willie which is Predator's cue-testing robot. The grip was too tight. In effect an extra 20 ounces or so of the swing-arm was added to the weight of the cue stick. When a group of us were running tests with Willie in 1998 we added a layer of bubble wrap to the grip to try to fix things. I believe Predator has since put in a flexible or pliable grip material which acts more like a hand and lets the cue behave like a cue.

I suppose you could put something like a pistol grip on the cue along with a clamp that you could tighten down on your hand until you could not stand any more pain and then the cue would play a little heavier. Or you could just use a heavier cue.

The problem with using a heavier cue is the acceleration would decrease, right?Whereas if the hand weight was added, the acceleration would remain roughly the same because no matter what, that weight will always be there in the stroke.
 

dr_dave

Instructional Author
Gold Member
Silver Member
I've hear everyone debate about the weight of the cue for breaking, with some saying a light cue can go faster, or a heavier cue has more force, etc.
The optimal power-break-cue weight for an individual depends on many factors. Lighter is better for some, heavier is better for others. FYI, this is covered in detail here:

optimal cue weight resource page

But anyway, my question is whether a grip where the cue is firmly in your hand generates more force than a grip more in the fingertips. My gut feeling is that if your hand is connected to the cue, then the weight of your hand is added to the weight of the cue, without any real drawback from reduced speed.
Tightness/tension in the grip (or arm) limits smooth acceleration and results in less speed. For more information, see the videos and other info here:

grip technique advice

light grip vs. tight grip

Enjoy,
Dave
 

Bob Jewett

AZB Osmium Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
The problem with using a heavier cue is the acceleration would decrease, right?Whereas if the hand weight was added, the acceleration would remain roughly the same because no matter what, that weight will always be there in the stroke.
If the contraption didn't bind your stroke, I suppose it could help add weight to the cue stick without adding weight to the stick/forearm combination. I also suppose you could end up with internal bruising since your hand wouldn't be allowed to do what it normally does.

Maybe this is an interesting theoretical topic, but practically I think it is easier and better for you in the long term to build up your twitch fibers. I know one fancy shot player who had special exercises for this.
 
Top