What do you prefer to break with? Heavy or light?

Poolplaya9

Tellin' it like it is...
Silver Member
Thx. I understand match/break formats, and completely grok the importance of the break shot and making a ball. That's exactly why I prefer the consistency of using the same cue I play with. With modern equipment, using maximum power to slam break shots isn't really what most of us are doing anymore, and 10-ball and alternate break formats sort of minimize that logic - yet we still see a strong preference for break cues in those environments also.
Why would the break the break format (alternate vs winner) change how you break?
 

phreaticus

Active member
Why would the break the break format (alternate vs winner) change how you break?
I don’t think it does. I was responding to the other guys conjecture that Texas Express 9ball, importance of making a ball and pros running consecutive racks were key ingredient that brought about the break cue era. Apparently he feels that only pros run racks. I don’t agree with any of that stuff, but even if one did, the alternate break sort of negates that logic. Anyway, its all mystery to me, brother 😁

I’m also a fan of learning how to shoot properly & accurately with a bone stock glock, master that then move into custom triggers, race 1911’s, etc. But that too is an endless debate.... but perhaps a relevant analogy to some. There is no doubt that tuned equipment can yield some advantages, I’d say maybe in the low single digit %’s for pros and high level players who alreasy have mastered fundies & well developed strokes. For the rest of us, I think bouncing around fine tuning minor little gear stuff is a distraction and covers up true holes in ones game. Just my insignificant views.
 

Woodshaft

All pockets are too small
I don’t think it does. I was responding to the other guys conjecture that Texas Express 9ball, importance of making a ball and pros running consecutive racks were key ingredient that brought about the break cue era. Apparently he feels that only pros run racks. I don’t agree with any of that stuff, but even if one did, the alternate break sort of negates that logic. Anyway, its all mystery to me, brother 😁

I’m also a fan of learning how to shoot properly & accurately with a bone stock glock, master that then move into custom triggers, race 1911’s, etc. But that too is an endless debate.... but perhaps a relevant analogy to some. There is no doubt that tuned equipment can yield some advantages, I’d say maybe in the low single digit %’s for pros and high level players who alreasy have mastered fundies & well developed strokes. For the rest of us, I think bouncing around fine tuning minor little gear stuff is a distraction and covers up true holes in ones game. Just my insignificant views.
I totally agree. Too many folks focus too much on equipment, jump shots, etc.. (small details) when they can't even stroke a cue ball properly, or run 5 balls consistently lol. You've gotta learn the basics to really progress to the next level where THEN, better equipment and jumping and other "details" become a major focus in improving your game. Master the fundamentals first, then fine-tune.
 

SSDiver2112

2b || !2b t^ ?
I totally agree. Too many folks focus too much on equipment, jump shots, etc.. (small details) when they can't even stroke a cue ball properly, or run 5 balls consistently lol. You've gotta learn the basics to really progress to the next level where THEN, better equipment and jumping and other "details" become a major focus in improving your game. Master the fundamentals first, then fine-tune.
Yes, fundamentals are the primary focus if you want to be a better player, but there is nothing wrong with having nice equipment while you learn them.

I much prefer my break cue because I find it easier to control and just feels better, but I do grab a house cue off the wall sometimes just to check myself.
 

Chili Palmer

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
Silver Member
How many times after shooting the break shot do you stroke the cue ball as hard again as you did on the break shot?
I submit unless you have a relatively mild break shot, not until you break again. Ergo, the answer is going to be never.

I think you misunderstood my statement. 1 tip for breaking and 1 tip for playing ;)
 

Nyquil

Active member
I know lighter is suppose to better but for me 21 oz I get the highest averages in break speed. Also I am not trying to throw my shoulder out with crazy mechanics etc.
 

Konrad

Your wushu is weak!
Thx. I understand match/break formats, and completely grok the importance of the break shot and making a ball. That's exactly why I prefer the consistency of using the same cue I play with. With modern equipment, using maximum power to slam break shots isn't really what most of us are doing anymore, and 10-ball and alternate break formats sort of minimize that logic - yet we still see a strong preference for break cues in those environments also.

I guess @Bavafongoul's response is more likely to be what affects many players - and is aligned with what I was originally surmising. For those who prefer softer playing tips that shroom out easily and require more maintenance - definitely makes sense to have dedicated break cue. I prefer medium tips and minimal fussing with tips in general, so guess it's sort of non applicable to me.

Not trying to be contentious or critical. I tend to be a minimalist, and strongly biased towards consistency in all aspects of the game. To each their own.

Peace & love
One question for you. I’m assuming you also have a medium tip on your jump cue? Would this assumption be correct? I’m just wondering because a lot of people are stuck on this hard tip thing. It makes sense the harder the tip the easier to jump with, but what about ball control?

Now as long as I’m not playing w an elkmaster. Like you, I jump with my player most of the time. It’s easy and you aren’t wasting time, etc.
Elkmaster tip is a real PITA to jump with when on a normal tapered shaft from my experience. Not because it mushrooms. That’s the least of my worries. Lepro or harder work great even on a tapered shaft.
Maybe laminate tips are different. I wouldn’t know though cause I’ve never spent over $10 on a tip.
 
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phreaticus

Active member
One question for you. I’m assuming you also have a medium tip on your jump cue? Would this assumption be correct? I’m just wondering because a lot of people are stuck on this hard tip thing. It makes sense the harder the tip the easier to jump with, but what about ball control?

(Now as long as I’m not playing w an elkmaster. Like you, I jump with my player most of the time. It’s easy and you aren’t wasting time, etc.
Elkmaster tip is a real PITA to jump with. Ive never tried any other soft tips because if the tip costs me more than $10 you can keep it. I’d rather buy another beer with my savings. But, only if I lose.. 😂)
Hi. Well, thats an interesting question. My current jump cue is a custom Joe Bouska - it has a CF shaft with a very unique/odd translucent white ish very hard material with flared tip on it that appears to be all one piece with the ferrule - I assume its a phenolic of some sort. I could have never imagined such a thing, but I bought it off a very well known top 10 pro player who jumps like god and let me try his identical one. It will definitely very easily hop any ball you want. As for control it seems pretty decent to me, but I’m not a master jumper... one of the issues is that it barely holds chalk - I can stop and sometimes draw a bit, but my short hop skills are not stellar, and sometimes I wish I had a more conventional hard tip on it for more control, but this weirdly shaped ferrule/tip material can’t be changed as far as I know, and it hops crazy good, and the afore mentioned pro seems able to do whatever he wants with the CB when using it, so I just continue to use it as is and hopefully my short hop skills will come slowly along.

As another reference, my previous jump cue is a Tiger Wings production jump cue that I thought was great before I tried the Bouska. It comes from factory with a very flat, very hard black phenolic tip, but with a more conventional black ferrule shape & setup. It also hops really well, but not as great as the Bouska and much less control. I really like that jump cue also, and thought about experimenting with a more conventional hard leather tip on it, but haven’t gotten around to it.

As for using our playing cue for easy longer hops (1.5+ diamond distance), thats always my approach and house cues usually do great. However, now a days I’m using a CF shaft with medium tips and while I can jump a bit with it, I usually grab a house cue, for both long hops and masse shots as I find it very difficult (almost impossible) to hop or curve balls very well with LD carbon shafts. I personally consider this one of the minor annoying negatives of using CF for my primary playing shaft. So, ironically having a CF playing shaft has pushed me to use my jump cue more and more, but I usually prefer to kick anyway and I’m pathetically lazy and usually just grab a house cue for easy longer hops/curves. I really only bother to break out my jump cue for tough hops in no-other-choice scenarios in serious matches. Which isn’t good, I need to use it more and develop better hop skills. Old dogs can learn new tricks/toys, but it takes work... I guess being a minimalist is a sort of a pain, maybe I need to give in and join the masses and show up with a stuffed 4x8 case everywhere like many do. But I’m still a degenerate who enjoys often torturing chumps with house cues, which I still consider a primary fundamental skill 😂

Another confession is that I’m still experimenting with tips. I quit pool for 25 yrs until last year and lots of this stuff is a new world to me. I usually like basic firm mediums like Snipers, Kamui Black Mediums - to me these generally feel like the old Mooris of the 90’s. For me they play OK on converional maple shafts, but with my CF shafts and my stiffer hitting butts they seem to hit really hard, and I feel like ai lose a bit of feel - so I’ve just started to experiment with Kamui Black Softs and G2 Softs because some smart/experienced folks say they hit a bit more like mediums but on slightly on softer side and don’t mushroom like many softs do. Since soft tips seem all the rage now I tried several types of softs but didn't like how grippy they are and they all required too much maintenance and fuss, and also thus didn’t last very long. I’m hoping these Kamui or G2 Softs will work well for me, but I just started using them and haven’t got enough time with them yet. For me tip selection is very specific to what cue/shaft I’m using - but somewhere in the “medium-soft” like durometer 70 ish or so seems to be best for me.

Not sure if any of this helps.

Cheers
 
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Konrad

Your wushu is weak!
nice! Thanks for being descriptive. I was assuming you used medium tips on the jump too because you were saying you liked the constant of your medium tip on all shots, break included. So i figured id ask. Did you start back with LD shaft or change to it after a while.
 
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Ratta

Hearing the balls.....
Silver Member
Hi, not really sure what you’re getting at. I simply don’t view the break shot as something special that requires a special or different anything. I’m not a brilliant man, but hitting all shots (except for short jumps) with my playing cue/tip - seems pretty consistent and works well for me. I’m of the opinion that the holes & weak areas of my game (including improving my break) aren’t going to be fixed with this stick or that tip. Perhaps at some point I’ll be divinely blessed to see whatever truth I’m currently missing, but my guess is most folks use break cues because its what the cool kids do, and/or they play with soft tips and want to minimize tip maintenance, which is very reasonable. I’m open minded though, perhaps if I get a cool new breaker with phenolic tip and an embossed 3x5 case my game will jump a ball or two. Shoot, I might even grab a glove and a personalized magnetic chalk holder while I’m shopping. Can never have enough fancy arrows in the quiver...

.
Your "idea" is sure not stupid :)

But...
The idea for a breakin cue is, (should be, better said), to be a bit more efficient. For example that a better energy transfer would help to get a better result by using the same break speed.
And of course, to not "ruin" your tip of your playing cue-that s also a serious idea. Some people can really break hard :) and nobody likes to maintain his tip all the time- and if you reach maybe 25mph, your "normal tip" ill mushroom.....for sure :)


From my expirience, (and this is not meant dis-respectfully!), player with a lower skill level/amateurs don t really benefit by using a high-tech breaker. You ll get such a tiny "speed boost" by using one of these new CF Breaker for example.
I personally, and also some absolute top players tested it out. Measuring the speed, accouracy etc. - the accouracy did not really got higher ( ofc always by using same tip), and the speed increased between 2 and a max percentage of 4,5 %. And the results in makin the typical balls on the break ( we tested 8, 9 and 10b), did not really change.
 

phreaticus

Active member
Your "idea" is sure not stupid :)

But...
The idea for a breakin cue is, (should be, better said), to be a bit more efficient. For example that a better energy transfer would help to get a better result by using the same break speed.
And of course, to not "ruin" your tip of your playing cue-that s also a serious idea. Some people can really break hard :) and nobody likes to maintain his tip all the time- and if you reach maybe 25mph, your "normal tip" ill mushroom.....for sure :)


From my expirience, (and this is not meant dis-respectfully!), player with a lower skill level/amateurs don t really benefit by using a high-tech breaker. You ll get such a tiny "speed boost" by using one of these new CF Breaker for example.
I personally, and also some absolute top players tested it out. Measuring the speed, accouracy etc. - the accouracy did not really got higher ( ofc always by using same tip), and the speed increased between 2 and a max percentage of 4,5 %. And the results in makin the typical balls on the break ( we tested 8, 9 and 10b), did not really change.
Thx for the thoughtful comments, with some objective analysis. I have no problem with any of that, I think we’re actully saying the same thing. Cheers!
 

phreaticus

Active member
nice! Thanks for being descriptive. I was assuming you used medium tips on the jump too because you were saying you liked the constant of your medium tip on all shots, break included. So i figured id ask. Did you start back with LD shaft or change to it after a while.

It would be nice in theory to have a more standard medium leather tip on a jump cue, but it seems almost any/all true jump cues (by this I mean modern very light, short 3 pc cues that let you really dart the CB for short hops) - will have very hard flat tips, phenolic of some sort. None of the so called “jump/break” cues I’ve tried jump or break the balls any better than a house cue, at least thats been my (limited) experience.

As for CF/LD shafts, it was a progression. LD is really nothing new, I played a bit with early Predator 314’s and whippy Meucci shafts in the old days that defected less, I’ve personally never been a major anti deflection fanatic, but less deflection is nicer when one has to load up the CB. I had to try many CF before finding one I like, I think the real advantages of CF are just the bulletproof durability/consistency and the fact that the material’s stiffness lets makers build thinner, lower deflection shafts that can still give a stiff crisp hit (vs the older whippy easy-to-warp maple shafts if you went < 12.75 mm with long pro taper in old days). I play with a Cynergy 12.5, which feels pretty much like a Predator 314-3 to me, but is impervious to dings etc.

Cheers
 

JazzyJeff87

AzB Plutonium Member
Silver Member
Those are the two shafts I use. 314-3 and the cynergy 12.5.

I love the feel of the CF, no dings and the taper is perfect (basically non existent where I play) but I still haven’t found the tip I like for it. It plays fine but I’m always going back to the -3.

The 314-3 with a solid water buffalo tip is like a golden combination but it doesn’t feel the same on the cyn for some reason.
 

OneHandedBreak

No handed breaks too
I much prefer a slightly heavier cue with a 13mm nickle domed tip for breaking one handed. My personal is an old Imperial two piece. I line the cue ball up dead center on the first diamond, back away from the table a bit, and step into the shot with a level stroke and some slight downward force on the rail felt. The extra weight, the lack of resistance from not using my bridge hand, and a smooth stoke plus my whole body behind the shot makes it pretty easy to master, and it's not hard to generate a lot of power with this combination. I have gotten to the point where miscues are extremely rare, and it's a real mind bender for any opponent who has never seen it before, especially after I've dropped five balls including the 8 in an 8 ball rack. Nothing like the sound of an exploding rack followed by the rhythmic clunking of balls running down the chute!

YMMV
 

ipoppa33

Shakedown Custom Rods
Silver Member
I much prefer a slightly heavier cue with a 13mm nickle domed tip for breaking one handed. My personal is an old Imperial two piece. I line the cue ball up dead center on the first diamond, back away from the table a bit, and step into the shot with a level stroke and some slight downward force on the rail felt. The extra weight, the lack of resistance from not using my bridge hand, and a smooth stoke plus my whole body behind the shot makes it pretty easy to master, and it's not hard to generate a lot of power with this combination. I have gotten to the point where miscues are extremely rare, and it's a real mind bender for any opponent who has never seen it before, especially after I've dropped five balls including the 8 in an 8 ball rack. Nothing like the sound of an exploding rack followed by the rhythmic clunking of balls running down the chute!

YMMV\

Videos please. Thanks
 

OneHandedBreak

No handed breaks too
Videos please. Thanks
I have one somewhere but it's not my best effort. I can get pretty consistent results with it (maybe one miscue out of 50 attempts) on any table where the rail felt is nappy and stands up from the rail a bit. If the rail is higher than the felt then it becomes a real crapshoot and not something you want to risk in a game that means anything. Although Saturday night at a local bar I let one fly with a house cue on a table with really worn out nap and a really shiny rail and still got really good contact on the head ball, but the cue ball got a couple inches of air after impact and went flying out the front door, through the parking lot, and out onto the main road a good 50 yards away or more. Oops!

One tip for anyone who wants to try it is to definitely not try to overhit it. Because you are stepping into it you have your whole body behind it, so you don't need nearly as much arm swing as with a conventional break. You can also start with the ball a little closer to the rail and then move it out a bit at a time as you get the feel for it. I will do some videos next time I get a chance and see if I can't make Happy Gilmore proud. ;-)
 

fastone371

Certifiable
Silver Member
Your "idea" is sure not stupid :)

But...
The idea for a breakin cue is, (should be, better said), to be a bit more efficient. For example that a better energy transfer would help to get a better result by using the same break speed.
And of course, to not "ruin" your tip of your playing cue-that s also a serious idea. Some people can really break hard :) and nobody likes to maintain his tip all the time- and if you reach maybe 25mph, your "normal tip" ill mushroom.....for sure :)


From my expirience, (and this is not meant dis-respectfully!), player with a lower skill level/amateurs don t really benefit by using a high-tech breaker. You ll get such a tiny "speed boost" by using one of these new CF Breaker for example.
I personally, and also some absolute top players tested it out. Measuring the speed, accouracy etc. - the accouracy did not really got higher ( ofc always by using same tip), and the speed increased between 2 and a max percentage of 4,5 %. And the results in makin the typical balls on the break ( we tested 8, 9 and 10b), did not really change.
I normally use my player to break even though I own a break cue. I have compared breaks using my player vs my break cue and on RADAR the speeds are pretty much the same. 20 mph for both cues, every so often I might get 21mph with the break cue, less often with my player. But here's where it gets interesting. Over the weekend I played in a tournament that was on Valley bar boxes (I rarely have to play on Valleys) which had miserable balls sets. They were nice and shiny but not even close to being the same size so the tables broke like crap playing 8 ball, over 7 breaks between my 1st opponent and myself neither one of us made a ball, it was a common complaint over the weekend. Between my 1st and 2nd matches while warming up I figured that I would clean the dust off of my break cue and suddenly I am making balls on every break and getting nice spreads, until the tip came flying off part way thru my 3rd match. After an hour of searching I finally found my run away tip about 30 feet away from where I was breaking and glued it back on over night. Anyhow I am curious to figure out the big difference in breaking success between the 2 cues, on my Gold Crown with premium ball sets it makes little difference which cue I use with equal results, same goes for 7' Diamonds.
 

phreaticus

Active member
I normally use my player to break even though I own a break cue. I have compared breaks using my player vs my break cue and on RADAR the speeds are pretty much the same. 20 mph for both cues, every so often I might get 21mph with the break cue, less often with my player. But here's where it gets interesting. Over the weekend I played in a tournament that was on Valley bar boxes (I rarely have to play on Valleys) which had miserable balls sets. They were nice and shiny but not even close to being the same size so the tables broke like crap playing 8 ball, over 7 breaks between my 1st opponent and myself neither one of us made a ball, it was a common complaint over the weekend. Between my 1st and 2nd matches while warming up I figured that I would clean the dust off of my break cue and suddenly I am making balls on every break and getting nice spreads, until the tip came flying off part way thru my 3rd match. After an hour of searching I finally found my run away tip about 30 feet away from where I was breaking and glued it back on over night. Anyhow I am curious to figure out the big difference in breaking success between the 2 cues, on my Gold Crown with premium ball sets it makes little difference which cue I use with equal results, same goes for 7' Diamonds.
We all love dirty 8b on beater Valley barboxes!

There are several variables besides velocity that could have been contributing to you getting better breaks. Does your break cue have a wider shaft/tip than your playing cue? (Larger sweet spot). Or a harder tip, or flatter tip? (less inadvertent spin). Any/all of these might be allowing you to get less spin and be more accurate - giving you just a tiny bit more of a square, solid pop into the head ball.

I’m not into break cues, but if i did have one, I think I’d prefer a fatter, conical taper (vs the 12.5 mm pro taper I prefer on my playing cue). I’ve noticed when power slamming on barboxes with dirty/sticky balls and using house cues, I seem to get better results when the cue has fatter, stiffer taper.

This might be what some folks term “more efficient energy transfer”. Or maybe it was a few extra beers and your shoulder was looser - of course that may also be technically considered more efficient energy transfer 😁

Cheers
 
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