Which is best, forward balance or butt heavy cues??

nobcitypool

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Where are the physics majors when you need one... I agree with the idea that people learn something and develop a preference for whatever that is and I've never seen good discussion on the impact of rear vs forward weights.

However, if the balance point were really close to the rear of the cue then your hand would be in front of the balance point with the butt pulling down and wouldn't that tend to lead to the tip of the cue moving up (imagine an extreme case where the butt weighed a couple of pounds)? Thus leading a player to either develop a firmer grip or always using a closed bridge even when an open bridge is called for? Maybe there just isn't enough weight to make a difference since the stick is nearly always at a downward angle relative to the stroke (due to rails being in the way)?

I prefer a forward balanced cue and use, on all but very long or high power shots, an open bridge with a very light grip. It seems to me that the forward balance helps distribute the weight between my grip hand and my bridge making for a more stable stick. Could be all in my head though because cues are so light it may just not be enough to matter. I'm also biased because early in my playing career someone I thought knew what he was talking about told me the stick should be balanced a few inches in front of your hand -- too early in my career for me to be worried about the physics of it.

The majority of cues have a balance point of 18" or greater. My preference is a balance point of at least 19". That being said, I cannot imagine someone with their back hand positioned more than 18" up on the cue. Would have to be either an extremely short wing span or holding the cue terribly wrong.
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This ain’t a bad thread, it’s old. But some good points. Funny I was reading what I wrote and didn’t realize I wrote it for a couple posts

Anyways…..

Best
Fatboy
 

Quesports

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
This ain’t a bad thread, it’s old. But some good points. Funny I was reading what I wrote and didn’t realize I wrote it for a couple posts

Anyways…..

Best
Fatboy
It is interesting to read your own old posts from time to time. Sadly a lot where lost years ago when Mike changed the website. Think it was late 04 or in 05.. Damn, that is so old it is vintage bordering on antique!
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
It is interesting to read your own old posts from time to time. Sadly a lot where lost years ago when Mike changed the website. Think it was late 04 or in 05.. Damn, that is so old it is vintage bordering on antique!
What’s cool is my feelings/opinions are the same as before. Sometimes I learn things and I’m flexible in my thinking. In this case I’m steadfast in agreement with what I said in the past. Is interesting for sure
 

HawaiianEye

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Bob Meucci has said the balance point should be at around 18“, FWIW.

I don’t play with one and have never had one.
 

phreaticus

Active member
What’s cool is my feelings/opinions are the same as before. Sometimes I learn things and I’m flexible in my thinking. In this case I’m steadfast in agreement with what I said in the past. Is interesting for sure

Hi, thanks for reviving an ancient thread that I never saw before. I think this topic is a really good discussion that can help many new players.

After returning to pool after multi decade absence, and trying to sort out what type of cue works best for me, balance, joint pin/materials & tip hardness emerged as the dominant factors of the cues “feel” to me, and I spent some time researching the topic of cue balance. There seems to be no widely agreed consensus on pros/cons of various balance points. For better or worse, here is a summary of what I concluded on the various “schools of thought” on the subject.

A common view is that older full splice cues designed back in old slow cloth days - tended to be heavier in general, 20-21 oz and heavier/thicker butts with very rearward balance. This theory promotes that faster cloth era (1988-1990 ish) has promoted more fwd balanced cues. But Joss, Shon, Pechauer are all old school cues from 70’s era and all of them seem to have modern dimensions and balance points, so not sure how “old” that theory is talking about…. And the new LD phase of cues/shaft since mid/late 90’s seems to have promoted lighter shafts, which seem to put balance more towards middle/rear? Not sure about this theory, seems like partial bunk to me.

Another theory says that typical balance point in traditional cue is about 18" or greater from butt end and most folks will do well to stay around that.

Another theory says rear balance shafts are good for more efficient follow action, front balanced cues are better for easy, lower rolling approach. I’ve found some truth in this.

Another theory says that heavy rears & hard tips are for folks that hit hard/fast. But finesse players with softer CB game prefer lighter, more forward balanced cues. I’ve also found truth in this.

Another theory teaches that rule of thumb for ideal balance point should be about 1 hand forward of where our grip sits - I’ve never heard a technical description of why this is, but it does seem to be a very classic established rule of thumb from old classic Billiards instruction books. Of course we all shift our grip location based on shot type, so this concept really woukd need to be considered an “average” grip location. In general, not very helpful....

Moving from speculative theories to more objective observations & analysis... IMO, it’s very helpful to understand some physics & physiology factors associated with cue weight, natural pivot length and tip efficiency.

Snooker players tend to prefer 17-18" balance points. Most FS house cues are in the 17-18" range. UK Snooker forum discussion on the topic.

Next, Meucci once analyzed weight balance issues super in depth. Their conclusions and design approach focusing on what most would consider rear balance are captured in the following old article text (I think from early 90’s). Its hard to find anymore, I got it here.

I’m average 5’-10” build but have long monkey arms & big hands, I grip cue far back on butt. Fatter butts, 58” lengths & rearward balance point of 17.5” is what feels best for me.

Sorry for long nerdy post, hope its useful to someone else on the journey.

✌️
 
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Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Hi, thanks for reviving an ancient thread that I never saw before. I think this topic is a really good discussion that can help many new players.

After returning to pool after multi decade absence, and trying to sort out what type of cue works best for me, balance, joint pin/materials & tip hardness emerged as the dominant factors of the cues “feel” to me, and I spent some researching the topic of cue balance a bit. There seems to be no widely agreed consensus on what pros/cons are of various balance points. For better or worse, here is a summary of what I concluded on the various “schools of thought” on the subject.

A common school of thought is that older full splice cues designed back in old slow cloth days - tended to be heavier in general, 20-21 oz and heavier/thicker butts with very rearward balance. This theory promotes that faster cloth era (1988-1990 ish) has promoted more fwd balanced cues. But Joss, Shon, Pechauer are all old school cues from 70’s era and all of them seem to have modern dimensions and balance points, so not sure how “old” that theory is talking about…. And the new LD phase of cues/shaft since mid/late 90’s seems to have promoted lighter shafts, which seem to put balance more towards middle/rear? Not sure about this theory, seems like partial bunk to me.

Another theory says that typical balance point in traditional cue is about 18" or greater from butt end and most folks will do well to stay around that.

Another theory says rear balance shafts are good for more efficient follow action, front balanced cues are better for easy, lower rolling approach.

Another theory says that heavy rears & hard tips are for folks that hit hard/fast. But finesse players with softer CB game prefer lighter, more forward balanced cues.

Another theory teaches that rule of thumb for ideal balance point should be about 1 hand forward of where our grip sits - I’ve never heard a technical description of why this is, but it does seem to be a very classic established rule of thumb from old classic Billiards instruction books. Of course we all shift our grip location based on shot type, so this concept really woukd need to be considered an “average” grip location.

Moving from speculative theories to more objective observations & analysis... IMO, it’s very helpful to understand some physics & physiology factors associated with cue weight, natural pivot length and tip efficiency.

Snooker players tend to prefer 17-18" balance points. Most FS house cues are in the 17-18" range. UK Snooker forum discussion on the topic.

Next, Meucci once analyzed weight balance issues super in depth. Their conclusions and design approach are captured in the following old article text (I think from early 90’s). Its hard to find anymore, I got it here.

I’m average 5’-10” build but have long monkey arms & big hands, I grip cue far back on butt. Fatter butts, 58” lengths & balance point of 17.5” is what feels best for me.

Sorry for long nerdy post, hope its useful to someone else on the journey.

✌️
Great post!

This is a great thread I thought. It came to my attention and I bumped it. There’s lots of good stuff on AZB just have to sift through lots of nonsense sometimes. We did on this one😀

Best
Fatboy
 

WoodyJ

Sacred Cow=Best Hamburger
Gold Member
Silver Member
Joseys are great but from what I've seen (for my short armspan) they're usually a bit rear balanced around 18-18.5"

That isn't really rear balanced, but for me it is. I have come to like heavy cues around 20" balance.

The majority of cues have a balance point of 18" or greater. My preference is a balance point of at least 19". That being said, I cannot imagine someone with their back hand positioned more than 18" up on the cue. Would have to be either an extremely short wing span or holding the cue terribly wrong.

Ditto.

Long ago I used to play with the lightest bar sticks (17-18oz) and break with the heaviest (20-21oz). So, I got a 17.5oz player and was quite happy with it for many years.

Then I found out the reason that I liked playing with the lighter bar sticks was because they had a lighter weight bolt in them (which meant that they were more forward balanced).

I prefer heavier cues now but no matter the weight of the cue -- the balance point makes the biggest difference to me.
 

phreaticus

Active member
Great post!

This is a great thread I thought. It came to my attention and I bumped it. There’s lots of good stuff on AZB just have to sift through lots of nonsense sometimes. We did on this one😀

Best
Fatboy

Thx. Yeah, I can only take AZB in small doses, the politics & virtual railbirding are way beyond the pale but there are some gems. Thanks for being a thoughtful contributor.
 

JazzyJeff87

AzB Plutonium Member
Silver Member
I used someone’s BK rush I’m pretty sure it was...as soon as I held it I noticed how crazy forward heavy it was (maybe just compared to my usual cue) but it no joke felt like energy in my hands waiting to explode and I broke extremely well with that thing.

It may have been just mental but something about the forward weight of it made me feel like it was a made for smashing racks. And maybe because I was thinking that I really did smash racks. My ears rang lightly after the crack of the break. My break not usually great but that night was fun.

I will check out my cues balance point tonight now just cuz I’m curious. I’ve never thought much about that aspect even after that night mentioned above
 

Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Thx. Yeah, I can only take AZB in small doses, the politics & virtual railbirding are way beyond the pale but there are some gems. Thanks for being a thoughtful contributor
I left for 7 years lol.

But like pool I always come back. I don’t use the internet much, here and maybe the headlines once in a while. That’s it.

I’ve met and made some GREAT friends here, life long friends all over the world. AZB has been good to me over all.

I avoid confrontation here much as possible. I realize some people hate me and I can’t fix that. So I’m just nice to them, arguing is fruitless.

The amount of pool knowledge here is tremendous. Pool has never been a calm ecosystem online or at the pool room, that’s just the nature of our sport I realized long ago.

I’m just glad to still be here, I miss those we have lost, I’ll always do my best to write useful posts, and bust balls now and then.

Best
Fatboy<——-chillin in Florida this week🦩🦩
 

HawaiianEye

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
For me, I think the balance point should be where the cue feels “neutral“ when you are down on the shot and are using your “normal“ bridge length and your grip hand is where you “normally” put it.

I try to keep the cue ball in a position on the table where I can use my “normal” bridge and grip if I can.

Some people tend to have a longer bridge and hold the cue farther back than I do. I think that allows them to keep a more back-weighted cue in “balance”.
 

HawaiianEye

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Now it is time for all our pool scientists to explain the difference in “effect”, if any, on the cue ball between the two examples below.

If you take the SAME cue (any weight) and put an added ounce of weight (lead tape) one inch above the cue’s normal balance point and then take the SAME cue and put one ounce of weight one inch below the normal balance point, will there be any difference on the cue ball effect between the two examples using the exact same force in stroke?
 

evergruven

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
Some people tend to have a longer bridge and hold the cue farther back than I do. I think that allows them to keep a more back-weighted cue in “balance”.

word. part of the reason I like a forward-balanced cue is because my wingspan is relatively short
bridge aside, I literally can't hold the cue as far back as many other players
so, balance could be important to a person with longer arms, but I think it's definitely important to a player with short arms
 

kling&allen

AzB Gold Member
Gold Member
I built a test cue a few months ago to experiment with balance points. The old masters uniformly believed that the cue should be held very close to the balance point. Mosconi said 3 to 6 inches. Hoppe said “as close as possible.”

1634354744753.png


Of course, the modern 90-degree elbow stroke is vastly different than the old 14.1 stroke favored by Mosconi and earlier generations of players:

1634354784227.png


1634354793637.png


I threw together a quick test butt out of some scrap poplar trim. The butt is 30 inches long, has a 3D printed collar and bumper, and weighs in at 8.3 oz (8.8 oz once I installed an aluminum radial pin). I paired it with a 30-inch CF shaft that weighs 3.3 oz. Surprisingly, this ~12.1oz cue, with a balance point 21 inches from the butt, plays just fine provided I don’t have to move the cue ball too much.

To dramatically change the balance point, I made a donut with removable weights (5.5oz to 7.5oz) that can secure to any point on the butt using collets. This allowed me to test a range of balance points from ~13inches to ~25 inches.

1634354865935.png


1634354875639.png



Results:

  • Balance point mattered little compared to other factors. Switching shafts, for example, had a much bigger impact on “feel” and “hit” than the balance point.
  • The forward balance points were the most unnatural. I’d rather play with the unweighted 12.1 cue than a 18oz cue with the balance point at 25 inches from the butt.
  • I preferred the rearward balance point more than forward balance points, although I didn’t notice that much (or any) difference between 13 inch and 15 inch balance points. The main difference is the cue feels lighter when I’m walking around holding the cue with only my grip hand. Once I’m down on the table small changes in balance point didn’t impact my stroke, which makes sense given the small differences in force the cue places on my bridge hand and grip fingers based on balance point.
  • The old masters would have played fine with any cue. I’ve never seen it articulated why they thought balance point was so important. Mosconi thought it would “throw off your balance” if there was too much space between your bridge hand and grip hand.
 

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HawaiianEye

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
I built a test cue a few months ago to experiment with balance points. The old masters uniformly believed that the cue should be held very close to the balance point. Mosconi said 3 to 6 inches. Hoppe said “as close as possible.”

View attachment 613274

Of course, the modern 90-degree elbow stroke is vastly different than the old 14.1 stroke favored by Mosconi and earlier generations of players:

View attachment 613275

View attachment 613276

I threw together a quick test butt out of some scrap poplar trim. The butt is 30 inches long, has a 3D printed collar and bumper, and weighs in at 8.3 oz (8.8 oz once I installed an aluminum radial pin). I paired it with a 30-inch CF shaft that weighs 3.3 oz. Surprisingly, this ~12.1oz cue, with a balance point 21 inches from the butt, plays just fine provided I don’t have to move the cue ball too much.

To dramatically change the balance point, I made a donut with removable weights (5.5oz to 7.5oz) that can secure to any point on the butt using collets. This allowed me to test a range of balance points from ~13inches to ~25 inches.

View attachment 613277

View attachment 613278


Results:

  • Balance point mattered little compared to other factors. Switching shafts, for example, had a much bigger impact on “feel” and “hit” than the balance point.
  • The forward balance points were the most unnatural. I’d rather play with the unweighted 12.1 cue than a 18oz cue with the balance point at 25 inches from the butt.
  • I preferred the rearward balance point more than forward balance points, although I didn’t notice that much (or any) difference between 13 inch and 15 inch balance points. The main difference is the cue feels lighter when I’m walking around holding the cue with only my grip hand. Once I’m down on the table small changes in balance point didn’t impact my stroke, which makes sense given the small differences in force the cue places on my bridge hand and grip fingers based on balance point.
  • The old masters would have played fine with any cue. I’ve never seen it articulated why they thought balance point was so important. Mosconi thought it would “throw off your balance” if there was too much space between your bridge hand and grip hand.

Mosconi and I are roughly the same height.

My grip and bridge hands are almost exactly where his are.
 

Konrad

Your wushu is weak!
I’ll play with any cue frontward or back weighted. I’m no pro. It doesn’t seem to change the game much for me personally. Butt I hold my cue at the bottom of the wrap or lower….it might make a difference if I held the wrap in the middle.

So I’m not concerned with balance unless there’s a weight around the ferrule. That might make playing difficult.

Now if we are talking about weed eaters I could go on all day about weed whacker balance points and how they change your trimming. That’s right. Most of you have no idea there is a difference between balance points on say an echo and a husqvarna

Point being, there probably is a difference and I’m sure someone can probably go on all day on cue balance points.
 
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Fatboy

AzB Silver Member
Silver Member
The old equipment I think created a need for a slip stroke to get more on the rock. With modern fast equipment a pitty Pat deceleration stroke(think SVB) will get you all the sauce needed on Judy or Lucy (depending on your preference). I think that why styles have changed.

Pool speak post
Fatboy

If ya need a interpreter, ya ain’t paid ur dues. 😉
 
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