View Full Version : flat tip on break cue

07-19-2002, 11:33 PM
i was at a weekly tournament tonite and i noticed that the local hotshot had a regular tip on his break cue. i say regular because it was the same roundness that is on the cue he shoots with. so, i thought i would pass on some info that was given to me once about flat tips.

i was told that a flat tip is best for a break cue. i'm talking real flat, like a tabletop. the science behind this is based on the same as the flat side on a golf driver. i was told that this was done to get a bigger surface contact with the golf ball or cue ball. it made sense to me because it came from a very reliable person.

i told him this and he looked at me like i was stupid. he is the type of person that will not believe anyone else on anything simply because he plays better than they do. he said that when his tip makes contact that it flattens out, so a flat tip would not be any better than a rounded one.

can anyone give me some input so i can sleep at nite!

Cueless Joey
07-19-2002, 11:38 PM
Maybe he likes putting an inside draw on his cueball like one poster here who claimed he did that and he made 3 balls on the average. LOL
Flat tips for breaking, definitely.

07-20-2002, 01:58 PM
When I make a break Q, I always make the tip just slightly rounded. Then after a few hard breaks it's flat & will conform to the shape of the back of the ball, better than a rounded one. That way more force is delivered directly to the Q ball...JER

P.S. I also think that a rear weighted Q, makes a better break Q, than a more balanced one.

07-21-2002, 12:12 AM
"i was told that a flat tip is best for a break cue. i'm talking real flat, like a tabletop. the science behind this is based on the same as the flat side on a golf driver."

Well anon, it really is not as simple as you were told. While a flat tip does allow for a larger contact patch on the cueball, this in and of itself, does not guarantee a better result when breaking.

There are really two issues when breaking that are affected by the tip (as well as energy transfer, but that is a different issue):
1) a solid center hit on the cueball
2) a solid center hit on the head ball

Think of what happens on a break shot:

You line up the cue with the center of the cueball and the center of the head ball, then you pull it back and?.....

If you come through dead center and still on line, then all is well in muddville. But what often happens is that we tend to swerve the cue a bit during the stroke (because of the speed involved and the longer than normal bridge length), and this results in an off-center hit.

The theory behind a flat tip is that you can still hit the center of the cueball even if the tip is shifted to the side by 1/2 tip diameter (max). While this does result in satisfying case 1) (a center contact with the cueball) does it really satisfy case #2)? Well the answer is no.

If the off-center hit was caused by a swerve or a swoop in the stroke, then the cue (by definition) is skewed a bit sideways at contact. This means that with a flat tip, the cueball will no longer be travelling toward the center of the object ball. This is because at contact, the cue is no longer pointing at the center of the object ball (the bridge hand acts as a pivot, setup your cue or make a small diagram and see what I mean).

So a flat tip really only solves 1/2 the problem.

One solution proposed by Bob Jewett is to choose a break cue with a pivot point near the length of your break bridge length (say 12" to 15" or so). Then use a nickel curvature for the tip (not flat but curved). Now when you swerve the cue at impact (by mistake of course) the cueball will squirt away from the direction of the applied english. Since the pivot point is near the bridge length, the squirt angle will correct for the cue misalignment and you will still hit the object ball full in the face.

It seems to me that control of the cueball is one of the most important criteria for the break shot. A flat tip will give you a center ball hit on the cueball, but won't guarantee a full hit on the head ball unless you actually do hit dead center of the cueball in the first place.

So the guy you saw might have been correct in what he was doing!

Note also, at the recent USA vs Canada "Border Battle" here in Toronto, I had a chance to look at some of the equipment that the pros were using. I did not see a flat tip on any of the pros break cues. They all had a domed tip.

for what it's worth...


Chris Cass
07-21-2002, 11:31 PM
Well Jer,

I have to go with you on this one. I like them slightly rounded because of the power I put behind my break. If totally flat I'll lose more power and most likely miscue if I don't hit it just right.

Also, I've noticed it works better for me with about a dime side wall only. I know how you must feel about the ferrule and all but it means less to me than some of the sets I play. Also, I use a rather hard ferrule and pretty much don't care if I get the results I need.



07-22-2002, 12:31 AM
> When shaping mine,I try to get it shaped a little rounder than a 2 1/4 ball,then let it flatten itself out to the same radius as the ball. The surface contact is increased by a truly signifigant amount. When I really hit a rack sweet,the chalk mark on the ball is almost the same size as my tip,and when I look at the tip,it has a bald spot on it the same size. Tommy D.

07-22-2002, 07:23 AM
On the contrary, I like your idea about a thin tip. I love replacing ferrules, it pays for my golf balls...JER

Chris Cass
07-22-2002, 08:33 AM

Your golf game would suffer if you counted on my ferrule income. LOL Although the side wall is at a dime. The tip is still curved about like Tommy D. described.

Good luck on the course,

C.C.~~likes JER and seen a Blackheart cue recently, nice. Cool little blk heart in the butt cap. I knew immediately who made it.