View Full Version : Clean balls & kicks

10-31-2009, 06:35 PM
The July 2009 Snooker Scene mag haz a good article by Martin Goodwill -- that super'clean balls kick badly -- every time.
This refers to 2-1/16" aramith balls -- ie for snooker and billiards -- ie on a 12' table with woollen cloth.

This faktoid (clean balls kicking) haz been known for a long time -- but many players dont know.
In the pool'world Kick iz known az Cling and Skid.
It appears that super'clean balls suffer much higher ball'to'ball friktion -- hence the kicks -- hence the ObjektBall can take a bad angle -- and the Qball too.

Anyhow, the super'clean (super'kick) problem can be fixed by handling the balls -- but beware, super'oily balls can bring about a "reverse" problem, too little friktion, ie not enuff kick.

11-05-2009, 05:53 PM
The September 2009 Snooker Scene mag haz a good article by Barry Stark. Hiz friktion tests show that the oldendays Crystalate ball had less ball'to'ball friktion than krapamiths (he called them phenolic -- but they were allmost certainly krapamiths) -- and much less than kraps when super'clean.

Tests mezured the needed pull'out force for a ball sqeezed (5lb force approx) tween two other balls.
........ Not Cleaned --------- Kraps = 3 lbf ------- Crystalate = 1 lbf.
........ Thorougly Cleaned -- Kraps = 6 lbf ------- Crystalate = 4 lbf. (Aktually, the kraps were over 6, but the scale only went to 6).

Barry's conclusion woz that the modern phenolic ball badly affekts............
............."the frequency and severity of kicks in the game of snooker".

I agree with about 25% of what Goodwill sayd (in the earlyr article), and likewize about 50% of what Stark sayd in hiz full article -- but they did some very nice work.

11-06-2009, 01:02 PM
I am perplexed by this claim.

I would think that DIRTY balls would cling and skid far more than super clean balls. And a little backup for that opposite position is that allegedly knowledgeable people claim that clean balls make for very little spin-induced throw.

Curious, but I'm going to look at that analysis if I can find it.

11-06-2009, 04:18 PM
Dr Dave's website mentions kicks being due to chalk -- ok.
And due to dirty balls -- i dont agree, i dont think balls ever get dirty enuff to kick.
Dr Dave duznt mention kicks due to super'clean balls.

My own recent tests at home confirmed what Goodwill and Stark sayd -- ie that super'clean balls kick.
I cleaned some Kraps (phenolic) with metho, and i got giant kicks -- in fakt i got worse kicks than when uzing chalk.
Likewize with the old Super'Crystalates (polyester).
Likewize with the very old Bonzolines (cellulose ??).

I noticed that my Bonzoz kicked just a little bit less than Supers and Kraps -- so, in a way this duznt confirm Stark's claim that Kraps kick much worse than Crystalates. Bonzolines and Crystalates are both basically cellulose.

I know (we know) that Kraps do kick much worse than Bonzoz and Crystalates -- but here when i say "worse" i am talking about the frequency and size of kicks that u suffer in a real game on a real table -- this iz a different thing to what Goodwill and Stark are talking about -- in fakt this iz one of the mistakes that they make in their logik.

In my tests i rolled a (clean) ball down a ramp into another (clean) ball -- and i mezured how far the ball rolled throo after impakt -- the bigger the kick the less the roll'throo.

Likewize i did ramp tests for balls not super'clean, ie cleaned on my Tee'shirt -- theze gave "normal" roll'throo -- ie the uzual small kick that u allways (should) get.
Likewize for balls that had been handled.

Likewize i tested balls that had been wiped with sweat (oil) -- and with a dab of saliva -- and with a dab of soap. Theze (slippery) balls rolled throo further.

I didnt do any tests with balls that had been cleaned in hot water -- i think hot water would giv similar rezults to metho. And i didnt try washing balls with dish'cleaner.

A few years ago Steve Davis got big kicks when he cleaned some snooker balls with Acetone (i think).

11-06-2009, 04:34 PM
<div class="ubbcode-block"><div class="ubbcode-header">Originally Posted By: cushioncrawler</div><div class="ubbcode-body">Dr Dave's website mentions kicks being due to chalk -- ok.
And due to dirty balls -- i dont agree, i dont think balls ever get dirty enuff to kick.
Dr Dave duznt mention kicks due to super'clean balls.</div></div>Many things can cause more throw than normal (AKA cling, kick, skid). The most common culprit is chalk smudges on the balls. Also, when balls get dirty (e.g., oily from handling), they tend to hold chalk dust more easily. Rough spots at the point of contact (e.g., from old, beat up balls) can also increase friction. I can believe that some balls will have more (of less) friction if you clean them (depending on what you clean them with) and/or polish or wax them (depending on what you polish or wax them with).


11-06-2009, 05:08 PM
Dr Dave -- Yes i agree that dirty (oily) balls can hold chalk dust moreso and hencely kick more -- i had taken "dirty" too literally.

I seem to recall that in my test years ago i found that tobacco ash (placed on a ball) gav kicks just az bad az chalk kicks. But hair and lots of other stuff didnt giv bad kicks at all.

The real problem with Kraps iz mini'kix -- theze are from old impakt marks, before they naturally polish away.
The oldendays balls were harder -- hence smaller impakt marks -- hence less frequency of mini'kix -- az Dr Onoda pointed out.
In the 70's i played with Bonzolines and Crystalates -- much harder than Kraps -- the impakts sounded very sharp and loud -- Kraps sound soft and are soft.

But Stark woznt testing phenolic (bakelite) balls -- thats another mistake that he made -- Stark woz testing the friktion of the "vitreous" coating.
What iz that clear coating made of -- Mr Aramith wont say.
But the Kraps are krap koz of their krap softness, and koz of that krap coating.
But perhaps the usofa pool balls in the oldendays (bakelite???) were softish too -- or were mud balls hard (??).

Funny thing -- ivory iz softer than bakelite, yet ivory balls sound even harder than Bonzoz. This must be due to the vibrations dieing quicker due to the organic nature of ivory.
Some old articles sayd that ivorys kicked less than the new balls (Bonzoz and Crystalates) -- some old articles sayd that the ivorys kicked more -- i havnt found out for sure.