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View Full Version : Balabushka Cues - Quality or just a ripoff?



MinnesotaSlim
09-24-2002, 01:16 PM
I have seen a lot of new balabushkas on Ebay for around $200.00. I know a real balabushka can go for 10 to 20k. Who makes these now and are they worth that kind of money?

Or is it just some companies clever ploy to sell firewood?

Tom_In_Cincy
09-24-2002, 02:07 PM
This is a question asked awhile back.

The cues do have good reveiws. Players that I know that have the Helmstetter line of cues are very happy with them.

http://www.billiardstore.com/bal/balrev.htm

09-24-2002, 03:19 PM
IMO the Helmstetter Balabushkas are one of the finest mass-produced cues ever, Slim. Dick Helmstetter (who also invented the Big Bertha, and has been listed as one of the ten richest men in golf) bought a great deal of Mr. Balabushka's equipment, sketches and notes, plus the right to use his name. You won't be disappointed - and the bonafide article you mention isn't worth anywhere near that much dough in terms of playability, just as collectibles. Remember, they were great cues for their era, but Mr. Balabushka was limited to the technology of the '60s. Cuemaking has come a long, long way since then. GF

Tom_In_Cincy
09-24-2002, 03:24 PM
Mr. George Fels,

Thanks for posting this. I remember you making this same statement last year.. (or maybe earlier this year) and have since then, had a chance to play with one of the Helmstetter cues and I can say that they are a good playing cue.

I wonder why these cues aren't making their way into more pro shop cases than the othes? Seems like the only way to get one is off the internet.

09-26-2002, 10:08 AM
They're available directly from Competition Sports in Lynwood, NY (as I recall), Tom. The reason they aren't in more pro shops is most likely passive marketing/promotion on Competition Sports' part. They advertise pretty consistently in our magazine, if anyone's interested in phone #/address; I don't have an issue in front of me or I'd supply that info here. GF

Wally_in_Cincy
09-26-2002, 10:46 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: George Fels:</font><hr> They're available directly from Competition Sports in Lynwood, NY (as I recall), Tom. The reason they aren't in more pro shops is most likely passive marketing/promotion on Competition Sports' part. They advertise pretty consistently in our magazine, if anyone's interested in phone #/address; I don't have an issue in front of me or I'd supply that info here. GF <hr></blockquote>

http://www.competitionsports.com/

Back to work now.

09-27-2002, 03:57 AM
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Fred Agnir
09-27-2002, 08:30 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote: George Fels:</font><hr> Dick Helmstetter ... bought a great deal of Mr. Balabushka's equipment, sketches and notes, plus the right to use his name. <hr></blockquote>

I'm not sure how much equipment was bought by Helmstetter, but I thought Pete Tascarella ended up with most if not all of it.


Fred

09-27-2002, 01:32 PM
except for the novelty of having it, the bunch of junk Balabushka had in his shop was not worth much. The average hobbyist today has a better equipped shop then Balabushka had. His inlay work was amateur at best and many of his designs down right ugly.