View Full Version : Buying a shorter cue....
I am a somewhat vertically challenged pool player who has recently come to the conclusion (after much denial) that my game would be helped if I was using a shorter cue - perhaps by as much as 3 inches. I am curious if anyone has any advice on the purchase of a shorter cue. Would it be enough to simply buy a shorter shaft? Or would you that have a negative effect on the overall balance and hit. Would I need to find a custom cue maker and have them tailor a cue to my specifics, or could I simply contact one of the major companies (I've been using a Joss and I like it a great deal) and have them create a shorter version of one of their production cues? Any advice would certainly be appreciated from down here....
03-16-2002, 09:02 AM
Check Jimmy Reid's Website. He actually goes into detail on how to figure the size (length) of a cue given your height. Here's the link: <a target="_blank" href=http://freepoollessons.com/index2.html>http://freepoollessons.com/index2.html</a>
In Nov. I contacted South East cues and had Nat Green make me a cue to my specs 56inches with a built in 4inch extension. I have never had a better hitting cue it plays great. Do yourself a favor and contact him ASAP.Thnx EZMark
03-19-2002, 02:54 AM
One of the cuemakers at Valley Forge who asked to remain unquoted on this matter, was saying that the standard cue length used to be 57" until Bob Meucci, who is quite tall at about 6'4" I would guess, started making them 58" and other cuemakers followed suit. Does anyone remember the standard being 57", and if Meuccis were the first to change to 58"?
03-19-2002, 07:24 AM
I can say with considerable confidence that 57" was the standard for years and years. Meucci was one of the first to go to 58", but I don't know if he was THE first. My guess is that custom cue makers were making a lot of 58" cues before any of the production cue companys joined in.
03-19-2002, 07:39 AM
I can not say for sure, if and when the standard was changed, but I have a cue that was made in the very late 60's and it is at least an inch shorter than a more receintly made 58" cue. Rich R.
03-19-2002, 09:17 AM
The overall length of the cue is not really the factor. The part of the cue you play with is the part from where your grip hand rests and to the tip of the cue. When you pick up a cue you will naturally grab it where it feels the most comfortable. This is determined by the thickens of the butt the and the balance point. Once you grab the cue and bend over the table you don't know how much cue you have behind your grip hand. I have played with 58 inch cues that were balanced in such a way I fouled the cue ball when addressing it and others that felt short. This will mostly affect players that tend to hold the cue in the middle of the wrap or even more forward. Tall players that hold the cue far back don't seem to experience this feeling of long or shortness because they are so far behind the balance point anyway. The best way to determine the balance point is not from the butt cap but from the tip. In other words you hear a cue is balanced at 19 inches that is from the butt cap. If cues are different lengths this number loses it's meaning. If you measure from the tip, this relates directly to the player. Another factor is the mass of the cue. A shorter cue with the same balance point from the tip as a longer cue, moves the mass of the back of the cue closer to the grip hand. The cue may seem to be easier to control if you consider the grip hand is also a fulcrum (a pivot point). It lends to logic that a shorter cue would be easier to play with. But who knows. Pat Fleming by the way told me he was now using a 54 inch cue and thought it improved his game. I would say marketing shorter cues to the public would be all but impossible. The same as with the shorter ferrules. With their mentality, If pool players were playing tennis they would be using wooden rackets. The Predator shaft is the first innovation I have seen players accept. They don't seem to like change much.
on a side note: Pat Fleming plays with a few inches shorter cue on an accu-stats 14.1 tape. He just cut regular Meucci cues shorter himself. Scores a high run of 102 on the VHS, if I remember correctly...
Since I am 6'6" I always heard that I should play with a longer cue, so in 76 when I ordered and received my Zam I got it 60" in length, knowing if I did not like it I would be able to cut it back and refit new ferrules without a problem. I had it that way for almost two years/sent it to Stroud had him cut it back and will never have that much wood in my hands ever again. I would prefer a 56" before anything over 59". I also remember seeing a Balabuska that Mizerak owned/reddish in color/was a whopping 61" in length, he could probably give an interesting viewpoint on why he bought/sold that cue and how it affected his play. Heck some of the BD articles on European players said they played with a 54" cue and I also remember someone at 14oz, sounds like too much snooker (talking about the weight aspect only). IMO the less wood moving (Buddy Hall) the simplier the action. BF
03-19-2002, 01:34 PM
I have played with that cue. It is something like 54 inches. I liked it. It was not a Meucci though. I think he told me a guy that lives next door to him made it and it was made to be that length. It is not a cue that has been cut down. I don't know that he did not cut down another cue at one time to experiment, so you could be correct.
03-20-2002, 12:28 AM
"who has recently come to the conclusion (after much denial) that my game would be helped if I was using a shorter cue - perhaps by as much as 3 inches."
Now I want to know how you have come to this conclusion? Is it just something that you feel, or have you tried a shorter cue and like it better?
There are different ways to look at cue lenght, but I agree with all of what Q-guy had to say about the matter.
To determine the "minimum" usable length for a cue you need to know:
1) your normal bridge length
2) the distance betewwen the fulcrum of your bridge hand, and the back of your grip hand in your normal stance.
Add the two together and this is the shortest cue that you can use. Btw, this is always a much shorter cue than most people would consider using.
So what most people do is add some extra length behind the grip hand. This does two things, a) it allows you to reach shots when you have to stretch a bit and b) it can increase the moment of inertia of the cue by having some additional weight behind the grip hand.
Note that b) is not always the case.
Here is what many top Snooker players do:
They determine the minimum cue length as above and have a cue made to that length.(standard Snooker cues are 57" long, but many are shorter, few are longer). Then they have a small extension made that screws onto the back of the cue to enable a longer reach. They also have a longer, often telescoping extension to use with long shots that require the rest.
You can see Karen Corr using this type of arrangement with her cue (it has a brass insert in the rear, and has an extension that can be screwed in place).
Jimmy Reid metions another solution on his website that is very interesting. The butt sleeve unscrews and can telescope to add about 6" to the length of the cue. When finished with the shot, the integral extension can be retracted and screwed tight returning the cue the original length. Several cuemakers are now offering this novel extension.
It seems to me that the main difference between a shorter player and a taller player is in the position of the grip hand. A shorter player will grip the cue further forward. In theory, the portion of the cue behind the grip hand is irrelevant to the playability. But the criteria that might affect the shorter player the most is the balance point. If the cue is gripped very far forward, the balance point is often too close to the grip hand. This does not feel comfortable.
A shorter shaft would help a bit, but it has to be re-tapered, not just cut down. Also, short shafts flex differently than longer shafts, so the playability might not be the same. I'd suggest that you have the balance point of your cue moved forward. This way you get the comfort of the correct balance point, but plenty of extra cue when you need to reach for a shot.
I've made many cues for shorter players. Most don't want a shorter cue (57" is common) but all want the balance point at least 3" further forward than what is common for a production cue.
Joss might modify the cue for you if you contact Dan Janes.
in the commentary he does on the tape himself, he said he'd been experimenting with cues of different lengths, both short and extra-long... from 53 to 62 inches, if I remember right.
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