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View Full Version : Predator BK review - Something it did not intend



Fred Agnir
04-04-2003, 11:13 AM
After hearing much raving about the Predator BK at its first arrival at the Derby City Classic a couple of years ago, I had wanted to get one to see if there was any hope whatsoever in helping my pathetic break.

My break is similar to others who have reported here of of accidental unwanted spin left on the cueball. On firmer shots, my tip tends to arc right to left. Depending on the time of day and how much breaking I've done, it gets better (or I time the arc better). That is, I'm usually breaking better at the end of the tournament. Someone please give me a good way to harness the end of the tournament results and
put it at the beginning.

Anyway, on to the Predator BK. Did it make my break into something on the order of a professional? Not even close. My break was as weak as ever. However, what I got out of the Predator BK was consistency. I am always hitting to the right of the head ball a little, with a lot of right-hand spin leftover. Normally, with my other cues, I'll have a little right-hand, but because of squirt, I hit the left side of the head ball or the right side of the head ball depending on where I broke from. So with the BK, the adjustment was one way. And, the adjustment was consistent. I'll have to keep working on this, but since the adjustment makes some sort of sense, I've got a starting point. Maybe I need to get the StrokeTrainer http://www.stroketrainer.com to get the stroke straight. Of course, I'll break my fingers trying to get me break stroke straight hitting that aluminum plate.

But on to what the stick did not intend. The BK has a 314 shaft on it. I've shot with these shafts before, but only onesie twosie shot. And the test shots were always with english. Afterall, isn't that what the Predator is geared towards? Well, because I was lazy, after breaking the balls, I'd shoot them in with the Predator. Is there a difference? And what is the difference? For putzes like me who can't hit the ball in the center (how I've gotten this far with my game, I'll never know), certain shots are always a lower percentage. Particularly, firm center shots like these:

Power draw:

START(
%A_8X1%PN6U7%Up8Z2%V`6X2%W]8W9%XP8V2%YE2U4%Z^1W9%[X8M5%\E1U2
%eB5b2
)END

and jacked up stop shot:

START(
%AX5P1%BY7U5%PD7W8%Ur4C9%VY6O4%[V7P8%\E9W2%eB5b2

)END

I'm normally 50% on making these shots, but to my amazement, I was hitting these in the heart. It should be no surprise that I normally miss these given my break shot problems.

Now, say what you will about new cue syndrome. This isn't it. This stick sounds and feels awful when I hit normal shots. It's entirely too butt heavy for regular shooting. The butt is too thin for my taste. The wrap is so tight, it feels fake. But I can't deny that the strength in it so far is not on the english shots, but the centerball shots, for those of us who simply can't hit the center of the cueball. For those of you who can hit the center, it might not be a noticeable difference.

How will it work under the gun? I decided to play in a tournament last night at a pool hall that I've never done well. The tables are tight "don't even think about touching the cushion" Olhausens with too-much-bounce cushions. The winner of these tournaments is always the best shotmaker. Tactics and runout pattern skills are diminished because the tables just take away so many shots. That's why I normally don't play because all of my skill if I have any is focused on runout patterns in 8-ball. Last night's results: no contest. I blew away the field, made up mostly of SL-6's and SL-7's. The Schuler never got out of the bag. It was all Predator BK. I'm not saying I made every shot, but the tight tables had less effect on me than anyone else there by far. It was almost like playing on normal tables. It was almost surreal. I'm simply not that good of a shotmaker, though I'm certainly far from bad.

Where doesn't the shaft work? Well, so far, the subtle soft and/or long english shots I'm a little lost. Not too lost. Lost in that I have to fight my natural tendency to adjust for squirt, and often it's an afterthought. I almost scratch a couple times on this:

START(
%A\3F5%BD7N2%P]8O1%U\8H9%V]4M9%[P1Y7%\]3D1%eA7a2%_]0D5%`\9F2
%a\7G7
)END

The subtle inside-english follow. I hit too full in the face, catching the point (or worse). If I were to continue with these shafts, it would be quite a commitment.

Fred <~~~ thinks it won't help people who can't aim.

Deeman
04-04-2003, 02:47 PM
Fred,

I'd keep hitting that stick and shaft combo until it doesn't work anymore. It almost sounds like you got a good dose of Dead Stroke in there for the tournament. I have some 314's that someone dumped on me. I have started using one on my Schon in practice and am having a little difficulty in shots with heavy English at a distance. As long as I think and concentrate hard I can make them. However, often I just go back to my old deflection "memory" and boot the shot. I don't know if I'll get used ot it in time but suppose I will. I have not noticed that I can stray off-center without imparting about the same amount of spin as I usually do. My problem also seems to be cheating the pocket with top combined with English. If I don't watch it, I follow the object ball right into the pocket, on shallow angles, where I would normally double the corner and come out! Scarey prospect in a tournament setting. Let us know how you come out. I may try it in a small tournament someday.

I will put one on a break cue and see what it does to torture me there!!

Eric.
04-04-2003, 03:00 PM
I'd be curious to see how it works for you over the long haul. My personal Predator experiment didn't pan out. I wound up giving the shaft to my buddy after playing with it for 8 months.

As far as the BK shaft, I did a 'scientific' experiment awhile back and wanted to see what makes it tick. One of the things I noticed is that it has a different taper, similar to a billiards cue. The BK has a stronger taper than the regular Predator shaft. That in mind, I think it plays differently than the other shaft.

Hey, if it works for you...

Eric >what th hell

dg-in-centralpa
04-04-2003, 03:34 PM
Fred,
Because of the stiff hit with the predator, it will take some getting used to. I had a Meucci that squirted more than an overripe orange. I tried a predator back in '98 at VF. I loved it! I saved up the money for a mid range stick and bought it. Since then I am using it as my break stick as I bought a custom stick. I found that if you break from the side near the rail and hit the second ball with straight draw or inside english the results are very good. Just keep practicing the breaks like this and you'll get results. Good Luck.

SpiderMan
04-04-2003, 07:28 PM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Deeman:</font><hr> Fred,
My problem also seems to be cheating the pocket with top combined with English. If I don't watch it, I follow the object ball right into the pocket, on shallow angles, where I would normally double the corner and come out!
<hr /></blockquote>

Deeman,

That happens to a lot of people when they first try it with a predator. You line up basically straight in, depending on the fact you're hitting both top and side to squirt the cueball a little off line so it will hit the rail. But the squirt is low enough on the predator that you hit the OB full in the face and follow it in, cursing.

SpiderMan

Leviathan
04-04-2003, 08:45 PM
'Lo, Fred. Interesting.

I've been thinking about your description of your break stroke. One would think that you might get unwanted left English if the tip of your cue moves from your right to your left past the center of the ball (unless the sideways movement occurs after the CB is struck.)

Also, I'd be curious to see how much you turn your shoulders during your break stroke. Excessive shoulder rotation during the forward stroke could push the cue's butt to the right and its tip to the left before the CB is struck (if one plays right-handed.)

Regards,

D.M.

Fred Agnir
04-07-2003, 06:31 AM
<blockquote><font class="small">Quote Leviathan:</font><hr> 'Lo, Fred. Interesting.

I've been thinking about your description of your break stroke. One would think that you might get unwanted left English if the tip of your cue moves from your right to your left past the center of the ball (unless the sideways movement occurs after the CB is struck.)

Also, I'd be curious to see how much you turn your shoulders during your break stroke. Excessive shoulder rotation during the forward stroke could push the cue's butt to the right and its tip to the left before the CB is struck (if one plays right-handed.)

Regards,

D.M.

<hr /></blockquote>You hit both points on the head. I always finish to the left, yet I get right-hand english. So, I must arc right to left, but hit the cueball somewhere on right sometime on the way in. Terrible.

And I think it is the shoulder over-rotation. It happens on regular shots too. It was pointed out on video. But, it's one of those things that it's just too difficult for me to change my natural tendencies without a serious commitment.

Fred

griffith_d
04-07-2003, 06:43 AM
I own a BK and a 314 on my Meucci(which has been transformed), and the BK 314 does have the strong thicker taper, making it stiffer. I does break very well, but I seem to break just as well as with my Meucci/314 and going to sell the BK. Nothing wrong with it, I just do not need it, as I have ordered a Pechauer to play with and will use the Meucci/314 for breaking with.

Griff

bluewolf
04-07-2003, 07:13 AM
Fred,

When I got on this board and said that the predator broke well and shot well and the predator sneaky pete broke well and shot well, someone made fun of me saying 'why are you shooting with a break stick' or something of that nature. The truth is that I was not used to having a separate break stick so I forgot to put it down.

I still shoot with it occasionally. While the blackheart is my personal favorite because a real backweighted stick does not feel as good, plus the blackheart is very much prettier.

Dr d said she took the additional weight out of the back of hers, I believe. You might want to ask her if she saw a difference in the quality of her breaks before and after. Plus as an experiment, it could easily be reversed.

Laura