Pool cues have come a long way since their origins as basic sticks used to hit balls. Today’s pool cues have multiple variations in their material, length, cue ball deflection, and more. While most players can adjust to any cue, understanding how cue shaft technology and evolution can make choosing a cue that requires the least amount of adjustment for play.
Cue Shaft Materials
Shaft materials include laminate, wood, and carbon fiber. Some manufacturers combine these to create wooden shafts with carbon fiber cores. Laminate consists of wood pieces glued together. It provides an economical value for those who prefer the feel of wood. Additionally, laminated cues have a lower tendency to warp than their solid-wood counterparts.
Wood shafts made from solid maple may have a core inside or not. These traditional shafts rely on the natural flexibility of the wood to absorb the vibrations from the impact with the cue ball, thereby helping the ball move more predictably.
Carbon fiber shafts are some of the latest in cue shaft technology. These lightweight shafts use a strong material that has better stiffness and can require less speed for a stroke. Carbon fiber shafts also don’t require the intensive care that wooden shafts do. Therefore, you can store them anywhere without worrying about warping, moisture damage, or temperature damage.
Cue Ball Deflection
Cue ball deflection happens when the ball spins off its intended line. Lower endmass helps to reduce the spin of the ball that sends it off course. In fact, the amount of deflection of a cue ball is one of the few factors of a cue shaft that really matters. However, low-deflection, or low-squirt, cues are relatively recent additions to the pool world.
Predator introduced the first low-deflection cue shaft in 1994 with its 314 model. This design featured laminated wood pieces and a hollow tip to reduce shaft stiffness and prevent ball deflection. At first, this model had three 20-year patents with it. But they have since expired. The benefit to players is that many more models of low-deflection cue shafts have entered the market, making it easier to find a cue with this design feature. These types of cues do not require as much compensation for ball spin as standard shafts.
Evolution of Cue Shaft Technology
Over time, pool cues have changed a lot. In the 1960s, cue shaft design was not a major consideration. However, today’s models have careful engineering behind them to produce more reliable results and better feel. With the introduction of carbon fiber and low-deflection shafts, cues sold today differ greatly from those of previous generations. Therefore, for anyone who hasn’t played pool in years, consider upgrading to one of the newer models of cues to see how much it can change your game.
Pool Cues and More at A&C Billiards and Barstools
Pool cues with classic and high-tech designs are a click away at A&C Billiards and Barstools. For players of all abilities and experiences, cue brands at the site include McDermott, OB, Predator, and Valhalla. These and many other well-known names in pool cue shaft technology are right at hand. A&C Billiards and Barstools has everything for pool players who love their sport.