Regardless of whether you class yourself as a complete novice or a professional player the snooker cue has the power to win or lose a game. Playing snooker with a cue which is unfamiliar or just doesnt have the right feel can easily lead to a frustrating loss, even causing some to fall out of love with the game. Your own cue will give you the familiarity required for you enable you to practice and play with confidence. You will be used to its feel; its weight, length and how it handles, and therefore able to keep this variable controlled while you can perfect the art of the game.
If you have reached the stage where you feel ready to purchase a cue, you should have an idea of which cues appeal to you. If you dont, borrow a snooker cue from a friend or test them in shops until you understand roughly which length, weight, tip size and butt diameters appeal to you. Average snooker cues are 57 inch length, 18oz weight, 9.5mm tip and a 30mm butt diameter, so if you still feel completely at a loss, opt for these averages: especially if you are just buying a relatively cheap cue to start with.
If you are looking for a house cue to equip a games room or pub, choose cheap machine-sliced snooker cues in roughly the average measurements. Any snooker enthusiasts using your facilities (if the table is not in your own home) will bring their own cue and amateur players will be happy to use basic value cues which can be cheaply replaced once damaged. Value one piece snooker cues start at less than £10 and some retailers even offer a multi-cue discount. Generally, the minimum you should look for in a cheap house cue is a rubber bumper (to prevent the cue getting damaged easily or scratching the floor), a brass ferule with screw in tip for easy tip replacement and a choice of lengths if you want to offer variety.
For a personal cue, you are likely to want to select a cue of a higher quality. Hand-spliced cues are much more expensive than machine-spliced cues, and the latter are perfectly adequate for most players. Consider which woods appeal to you: each wood will have grain lines of differing depths and frequencies. Ash and maple are common and preferred by many players, and if you really dont mind, Ash is stronger and longer-lasting. Fibreglass and graphite snooker cues are modern alternatives which are sensitive and handle lightly, but wood makes a better cue for beginners. Exotic woods such as rosewood and snakewood are used in more luxurious cues (or their inlays), although these make a relatively small difference to playing. Snooker cues are sometimes jointed, leading to 2 or ¾ cues. Jointed cues allow for easier transportation, but the joints may also affect the feel of a cue. Look for high-quality smooth joints.
A 57 inch cue is ideal for the majority of players, and a lighter 17oz weight gives beginners a real feel for a shot. 18oz cues are a general good all-rounder, whereas a 19oz cue are tiring but give more power for power-shots. Finally, when it comes to the tip, snooker cues tend to vary from 9mm to 10mm, but are sometimes much higher (as in pool cues). A larger surface area allows for more power whereas a smaller tip has a higher precision.
Curepower offer a range of pool and snooker cues, with everything from 1 piece cues costing less than £10 to luxury cues designed for professional players. Browse their selection of jointed cues, short cues, 8 ball pool cues, jump and break cues and American pool cues on their website, or, for something really special, design your own Peradon cue and receive a special Cuepower discount.