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Jump Break Cue - Should You Buy (Or Not Buy) A Pool Jump Break Cue?

Make The Moves Separately You Ought To Make

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jump break cue, jump cue, break cue, phenolic tip, predator break cue

The Drill Instructor recommends no jump break cue nor do I

Photo courtesy of The Drill Instructor
I am answering a probing question today regarding that ultimate show stopper, the jump break cue. Do you need a jump break cue at all or should you separate tools?

"Matt,

Hope this message finds you well.

Want to get your opinion on jump break cues. I've been searching for all the info I can get on them online but still can't answer my questions.

I prefer a heavy cue to break but a light cue to jump. So if I were to buy a jump break, what would the ideal weight be?

On most retailers' websites you can choose the weight of the jumpbreak but I suppose this is for the whole cue. What is the weight of the thing with the bottom part pulled off then?

I notice popular cues like the Stinger, BK2 and Sledgehammer all still feature phenolic tips. Aren't these illegal under BCA?

On my belian wood - I got hold of a cuemaker in Bali and he told me belian is not good for cue making because the wood naturally secretes a type of "oil" slowly over the years.

That's what makes this wood 'waterproof'. This also means any inlays, joints and finishing will have a hard time staying bonded to the wood!

Regards, Matthew Lim"

Matthew's question is right on the money, so to speak. After all, buying one hybrid jump break cue will save you some dough.

Need A Specialty Cue Such As A Jump Break Cue At All?

I was fortunate to have a few hours this week with Dominic Esposito, better known in pool circles as "The Drill Instructor". Ranked recently as one of "The Top 20 Pool Instructors" by Pool & Billiard Magazine, his stylish offerings for students include numerous tidbits of wisdom, like this one heard last night:

"...Jump cues are a part of the game. When people ask why they should use a jump cue, I ask them why a golfer uses a sand wedge for a sand trap. It's their fault they're in the sand, so they can get themselves out with a regular club..."

Just as Gene Sarazen's invention of the sand wedge redefined golf, jump cues are an interesting enhancement to the sport of pool.

Esposito now keeps Jester Aiming Jump Cues with him for students to try always. It's his own invention and is the first jump cue weighted and tapered correctly so that you may aim at the object ball/target spot with your hand jacked up to jump, and not focus on the cue ball as a distraction from the final aim.

Heavy Jump Cues Or Light?

The Jester is weighted the same as a cue ball for physics reasons that allow Esposito to jump as close as 1/2 an inch off another ball. Astounding! So is the custom 26-inch long taper of the cue and some of its other unique features.

I'm convinced the Jester is a fine tool for the game, but I also hefted a Predator Break Cue Espositio had on hand, and so did a few friends. It breaks very well and so I question whether modifying it as a jump cue is a good thing. That is to say, keep your cues highly specialized and don't try to do too much with one stick. At some point, the cue will be too heavy either to break or jump effectively to your detriment.

Regardless of whether you go heavy or light (and do try a Jester Jump Cue soon before making a final decision, it is a very cool pool tool!) I would encourage you to use separate break and jump cues tailored to your game. Some of the tip hardness and shaft flexibility I like for breaking varies from what I am seeking in a jump cue, for example. I believe it's worth a bigger cue case to carry more cues as an investment in the sport.

Jump And Break Cue Tips (Literally)

Phenolic tips are very difficult to prick/soften or to chalk (which is sort of the point, you can get massive speed on a leather tip by breaking it without chalking). And yes, BCA rules recently banned phenolic tips. Crushing the rack with the cue ball going wild is the probable result of phenolic equipment, if you can break well already with leather, stay with it.

And Belian or Borneo "Iron" Wood is good stuff. And I recently had another pal ask about overseas exotic wood for pool cues and invited readers to respond. Is it worth the trouble to move off purist maple and other woods for pool cues? I'm thinking perhaps not with all the custom shaft work going on in the pool world these days. But the foreign stuff is beautiful to look at.

In short, I would split the jump break cue consolidation into two specialized cues. It's hard to imagine the perfect jump cue for me or for you also being a perfect break cue in its form and function.

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