If you happen to’ve been seeking to purchase your personal pool cue – or in the event you’ve simply been spending time in pool halls – you’ve in all probability heard about “pro taper” pool cues. For the novice, it could not matter an excessive amount of, however in the event you’re contemplating getting your personal cue, it’s essential to know what makes them completely different from different cues and why you may wish to use one. However first off, what’s a professional taper pool cue?

A professional taper pool cue has a shaft that solely begins to extend in diameter a sure distance from the tip – often about 12-14 inches. Which means that the portion of the shaft closest to the tip is a straight cylinder, whereas the portion closest to the joint is tapered. {Many professional} gamers favor this design as a result of it might probably enhance efficiency in a number of methods.

Completely different Pool Cue Shaft Tapers

The vast majority of pool cues have both a European (or “straight”) taper or a professional taper.

European Taper

A European taper implies that your complete size of the shaft (or the entire cue) is tapered, progressively rising in diameter from the tip to the joint (or butt). That is typically known as a “conical taper” as a result of the entire shaft has a really slim cone form.

Regardless of the identify, these are quite common not simply in Europe but in addition within the U.S. and Canada. Most of those have ideas 12mm or smaller. Most home cues and one-piece cues characteristic a European taper.

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Professional Taper

As said above, a professional taper shaft has the identical diameter from the tip to a sure level alongside the shaft (often round 12 inches down), the place the diameter begins growing towards the shaft. This makes it look nearly like an elongated funnel.

Most professional taper shafts start to cone out round 12-14 inches from the tip, however some varieties begin anyplace from 4, 8, 10, or 15 inches. Many producers have their very own variations on the professional taper, whether or not it’s extra curved, much less gradual, or extremely delicate. In any case, nearly all of 2-piece cues and high-end shafts characteristic a professional taper.

The invention of the professional taper pool cue is commonly attributed to legendary cue maker Herman Rambow, however there’s not a lot proof to again this up – it’s nonetheless unclear who coined the thought. 

What we do know, nonetheless, is why they’re used.

What Are the Advantages of Utilizing a Professional Taper Cue?

A professional taper pool cue may be useful for 2 important causes. First, the design usually means there’s much less weight or “end mass” close to the tip, which can assist cut back cue ball deflection. Second, the constant shaft diameter close to the tip can cut back interference from the bridge hand, doubtlessly making for smoother, extra correct strokes.

Deflection

Cue ball deflection – typically referred to as “squirt” – is when the cue ball diverges from the stick line after the stroke. Squirt is most noticeable on photographs involving English or sidespin – in the event you impart left spin, the cue ball will squirt to the correct, and vice versa. Squirt is brought on largely by the mass of the shaft near the tip.

To fight squirt, many gamers use low-deflection cues, which have low finish mass and so exert much less lateral power on the cue ball. Most (however not all) low-deflection cues are made with a professional taper. A professional taper shaft usually has much less finish mass than a European taper shaft as a result of it has much less materials close to the tip (offered they’re produced from the identical supplies). This Lucasi Sneaky Pete is a well-liked instance of a high quality low deflection cue with a professional taper shaft.

A professional taper shaft additionally tends to be extra versatile, which permits it to barely bend away from the cue ball instantly after the stroke as an alternative of staying in touch, additional lowering squirt.

For a extra detailed clarification of squirt and what causes it, try my article on Low Deflection Cues.

Bridge Hand Dynamics

Since a professional taper shaft has a constant diameter on the portion that rests upon the bridge hand, it might probably’t actually intrude with the stroke. 

With a European taper, the regular improve in diameter could cause the tip to rise barely as you slide the cue ahead over your bridge hand throughout your stroke. With an open bridge hand, the tip could even transfer a bit of to the left or proper. Since pool is all about precision, this will have an enormous impression in your recreation.

If utilizing a reasonably tight closed or looped bridge (along with your finger wrapped across the cue), a conical taper shaft could run out of room and jam up in opposition to your finger because it slides ahead.

With a professional taper shaft, these issues are just about nonexistent – except, in fact, you wish to hold your bridge hand a full 12 inches again on the shaft!

In Conclusion

If you happen to’re making an attempt to determine whether or not or to not purchase a professional taper cue, see in the event you can persuade a buddy to allow you to attempt one out for just a few periods. Some pool halls could even have one or two of their choice of home cues. Or you should purchase a pretty cheap one to mess around and experiment with.

Professional taper cues are named as such as a result of so {many professional} gamers favor them. Nevertheless, loads of professionals nonetheless use European taper cues. On the finish of the day, it’s all about what you’re snug with and what lets your hard-earned abilities shine by one of the best.

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