Billiards equipment: what do you need?

Do you want to play billiards? Good. Do you want to get some equipment? Very good. But where to start? You're certainly thinking of a cue... but what's next? Follow the guide, we'll tell you all.
1

CHOOSING THE RIGHT POOL CUE

No cue, no billiards!               

Oh yes, one of the essential pieces of billiards equipment is, of course, the cue - often called the "stick".

But... how was the cue created?

Billiards dates back to the 15th century and had a completely different name: pall mall (ground billiards). It was played on the ground with curved sticks, called Billiards.

Louis XI, who loved the sport, commanded the creation of a table to play inside without needing to worry about the weather. This sport, initially reserved for the nobility, quickly gained in popularity and ultimately spread across Europe and the entire world. It was in the 17th century that billiards went through many changes, and the famous curved stick was flipped around to create the first cue. 

100 years later, Mingaud had the brilliant idea (during a stay in prison) of adding a bit of leather (also called the tip) to his cue, allowing him to create spin (which modifies the natural trajectory of the white ball).

This is how the pool cue, as we now know it today, came to be!

Pool cue

So let's get back to business. Depending on your level and the form of billiards you play (Carom billiards, American pool, English pool, or snooker), you should choose the most suitable cue. There are particular features for each of these games: cue size, type of wood, ease of storage, grip, extension…  But one of the most important is the size of the tip (at the end of the cue).

The tip is one of the most important parts of the cue.
It will be different based on the size of the balls, and therefore on the game. For snooker (ball size: 52.4 mm) and English billiards (50.8 mm), the size will be smaller, while for pool (57.2 mm) and Carom billiards (61.5 mm), the ideal size will be larger.

Now you understand, the larger the ball, the larger the tip.

billiards equipment

THE ESSENTIAL BILLIARDS ACCESSORIES

billiards equipment
decathlon billiards case

Protective case

Your pool cue is made of wood: to prevent it from losing its shape, we recommend storing it out of direct sunlight, humidity, and temperature changes. This is why a protective case is essential for protecting your cue. What's more, it will be easy to store and travel with!

 

decathlon chalk

Chalk (blue)  

Have you been wondering about the use of that little blue cube? Chalk adds grip to the tip in order to improve your shots, create spin on the white ball, and prevent scratches (when the tip slips on the ball, which could cause you to miss your shot).

So for starting out, chalk is essential for your billiards games and exists in various colours.

billiards chalk carrier

Chalk carrier

We generally tend to leave our chalk on the side of the table or somewhere in the room. During a game, it is common to be constantly moving around the table, so the chalk could easily be inaccessible for your next shot, which could slow down the game and break players' concentration. 

Storing chalk in a pocket is not practical and can easily dirty your clothing. Plus, its small size means that your chalk can be easily lost.

A chalk carrier is a good compromise. It is adapted to the size of standard billiards chalk, allows you to carry your chalk at your waist, and above all, you no longer need to wonder: “where is my chalk?”

Basically, no more reason to lose your chalk and make your opponent wait!

3

AND FOR IMPROVING AT BILLIARDS?

Next, in order to improve, you will quickly need additional equipment such as new tips, extensions (especially for snooker: remember the size of a snooker table), or even your own balls.

You will probably also need a glove. In billiards, it is important for the cue to slide perfectly between your fingers. And it is common, during a game, to sweat or have damp hands, which can make the cue difficult to handle.

Gloves help to prevent sweating, guarantee a good slide of the cue between your finders, allow for a better grip, and improve accuracy.

To summarise: once you've chosen your cue, think about a case, chalk, and a chalk carrier. With that, you can start thinking about practising properly!

It's no secret. Billiards is like any other sport: nothing beats hours of training!

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