Pool sticks were made for just that… shooting pool. And that means using pool sticks to correctly hit billiard balls on a pool table, not for javelin-throwing in the swimming pool. I have to admit that as a kid, I occasionally used my pool stick for things other than the intended use. Even though using it as a limbo stick wasn’t necessarily harmful to the stick, using it as a sword was. Take some tips from a long-time billiard player who has learned some important do’s & don’ts the hard way, and learn some important tips along the way.
Even though you can make nice chalk designs on the ceiling, don’t. The tip of a pool stick is made of leather and is attached to the shaft of the stick with a ferrule. These are tender spots on a cue stick and should not be used to come in contact with anything other than chalk or a billiard ball. If the rounded leather tip loses its shape or is transformed into the all too common “mushroom”, your shots will be less consistent and it will severely affect your play.
I know of a pool stick that was left outside for a day or two after an exhausting duel. This is really bad. Your pool stick should be stored indoors, upright in a case. Exposure of the elements (sun & moisture) can be fatal. Both the shaft and butt of a billiard cue are made of wood and can warp. If that happens, it cannot be fixed and you may as well use it as firewood where it will serve you better.
If your cue stick is wrapped, don’t peel the wrapping like you would a Budweiser label. Wraps are put there for a reason. They give you a firm, comfortable grip on your cue stick and prevent your hand from slipping when you strike a billiard ball.
Lastly, don’t bounce your cue stick to the beat of the music (or off your competitor’s forehead). The rubber piece on the end of the butt is called a bumper. The bumper is put there to protect the cue stick when it accidentally bumps a wall or the table, or when it rests on the ground. The bumper adds to the precise weight of the billiard cue and should not become loosened. Repetitive impacts to the bumper can also cause the butt to eventually crack.
Take my advice and value your pool stick. If you do, it will perform for you every time. Don’t twirl it like a baton, use it to poke a bear, or use it to pick your nose. There are other instruments for those things. Your cue stick’s health and maintenance are vital in playing your best game.