The chalk is the most important element in billiards.
It guarantees a perfect grip between the tip of the cue and the cue ball.
But if we do not put chalk when we want to give an effect or a powerful shot, a miscue occurs, which is when the tip loses firm contact with the cue ball during impact, the billiard ball does not go on the line of shot, but it goes sideways and makes a very sharp sound.
This miscue also occurs when the tip is very worn, in which case it should be replaced with a new one.
It is also possible to hit without using chalk if we last a while only hitting in the center of the cue ball.
For all of us who play billiards it is a habit to use chalk, many times this is useful to relax while we think about how to hit the ball or what the next shot is going to be or to eliminate any doubt when we are not sure what shot to make.
The tips of the cues come in a variety of different grades: from very soft to very hard.
Depending on this variable they may retain more or less chalk, the softer the tip, the more chalk it will retain and vice versa.
But as in all things, extremes have their disadvantages.
A soft tip will last much less time in its optimum state.
To properly chalk the cue, it must be applied smoothly.
Many times we see novices pressing the chalk hard against the cue wearing down the tip more than necessary.
Once the chalk is in the center of the cue tip, that is enough, the process should be slowed down.
They were invented in 1897 by William A. Sprinks and William Hoskins created the concept of modern chalk.
They were already in use since 1807, but they were made of calcium carbonate, which produced too much dust that stained the mat and balls.
The Williams’ came up with the formula for a better chalk made from silica and alloxite that produced little dust and also allowed players to apply more spin.
The company was called Sprinks Billiard Chalk, which is the compound of today’s chalk.
There are many brands of chalk with varying qualities, hardness and prices such as Master, Kamui, Blue Diamond, Predator, Tiger, Triangle, among others.
Most of them are around 50 cents to 1 dollar per unit, but some are much more expensive, such as Kamui, which costs around 30 dollars each.
The price is higher because they are made of a special paste that reduces the risk of miscue and stays much longer in the tip of the cue.
We are used to seeing blue chalk, it is the same as the cloths, there are practically all colors.
Nobody has demonstrated that the color of the chalk influences the stroke or the game, but it is true that normally a chalk of the same color of the cloth is used, generally blue so that the particles that are detached in each shot stain the mat as little as possible.
It is not necessary to put chalk on every shot, as some players do, because it can create an extra layer, a barrier between the tip of the cue and the ball, which can lead to more miscue.
A good chalk is the one that barely stains, the one that allows you to hit the cue ball with a lot of spin without making miscue.
The one that remains after many shots, the one that “paints” the tip of the cue well and above all the one that gives you confidence.
Kamui (Japanese) has three types of chalk, the 0.98, the 1.21 and the Roku. The main difference between the two is that the 1.21 is harder, you can last a long time without throwing.
Therefore this chalk is as we spoke before, apply less chalk and last longer hitting and gives more effect to the cue ball.
Ball Teck, manufactured by Hanbat in South Korea, and are a real guarantee of quality and finesse. They come wrapped with cellophane paper to protect them from moisture. They are one of the top of the range in chalk, although more economical than Kamui.
The Predator 1080 Pure. This chalk will help you play with greater precision and consistency and with better retention in the sole. It is manufactured by Predator with the use of pure silica and a specific production process is also mid-range and widely used among players.
The Blue Diamond is one of the classics when talking about chalk, manufactured by Longoni, is one of the most used by players in tournaments and a favorite among most players.
The Frédéric Caudron chalk, the famous Belgian carom player, with a mid-range.
I wondered if all carom players used this Caudron chalk and it seems not.
I contacted Maxime Panaia is a talented young player, 5 times European champion and 6 times French champion in 3 cushion carom and he tells me that the chalks he uses is Kamui.
He says that Hanbat chalk, Sang Lee, Ball Teck are also widely used.
I contacted another carom player named Adrià García and he tells me that he also uses Kamui and Blue Diamond chalks.
And I am sure you know the Master chalk, they are in all pool halls with their characteristic blue and red design.
Magic Chalk says that if you use it, you will hardly change to other chalks, it does not leave marks on the mingo, it stays on the sole, it does not dirty and does not make mistakes.
The chalk I use are super premium quality, made in Ukraine, they are 3 thousand times better than Kamiu, Blue Diamond, Taom and Ball teck together.
It’s called Great Shot Sniper, made by Glygen, some time ago I made 3 videos doing a complete review and testing them live with other brands of chalk and I assure you that it should not be missing in your chalk box.
The answers vary from player to player as to how often to chalk the cue, but a good rule to follow is to chalk before every shot, if not every other shot.
If a shot requires additional spin on the ball, shoring is advised because it will provide additional friction during impact.
In addition, it also depends on the brand of your billiard chalk, the low end ones like the Master brand should be chalk every shot, however, the mid and high end ones, according to the manufacturer, you can average 10 shots without chalk.
You should always choose a chalk color that is the same color as the pool table mat or cloth to avoid soiling it or leaving chalk marks on the table.
Blue is recommended for most tournaments as it allows the referee and players to see the marks on the cue ball.
The marks can be easily cleaned.
To keep your chalk in your pocket or place a magnet on it so that you can access it at any time.