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High Octane Performance Edition (2/7/12)

Hola PoolDawgians!

Low deflection "technology" shafts.  I know what you're thinking.  How can a piece of wood have technology in it?  Do these things really help?

Well, to take a page from my pal Sy Sperling and the Hair Club for Men, I'm not only PoolDawg's president, I'm also a client.  I was a truly awful pool player, but after making the switch to a performance shaft, I found that my game was a little less embarrassing.

There are a number of players in the performance game, so I'm gonna break it down for you in this email (which will hopefully convince you to buy a new shaft from your good friends here at PoolDawg).


Predator 314 Shaft

If I was one of the cool kids, I'd say that the 314 shaft is the OG of performance shafts.  Of course since I'm anything but cool, saying something is OG doesn't carry much weight.  Instead, let me say that they've been doing the low deflection thing for over 10 years now and hold a bunch of patents on how they build shafts.

The key feature with Predator shafts is that they lighten the top 4 inches by coring out a portion of the shaft.  The lighter the front end of the shaft, the less deflection you'll see.  They claim 35% less deflection on the 314 and 51% less on the Z shaft compared to a conventional shaft.  As you might expect, every Predator cue comes with a 314 shaft standard.


The Katana Shaft

I really like the Katana shaft.  It's totally different than the other performance shafts out there, primarily due to the taper.

I've seen a lot of shafts out there, but I've never seen one with a taper as long as the Katana.  The result is seriously epic for anyone who has a long stroke.  Plus, they do the pie piece radial construction thing and the use a shorter, lighter ferrule to reduce the weight of the front end of the shaft (which according to people smarter than me, is key for decreasing deflection).


OB Shafts

OB may not be the OG, but their shafts are extremely popular with pro players.  Their answer to the low deflection conundrum is pretty interesting.  Like Predator and Katana, they do the pie piece construction, but there's more than just that.  They fill the shaft with a foam core and use a ferrule made of laminated layers of hard rock maple.  This seriously reduces the weight of the front end of the shaft and gives the shaft a totally unique feel.



Lucasi Hybrid Zero Flex Shaft - Starting at $143.99

Everyone's got a little bit of a different take on shaft construction.  The Lucasi guys go after the low deflection issue by using a radial shaft construction and an ultra-light Zero Flex Point ferrule.

I wasn't sure about the shaft or the tech, so I talked with our pal Jennifer Barretta about it, since I knew she plays with one.  I tell you, she couldn't stop gushing about the shaft.  She said she's never played as well as she has playing with the Hybrid shaft and her recent tournament results are the proof in the proverbial pudding.


Jennifer Barretta - How To Improve Your Game

One of the most common questions I get, besides "When is the movie coming out?", is "How can I improve my game?". The real answer is a bit long winded, so I usually find myself using the lazy answer of, "Practice.", but now I'm going to write out the complete answer so next time someone asks me, I can just redirect them to this post.

1. Um...Practice - I'm not lying when I say practice makes you better...of course it does, but it's how you practice that makes the biggest difference. If you find yourself mindlessly banging balls around, you aren't practicing...keep reading

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