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USA! USA! Edition (8/21/12)

Howdy PoolDawgians!

Believe it or not, Labor Day is just around the corner.  That got me thinking about how to tie Labor Day to billiards supplies (since it always comes back to the gratuitous sales pitch).  Then it hit me.  Labor Day celebrates the American worker, so why not use this holiday to feature some of the best pool cues made here in the United States? This week we'll be looking at four of my favorite pool cues from four of my favorite domestic manufacturers: Joss, Schon, Viking and McDermott.  That and I'm feeling extra patriotic and such following a pretty solid showing for the US at the Olympics.

Once you're done checking out all the awesome pool cues, treat yourself to a new article from the one and only Samm Diep.  This week Samm will be talking about how to let go and play like a kid when you're at the pool table.  On a somewhat unrelated note, Samm (through the Billiards Education Foundation) is raffling off a genuine Frank T. Dawg statue signed by all the players in the 2011 Mosconi Cup (all the proceeds go to the BEF, so be sure to buy a ticket).   And away we go!  


Joss JOS07 Pool Cue

As cue makers go, Joss is one of the most respected by their peers and much of that respect comes as a result of the owner of the company, master cuemaker Dan Janes.  Janes is so respected in fact that he's been enshrined in the American Cuemaker's Association Hall of Fame alongside the likes of Balabushka and Szamboti.

As for this cue, it is the epitome of classic cue design.  Birdseye maple in the forearm, ebony points and notched holly inlays.  It doesn't' get more traditional than that.


Schon CX33 Pool Cue

Located in Milwaukee Wisconsin, the guys at Schon continue to develop some of the most sought after pool cues in the industry.  The name is synonymous with quality as every cue that comes out of their shop is a true work of art.  Because Schon is a smaller cuemaking shop with 5 craftsmen lead by Evan Clarke, Schon cues tend to be limited in quantity.

As for why I chose the CX03, I just love how the colors play against each other.  The forearm features traditional birdseye maple with inlaid cocobolo points and gorgeous turquoise.  The sleeve matches the forearm with colors, style and materials, inlaying more cocobolo and turquoise into birdseye maple. 


McDermott M72A Pool Cue

McDermott is one of the older cue makers out there, as they've been in the business of making pool cues since 1975.  Located in Menomonee Falls Wisconsin, McDermott continues to be one of the best known names in billiards.

As for the M72A itself, to me this is everything that McDermott is all about.  The stained birdseye maple is simple but elegant and the 12 inlaid green shamrocks are synonymous with the brand.  In addition, this model features the G-Core performance shaft and a Lifetime Warranty against manufactures' defects and warping.  Pretty sweet.


Viking VIK206 Pool Cue

Viking is such a fascinating story.  Located in Madison Wisconsin, this is a company that was around for 30+ years but had to close its doors a few years back only to be resurrected several months later with a new focus on design and technology.  One of the great innovations that the new owners of Viking brought to the table was their V-Pro technology shaft (which comes on every Viking cue).  In addition, every Viking includes a lifetime warranty against manufacturer's defects and warping.

As for the VIK206, this one is an oldie but goodie.  The cue has been in the line for several years, but it continues to be one of our best selling Viking cues as a result of the absolutely stunning wood in the forearm along with the crystal blue and white inlays.


Samm Diep's Cue Tips: Oh, To Be Young Again...

When you watch young players fire balls into the center of the pocket at 100 miles per hour, there’s a quality so admirable about it. I’m envious of these kids because they’re fearless. They are not afraid of losing or missing because they have yet to experience it and all the baggage that goes along with it. All they know is the joy of pocketing balls and they do it with such freedom. They’re free of doubt and regret, and full of confidence and determination.

There comes a time in your game when all the learning begins to interfere with your enjoyment and you forget what it’s like to be a kid again. You forget that feeling you loved so much, back when pocketing the balls was all that mattered ...keep reading

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