Should You Buy a Pool Jump Break Cue?

The specialized cue stick helps you "jump" your cue ball

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The Drill Instructor recommends no jump break cue nor do I. Photo courtesy of The Drill Instructor

To determine whether a jump break cue -- which can cost from about $40 to more than $200 -- is worth the investment, it's helpful to review the purpose of a "jump" shot. In billiards, a jump shot is literally what the name implies -- a shot where the cue ball leaves the surface of the table after you hit it with a cue stick.

Dual Purpose

A jump break cue, then, has two functions: You use the cue primarily for jump shots, but you can also use it to break. "Jump break cues have a second joint added just above the wrap line," explains ​The Billiard Shop. "Once the bottom piece of the cue is removed it eliminates about 50 percent of the cue’s weight, thus making it much lighter, therefore easier to jump a ball."

By purchasing a single cue for jump and break shots, you can save some money. The catch is whether you're comfortable using the lighter cue for break shots, an important part of any pool player's game.

Here Comes the Jester

"Jump cues are a part of the game," says Dominic Esposito, who was ranked recently as one of "The Top 20 Pool Instructors" by "Pool & Billiard Magazine" and is known to his students as "The Drill Instructor." "When people ask why they should use a jump cue, I ask them why a golfer uses a sand wedge for a sand trap."

Just as Gene Sarazen's invention of the sand wedge redefined golf, jump cues are an interesting enhancement to the sport of pool. Esposito always keeps Jester Aiming jump cues on hand for students to try. He invented the specialized cue, the first one weighted and tapered correctly so that a player could aim at the object ball/target spot without having his hand raised awkwardly to jump the shot.

Keep Your Cues Separate

The Jester is a fine tool for the game, but there are other options. For example, a Predator break cue does one specific job very well: It allows for a smooth break shot. The fact that the Predator break cue works so well shows that it's best to keep your cues highly specialized -- and avoid doing too much with a single stick. The jump break cue, after all, is a modified cue. At some point, the cue will be too heavy either to break or jump effectively.

So, use a separate break and jump cue, each designed for a specific purpose. It's hard to imagine the perfect jump cue also being a perfect break cue. If you want to become an accomplished pool player, spend your money on a bigger cue case to carry two separate cues -- one for breaking and another for jumping -- as an investment in the sport.