Chalking the tip of your cue is essential to making a good shot, especially a shot with any kind of spin. If you seem to miscue more than you should, then chances are you aren’t chalking enough.
So, how often should you chalk your cue? Most players make chalking part of their pre-shot routine, which means they apply chalk before nearly every shot. Some players only chalk as necessary, but including it in a pre-shot routine will mean that you never forget.
If you’re still wondering if chalking before every shot is necessary, keep reading. We’ll discuss all the ins and outs of chalking your pool cue tip and how often you need to do it.
Do You Really Need to Chalk Up Before Each Shot?
Because the dangers of over chalking the tip are minimal, most players chalk before each shot. Although you might find this cumbersome, there are some good reasons to follow this practice. Let’s take a look at them:
- You never forget to chalk to the tip, and your tip is always ready to go.
- It slows you down, so you don’t rush the next shot.
- It helps you create a consistent pre-shot routine.
- You’re less likely to miscue.
- It will allow you to put spin on the ball without miscuing.
But if you don’t want to chalk before every routine, that is understandable. It can be annoying, and it wasteful of expensive chalk. The billiards department at Colorado State University did some tests to find out how many times you can go without chalking up before a miscue.
They found that you can take an average of 8 shots before a miscue with most brands, but some brands had much higher numbers. Kamui, for example, had an average of 15, and Magic Chalk had an average of 29!
So it comes down to a matter of preference. If you like to have a solid pre-shot routine and want to leave nothing to chance, you can chalk up before each shot. But you don’t necessarily have to. Just make sure you apply chalk every 2-3 shots, and you should do just fine.
Check out our post on How to Remove Chalk from Felt!
The Best Chalk If You Don’t Like Chalking Up
This is one thing that the pool community seems to be divided on. Plenty of players like chalking up as a matter of routine before each shot. Others find it cumbersome at best and flat out annoying at worst. You’ll find a wide range of opinions out there.
If you don’t like chalking up before each shot, the best thing you can do is invest in high-quality chalk. You won’t experience the negative effects of not chalking up before each shot if you use a brand that as lasting power. The research out of Colorado State shows that these brands are your best bet:
- Magic Chalk: This Russian chalk outstrips all the other chalk brands with its staying power, so it is at least worth a try if you don’t like chalking up. It could take an average of 29 shots before miscuing with the same swipe of chalk. It’s also one of the more inexpensive options!
- Kamui: This chalk comes from Japan, and it is one of the best around. It took 15 shots to miscue with the Kamui. Many people like the way this chalk sticks to the tip over other brands, but it is one of the most expensive brands.
- Blue Diamond: Just about everyone has come across this brand, and despite the low price, it has some staying power. It took an average of 11 shots before a miscue with Blue Diamond.
- Great White: This chalk is similar in feel to the Kamui and has a similar price tag, but it didn’t perform quite as well. It still did well through. It took an average of 11 shots before miscuing with Great White.
Clearly, the winner is Magic Chalk, but if you don’t like the gritter feel of it, then you might prefer the Kamui. Of course, Blue Diamond is an all-around good chalk at a reasonable price, and one of our favorites. Check out this post for more information on the best billiards chalk.