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After chalking your tip, do you give it a blow like many 70s players?

Poll ended at 07 Apr 2017

Yes
2
67%
No
1
33%
 
Total votes : 3

Do you blow?

Postby Badsnookerplayer

As part of my research, I have viewed a number of matches from the 1970s (and 1980s) and have noticed how frequently players would chalk their tip and then blow it - presumably to remove excess chalk. I wondered if many Islanders felt that this was useful.

Re: Do you blow?

Postby Dan-cat

Alex Higgins used to bang his cue on the table to get rid of excess chalk

Re: Do you blow?

Postby acesinc

Definitely not. I use plenty of chalk and don't wish to remove any excess. Love to play the power draw so I need all the friction I can muster. When practicing rapid fire like line up, I will take several shots in a row without chalking, but during a frame, I will chalk between every single stroke, sometimes more than once if it is a stroke that I need to give a bit more thought than the usual few seconds. When I am stroking well and in a good groove (and if my opponent is spotting for me rather than tending to his own needs as is so often the case), then I will often just grab the cube as I walk and give just a single swipe across the tip; surely habit more than anything useful, just a part of the ingrained pre-shot routine.

It is very common for the pool players around here to blow the tip after chalking and I always wondered about the purpose of that. Counterproductive it seems to me. I actually find it a bit off-putting and annoying really. Then again, I find a lot of things a bit annoying as documented in previous posts: movements, arithmetical mistakes, stiff breezes, if my opponent is wearing shoes, if my opponent is NOT wearing shoes, pretty much anything. If the sun rises in the morning, I can find that annoying when I am at the table.

Re: Do you blow?

Postby Dan-cat

Ace.

How is getting annoyed at external forces you can't control serving you?

Re: Do you blow?

Postby Badsnookerplayer

acesinc wrote:Definitely not. I use plenty of chalk and don't wish to remove any excess. Love to play the power draw so I need all the friction I can muster. When practicing rapid fire like line up, I will take several shots in a row without chalking, but during a frame, I will chalk between every single stroke, sometimes more than once if it is a stroke that I need to give a bit more thought than the usual few seconds. When I am stroking well and in a good groove (and if my opponent is spotting for me rather than tending to his own needs as is so often the case), then I will often just grab the cube as I walk and give just a single swipe across the tip; surely habit more than anything useful, just a part of the ingrained pre-shot routine.

It is very common for the pool players around here to blow the tip after chalking and I always wondered about the purpose of that. Counterproductive it seems to me. I actually find it a bit off-putting and annoying really. Then again, I find a lot of things a bit annoying as documented in previous posts: movements, arithmetical mistakes, stiff breezes, if my opponent is wearing shoes, if my opponent is NOT wearing shoes, pretty much anything. If the sun rises in the morning, I can find that annoying when I am at the table.


Thanks Ace - it did seem to be prevalent amongst snooker players from 'across the pond' at this time, who - if I am correct - may have been more likely to be pool players too. I agree that it seems counter-productive and wonder if there was ever a theory that excess chalk might produce bad contacts.

I do wonder that despite all technological advancements of the previous half century, snooker has not moved on as the equipment is essentialy the same as it might have been in 1900 (exceptions exist I know). In particular, I am surprised that nobody has invented a tip that does not require chalk. Essentially the object of chalk is to maintain 'grip' between the tip and the very smooth cue-ball. Is there no material that would maintain this 'grip' without the need for chalk?

Sorry to hear about the annoyances - opponents not spotting balls is unthinkable to me and thankfully I have never encountered this.

Dan-Cat mentions Alex banging his cue on the table and I have seen this.I always assumed it was just a 'tic' and did not realise it was to remove unwanted excess chalk.Makes rather more sense now.

Re: Do you blow?

Postby acesinc

Dan-cat wrote:Ace.

How is getting annoyed at external forces you can't control serving you?


Just 'orrible, really. Thanks for asking. :-)

No, actually, I am much better at letting those things go since I am getting regular, fruitful "workouts" at the table with my kid. We have a lot of casual banter at the table, stroking or no, lots of fun "trash talk" at each other but NEVER of the sharking variety, always respectful at the time of the actual stroke. I have always felt like I have just the mildest case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, I do like things to be "just so", especially when it comes to my Snooker, but to a lesser degree in other areas of my life. I am not a diagnosed case of OCD and I don't mean to poke fun at those truly afflicted with it (those of the washing hands a hundred times a day variety), but as far as my Snooker goes, when things are not "right" in my mind, it throws my game off. But improvement by leaps and bounds over the last year and a half.

I remember something of a post of yours about ROS "battling his inner chimp" or some such, and I have my own 800 pound gorilla that I no longer need to battle so much, just more like arm wrestling him, and I often do manage to overcome him these days, in part due to some of your input, thanks. I really would benefit from one of your workshops over on this side I think.

Then of course there is BadSnookerPlayer's clever and entertaining rumination of Ronnie O'Simian running a perfect frame. So clearly, the monkeys are a significant part of our collective heritage.

Image

By the way Dan, who is the current guardian of the Shield? I haven't heard an update in a while...
Last edited by acesinc on 26 Mar 2017, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Do you blow?

Postby acesinc

Badsnookerplayer wrote:Thanks Ace - it did seem to be prevalent amongst snooker players from 'across the pond' at this time, who - if I am correct - may have been more likely to be pool players too. I agree that it seems counter-productive and wonder if there was ever a theory that excess chalk might produce bad contacts.

I do wonder that despite all technological advancements of the previous half century, snooker has not moved on as the equipment is essentialy the same as it might have been in 1900 (exceptions exist I know). In particular, I am surprised that nobody has invented a tip that does not require chalk. Essentially the object of chalk is to maintain 'grip' between the tip and the very smooth cue-ball. Is there no material that would maintain this 'grip' without the need for chalk?

Sorry to hear about the annoyances - opponents not spotting balls is unthinkable to me and thankfully I have never encountered this.

Dan-Cat mentions Alex banging his cue on the table and I have seen this.I always assumed it was just a 'tic' and did not realise it was to remove unwanted excess chalk.Makes rather more sense now.


I am not aware of anyone ever making a claim of excess chalk on the tip producing bad contacts other than the fact that chalk dust, excessive or no, is considered to be one of the "usual suspects" as far as kicks go. I strongly doubt that there could be found any evidence whatsoever that "blowers" or "tappers" get fewer kicks than non-blowers. As far as chalkless tips go, they do exist today:

https://www.amazon.com/GRIP-CHALKLESS-G ... B01H96Q32Q

though I have never seen one live nor have I known anyone claiming to have tried the product. I don't think it will ever catch on no matter how far the technology advances. For me definitely and I suspect for many, many people, chalking of the tip is a habitual, necessary part of the pre-shot routine and always will be. Controlling the precise amount of chalk on the tip, whether a single quick swipe for a simple stroke or several long, deliberate swipes when a particularly strong or controlled amount of spin is required or desired is something that an accomplished player will ALWAYS wish to maintain control of, technology be damned. I think that while a tip that acts the same way all the time is something that seems obviously intuitively beneficial, the best of the best will still wish to control it themselves, much like a bowler on the cricket pitch will constantly polish one side of the ball, even if a "single side polished" ball existed.

As for the equipment remaining essentially the same, I find that to be one of the many charms of the Game. I love to imagine a scenario a la H.G. Wells' "Time Machine" whereby I step out of a time warp into Joe Davis' parlour in the '20's at the advent of the World Championship and having a frame with him. I think we would get on swimmingly and understand each other perfectly. And so that fantasy should remain for an enthusiast a hundred years from now.

As for the annoyances, see my post to Dan-Cat above. The problem is mine alone in the way I deal with my external forces. As for the spotting, I do very often spot my own primarily when I am working the Black end. This is by my own personal choice. The opponent will spot for me, but I am a particularly fast player. (I don't say that as a matter of braggadocio, I say it as a matter of fact.) The overwhelming majority of my strokes I will play between a time span of 5 to 15 seconds from when all balls come to rest. With a single exception, all my opponents' parallel shot time is in the neighbourhood of 30 to 40 seconds. And therein lay the problem....when they spot for me, they are running on their own internal clock, so I would have to stand there sucking my thumb for a half a minute waiting, waiting, waiting. And of course, as far as my mild OCD goes, that waiting is where the doubt creeps in. Have you ever watched when ROS is on a roll and he "plays" with the Referee, sinks the Black to leave White dead on the next Red and he is immediately crouched and just "waiting" for the Referee who is practically running trying to get the Black spotted? Ronnie usually has a little smirk on his face while down on the shot waiting for the Ref. By training, the Ref is supposed to move the frame along at the pace of the player, not the other way around, but with ROS of course, there is not a Referee on the face of the earth who could keep up with him when he is on a roll.

And so it is with my spotters....as much as I have tried to explain that according to the Rules, they are acting as "Referee" and that then comes with actual responsibility, I have simply found that in order to play the game at my own pace, I am best off to spot my own in many cases. It is far better than the alternative of slowing my natural pace to literally one third of my current "normal" shot time (or more accurately, slowing to "triple" my current shot time I suppose). So it is something I have come to accept. (By the way, when I am playing my kid and I get on a good controlled break, he does practically run to spot balls for me when needed much like the telly Ref of my example above. He is a bit of a "mini-me" in this sense and I just wish I could instill this sense of responsibility in the others.) As my confidence in my game has improved, I actually am purposely trying to slow my game down, not because I want to but because I have to; by Tournament Rules, opponents are obliged to spot balls whether they feel like doing it or not, the striker is not to spot balls, so by necessity, I will on such occasion have to deal with the agony of the slow spotter and I need to be prepared for it.

The Game is neverending trials and tribulations.
Last edited by acesinc on 26 Mar 2017, edited 1 time in total.

Re: Do you blow?

Postby SnookerFan

acesinc wrote:...........................................
Deleted. Oooops! Hit the "quote" instead of "edit" button...


:goodpost:


   

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