Cue Tip Shapes – Professional Snooker Players
It’s that time again, all the big names at the 2018 World Snooker Championships at the Crucible Sheffield. All the guys will be praying they are not only on their game but their cue and tip is in top condition.
It’s bad enough if you are not quite on your game but you certainly don’t want to have your chances ruined through poor equipment.
It’s no secret that Ronnie must like the taste of snooker tips as he has certainly chewed a few off in his time. If you have any doubts over your tip condition the thought that it could cost you a pot will fester and grow. One poor shot can lose you a frame at this level or even a match at the wrong time so a tip is no less important than your cue.
Again, we take a look at some of the tip shapes chosen by the top players in the world’s and as we have seen before, they don’t all go for a standard shape.
From ‘Trumpet / Crown tips’ to ”Dime’ shaped tips to ‘Over sized / Mushroom’ tips, they all seem effective in the right hands.
For you sad snooker enthusiasts out there, I hope you enjoy this years selection!
Either scroll down to look at all the tips or click on the player’s name and the hyperlink will take you straight there.
No real surprises here then!
Some players feel they would rather have a larger tip but without major cue work sometimes it isn’t possible. The simple thing to do then is to fit a larger tip than the ferrule and then tailor it in slightly.
I wouldn’t really call this a trumpet shaped tip (where the base of the dome tapers in to the ferrule diameter) but there is a slight increase in diameter.
The base of this tip is certainly a lot smaller than the base of the dome. As I said earlier, this is a great way to try a larger tip on a smaller ferrule.
I have fitted many tips for people who have chosen the wrong type of tip size (ferrule), persevered with it, liked the cue but want a different size tip.
The smaller the tip, the more accurate you have to be to find the centre of the cue ball or you will place unwanted side on it.
Now what we have here is a new tip which is compressing straight away on the top (screw and stun shots) or the tip is a little older, not been reshaped so has become a little uneven.
A very interesting black line around the base like it has been filled?
Not all tip sides are burnished which does tidy the sides up. I wouldn’t think this tip is too old and may be new especially for the World Championships. I don’t generally burnish the sides of my personal tips but understand the benefits.
The dome looks nice and it looks like a ‘Barry Hawkins’ trumpet tip to increase the surface area.
You can see the blade cut lines on the side which I’m personally not a fan of but each to their own.
The tip side wall has been shaped by cutting down on the tip and taking slices off at a time. I prefer to carefully turn the cue with a 10a blade and scalpel and take a small even amount off so the tip reduces perfectly as you go.
The tip may have been changed mid session which Kyren Wilson had to do in a rush last year!
This tip isn’t too old and ready to do battle at this years world championships. The side walls are perfectly shaped and matched to the ferrule sides and the dome is actually a little larger than you can see from this angle.
I have seen many of Mark Williams cue tips and they are always crisp, well shaped and have a uniform dome always.
Luckily for Mark Williams, there is another tip freak like myself in his neck of the woods. Giles Martin fits a great tip if you are close by!
This is a Century Cue Tip, Mark Williams uses a G5 which is specially made for him as it is extra hard.
The tip is again pretty standard in shape with a bit of wear / compression on the top.It was certainly good enough to see Chris through a great run this year and narrowly lose out.
Nice dome, not too high and looks very well played in.
Quite a high tip this one as most players don’t like to have the tip sides too tall before doming the playing area.
Lots of people still stick to this shape as it’s what they started with and have just stuck with it since. Does this type of tip shape play worse than a standard high wall and dime shaped dome on the top? Hard to say as scientifically the dome is meant to have a better contact area but it doesn’t seem to affect Joe Perry and a few of the other players who swear by them.
Nice parallel sides, perfect height with a great looking equal dome. I haven’t seen a John Higgins tip yet that doesn’t look text book and in great condition.
It doesn’t strike me as a perfect tip like John Higgins as regards shape but as long as the top area is domed (which it is) then it will certainly fire on all cylinders!
Great looking dome on the top that’s been carefully shaped with not too much base area.
I wouldn’t think this tip is too old so hopefully it was well played in before the World Championships or that odd bit of doubt can really cost you at this level!
What do you do when the tip is playing just how you like it but it’s coming to the end of it’s life? Do you pop another one on ready for the World Championships or do you take a chance and possibly get caught out like poor old Kyren Wilson did in 2017.
It may be that Ali Carter just doesn’t like any side walls to his tip but generally the shape shows one that is worn in and the clock ticking for miscues; this might be why he has chalked it almost to the ferrule!
Quite a large tip so probably not that old.
It looks to me that it may have just been fitted prior to the competition and it has just been played in. Nice dome shape and very tall sides so this must be Judd’s preference as lots of players prefer a smaller tip in height.
If you saw last years World Championships you would have seen Kyren take a chunk out of the tip and sadly the tip issues seemed to cost him his form. This year, we have the same tip and if you look at the top, he has suffered the same again.
In the next picture you get a close up of the chunk he has taken out of it and then in the third picture you can see he has had a little bit of surgery completed and the remainder filled with chalk.
I’d like to know what type of tips Kyren’s using or whether it is just a fluke but you have to be pretty unlucky to take a chunk out of your tip two years on the bounce; at this level that’s a disaster.
Judging by his next match against Mark Allen, his hasn’t affected him too much this year as he is playing the full compliment of shots!
I’ve been told that this year Kyren had some spare tips already played in and he played well after this so hopefully not too much of a hicup!
Thepchaiya Un Nooh
Well what do we have here? It looks like another ‘Crown / Trumpet’ type tip.
Very similar to Barry Hawkins and clearly a great result when trying to increase the tip size when the cue ferrule isn’t large enough.
The tip itself is very well fitted and shaped and most certainly looks new on for this competition.
I’m always curious as to whether the player keeps the same tip as it gets worn and lower or whether it is regularly changed to maintain the height and more importantly the feel.
If a player is having a good run then they certainly won’t want to take the tip off. But, the lower it gets then the change from it’s original feel could be quite substantial and then it’s a big change going straight back up to this height again!
Is most of it in the head? I’ll let you decide that one…..
Unfortunately we didn’t manage to capture a picture of all the top 32 but you can certainly get a general idea of the preferred tip shapes this year.
It certainly can create a debate as to which the best shape is for contact on the cue ball. Domed should give you the best overall playing area for contact but there are plenty out there with very flat dome or almost flat.
For me, the best shape still has to be a domed shape as you can argue over if it has the best contact but I’ve never seen a chunk come out of a domed tip, it always seems to be the ones that seem flat (not that it’s affected Kyren Wilson this year so far!!).
I think Kyren Wilson could play with a jelly tot on the end of the cue but I hope the tip issues don’t affect him this year as he has great talent and was certainly a top contender for this years title.