Nic's Favourite Things
The products below are what I personally pay for and use, or recommend as a great alternative.
I have identified trustworthy suppliers for each product in the links you can find below, and at great prices at the time of writing.
As we have Amazon and eBay afilliate accounts, we earn a small percentage on sales generated through those links.
All other products mentioned have no commission attached so that you know we are recommending the best – rather than most profitable – products and services.
Click button below to take you directly to the appropriate category.
A brought a copy of this book for £0.52p in from a private library in Glasgow in 1992…. It has never left my library since and is the grandfather of all personal development books.
I don’t get commission on referrals (I regularly recommend these suppliers because they are all great at what they do), but please say hello from me when you contact them to ensure the quickest service...
Stu Green offers a big range of hundreds cues and accessories you can try on his full sized tables in his showroom in Stockton On Tees, North England.
He offers very good quality cues from the entry level price range to high end exotics which include his agency for Ton Praram cues...
His is very approachable, offers great advice, and has an in house cue repair and alteration service.
Ton Praram in Thailand made a replica cue for me of one that I had played with 35 years previously.
I was completely amazed by the likeness he achieved from my very specific descriptions…
Everyone I have recommended to them has had a delightful experience and seem to get very fast VIP service if they mention the referral from me (I don’t get commission on any cue sales as I like to remain independent in that regard…
3G Balls – the balls that they use on TV but within 3 grams of each other hence 3G. This difference is indistinguishable to all but regular century break players. Does NOT come with a carry case so is not so easy to take to the club.
Chalk pouches – the best on the market for comfort, correct size, chalk not falling on the floor, and durability. You can buy pouches for a third of the price but I do not recommend it.
Elk Pro Tips – indistinguishable from Century to most players. I have used these for a few years and they have been perfect every time. I recommend Medium.
This mirror is a portable, safe, useful tool that you can place on the table to allow viewing of your bridge, head, grip, and cue movement during cueing and delivery.
These coffee filters are perfect for placing on the table to help you work out your desired cue ball destination, record positional consistency on a set shot, and work out your bounce point off cushions.
Sportube – vital if you are going through airports. I have seen baggage handlers try to destroy aluminium cue cases on purpose. Stephen Hendry, Ding Junhui, and many other pros have had their cues broken by baggage handlers. These brilliant cases make it impossible for your cue to be broken.
Another option is below which may be cheaper than Amazon. My friend Andrew Ramsay (ADR147) runs this ebay shop where you can buy cues, my favourite cases, and some of the other products referenced above.
Cue Craft cases – I always found these cases to be better than leather as they are stronger, have smoother edges to not scuff your car leather, and better in the event of fire. I have used mine for the last twenty years and take it to around 30 countries and it is still rock solid!
My own personal favourite it Green Triangle (standard – not the pro version which I did not like the texture of).
It is consistent, goes on easily, and never miscues when it shouldn’t. I would rather have this reassurance and an occasional kick than constantly wonder if I was going to get a miscue – no matter how clean the cloth stays.
However, for updates on the latest blend of these chalks Stu and Andrew regularly test whereas I don’t as I feel the topic offers diminishing return.
The other chalks I have tested but don’t like are the very expensive chalks from the US which claim you don’t need to chalk as much. I found this broke my concentration as I was constantly wondering when the chalk application had worn out and I was going to miscue. My view is that chalking on most shots helps maintain flow, habit, and rhythm. Doing so with these chalks would mean spending around $30 a day on the stuff – the price of one block!
I also don’t like round chalk because I don’t get the groove patterns building up over time, and if it were to fall out of my waistcoat there is a chance it rolls across the table and fouls a ball.
They previously supplied my antique table in Oxford, always have a stunning array of old and historic tables, and also produce their own snooker and pool convertible dining tables.
Tip Shaping Tools
If you watch this video first, you will see how I use most of the tools referenced below.
How To Put A Tip On In 9 Minutes
I recommend getting this type of paper selection to offer correction of ferrule marks, miscue burns on the tip, and more severe tip repairs.
My range of abrasion is from 400 grade to 800 grade.
These sound comical, but do what they say on the tin!
In addition, they are fantastic for polishing the sides of the tip which helps protect it from fibres coming loose, and damage from miscues.
These magical devices reduce the glue that ends up on your fingers and gives perfect first time tip placement on the ferrule.
No more feeling pressure when putting the tip onto the ferrule, and then having to do the whole job again when (not if!) you get it wrong…
The dimensions I use are 10mm x 10mm and I just cut a 10cm lengths to hold in my cue case and give to players or coaches.
This brand The Snooker Gym yellow brand colour and is only 1 metre long – making it easy to ship.
1 metre lengths are hard to find as the market standard is 2.5 metres, so if this brand is out of stock, look for others with this search term:
“PVC Corner 90 Degree 1 Meter 10mm x 10mm Angle Trim Wall Edge Protector”
Both Stu Green (Cue Silk) and Mike Wooldridge (various grades of curated wax) offer very good products to maintain and finish your cue shaft.
Their links can be found on this page in the ‘Cues’ section above.
With glues, I always buy the 1g tubes because I view them as single usage.
If you leave them after first usage for too long the glue will congeal and lose adhesion.
Most brands are probably a virtually identical formula – cyanoacrylate being the key ingredient in all effective super-glues.
Using gel or liquid is personal preference – with gel allowing slightly more time to position the tip and reducing glue spillage on the ferrule.
However, with the tip locator mentioned below I am now comfortable using liquid glue, which seems to offer a more even spread on top of the ferrule and with less chance of the tip slipping sideways on the gel.
I put tape around the ferrule when using either glue type.
I do NOT like the curved custom made files as they are generally too coarse, which can tear the tip. They are also usually made of metal which is very unforgiving, increasing the chances of tearing the tip fibres.
Finally, their curvature does not allow me to see the work I am doing and the tip shape I am achieving as well as a flat file.
Instead I use these:
My friend Dr Julian Gooddy runs Posh Eyes
He produces great snooker spectacles with the best player-friendly shape, materials and options available.
I refer all my clients (both UK and international) to him without making a commission - just wanting to suggest the best service.
The rimless specs are recommended… but Julian is also happy to advise on the option of snooker appropriate contact lenses too...
Tripods and Brackets
A tablet / iPad is the preferred way to record yourself when playing snooker because the screen is bigger and it is much easier to see your errors in recording position - or shot execution!
This is a dedicated tripod which holds a tablet / iPad securely.
It has a smaller footprint, and is much quicker to raise and lower to get the right shot, than a traditional tripod.
It's fully flexible head with strong fixing is the reason I use this unit myself.
If you do not have a tripod, this is a good basic unit which is high enough, and has easily adjustable controls.
The disadvantage of using this tripod with a tablet / iPad is that the footprint is much bigger than a dedicated tripod for tablets / iPads, and it is much more cumbersome to adjust the height (as you have to adjust three legs correct most of the time, rather than just the single central column.
For the previous tripod (or if you already have an adjustable head tripod) this bracket will sit on top of it nicely and hold a iPad / tablet / smart phone... it also has a remote control to easily start and stop recording or for taking selfies.
If you have a tripod whose head is fixed, and not adjustable, I recommend a choice of these two adjustable sockets:
For flexibility of direction, this ball socket can sit between your tripod and ipad / tablet / smartphone holder.
This ball socket costs more but has a very convenient quick release plate, is much easier to careful control the direction,
and has a spirit level to confirm the camera is level.
This tripod solution is a good all rounder. It has the three leg set up (so a little slower to adjust), raised to a decent 55 inches, has an adjustable head to help in getting the correct shooting angle, and offers attachments for phone and tablet.
Wall and Table Camera Mounts
This is a great unit which can illuminate a dark club for filming in the future which will allow your videos to me and for Facebook / Youtube etc to look better.
You can adjust the brightness and also the colour of the light ‘temperature’ (from ‘cool’ whites to ‘warm’ whites)
If you just need a simple table mounted tripod then this is a very good option as it also has a remote control which will make recording your shots a lot easier.
If you have / will buy another tripod you are happy with, then I strongly recommend buying a remote on its own as it will save a ton of time when recording your own shots.