Nic Barrow's The Snooker Gym ... 'Improving Your Game, From Every Angle'

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.

Books
Cues
Accessories
Chalk
Table Fitters
Table Suppliers
Table Heaters
Tip Shaping Tools
Snooker Glasses
Camera Accessories
Video Analysis App

‘Great Snooker Rooms’ Consultancy

I offer a service to help players design, build, and fit a new dream snooker room – or improve their current one.
Please contact me for more details

Books

 

Sport Skills

The Inner Game Of Golf - W. Timothy Gallwey

The Inner Game Of Golf - W. Timothy Gallwey

This book had a massive influence on my game and my coaching in my teens. I still use the tools I learned in this book every day in my coaching.

The Inner Game Of Tennis – W. Timothy Gallwey

The Inner Game Of Tennis – W. Timothy Gallwey

Tim’s first book – a worldwide ‘smash’.

Flow In Sport – Susan Jackson & Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow In Sport – Susan Jackson & Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

For anyone who wants to know what you need to do to get ‘into the zone’…. read this book!

Personal Development

Flow: The Psychology Of Happiness - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

Flow: The Psychology Of Happiness - Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

This book transformed my thinking about how our life’s purpose interacts with our happiness. A must read.

Think And Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

Think And Grow Rich – Napoleon Hill

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.

Autobiographies

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Cues

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...
Green Baize

Green Baize

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 III Cue Maker

Ton Praram III

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…

Here is The video of the unwrapping and first try of that cue

And here is Part 1 of the interview series I did with Ton and his wife in Thailand

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…

ADR147 Andrew Ramsay

ADR147

In addition, my other friend Andrew Ramsay in the UK has a huge knowledge of cues and supplies a wide variety of brands at all price ranges as well as some exotic stuff.
He has an eBay store HERE although you will often get the best deals by emailing him on [email protected]

Chesworth Cues

Chesworth Cues

Martin Chesworth in Sheffield also runs a very popular shop with a lot of cues (but I think less than Stu Green) you can try.

Cue Doctor Taylor Made Cues

Cue Doctor

The Cue Doctor in Southend on Sea also had a wide range of cues (again, less than Stu) as well as making his own.

Parris Cues

Parris Cues

Parris Cues are at the higher end of the market.

Mike Wooldridge Cues

Mike Wooldridge Cues

And Mike Wooldridge is at a similar market topping level.

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Accessories

Aramith 1G Tournament Snooker Balls

Aramith '1G' Tournament Snooker Balls

1G Balls – the balls they use on TV (the balls in the set are all within 1 gram of each other – hence 1G). Comes with a silver carry case.

Aramith Tournament Champion Full Size Snooker Ball Set

Aramith Tournament Champion Full Size Snooker Ball Set

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.

Peradon High Quality Chalk Pouch

Peradon High Quality Chalk Pouch

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.

Century Pro Cue Tip

Century Pro Cue Tip

Century Tips – what most pros use as of April 2019. G3 is the most popular, and can be considered ‘Medium’.

Elk-Pro Cue Tips (9mm, 9.5mm, 10mm, 10.5mm, 11mm, 13mm)

Elk-Pro Cue Tips (9mm, 9.5mm, 10mm, 10.5mm, 11mm, 13mm)

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.

Hairdressers Bi-Vision double folding mirror

Hairdressers Bi-Vision Double Folding Mirror

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.

Coffee Filter Papers

Coffee Filter Papers

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.
Sportube Series 2 Double Ski Case

Sportube Series 2 Double Ski Case

Black 16.8 X 14 X 130-210

Sportube Series Ski Blaze Hard

Sportube Series Ski Blaze Hard

Orange 16.8 X 14 X 130-210

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!

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Chalk

Green Triangle Chalk

Green Triangle

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.

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Table Fitters

Cue Above The Rest

Cue Above The Rest

My personal table fitter for some years now has been John at Cue Above The Rest. He can also travel abroad.

Sascha Lippe snookerservice.de snookershop.de

Snooker Service

Sascha Lippe lives in Germany and services all of mainland Europe.

River Billiards

River Billiards

In Australia, where I have family, Luke Muldoon is your man.

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Table Suppliers

Sir William Bentley Billiards

Sir William Bentley Billiards

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.

Hamilton Billiards

Hamilton Billiards

Hamilton Billiards and I have worked together for many years and likewise supply beautiful antique tables and make their own snooker and pool convertible dining tables.

Tayside Snooker

Tayside Snooker

Tayside Snooker have supplied tables for friends and clients and can source the type of table you want as well as making them to your own specific design.

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Table Heaters

There are two main types of snooker table heater in the market:
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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

Wet & Dry Waterproof Emery Paper

Wet & Dry Waterproof Emery Paper

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.

Steel Wire Wool

Wire Wool

To finish off metal ferrules with to look as new, I use wire wool.

Here is a low priced solution with very fine ‘100 grade’ wool – ideal for a high sheen finish.

Doctor’s Tongue Depressor

Doctor’s Tongue Depressor

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.

Cue Tip Application Locators

Tip Application Locators

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”

Cue Wax

Cue Wax

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.

Go to 'Cues' section

Glue

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.

Tip Files

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:
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Snooker Glasses

Posh Eyes Snooker Glasses Spectacles

Posh Eyes

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...

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Camera Accessories

Tripods and Brackets

30-60 Inch Height Adjustable Tripod Stand for Tablet/iPad

30-60 Inch Height Adjustable Tripod Stand for Tablet/iPad

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.

Amazon Basics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag

Amazon Basics 60-Inch Lightweight Tripod with Bag

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.

Universal Tripod Mount Adapter for iPad/Tablet (4.8-7.8 Inch)

Universal Tripod Mount Adapter for iPad/Tablet (4.8-7.8 Inch)

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.

Mini Tripod Head with 1/4 Hot Shoe Adapter 360° Rotatable Ball

Mini Tripod Head with 1/4 Hot Shoe Adapter 360° Rotatable Ball

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.

Tripod 3-way Ball Head with Handle

Tripod 3-way Ball Head with Handle

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.

50

50" Thicker Legs Tripod for Tablet/iPad/Phone/Camera + Remote Control

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

Heavy Duty Wall Bracket for camera

Heavy Duty Wall Bracket

For those who want a permanent wall bracket for their camera / phone / GoPro etc these work fantastically well.

LED Ring Light with Tripod Stand

LED Ring Light with Tripod Stand

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)

Flexible Octopus Tripod & Bluetooth Remote Control

Flexible Octopus Tripod & Bluetooth Remote Control

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.

Bluetooth Camera Remote Shutter Control

Bluetooth Camera Remote Shutter Control

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.

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Video Analysis App

Coach's Eye App

Coach's Eye

For your video analysis needs I use and recommend Coach’s Eye. It is so simple to use, very low cost, offers great features, gives you super awareness of what you are doing that you will have never seen before, and can easily be upgraded if you want extra pro features. They can be found on the Apple and Android stores and work perfectly on both phones and tablets from both platforms.

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