4/2/16 - Testimonial from Derek J.
Amazing service they moved a pool table we bought from one house to another they were very respectful of our home and did a great job of installing the new felt. The prices were within reason and I went back to the store and bought a cover that was also very reasonable. Great little place and the owner and installers were a pleasure to work with
3/16/16 - Testimonial from Rick V.
I had some time to kill while in Phoenix on a business trip. I stopped at several billiard stores and then I hit the jackpot with this place. I have never seen such a clean and inviting store. The owner was there and we had a great conversation about various things and I am ended up buying several items there. Very nice selection of cues and cases and all the accessories you would ever need. I would love to go back here. The Phoenix greater area has a gem in this store.
1/23/16 - Testimonial from Thomas H.
Just got back home from picking up the new cue. The guys here are always helpful with any questions you have. Great pricing on everything in the store. Will not go anywhere else!
1/20/15 – Testimonial from Harold K. regarding Balabushka Special Limited Edition Cue (SLE)
I have to start out with two words “Absolutely Amazing”; the SLE is a very true, accurate and super solid feeling cue. I have been playing pool (straight pool, 8-ball, 9-ball) for 40 years and have had a plethora of cues including Mali, McDermott, Keith, Schon, Omega DPK and many others. My current shooting cue is a “Bushka” Richard Black custom cue I had made in 1988, and my bar beater is a Predator First Edition 99-3. I recently acquired vintage GB-4 and sent it to Balabushka to have them restore it and the results were amazing; the stick looked like brand new and hit like a monster. I was curious about how the new cue line performed versus the old stick I had come across, so I ordered the Balabushka SLE to have as a new primary cue as my Richard Black was becoming too heavy for my play-style.
Immediately after chalking I put a few balls on the table to see how it would perform, and to my absolute amazement, the cue ball flew off the tip like a bullet out of a gun. The stick transferred every bit of energy to the cue ball without any shaft deflection or excess weight from the stick affecting the shot line. I blew it off and tried again, same results, I could not believe how accurate and solid the stick felt. In addition; the balance point is perfect and the cue feels like it’s floating on air, not rear nor front heavy, just right.
Every cue maker’s goal is to craft a cue that has the same hit as a solid single piece (it’s in all the books); for anyone curious, this stick is the real deal incredible hitting, solid and accurate cue you always wanted to own and is a pristine work of art with the fine details and 224 inlays making it stand out from the rest.
Last but not least, Robert, RJ and the other wonderful staff at G Cue Billiard Store treated me like an “old friend” from the first moment I spoke to them about restoring my old Balabushka cue. Their personable attitude and customer support were literally THE driving factor in buying the SLE. I was absolutely impressed with the courteous and helpful people who provided me with an excellent product that I will keep for the rest of my life and when I die my family will have to pry it from my cold dead hands.
5/21/14 – Testimonial from Rich C. regarding Balabushka Special Limited Edition Cue (SLE)
I just rec’d your SLE cue. It is very nice looking and it plays fantastic. I have a few high end cues and the SLE playability ranks right up there. I loved it from the very first rack. I had an old Balabushka about 45 years ago, that was given to me by a friend who was teaching me how to play (wish I had it now). This is my first Balabushka cue since then. I’m looking forward to playing with it for many years and maybe acquiring more of your cues in the future. Thanks…. I ordered the cue thru Manning Cues, Ontario, Canada.
1/23/14 – Testimonial from Celeste regarding Balabushka Chalk
Thank you so very much!! I tried it out after returning home and I absolutely love it!
I appreciate you donating that to the RTC WPBA Tournament at Bull Shooters in Phoenix! I will be looking to purchase more in the future and will push for more of my fellow players here in New Braunfels, TX to hop on board and try it out..and buy plenty!
Great product, thanks again!
12/18/13 – Customer e-mail
Hi, first of all let me congratulate you for your great product. I’m not the kind of of person to write compliments to companies, but then I thought people are fast to say that they are not satisfied with something but when they are happy and satisfied they just dont say anything.
Well That’s why I’m writing to you to let you know that you make some amazing product and I’m proud to use them. Its so rare to find such well made product these days …
Anyway I just wanna let you Know that your doing a great job and keep up the good work !
12/18/12 – Blog Post
I recently received both my Balabushka GB9 Cue and Chalk and promptly headed out to give it a test drive. Let me start out first by saying I’m not a professional pool player, but I am a 20 year mechanical engineer. Why point that out, because it plays into my review and research I did on this cue selection.
The Cue Design on the GB9 has both mother-of-pearl diamond inlays and ebony points. These look absolutely amazing in person and the quality of the ebony seems great – almost solid black with just a hint of brown stripping in two of the points (needed to be close and use a very bright light to see this variation). I’ve read and heard incorrect assumptions that the stripping is an indication of stained wood meant to look like ebony. From what I can gather in my research – true ebony, as with African will have a hint of light Brown stripping. Higher quality variations of Ebony will have less – and as with two of four points on my cue – they are completely black with no hint of brown stripping. Personally, this (almost) proves to me it’s not stained wood.
My style is a little simple-traditional when it comes to cue design – I’d rather not make a statement with an elaborate Cue. The GB9 looks like it came right out of the movie, Color of Money *(and we all know that Joss made that stick – and its replica is slightly overpriced and not my thing). The GB9 Cue Design is classy and classic, with a dark white and black wrapping.
I personally prefer linen wraps and liked the darker color (others might feel the wrap slip or need to grip tighter). I can see the lighter colored wraps showing a discoloration after many years of playing. The darker wrap did play into my decision of the model and it contrasted well with the two (approx. ¼ inch) silver rings. My only personal artistic change to the GB9 would be to add either the same ring design or a single ring between the points and wrap. The GB21 is an example of this effect, but I preferred the Ring Detail on the GB9.
To give a little history, I must have looked at 200-300 cues online and in stores, so making my choice with Balabushka was on Design Style, Quality – and a hint of nostalgia. I can’t comment on the Manufacturing process, but on the Certificate I received, it states the joint partnership with a well- known cue manufacturer, R.J. Helmstetter. If he’s using tools from this decade, then the machining process is light-years ahead of how things were made 20 years ago. I can only assume, but with this kind of technology, precision on the cues would be very tight – even with wood. This can be seen in the quality of the cue – no rogue hairs hanging off the wrap, no scratches or cracks in the finish, perfectly installed “real” inlays that reflect in the light, and tight seems between each of the cue’s elements – absolutely awesome work!
Most of the cue play comes down to the cue shaft, tip, wrap and wood/materials. An elaborate design might do more for one’s ego then pool play. As an engineer, I would assume some ornamental design, like inlays can assist in the strength of the cue –too much “stuff” might contribute to weakness, deformation and/or deflection in the shaft exaggerating errors (doubtful, though)in shots or cracks in the cue’s elements. That crazy logic is another decision factor in the Balabushka Cue line – it had the perfect balance of ornamental cue design, hard-woods, and c’mon – design practices that came from legends.
The best I can do on how the cue hits is use the analogy of closing a car door. If you have ever closed a door on a high-end car versus a cheap-old-used car; that clunk it makes when the door shuts. It feels different – one is smooth and effortless, while the other is loud and obnoxious. The “thunk” and action of the Balabushka cue was one of luxury and confidence.
The one error is not the mistake of Balabushka, but my own; I should have tested different size shafts before purchasing the standard size. I got mixed up with the description of Pro Taper thinking it would be smaller than standard house cues. Also, it seems my local Bar uses 12mm tapers on their House Cues and I thought they were 13mm…or standard. Oh well, now I can try different shaft sizes and get it turned down later.
I need to do more research on Tips, as I’m not completely sold on the standard one that came installed. It holds chalk well (or, the Balabushka Chalk sticks well), but it didn’t seem to give me the action I’m used to. It might be a combination of the 13mm telephone pole and standard tip that needs some work.
The included Certificate and Velvet Bag are nice touches – the monogrammed bag was nicer then I was expecting. I seriously thought the bag would be like the soft Crown Royal Whiskey Bag – this could almost be a backup cue case – it’s that nice. When purchasing a cue of this magnitude, the certificate with serial number makes things official – not that one needs that level of proof when playing pool. The Joint Protectors are a nice addition to the purchase and most cues I reviewed required an additional purchase and lacked the Cue’s Logo.
Now for the Balabushka Chalk…. The stuff is weird (but a good weird). For those of us that use House Cues and the standard house chalk, that squeak is a common noise when getting ready for a shot EVERY time. I was told in an email from Balabushka Cues not to chalk up after each shot…and man, what a habit to break. I probably chalked up every three or four shots and each time it lacked any noise and tracked well on the cue ball. One big point…I didn’t miscue once in two hours – with a brand new tip. Typically, I might miscue once in a night’s play.
I didn’t realize this was going to turn into such a long blog, but the lack of information on the internet around cues is very limiting. Thanks goes out to Balabushka Cues for a great product. I look forward to sharing the cue experience with others and best of all…winning all those games.
9/15/12 – Just got off the phone with Wayne, CPA Canada.
He gave a piece of Balabushka chalk to one of his players to try. The player returned it and said it was OK; however, A while later, he came back and said he has a match in which he would like that piece of chalk back to use in the match.
After the match, I don’t know if he won, but his comments were, he got 6-10 inches more draw, he had better spin on the cue ball and better control. Wayne is now anxiously awaiting his shipment of this fine chalk to use for this weekend’s tournaments.
9/12/12 - Robert, thank you….
You the man, the reason I say this is because I took the shaft of the Bushka to Kevin Wright, who has 25 years in cue work experience to have my shaft tapered down, and he told me that was damn good wood… all I got to say is I’m gonna send all the business that I can your way, man I love this stick. - Thanks Again,
MIS-CUE MYSTERIES – USING BALABUSHKA CHALK CORRECTLY… read the e-mail thread below…
8/25 – Customer: I recently purchased 15 Balabushka chalks. I shoot on my own Gold Crown IV table using a Moorie medium tip that is well scuffed on a regular basis. In running balls in straight pool I find myself mis-cuing with this chalk almost every time I need to execute a hard draw or follow shot. What am I doing wrong because people claim this is the best chalk on the market?
8/25 – Robert from G Cue Billiard Store (also owner of Balabushka Cue company): That does not make sense to me. I have been playing with the chalk and testing it for 6 months and the only time I miscue has been when I went too low or high to an extreme.
Are you chalking after every shot? If so, you are putting too much chalk on the tip. With Balabushka chalk, you can shoot 3-5 times between chalking and, even then, you can see “wear spots” on the tip that only need to be filled in. If you chalk every time, you will create a thin chalk barrier between the leather and the ball. If you have to go through a chalk barrier, it will create skid and a miscue because the contact is with chalk only. I hope this makes sense. I look forward to your response.
8/27 – Customer: You are absolutely correct! I was chalking after every shot with the Balabushka chalk, and then miscued often. Today, I chalked only before the breaks shot in 14.1 and ran frame after frame with zero miscues. Thank you for your response, and for a great product.
� 8/28 – Robert from Balabushka:� I thought that was the problem. What many players do not consider is that with better chalk, you won’t have to chalk as often and the product will last longer. I am happy it worked well for you and thank you for endorsing the product.
***”I just received my Balabushka cue and wanted to let you know how pleased I am. The cue is exquisite.”
***”My parents purchased the GB-23 cue as a gift for me and the cue is amazing. It is a beautiful stick to own. It must have been sent from heaven because it plays like it was made by God himself. “George” has a prominent place among our collection of cues and we are proud to own this Balabushka cue. Everyone should have one in their collection!”
***”These are gorgeous, classic!”
***”With the new Balabushka chalk you can chalk your cue once a game! This revolutionary chalk prevents miscues and grabs the cue ball better. This is what every player on the planet is looking for. I don’t care how good your custom cue is…or how great you think your tip may be. Every player can and will Miscue!!! With the new Balabushka pool cue chalk you can chalk once per game and feel confident. This is not Master’s chalk, this chalk is tackier and will stay on your tip longer. This chalk will give you more control and more spin on the cue ball.”
***”I received a new GB-2 as a birthday present yesterday. This is, without a doubt, the finest cue I’ve ever used and getting it made for an unbelievable 40th birthday present.”