Winter isn't coming: It is here. For some, this is only more encouragement to get out there on the bike to try out the treacherous conditions. Or it is just another way for us to experience the outdoors we love so much. For others — particularly if you live somewhere laden with snow — your only option is to retreat indoors until things warm up.
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One great indoor sport to try out is pool. As well as your local pool club, plenty of bars host pool tables. And some people like to go all out and get their own tables. Whatever your choice, pool is a great way to stay engaged during the winter. Here's what you need to get started.
A Place To Play
This depends on how seriously you want to play. Many bars, restaurants, and cafés have their own pool tables, which you can show up to any time you wish with your friends.
If you are looking to play more seriously, investigate local pool clubs and pool leagues. Pool clubs should be able to cater to a range of abilities, which is great if you are starting out and need coaching or players of your own ability to play against. If you are a bit more talented than that, pool clubs are the perfect avenue to further hone your skills.
Whether you are playing socially at the local bar or are training at a pool club, this is a common purchase for people who want to play more seriously. Or if you want to play a lot of pool. Given the sport's popularity, it is pretty easy to find the best pool cue for your money.
Buying your own pool cue is great for a variety of reasons. If you are out playing socially, it can be really frustrating continually having to swap cues if there are more people than cues. One-shot, you could be playing with a cue that feels nice, and the next, you are using one that's too short or with a wobbly tip. Constantly changing cues can throw you off.
If you want to play more seriously, this is also the best way to hone your craft — beyond training and practice. Finding a pool cue that suits you will give you greater comfort at the table and enable your game to thrive. This is particularly important if you have preferences about the weight, tip, grip, and more.
Your game will be more consistent if you are practicing and playing with a cue you know and trust. It can be easily packed up in a case, which makes them very portable. And they'll likely be vastly superior in quality to a venue's cue, too. This means you'll have greater power and accuracy at the table.
Chalk is there to add friction to the tip of the cue. This reduces the likelihood of a miscue, particularly when you strike the cue pool off the center.
As chalk is passed around the table, it can wear down quickly or get lost in other players who want it all to themselves. If you buy your own chalk, you know it is always there when you need it.
Unless you are thinking of buying a table, there's little expense if you want to take up pool regularly. And if you're thinking of playing more regularly, finding a good place to play or your own cue will make a world of difference.