I just sat down with the guys of Gaijin Custom Cues, and they want to make a cue to suit you. Robby, Marshall, and Josh are just typical southern guys with a love of the game of pool and non-traditional design. They have a simple philosophy, each of us has a natural stroke and the closer a cue is taylored to the player, the closer the player can stay to the stroke they were born with. Armed with this simple idea, Gaijin Customs was formed.
Multiple veneers in the points in varying design styles, beautiful woods, exotic materials, crocodile wrap, no wrap, linen, so many combinations. Let them know what woods and materials, what joint you want, etcetera — ferrule diameter, custom down to every last detail. Customization and variety are the name of the game. (Please see the attached pictures. Words do these cues no justice.)
While they all agree the ⅜ x 10 piloted joint provides the closest hit to a single piece cue what matters to them more is what pin is right for you. From the 5/16 by 18 pin made popular by Meucci to the 5/16 by 14 of Joss and Schon fame no pin is off limits in their designs as long as the end result is the player feeling more confident. Several pin materials are also available including steel, copper, and G10 (a super hard polymer) to allow for the weight desired.
They use both stabilized burl wood as well as coring techniques to ensure consistancy and durability. They also offer both straight grain maple as well as low deflection shaft options, both which play rock solid. They also feature jump/break cues that hit like a hammer, with their own specialty tip, and it jumps perfectly.
One innovative of Gaijin’s craftsmanship would be the veneers arranged. To produce an image of ‘Old Glory,’ the United States of Americas’ Flag. And it is a very intricate, detailed work of art indeed! Their work is both beautiful and practical, having hit with many of their cues, they all play very well with little adjustment time for me personally.
While the origin of the company name might hail from the orient, Gaijin Customs is a all American company with its members having close ties to multiple branches of the military through the families of the founders of the company. Through this connection, many of the customization techniques they use have been honed building cues for disabled veterans and retired service men and women who love the sport but need to taylor the cue around limitations or injury. Regardless of condition, they believe every one should, enjoy this game we all love. Though they are just regular guys that make these products they hope that their friendship, multiple interests, and reverence for the game and those who play it make Gaijin Customs greater than the sum of it’s parts. I can personally tell you these are the type of cues that you walk into a pool hall with and know you have the very best equipment money can buy — that is my assessment of these wonderful, incredible, all-around, bad-to-the-bone cues!
Based out of West Alabama and East Mississippi, Gaijin resides right in the middle of heartland America, and presents players with every option possible including wood and materials from all over the world.
“All two piece four point cues owe alot to George Balabushka, Frank Paradise, and Brunswick including our, we just show our tribute a little different.” Marshall and Robby said in reference to their 4 point cue. They are producing cue designs unique to their own particular brand of artistry, and their signature pieces are indelible marks of billiards perfection.
As we continue the interview, we talked about inlays and the use of a pantograph, which I had to Google to see some example. The artist draws a design in the machine stencil and the design is cut into the cue. This is a old fashioned way to do inlays in contrast to the CNC router which leads to more complex inlays but also the rounded points that cue purist don’t favor as much. The longer we talked the more it became clear not only alot of work but also alot of thought goes into every build. The work put into every Gaijin cue appears very detailed and intricate, and the closer one looks, the more you see all the way down to the gems in the tip of the pin for added flair; attention to detail design. So what are we talking about here? We’re talking about a great group of guys focused on continuing in the tradition of cue innovation for players that want custom everything. While alot of the techniques used are trade secrets in many cases, the one thing that is certain is quality is the end result.
While it has been accepted for a few years in the pool industry that the shaft is the most important part of the cue Gaijin Customs feels that too much emphasis is placed on the shaft alone, they feel that no one part of the cue is more important than any other part and perhaps that is another reason why they play so consistently, I found myself not only breaking with their break cue I just started playing the rack I broke and came one shot on the 8/9 combination from running the rack including one hard draw shot (3/4 of the table kinda draw) with the Gaijin jump/break tip!
Rock solid playing cues, but more importantly, Custom works of individual art as well. True craftsmanship down to every last detail.
Three regular guys making something much greater than the sum of their parts creating quality through design, Gaijin Customs.
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Author: Patrick Sampey
Editor: Chris Freeman
Sponsored by Jacoby Custom Cues