Roku is another high quality chalk manufactured by Kamui. It was released in July 2018. I had an opportunity to get a pre-release version of this chalk back in April, which is the basis for this review. The pre-release version I reviewed is exactly the same as the official production released version of the chalk.
The Roku chalk is another in the line of premium chalks. These premium chalks such as Kamui Roku or Great White are quite a bit more expensive than standard chalks such as Master or Silver cup chalk. They typically purport to bring advantages such as better coating, better friction to generate more spin, less dust, and less need to chalk the cue during play.
We reviewed Kamui’s prior premium chalk, Kamui 1.21, which you can access here.
Overall, the Roku chalk is a very good chalk. In my experience using the chalk, it covered very well and I experienced no dust on the cue ball or other balls. I do get the occasional chalk mark on the table, mostly associated with draw shots, but no more than any other chalk and I noticed no excess dust from this chalk when cleaning the table.
While I did not have to chalk nearly as much as with other standard chalks, I did have to chalk more than Kamui’s 1.21 chalk I reviewed, I would say about twice as much. To give you an idea, in my practice drill of shooting 100 long straight in shots corner to corner, I could get away with chalking only once with Kamui 1.21, whereby I had to chalk twice with the Kamui Roku chalk. Still significantly less than standard chalks. However, on my draw shots, I am not as confident in going more than 5 shots with the Roku chalk without re-chalking. I did experience some miscues after around 5 draw shots, so if I were in a match, I would chalk up for every draw shot with this chalk regardless. As for whether or not using this chalk allowed me to apply more spin on the ball, I can’t honestly say that I could tell the difference.
Ironically, as an expensive chalk, I still prefer these chalks for practice sessions where I do repetitive drills. Not having to chalk after each shot allows me to more effectively build muscle memory. When I am not practicing muscle memory drills, but rather practicing real-world game type drills such as playing the ghost, running patterns, etc. I go back to my standard pre-shot routine, which does include chalking after every shot. While with a chalk such as Roku, it is not necessary to chalk after each shot, I do find that in match play, chalking after every shot is a good pre-shot routine. Chalking between shots slows you down, insures you take the time to look over the table and prepare for your next shot. So I encourage you to do this regardless of the chalk you use. I do find the chalk wears evenly with properly brushing the chalk on the tip as you chalk.
The chalk comes in an octagon shape, which I am generally not a fan of. This is simply personal preference, it has absolutely nothing to do with the quality or effectiveness of the chalk. I just happen to prefer square chalk. I also find more options in square chalk holders than I do in octagon chalk holders.
I also want to point out that this is a bit of a no frills chalk as compared with a chalk such as great white (which we also reviewed. You can read about it here). For example, Great White comes with a fancy carrying case for the chalk and a magnet in the bottom of each piece of chalk to connect to a metal chalk holder. With Kamui Roku, you get a thin plastic pouch and the chalk.
My overall assessment is that the Kamui Roku has an expensive price tag, but overall, it is really good chalk and one piece will last you a long time. Having said that, there are many high quality chalks out there that cost much less and players will have to determine for themselves if they think the hefty price tag is worth it over the other options in the market.
Author: Steve Sherman
I am the founder of Billiard Product Reviews. I have been playing pool for over 30 years. I have a genuine love for this game and all things billiards. I consider myself a student of the game and try to learn as much as I can from instructional books, instructional DVDs, DVDs of professional matches, professional coaching, practice and from the other players that I play with. While I play competitively in league and occasionally tournaments, I consider myself a casual player, relatively speaking. I am a skill level 7 in the APA, skill level 5 in TAP and play as a C+ in amateur open tournaments. I created Billiard Product Reviews to give back to the billiards community and to assist my fellow players in selecting the right products to help improve their game or just get more enjoyment out of the sport we love.
Editor: Chris Freeman
Sponsored by Jacoby Custom Cues