Viking Cue Company started in the early sixties, and as they grew in popularity they moved to a new facility in Madison, Wisconsin.
At this location the company was really able to take roots and make high quality cues. In the early 2000’s, the company had to shut down for economic reasons. In 2011, a man by the name Mark Larson bought the company and reopened the doors in Middleton, Wisconsin. Under his new ownership, the company used the veteran team of craftsmen and new innovative people to start producing cues at the highest quality it had ever done.
The Viking V-Crush shaft is an amazing product that Viking has produced. This shaft is standard for all of Viking’s break and jump cues. The shaft comes in a standard length of 29 inches with a 13 millimeter phenolic tip, 15/16/18 quick release pin, a Viking black phenolic ferrule and a 12 to 14 inch pro taper. This shaft has custom options that you may also select when purchasing such as tip diameter of shaft length.
When I was given the task to review this shaft, I set out to test this shaft on a seven, eight and nine-foot tables as well as testing it against other break cues. I started by breaking with this shaft on my Viking XRZR on a seven-foot valley bar box table.
The first time I stroked the shaft and I felt the taper—wow! It was just perfect.
I could feel the power behind it, and in my first break I drained five balls: three stripes, two solids and had center table placement on the table. I quickly ran out after. In order to see if I could do any better, I did the same break with my Jester G-10 Assault break cue which I use as my standard breaker. I broke with it and I got similar results, which to me is a good thing because I look at the Jester as one of the highest quality break cues.
Next were the eight and nine-foot tables and this shaft didn’t care…it sold me! Bring it on! It proved every time I broke.
Time and again I dropped balls and got center table placement—it was so easy. I’m actually at a point that I don’t know which break cue to use: the Viking or the Jester. And for my break, the faster I can break, the better, so when my Viking was at 19 ounces and the Jester is 14 ounces I thought there was no way. The part I like about the Viking and the extra weight is I let the cue do the work instead of forcing myself push through the cue ball. With my Jester the break is like a wild punch, smashing ball and giving ridiculous breaks, but with the Viking if I try and force it I lose all control.
In short I would have to say that the V-Crush shaft is an advantage any person can add to their bag. Today I’m using both the Jester and the Viking. I simply cannot decide between them. Some days one is best for me, and other days the other is best.
Dakotah Schmidtknecht was born in Wisconsin on in 1994. His pool life began with his father. Six months after Dakotah was born, he bought a bar/resort/restaurant, and started shooting league. All Dakotah ever wanted to do was be just like him, so naturally as soon as he could hold a pool stick he did, and he’s been playing since he was four years old. A serious pool career didn’t start until his grandfather bought him his first cue. It was a Minnesota Fatts red light-up cue. He spent days practicing on his Grandfather’s eight foot Olhausen. In his late teens, he started to sub on his dad’s pool team, and went from losing to beating the top players in the league. These days he’s working with the Wisconsin Artistic Pool Players Association as an administrator, and being sponsored by them for artistic pool. “I think my biggest moment in billiards to date is when I met Florian Kohler, and as my artistic pool grows I am able to ask his advice. It’s amazing to me that a master like him will take time to help an amateur like me.”
Photo: Garret Troop
Editor: Marcee Murray King