The Long and Short: Pool Cue Lengths Explained
There are all kinds of pool cues out there that we can use. One important differentiator is pool cue length. Different length cues exist for a variety of reasons.
There are standard cues, short cues, and long cues. In this article, we aim to provide all the information you need in order to understand what cue lengths exist, and when certain length cues should and shouldn’t be used.
Pool Cue Lengths and Why They Vary
The standard cue length used by pool players is between 56 and 58 inches long. Regardless of cue type (playing or breaking cue), most cues will be this length.
That said, 58-inch cues are most common. Most pool players that prefer a different feel or want to improve cue performance will only go an inch below this (57 inches) or an inch above it (59 inches).
While 56 to 58 inches is the standard, there are many other cue lengths. You can get pool cues that are shorter or longer than this. Short and long cues are suitable for different players and situations.
Short Pool Cues
Some players prefer to use short pool cues. Here are a few reasons why:
- The player is shorter than average
- They want to play jump shots
- They lack the normal clearance space around their pool table
So, what exactly is a short cue?
Short pool cues are any cues shorter than the standard length of 56-58 inches. Here are some common short pool cue lengths:
- 52 inches
- 48 inches
- 42 inches
- 36 inches
- 30 inches
- 24 inches
Short pool cues are the best for short players and juniors. Any players below 5’ 8” tall will likely find a short cue more comfortable.
Short cues also work better for female players than longer cues. Ladies naturally have a narrow shoulder width and shorter arm length, so they can potentially benefit more from a short cue.
Short pool cues are very useful when playing in tight corners with limited space. They are also great for jump shots. A short cue is lightweight and easier to control, making it possible to make the quick and accurate stroke you need for a jump shot.
Long Pool Cues
Long pool cues are cues longer than 58 inches. They are usually meant for taller or average-sized players with longer arms. Any player with a longer bridge can also benefit from a long pool cue.
But, long cues aren’t just for tall players. Long cues can allow shorter players to make shots without needing a mechanical bridge to reach across the table.
Here are the common long/extra long cue lengths:
- 60 inches
- 62 inches
The reason there aren’t as many long cues on the market is because you can buy cue extensions. Cue extensions are a great way to achieve extra cue length if you need increased reach or if you are a taller player.
Otherwise, you can always buy custom cues that are built to a specified length.
Some pool cue extensions will slide over the butt easily. Others have to be screwed between the butt and shaft joints.
Cue extensions can increase your cue length by between 3 and 12 inches. Another advantage is that you can add and remove the cue extensions as needed. They can eliminate the need to have different length cues.
Recommended Pool Cue Length by Height
Matching your pool cue length with your height ensures you get the best feel and performance from your cue. Having the right cue length for your height also provides a better reach and eliminates the need to use bridges.
But, how do you know what cue length you need?
Check out the table below for recommended cue length, based on height:
|Player Height||Recommended Cue Length|
|Under 3’4”||29 inches|
|3’4” to 4’||36-42 inches|
|4’ to 4’11”||48 inches|
|5’ to 5’8”||52-56 inches|
|5’8” to 6’4”||58 inches|
|Over 6’4”||60-62 inches|
Does Pool Cue Length Matter?
Yes, pool cue length matters. The cue length affects a cue’s feel and playability, so it can have a significant impact on performance.
For instance, a tall player (over 6’4”) needs a longer pool cue. Using a standard 58” inch cue means they may have to hold the cue at the very bottom to maintain a proper stance and balance. This would be a very uncomfortable way to play pool, as the cue would have no room to slide through the hand.
A loss in comfort and feel can affect your game negatively. In the long run, it can prevent you from improving if you play a lot.
Cue length also matters because sometimes, you just need the cue to be functional. For instance, you will need a shorter cue for making jump shots or being able to shoot a shot when standing in an area with too little space to make a normal stroke.
Pool cue length will probably not be at the top of your mind when shopping for a cue. But, it is extremely important if you’re wanting to find a cue that will fit you well.
Pool cue length affects the feel and playability. Having the right length can help enhance your performance and improve your skills.
The standard 56-58 inch cues will work well for most players. But some shorter or taller than average pool players often need something different, and some don’t even know it.
The best way to know which cue length will work best for you is to try a few lengths before buying. You can then settle on what you find most comfortable, and hopefully make it your cue of the future!
As always, Happy Shooting!