Predator Sport 2 Ice With Sport Wrap – Low Deflection Cue.

Introduction.

This is a record of my experience with my first predator pool cue which I have had for about a year. I bought a Predator Sport 2 ice with sports wrap used on Ebay last January 2020.

I purchased the white (Ice) version, which probably wouldn’t have been my first choice but it was the only used color available at the time. Lets also be honest here , how a cue looks has no effect on its playability.

When it comes to pool cues the individual players’ feel is everything and this is just my opinion, your experience will probably be different to mine.

Why Did I Buy This Cue?

Now that is a really good question because I have tried a low deflection cue before and I didn’t get on with it at all. Not that there was anything inherently wrong with the cue as such but it didn’t feel right and it didn’t suit my style of play. I have always played with a small tip and normal deflection characteristics.

I also had some issues with my stroke which were manageable with my own cue but caused me problems with randon cues.

Essentially I was interested in the new technology cues that everyone seemed to be buying but I had my reservations for sure.

How Much Did The Cue Cost?

predator sport 2 ice

Normally these cues are around $550 with the sport wrap and $495 with a smooth no wrap finish.

I bought the cue at auction and set a maximum bid of $465 the current bid was $260

In the end I paid $440 including shipping and extras pictured left.

Delivery.

I waited about 2 weeks for the delivery to arrive from a reputable seller on Ebay.

It came with the new Z3 predator shaft, the one with the conical European style taper commonly used by black ball and snooker players.

The package included 2 gloves which are very nice but too small and I dont use gloves anyway.

A really nice black case 2×2 with pockets and a strap. It is not leather but its OK for free and I wouldn’t be embarrassed to be seen with it in public places.

Joint protectors for both the butt and the shaft.

First Impressions.

When I opened the box I really liked the look of the cue. It looked very modern, has a great logo and the color and finish are both excellent.

I took the Z3 shaft out of the case, removed the joint protectors and screwed the shaft to the white cue butt. I ran my hands over the product to search for any scratches, dings or dents, there were none.

The joint came together flush with no protruding edges to the feel. The wrap is a flexible rubber inlay which should stop any unwanted slip of the hand.

The cue shaft had a short white ferrule, covered with the predator vault plate and their standard victory tip which was un-used.

I rolled the cue on the table both assembled and in two pieces. It rolled straight and true as you would expect.

The Hit.

The hit was totally different to what I was used to of course, kind of hard and unforgiving. The sound of the hit was not what I would call solid.

The type of tip used on a cue can make a huge difference to the way that the hit feels to the player. 

Previously, I had been used to a Kamui soft tip on a long ferrule so we are not comparing like for like by any means.

I would probably have the predator victory tip replaced with a kamui at some point. For now I will play with the cue as it came from the predator factory.

I played a series of centerball shots to try to get a feel for the cue, maybe 20 different shots of varying difficulty. I made all of the shots except for one which was probably due to me rushing.

Testing Out The Low Deflection Qualities.

To test out the cues low deflection claims I played another series of shots with 1/2 to a full tip of english to each side left and right of center. Nothing too difficult just shots that I would normally play with spin at normal speeds.

Definitely no 1/2 ball inside english all around the table type shots for example.

Surprisingly I made all of the shots without much difficulty. I was quite pleased with the results and amazed that the deflection was very similar to my old cue.

However it didn’t feel good.

The balance.

The balance of the cue was off somehow for me. Compared to what I am used to the shaft felt very light putting more weight in my back hand.

This is probably due to low deflection cues having a lower front end mass. LD shafts employ lighter ferrules and hollow cores to reduce mass and therefore reduce deflection.

Whatever the reason was I didn’t like it.

When it comes to pool cues everything comes down to feel. The obvious comparison with the last cue that you played well with for any length of time.

What Did I Think So Far?

I stuck it out for about 5 weeks solid practice before starting to ask questions like:

  • Was it the cue, the cue shaft or both?
  • Would a Z3 shaft connected to my old cue feel better?
  • Would a different predator shaft like a 314-3 be better?
  • What about a different manufacturer?
  • Do I want to go down this rabbit hole?