Did you know that one of the easiest “upsell”s in billiards is the cloth on the table? You’d think that’s a pretty basic thing…right up until your salesman informs you at checkout that for another couple hundred bucks, he can get you a cloth that’s wear-resistant, stain-proof, environmentally conscious and fights crime. While there are in fact wide variances in billiard cloth quality and performance, the key is finding the right one for you. A good billiard professional will help you with the choice, not try and convince you this is a necessary expense.
As an example, an Olhausen pool table is already going to have the fastest rebound in the industry…installing the fastest cloth to go with it isn’t necessarily doing the average player any favours. And if a couple hundred dollars is going to make that big a difference in your enjoyment of the table you’re buying…what junk were they putting on in the first place?
The key to a pool table’s performance is the rail design and cushion quality. While the cloth can certainly amplify (or hinder) the rail’s capability, it’s counter-productive to purchase a weak pool table and invest in “better” cloth. An informed customer will invest in the rail first. From there, your cloth choice is a nice finishing touch.
As for rails and cushions…that will be another day!