No Snooker or Billiards table, big or small, should be without a rest of some sort and larger tables need several. Even Pool tables should really have a short rest and/or Spider. Rests, Spiders, Swan rests and Butt rests enable players to reach the cue ball when it is out of reach for a normal shot. Although adults might get away without a rest on 6 foot tables for children, many shots are impossible even on a 4 or 5 foot table without a rest. So for youngsters a rest is an essential accessory.
As you would expect, our rests are top quality and are supplied complete, with the rest head fitted to the shaft. We would suggest that you avoid cheaper plastic-headed rests - brass heads provide a more stable support.
Brass Cross Cross Rest
Brass Spider Rest
Brass Extended Spider
Brass Swan Neck
The standard Cross rest is the most common of all rests and extends the reach of a player by 2 or 3 feet. It is easier to use than any other type of rest and many beginners find that they are more accurate with it than without!
On a large table, smaller children may find they need to use a cross-rest for more than a third of all shots.
Brass Cross Rest with 60 inch Ash shaft
Brass Cross Rest with 54 inch Ash shaft
Brass Cross Rest with 48 inch Ash shaft
The Spider is effectively a tall rest. Where a rest is required and the cue ball is just the other side of another ball, a cross rest will not do the job because the cue needs to go over the intervening ball. Such shots are only possible with a spider.
A spider will be required fairly regularly on a large table and occasionally on smaller tables - so ideally the minimum for any table is both a cross rest and a Spider.
For smaller tables where perhaps the expense of 2 rests is undesirable, Masters Traditional Games suggests, somewhat unconventionally, that if you have only one rest, you could select a Spider. Although it's a harder implement to use than an ordinary rest, it will mean that almost all shots are possible.
Brass Spider Rest with 60 inch Ash shaft
Brass Spider Rest with 54 inch Ash shaft
Brass Spider Rest with 48 inch Ash shaft
The Extended Spider and The Swan serve similar purposes. Both enable players to reach a cue ball which is the other side of a group of balls - for instance the pack of reds in Snooker. In such cases, even a spider will not adequately reach the cue ball and so either an Extended Spider or a Swan is the requisite tool.
The difference in functionality between the two is subtle but the Swan will give a greater height so is useful where the cue ball is a distance away and it is desirable to approach it at a steep angle. The extended spider has a slightly greater reach and is sometimes found on a longer shaft - see the Long Spider section below.
Brass Extended Spider Rest with 60 inch Ash shaft
Brass Swan Rest with 60 inch Ash shaft
The Half Butt is around 84 inches, the full butt around 96 inches long. Both require specially long cues (around 90 and 108 inches respectively) that are stored with the Butt sticks down the long side of the table. The rest heads are similar in shape to a Spider rest head but lower - putting the cue tip at a similar height to the normal cross rest.
During the course of a snooker game on a full size table, it is relatively common to use the Half Butt and children will usually need one several times in a game. Full butts are much less commonly required and generally only needed across the full diagonal of the table.
Brass Half Butt - 84 inch Ramin shaft
90 inch Ramin Half Butt Cue
Brass Full Butt - 96 inch Ramin shaft
108 inch Ramin Full Butt Cue
Finally, a bit of thought reveals that even with all of the above, there is still a gap in the rest market - what happens if you need the extra height of a spider and also the length of a half butt? Although it may seem a bit OTT, it does occasionally happen that the cue ball ends up behind a ball at the far side of the reds and you need to cue over it from the baulk end of the table...
For this reason, some snooker clubs make available a rest called a 'Long Spider'. This is normally a Half Butt length shaft with a spider rest head.
For similar reasons (in the case where you need to cue over several balls from the baulk end of the table), one does occasionally see an extended spider rest head fitted to a half butt shaft. Generally speaking, these more obscure long rests are only seen at larger snooker clubs. If you would like to buy a long spider, contact us for a price...