Aug
01

Snooker Rest – Spider Bridge Hand Extensions for Awkward Cueing Situations

Snooker Rest & Spider Bridge Hand Attachments for Greater Flexibility Comfort & Accuracy when Bridging over Multiple Balls

Identifying the Need & Defining the Problem

To play snooker successfully at any level, it is essential to develop a stable and adaptable bridge hand. This allows a snooker player to execute a wide range of shots from deep screw to acute swerves and everything in between, including cushion shots and bridging over intermediate balls to reach the cue ball.

Hand mounted snooker spider for close range bridging over ballsHowever, a player's bridge hand has limits and when these are reached, some form of artificial bridge/rest is required to extend the player's range, elevation or angle in order to continue with the shot.

The problem with these artificial bridges/rests is that they take the player away from close contact with the cue ball and a fair amount of 'touch' or control can be lost due to the distance i.e. the length (and weight) of the rest/spider handle. Also, rests require a different cueing technique which has to be practiced and developed in its own right, in fact many professional players continue to have problems using rests and will often do everything they can in a match to avoid using them, including alternative shot selection.

Meeting the Need & Providing a Solution

My idea to help overcome the loss of control caused by the use of rests is to simply remove the 'business end' of rests and provide them as an attachment/glove that can be used/worn directly on the player's bridge hand.

This would help the player to maintain closer contact with the cue ball and would allow the player to continue using their normal cueing action - with some slight adaptation. Also, the player's normal line of sight could be maintained leading to greater accuracy.

The accessory would consist of two parts; a base unit/glove which would provide the stable platform, and various attachments for the base unit to facilitate a wide range of extended shots.

The base unit/glove (see photo galleries below) would sit flat on the snooker table with the player's bridge hand inside, holding the base in position. The player's cue would then rest on and run through the chosen attachment. I believe a wide range of attachments could be designed to accommodate most of the shots currently only reachable with the use of a normal snooker rest or spider.

Hand mounted rest - bridge hand extension - longer reach whilst maintaining almost normal cueing actionOf course, there will be a limit to the stability of my hand-based accessory idea, and for extreme reach over large areas of the snooker table, a normal rest with an extended cue would still be required. However, I estimate that my accessory idea would be stable with up to a 0.5 metre reach at least, and even quite extreme elevation & angle changes could be handled with ease.

The materials used for my accessory idea could be chosen according to the market, price range and final quality. Plastics for the budget, club-based versions and possibly carbon fibre or aluminium for the more professional versions. To reach a final production design would require some experimentation and trials, with some ergonomic modifications, but I've drawn some 3D models below to indicate the basic idea.

Uses / Applications

I've tested this idea with some crude mock-ups, just enough to gauge whether I would be comfortable using such a device. The results were excellent, especially for the most common situations when I would normally have to use a rest or spider. The mock-ups also proved to be useful when bridging from the cushions, allowing me to relax my neck and shoulders more than with my normal fingertip cushion bridge hand.

  • When bridging over an intermediate ball to strike down on the cue ball, the device was more comfortable than using my normal high fingertip bridge hand, which has always been a little wobbly at best. :-)
  • Also, one of the most difficult shots for me is when having to bridge over a large part of the pack to reach the cue ball, I just can't get enough elevation to strike the cue ball dead centre. With my crude but effective mock-up bridge hand spider, I was easily able to span over the pack and strike the centre of the cue ball; only raising my cue butt slightly higher than normal. When I played the same shot with the spider (and I also tried two rests, one on top of the other) I definitely felt less confident about striking the cue ball, I just couldn't follow through with the same optimism - basically, it felt much better having my bridge hand on the table, albeit inside the mock-up device.
  • One of the most effective uses I found whilst experimenting was one of the most basic; when the cue ball is out of reach, or when you have to really overstretch yourself to reach it, which affects the quality of your shot. Normally you would have to use a rest and a short cue extension, which is fine of course but you have to change your technique to suit, striking the ball with your cue arm out to the side at right-angles, with a less controllable follow through than when using the normal pendulum cue arm technique. With my mock-up I just added a 300mm straight-out extension piece, which allowed me to keep my hand on the table and use my normal cueing technique.
  • There were lots of other minor situations where the device helped and one in particular which involved moving the cue run-through out to the side of my bridge hand. I found situations where I couldn't get my bridge hand fully on the table where I would like it to be and still strike the cue ball correctly. Then as I moved to a position for correct striking, I would end up only being able to get a couple of fingers on the table due to avoiding the surrounding balls; one of those 'in between' situations. I made a sliding attachment for the device so I could place my hand in my preferred location, flat on the table, then slid the cue guide out to the side to line up the shot - perfect!
  • Some further development is required though, to make the device more practical and more versatile, for example it may be helpful to hinge the base unit in the centre or near to the fingertip end in order to provide more control and allow the player to raise their stance for comfort. Also the exact 'splay' of the base unit finger flutes needs to be determined and may require a couple of different versions; maybe one for children and one for adults for example.

I can think of at least a dozen more attachments and variations on this product idea and I hope someone will develop the concept further. I think with a bit of development work and trialling (leave a prototype or two with a few professional snooker players, then use their feedback to adapt and refine the design accordingly - they may even provide endorsements for a percentage share) this could be made into a viable product for the snooker industry.

Resources

I have produced a few 3D models/drawings which I have included in the galleries below. However, I have not had time to develop a proper prototype so I can only offer my descriptions above coupled with 3D drawings as a representation of my invention. Please feel free to take the idea and develop it into a product, with my best wishes :-)

Blender screenshot of the snooker rest hand extension base unit 3D designp.s. Prior to writing this post, I realised I needed a method of drawing/rendering my ideas for this product, since I didn't have a proper prototype to photograph and the visual design was too complex to describe adequately in words alone (a picture paints a thousand words).

Although I use various CAD and pcb design software regularly, these tools are limited from an aesthetic point of view, being aimed more at schematic and engineering drawing/modelling.

I wanted something more visually descriptive and graphical like Fireworks or Photoshop but with proper 3D capabilities. I researched, downloaded, installed and tried around thirty different open-source 3D packages, eventually settling on Blender (a marvelous software with a very steep learning curve, for an engineer). So all the images/models in these galleries represent my first attempts at using Blender as a design tool :-) I will also make use of it to help convey many of my other inventions and design ideas in future posts - hopefully my skill will improve a little ;-)

Photo Gallery 1 - Hand Mounted Snooker Spider

These images represent my initial design thoughts - a hand mounted spider attachment to help when bridging over multiple balls such as sections of the pack. My elevated bridge hand is quite good and I can reach over quite a few balls, but I always feel uncomfortable and a bit shaky, and it's difficult to maintain line-of-sight and a decent follow through.

This hand attached spider is short and sweet! The very crude mock-up I built brought me a lot closer to the cue ball, reduced my striking angle to a more horizontal plane, and overall, I felt I had more control over the strike. Much better than a long wooden stick with a brass claw on the end.

Photo Gallery 2 - Hand Mounted Offset Snooker Spider

This was an adaptation of my first design idea; a hand mounted spider but offset at an angle of about 30 degrees. If you've played any snooker you'll know why this is useful. Often, the balls are placed such that you can't get your bridge hand or enough fingertips on the table in line with the shot in order to bridge over the intervening balls. However, it is sometimes possible to place your bridge hand on the table, to the side of the balls.

Using the offset attachment allows you to get your hand on the table and still have the spider V in line with the shot offset to the right (or left) bridging over the awkward balls.

Photo Gallery 3 - Hand Mounted Adjustable Snooker Spider

The adjustable hand mounted spider attachment is a natural progression from the offset spider. A 30 degree offset is useful and can be 'jiggled' into a suitable position, however, a range of preset offsets would be more practical. I think 15 degree increments would be ideal, with a click-stop mechanism to lock the spider arm into place.

Photo Gallery 4 - Hand Mounted Snooker Rest

I believe this may be the most useful adaptation of this product idea. How often have you approached a shot only to find that it is just out of reach or just too much of a stretch? These are the diagonal - across the table - type shots, or the shots where being opposite handed would enable you to reach.

Normally when a shot is just out of reach, you have to use a rest and maybe a small cue extension which immediately pushes you much further away from the cue and object ball; it also requires a complete change of cueing action, something with which many players never feel completely comfortable.

The hand mounted rest attachment (bridge hand extension) effectively enables you to extend your bridge arm a few hundred millimetres thus bringing many more shots within range. With the hand rest and a cue extension, I believe almost all shots would be within range of the player enabling the use of a near normal cueing action. Only the more distant or awkward shots would still require a traditional rest or extended rest.

Photo Gallery 5 - Hand Mounted Snooker Spider-Rest Design Concepts

This gallery contains the product design models only, without all the clutter of the table demonstration setting. These close-up views give a better idea of the concept and mechanics of the design.

Photo Gallery 6 - Hand Mounted Snooker Spider-Rest - Two Finger Version

No, I'm not being facetious ;-) While I was playing around with the design of the four-fingered base unit ('glove'), it occurred to me that a two-fingered base unit may be perfectly adequate as a stable platform for the spider and rest attachments; it may even be possible to design a base unit with a single-finger and thumb hook - it depends on the stability.

Obviously, a smaller profile for the base unit would be beneficial, enabling more scope for bridge hand positioning on the table, less manufacturing cost, and easier transport of part of a player's snooker kit.

43 Responses to Snooker Rest – Spider Bridge Hand Extensions for Awkward Cueing Situations

  1. Steve Martin says:

    Hello,

    I have a friend that suffered a stroke and has lost the use of his right hand. I am looking for something to allow him to play pool again and I think your designs might be perfect for this. Do you by chance have any 3D models of your designs that I might be able to try to 3d print to see if they would work for him?

    Thank you,
    Steve

  2. Noel Madden says:

    Have you thought about a variation of these to prevent hand contact with table in with COVID in mind?

  3. Tina reading says:

    I am a manager of a disabled service we are trying to teach some of the people we support to play pool and have been searching for equipment to help them achieve this
    I have come across this aid and wondered if it is for retail

  4. David says:

    Hello
    Can i buy it plz ?
    Thx

  5. Derek says:

    Hey, is it possible to get any of the CAD files you worked with? I’d be interested in printing this.

  6. What an amazing invention. Are you selling any of these?

  7. Peter Poulsen says:

    Hi
    Fantastic tool :)
    Is it legal to use in snooker ?
    Is it possible to order one ?

    Best regards
    Peter Poulsen

  8. karim says:

    hello
    is it possible to have the stl of your rest snooker project so i can print it in 3d model iam a snooker player and i think that your product may help to play better
    thanks

  9. Christopher wileman says:

    I am interested in the spider bridge hand extension as I have a condition that stops me raising my thumb to make a bridge, were can I get one of these from?

  10. Bob Durnan says:

    Where can I buy these finger bridges.

  11. kevan llewellyn says:

    Hello is it possible foe me to get one of the disabled snooker hand/ claw thanks kevan llewellyn

  12. Kevanllewellyn says:

    I would really like one of those bcause I have a disabled left arm due to a bit and run driver when I was two and I really like snooker. Can I buy one thank you kevan Llewellyn

  13. Anupam says:

    Hi,

    I am interested in buying this spider bridge hand, but can’t find it anywhere. Is it just a concept you’ve designed or have someone started manufacturing them? Kindly inform.

  14. Art langer says:

    Looks like a great bridge are they available for purchase and where can you buy them

  15. Joe Thomas says:

    Hello,

    I’m Ridgeland SC I am quaudriplegic and have no wrisk extension in both arms. I can’t move my wrisk nor my fingers. I really need one of the “Snooker Rest & Spider Bridge.” Would you tell me how to get one, as soon as possible. I have been quadriplegic for 36 years. I own a pool table but I cant enjoy playing on it until find something like the “Snooker Rest & Spider Bridge Hand” to rest my stick on. Please contact me.

    Ph:843 263 2844

    145 Chapel Road
    Ridgeland SC 29936

  16. Donna says:

    How do I purchase this and how much

  17. Di Rosa says:

    Hi,

    Could you sens to me an idea if retail price ?
    Thks

    Antony

  18. Ole Tobias Gangfløt says:

    Hi, I am very interested in your product. Where can I buy it??

  19. kamran behbehani says:

    Need to purchase this spider hand bridge!? Please advice Thanks.. Kamran

  20. Hi:
    Phenomenal products, I want some. I’m a new snooker player and not left hand oriented, so how can I obtain your product? I am a craftsman and cold build them out of brass/wood tubing, etc. but since you are the designer I think they should be on the market. I imagine tooling costs are very high, but I think you have a great idea, and looks like one for a Kickstarter campaign. Will you make/sell me some 3-D models, or what suggestion do you have so I may obtain some? Great job.

  21. karl goulding says:

    I like your idea here and you are obviously on to something here.
    You probably have considered left and right handed players in this but one you glove definitely wouldn’t suffice for all even though it rotates.
    Those horrible bridging shots will definitely be made easier with your invention.

    All the best.

  22. andrew jarvis says:

    hello i am so glade i came across your snooker rest idea. Let me explain 2 and a half years ago i had a major motorcycle accident which has left me with complete nerve damage in my right arm. i used to love playing but when i went for the first time recently it was a real struggle and had lots of issues but your invention would really be a game changer for me and would really help me try find something i can even do anymore. If someone does help turn this into a product can you please let me no as like i said would really really make a big difference to me. I hope someone helps you and wish you all the best brian

  23. M Holliinhurst says:

    Excellent idea. I suffer with Dupuytrens Contracture effecting the 3rd and 4th fingers of my left hand. The two finger bridge illustrated would overcome my problems bridging over adjacent balls.

    I wish you luck in bringing these accessories to the market.

  24. chris mann says:

    i am a disabled person and this bridging device would enable me to play again could you let me know where to buy one please

  25. Ray Ranel says:

    Where can I Purchase This at I have a friend that had a stroke and now his left hand shakes a lot I think this would be great for him I’m very excited to see this!!

  26. antriksh jain says:

    i need this kind of rest , can you ship it ?

  27. Patty rohme says:

    I would love to try this out where can I get one and how much are they

  28. Steve Mosher says:

    I am extremely interested in purchasing one of these…can you get with me on how much and how long to ship to me…

  29. Ravi says:

    I wanna buy this Hand Mounted Snooker Spider-Rest.

  30. Mr. Brown says:

    Interesting concepts. Can you provide a hand mounted snooker rest for my use/testing. I have students of the sport that may want to try this out. I could possibly get some favorable reviews for you.
    Keep up the great work!

  31. Evelyn says:

    I’m inquiring purchasing one of your hand bridges. I have Multiple Sclerosis and finger stability and ball accessibility can sometimes be quite difficult. Please feel free to contact me via email, text or call. My number is 225-337-2507. Sincerely,
    Evelyn
    Baton Rouge, La.

  32. David Ian Hayman says:

    This tool is a great idea and much more versatile than conventional rests. It should sell well.

  33. Philip pollack says:

    I have neuropathy in my hands and can’t form a bridge for my cue.

  34. DDerek Harrison says:

    would like to know more about hand rest what they are made of and can they be used like me who has little control in his left hand, that is very hard to make bridge. and also cost, Many thanks.

  35. Moe Desjardins says:

    I will be going in for shoulder surgery in the near future. I am right handed so I will be doing the one arm (left) snooker playing. Where could I purchase these aids?

    Tks, Moe – Ottawa, Canada

  36. David Baker says:

    Hi Brian, like your inventions, just wondered do you actually have a piece that would fit to the hand, just to replace a standard hand bridge, i struggle cueing straight due to my thumb not being able to lift much from the bed of the table, thus making the cue more liable to movement on normal shots.
    Kind Regards David

  37. Adam 147 says:

    Hi can u buy these anyone help me out thanks

  38. Adam 147 says:

    Hi i would like to but this hand rest as i tink its really handy and look very well 100% Can u tell me a little about this ..thank you

  39. Dave says:

    How awesome is this, this would be much more preferred to the cumbersome Swan. Any possibility of acquiring one of these?

  40. Hank van de Weg says:

    Hi, I really enjoy a game of snooker but lately have been unable to cue properly due to arthritis in my thumbs rendering them usless for the game. I came across your inovations and am impressed by their originality. I am sure you will do very well with these. Do you have a shorter version which can imitate the upward bend of the thumb ? Also, do the extensions come off and are they adjustable. ie One glove, many adaptors.
    Thanks

    Hank

  41. Sam says:

    What an ingenious design. Pity they don’t use these in the World Championships!

  42. Ike Runnels says:

    Like the bridge but can the length be made shorter. My hand shakes an this may work for me.

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