recently i heard about this chalk by balabushka, the same balabushka name of the legendary cues. it is marketed as a premium chalk and priced around the level of blue diamonds and NIR super professionals (i reviewed both NIR and the blue diamonds some time ago), but not anywhere near the kamui’s stratospheric range. (the kamui is still at $30/cube, but time will tell if the company will shoot it to $50. as a side note, i hear the kamui 0.98 makes a heck of a mess, a problem supposedly addressed by the kamui 1.21. if it’s anywhere near the NIR’s messiness, i’d pass.)
but what is this chalk? i decided to take it to the intarwebs and get some answers. first, i found some pictures.
apparently there are two versions of balabushka chalk. the picture above shows the old stuff.
this pic shows the new stuff. the new one is the chalk i’ve been hearing about. just by looking at the two pictures, i can see the two chalks have different consistencies. mr. google gave me some more links and off i went.
my first query led me to the above post. someone on the azb forum said that the balabushka chalk is actually a blue diamond covered with a balabushka label. if that’s true, the bala would be a mini bargain since they’re overall cheaper than the blue diamonds. (the balas cost a little bit more, but you get three chalks vs. the bd’s two, making the balas a bit less per chalk.) hmm. intriguing.
the second post i found concurred with the first. seems like the balas are private label bds.
the third post went further, stating the balas may be better than the bds. wow! this is looking better and better.
huh? now i get a totally different answer. “i know for a fact that the chalk is made in their own factory.” this means the balas are NOT made by bd’s company, which is longoni. however, the post did say that the balas are slightly better than bds.
unfortunately, further web searches yielded more conflicting answers, so i decided to make things easy and called one of the companies that sell the bala chalks. according to the sales rep, the balabushka chalks are NOT made by bd, and are slightly less sticky than the blue diamonds. the rep said that although the balas worked fine, he personally liked the bds better. bottom line: stick with the original.
again, my search reinforced my dislike of pool forums. you get one person saying a product is such-and-such without a shred of proof, then someone else repeats it verbatim. pretty soon, it becomes truth and people will make decisions based on faulty information. who knows? maybe the person who perpetrated the false info is getting a nice kickback from the company, or maybe the person is a paid rep to feed bad info to the web to increase sales. you just can’t tell for certain. sure, there are some nice people on the forum boards, but many are reprobates, suck-ups, turncoats, or know-it-alls who are completely useless in your quest for higher pool knowledge. based on my experience, when you see a post on a pool forum, always look for evidence that backs up a claim, be it pictures, videos, or math equations. there is just too much bulls~* out there. as far as the balabushka chalk, i’ll have to try it out myself to see how it works. at $8 – $10 a box, it won’t break the bank. if it does work for you, you’d have gained a small edge in this very complex game. in that case, do leave a comment here on your experience with the balabushka chalk.