Bob Smith started playing pool as a kid growing up in North Carolina. After a career in civil service, working in photography, film and video production, Bob took early retirement in New Mexico. He continued to play pool, eventually becoming a BCA certified instructor, and teaching pocket billiards at New Mexico State University.
In 1992 Bob opened a billiard pro-shop specializing in cues. He developed a strong interest in how the cues were made, and decided he should make his own. Bob had woodworking experience as a hobby to help in this endeavor, and after studying cue making for a year, started building Shaman Custom Cues. "Shaman" is another term for the American Indian "Medicine Man". Bob liked something he read: "In order to ask the gods for divine intervention, one must seek the aid of a Shaman." Author unknown.
In 2001, Bob and his wife Judy moved to Winston Salem, NC, and he now makes less than one Shaman cue a week. He loves southwestern art, and some of the inlay work on his cues incorporates Native American designs and materials found there. Bob prefers not to use elephant ivories, with shed antler and prehistoric ivories being his favorite alternatives. Playability is Bob�s primary concern, and extra steps are taken toward this goal. Shafts are turned once every two weeks, at least ten times, and feature a custom taper, which Bob developed. No taper bar is use to make the shafts, so small changes in the taper can easily be incorporated upon request. Bob has developed his own hardness grading system for tips to further help the customer achieve a desired hit. The scale runs from less than 10, which is the hardest, to over 30, which is the softest. A flat faced, radial pin joint is recommended to customers for a great hit, but most common joints are available at no extra charge. Uni-Loc joints and Predator shafts are options on Shaman Cues.
All Shaman cues are easily identifiable by the "Shaman" logo on the butt cap, either engraved or inlaid on a cast piece of silver. Each cue has a two-digit date and serial number under the bumper and under the wrap along with Bob�s signature. All Shaman cues come standard with one shaft.