If you frequent the national and regional league scene and the annual Super Billiards Expo, there’s a cue repair vendor that is highly regarded as one of the best in the business—Joe Blackburn.
At these events, Joe is never too far from his work companion, Steve Lomax of Lomax Custom Cues. The duo has garnered high respect from both players and fellow cue makers alike.
Steve’s story is not too unfamiliar but a success story nonetheless: Devout player has his cue retipped at a tournament, tip pops off and a decision was made to do it better; that decision was made in 1999.
Fast forward 15 years, his hobby has turned career, an accomplishment difficult to achieve in our industry. For 10 years since 1999, Steve repaired cues and worked full-time as a trim carpenter. During that time as his experiences accumulated, he built his first cue in 2002.
By 2009, it was a new beginning: Steve was a full-time cue maker.
Steve was inspired by traditional cues—four pointers with veneers. He recalls back in the 70s when we looked at fancy cues and wished he could make those or at least, figure out how they were made. He regrets not pursuing cue making sooner instead of waiting nearly 30 years to get into the business but life was different back then.
To say he enjoys what he does is an understatement; he “enjoys every minute of it and has met players from all over the world.” Traveling across the country from tournament to tournament and returning home to his shop to make cues means that he is so busy these days he has “no time to play much.” That is to say, his successes are not entirely due to the quality of his work and cues but more so as a result of his character, personality and customer service.
Over the course of the past 20 years, Steve Lomax has probably seen it all.
Many of us feel the decline of interest in our sport but Steve thinks “it’s growing bigger every year.”
He attributes this growth mainly from the handful of amateur leagues that promote regional and national events. He thanks these leagues, the Super Billiards Expo and the many operators and hardworking individuals that help keep pool alive and growing year after year.
Pool is such a small niche market of indoor sports that those making a living off it should be commended obviously for their commitment, dedication and passion to keeping our great sport alive.