Having the right ball will dramatically improve your bowling consistency. Beginners can find this a difficult task, and picking the right ball for you could take a few hours, but with the promise of dramatic score improvements it’s well worth taking some time. Any bowling centre or pro shop will be able to give some advice, but here are some useful starting points.
If you plan on using the ball for competitive matches, details of approved suppliers that are approved for use can be found at bowl.com/approvedballlist.
The first step is to find the right ball weight for you. The rule of thumb is that the ball should be approximately 10% of body weight, up to the maximum 16 pounds (7.26 kilograms). Most professional players use balls weighing 15 or 16 pounds. Alternatively, choose a ball that weighs slightly more (1/2 to 1kg) than the normal house ball that you use. It should be as heavy as you can comfortably throw. Once it is drilled to fit your hand, it will feel about the same weight.
The material of the outer surface of the ball – the cover stock – will determine how the ball reacts to lane conditions. Polyester- or plastic-covered balls are the least versatile but also the least expensive. Most house balls are plastic-covered, so these are also the easiest to get used to and are ideal if you just want to throw straight.
Reactive resin and urethane balls are more suitable for throwing a hook. They get better grip on the lane than plastic-coated balls. Reactive resin balls, which most bowlers prefer, hook aggressively into the pins after picking up friction towards the end of the lane, while urethane balls gradually hook the whole way down the lane. Particle cover stocks are most suitable for experienced bowlers, who can react to a variety of land conditions. They are essentially a mixture of reactive resin and urethane stock cover properties, providing the massive backend of the former and the consistent grip of the latter.
There is a huge variation in the prices of bowling balls. A company such as petesproshop will help you find the best value for money.
Once you have chosen the ball, get it drilled to fit your hand. Balls which have been individually fitted significantly decrease injury risks and will give you more control. Drilling is sometimes, but not always, included in the price of the ball, but either way it is well worth it. The ball might not feel comfortable to begin with, particularly if you’ve been using house balls for any length of time. With time, the ball will become far more controllable than any pre-drill ball that you’ve used.
Remote-Control Bowling Ball
This may sound like cheating to some, but after numerous failed attempts and years of design and development, the remote-control bowling ball, made by Well Global 900, is finally here. Using the RC900 is like being part of a real-life video game.
Although they don’t come cheap, having one will make you the talk of the town and the centre of any bowling game.