Saturday, September 29, 2007

Do You Want A New Ball? Or Need A New Ball?

If the entry level plastic or urethane ball is feeling light, if you are throwing it halfway down the lane, on a fly, time to upgrade to a heavier ball. Put the old one away, sell it, give it to the kids, something, just don't try to use it. Give the new ball a chance, don't mess up the opportunity to benefit from the new feel, the new effect. Two different weights, especially if one is "old reliable", is a recipe for frustration.

The option of a more sophisticated ball should be examined if and only if you have the skill to benefit from it. If you average less than 140, you don’t necessarily have the skills to control a more sophisticated ball. (“Growing” into it, isn’t a good idea.) You need something more controllable, better for strikes and spares.

If you average 140 - 170, a better ball, more aggressive surface, stronger core may benefit you.

The over 170 average bowler is often restricted by elements of their game and how it plays on a given lane condition. A player that throws hard might struggle when lanes are particularly oily. So for the bowler that throws hard, matching their rev rate, ball surface, layout, and speed translates into success. The needs of the more sophisticated player, often must be attended, hands on. Guessing at ball speed, rev rate, axis tilt, axis rotation, lane conditions, etc. make for inconsistent results.

My guess, some of the thousands, 10's of thousands, 100's.... of former league bowlers have a ball or two that just did not work. Estimated guess just isn't good enough with today's high tech bowling tools.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Bowling Balls

Bowling balls are basic to very sophisticated. You want to match your experience and skill to the tool that is a bowling ball.

If you are a new bowler, never owned a ball, start with a basic polyester ball (they’re like house balls). House balls available in most bowling centers are pre-drilled requiring more effort to control and deliver them. Most bowlers, when fit for their own ball can handle more weight. A properly fit bowling ball let's go of you rather than you having to let go (control/squeeze) of it.

Basic balls must be drilled. Often the online price, freight, plus drilling is more than the cost at a local bowling store (pro shop). Don’t be intimidated by the term Pro Shop. A bowling store, by any other name, is typically run by an operator focused on their craft, their sport. They might not have the customer service training of a Wal-Mart greeter, but they only stay in business if they are adequate at their job or they are the only game in town (be careful on this one).

Take advantage of the knowledge that a local driller has. (Look for the IBPSIA label, the International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association, the Earth’s ONLY trade Association for the Pro Shop and Instruction business.) His or her services will be very valuable as you improve.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Storm and Roto Grip News

The word from a major distributor is the Storm Paradigm and Paradigm Passion are being discontinued. As is the Roto Grip Horizon Pearl

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I hope I can contribute positively to the growing universe of information about America's favorite indoor activity, bowling. If you go outside, more people fish than bowl. Oh well.

If you are among the almost 70 million Americans that bowled in 2006 (66-68 Million reported by a few different industry associations), you may be a birthday bowler, Thanksgiving day bowler, it's Saturday-Let's go bowling bowler, or the devoted weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly bowler. I hope to share information that will help the novice/new/beginner bowler to understand more about why they sometimes bowl so well, and sometimes bowl so poorly. Also I will touch upon the HUGH impact technology has had on the league bowling scene, with a spin on why you bowl or why you bowl less.

And why an outing to different bowling centers may result in different levels of enjoyment (we don't call them alleys anymore, Bowling Lounges -Yes, Family Entertainment Centers -absolutely).

So, if you always wondered how those league bowlers get invited to bowl in a regularly schedule program, lets start there. 300 Million people live in our country. Our best are Dominant on the World stage, but fewer bowlers, bowl league programs than they did in years past. If you wanted to give this league thing a try, call your local Center, ask for the League Coordinator or General Manager. Why them? One of my biggest pet peeves in this industry, the person answering the phone in a lot of Centers is among the least informed. You are looking to become a bowling Centers Best Customer, a regular. Your request for information should be the most valued communication, certainly at that time, but among the MOST IMPORTANT that day.

If you can communicate to the person answering the phone, that if you get on a league, the center will have enough money for phone answering person to get a raise! But if you lose another potential league bowler, Mr/Mrs/Ms phone answering person, YOUR FIRED!

You are about to be one of their best customers, maybe one of thousands, maybe one of only hundreds. If you are one of hundreds, more valuable ! So if a note is taken, often on the back of a match book, back of a league flyer (that probably could have answered some of your questions), a note pad made up of scrap paper, or the like, many Centers have NO formal procedures to communicate important incoming calls.

Your call is one of the MOST important. Be persistent. If not called back promptly, try them again. You may be on a long list of people looking to plug into a complex array of offerings, or just be a misplaced note under an invoice, behind a schedule, next to a parts catalog, with a sticky note that the day bartender needs Saturday off or the're quitting - again.

Often the harried manager(s)/owner are more like firemen this time of year. Putting out the bartender "fire," before they can get to the person who wants to give them money every week for awhile.