Friday, August 19, 2022

Which Bowling Ball Is For Me?

Name: Vikki

Question: Which bowling ball is for me?

I am a female bowler and currently have a 14 to 15 yr old Brunswick 300, 10 lb ball (no other info on the ball).  When I purchased it years ago, I only bowled for fun and was a palm-up, straight down the center of the lane bowler.  I recently had it re-drilled to better fit my hand and began serious efforts to bowl properly.  I line up on the center dot, aim for the second arrow and have a hand shake position release.  The ball goes straight down the lane and begins a slow hook to the 1-3 pocket.  I have finally gotten some consistency with hitting the pocket.  I feel the ball is too light because it seems I have to crank to get any power/speed which causes me to be inconsistent.  I rarely achieve a strike even when I'm not trying for more speed.  My current average is 115.  My house lanes are usually dry to medium oil.  I know nothing about the ball I have now, nor do I know my speed or revs.  Should I increase to a 12 lb ball, or a 14?  Is there a specific bowling ball made now that will mimic my Brunswick's performance?  Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Answer: Vikki,

My guess would be your ball is polyester (plastic) or rubber. The driller who plugged it should be able to verify.

Your ball weight is dictated by your desire to knock down pins. With a well fit bowling ball, the ball lets go of you, so grip pressure is eliminated (thus the strain of gripping). I start bowlers at 10 percent of their body weight up to the maximum of 16 pounds.

Balls, from a bowling store come in one pound increments past 10, usually 6,8,10,11,12,13,14,15,16. Occasionally a brand will include 9 pounds options.

Increase your weight to what you feel most comfortable with, but increase it. Small steps to start! Do not jump up more than 2 pounds at a time and check the fit with each change. You did not mention what kind of fit you have. I'd stay with whatever you are used to now. 

If it is conventional, with fingers in the ball to the second knuckle and thumb inserted to the base of the thumb, you will use the weight and natural feel and swing to improve your scores. The ball should literally hang from your hand with no need for grip pressure. Work less hard as you up the weight. Let momentum and gravity do ALL the work. Once you feel like you have achieved the heaviest weight you would like to use, talk to your Pro Shop/Ball Driller about the benefits of a finger tip grip. 

Throwing a performance ball will be helpful, the urethane base cover (in urethane, reactive resin urethane, and everything in between) will help your hitting power and the surface and core could help your hook potential.

Your Brunswick ball is most likely a three piece, pancake weight-block. The 
Brunswick plastic spare balls, the Zones, would have slightly stronger cores vs your current ball. Bumping up to the affordable Twist series or Rhino series will offer more cover (traction) and stronger core (engine). The Columbia White Dot and Ebonite Maxims have the same construction as the Brunswick Zone and are the same smooth polyester cover (spare ball).  The Storm Mix series mimics the core of your ball but is made of urethane.

Urethane options and other entry level reactive resin urethane balls could offer more performance than you have, but hook is generated by the bowler. The ball augments the bowler with a tool that is more potentially hookable. 

Thanks for the questions. Good luck.

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