Wednesday, December 14, 2022

Subject: Time For A New Ball

Questioner: Ed

Subject: Time for a new ball
Date Asked: 2016-09-02 00:34:02

Hi Warren

I’m a casual bowler and my 10 year old son likes to bowl so we’ve been going to the Brunswick Zone every Saturday. I’ve had an old Eclipse 16 lb ball for many years now and I was told it’s basically a “house ball that a big box store sold”. I don’t remember where I got it, but I just throw it straight hoping to hit the pocket, and maybe I'll attempt to throw a slight hook from time to time.

It's always been a little heavy so I am in the market for a 14 lb ball and since the lanes where I bowl are medium to heavy oil, I wanted to get a ball that would benefit from such lanes. I throw a pretty much straight ball, but would like a ball that would have some “built-in” hook or curve potential; if I ever decided to start throwing one. Could you give me two or three ball recommendations? I've been looking at the Pyramid Dark Path, Path Rising and Blueprint Pearl Project 1.618, the DV8 Grudge Hybrid, and several others. Way too many choices out there!

I've been told by several people to have my ball fingertip drilled, but I'm not sure I can get used to throwing that way. Like I said, I'm just a casual bowler looking for a new ball. I bowled a 233 when I was 12 years old and wish I would've stuck with it! I would say my average now is probably in the 160's. Not that scores matter since I bowl for fun, but it would be nice to start bowling in the 200's again.

I've read reviews and seen terms I never even heard of. "I had my balled drilled 30x4.5x70 with pin above the ring finger". Huh?? Lol!

Which of these would benefit me the most? Or do you have any other recommendations?

ALSO----I have a pair of bowling shoes that, because of the way I approach, stick something awful when I bowl. I had to purchase one of those powder pouches and apply it almost every time I bowl so I don't stick and fall flat on my face. I know there's shoe sole covers out there, but because of the way I bowl, I need the heels to be slippery as well; if not more. Do you know of any shoes out of the box that glide without having to use a cover or a metal brush?

Thanks so much!!


Ball fit is about comfort and a "relaxed" feel. The ball should literally just hang from your hand. An older ball usually reflects older ideas in fit techniques. Modern fitting should vastly improve your feel over the big box store fit ball.  Ball weight should reflect 10% of your body weight, to the max of 16 pounds.

Dropping, if you must, should only be a pound, or you give up some effect that the weight of the ball provides as it hits the pins. Unless there is some physical problem, a two pound drop will be way to easy for you to "over" control. Your swing should be a synergy between you and the ball. Too light and a small adjustment (a manipulation of your swing direction) of only an inch at the point of release, could cause the ball to miss you target, 60 feet latter, by more than a foot!

The formula you saw is from a technique to lay out and drill a ball called Dual Angle Layouts, but the tech talk often makes the customer confused and feeling uneducated. I prefer you know what you're getting. Like a mechanic that throws out a lot of terminology and then wants $1,000.00 for a repair, I feel some service people hide their actual work in complicated explanations that the customer can't possibly understand, or THEY COULD DO THE JOB THEMSELVES!

Your ball options are a little like comparing a first generation Model T automobile and a current car. The technology is so advanced from the previous ball, you are looking at WAY more ball than you need. Your looking to have fun, but bowling balls are tools, to help you have fun. You DO NOT need that much ball. You are not an experienced bowler, so controlling a complicated ball isn't in your skill set, yet. Roll a more basic polyester ball like your old one and you will develop skill through practice and participation. But fit will be HUGELY more important. Find a ball driller that is interested in helping you get better not just sell you an expensive piece of equipment. Have them explain the fit technique and how he does what he does. Ask for some tips.

Shoes should help you slide. Have the potential seller of your new shoes, watch you bowl and suggest options. You may want to alter your current delivery to benefit from more consistent execution. High tech bowling shoes could cost as much or more than the ball, so explain what you need and see if they can suggest something that won't cost a mortgage payment!

Thanks for the questions. Hope this guidance helps. Let me know how it's going.

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