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A Guide To Help You Choose the Best Bowling Ball

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Bowling is about precision, skill, and having the right equipment. The bowling ball is one of the most critical pieces of equipment in a bowler’s arsenal. Selecting the right ball can make a significant difference in your game. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or just starting, this guide will help you choose the best bowling ball to elevate your performance and enjoyment on the lanes.

Understanding Ball Weight

One of the first things you’ll notice about bowling balls is their weight. They range from six pounds to sixteen pounds. The general rule of thumb is to choose a ball that’s approximately ten percent of your body weight. However, comfort is key. If you struggle to handle a heavier ball, opt for a lighter one.

The weight of the ball affects your control and momentum. Heavier balls can generate more pin action due to their increased mass. Yet, they can be harder to manage, especially for beginners. Lighter balls are easier to control but may not pack as much punch.

The Role of Coverstock

The outer shell of the bowling ball, known as the coverstock, plays a crucial role in its performance. Different materials affect how the ball interacts with the lane surface. There are three main types of coverstocks.

Beginner balls usually use polyester or plastic coverstocks. They provide minimal friction with the lane, resulting in a straighter roll. Urethane coverstocks offer more friction, allowing for better control and hook potential. Reactive resin coverstocks provide the most friction, and advanced bowlers favor them for their hook potential and pin action.

Symmetrical vs. Asymmetrical Cores

The ball’s core, or inner part, greatly influences its motion. Symmetrical cores offer a more predictable, even roll, making them ideal for beginners. They provide a smooth and consistent path, which is great for those still honing their skills.

Asymmetrical cores, on the other hand, are great experienced bowlers. They create an uneven weight distribution, leading to more hook potential and dynamic motion on the lane. These balls can be more challenging to control but offer greater versatility and power.

Measuring for the Correct Fit

A well-fitted ball is crucial for optimal performance. The grip should feel comfortable, and the holes should match the size of your fingers. The span, or distance between the holes, should allow for a relaxed grip without stretching your fingers.

Professionals often recommend getting your ball drilled at a pro shop. This customization ensures a custom fit tailored to your hand size and grip style. A properly fitted ball reduces strain on your hand and allows for a more natural release.

Testing and Fitting Your Ball

Before making a purchase, it’s essential to test different balls. Many bowling alleys offer demo days where you can try various balls and weights. Pay attention to how the ball feels in your hand and how it reacts on the lane.

Consider your throwing style when testing balls. A lighter, plastic coverstock ball might be best if you prefer a straight throw. A reactive resin coverstock with an asymmetrical core could be ideal for those who like to hook the ball. Professionals use spare balls to hit those hard-to-achieve spares, so you may want to have more than one ball in your arsenal.

Use the above guide to help you choose the right bowling ball. You’ll be bowling a 300 in no time!

Written by Kevin O'Neill

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