Using the Right Bowling Equipment for the Shot
Bowling can be a tricky game sometimes if you let it. When it comes to being a mid to upper level bowler one factor that comes into play is the equipment. In bowling the equipment in this articles refers to the bowling you are using that will give you the best chance of bowling the highest score at that time. Now along with the bowling ball you also need to line up to the lane condition correctly. So it isn’t just about the ball even though today’s advanced bowling balls give you a lot of power and strike potential.
I like to think there are currently 4 different styles of bowling balls. These are plastic, urethane, resin and particle. Plastic balls were used back in the 70’s, urethane in the 80’s resin in the 90’s and particle today. The surface of the ball ranges from very hard to very soft. Very hard being the plastic ball and very soft being the particle ball. Now a hard surface ball like a plastic ball has a very low friction level so it tends to skid down the lane and has the least ball reaction. This type of ball is very good for making spares because if you normally create action on the ball then this will roll consistently on most types of bowling lane conditions. It is a ball that will for the most part hook very little and therefore it will be easier for you to line up and make spares with it. Of course, it is good to keep a plastic ball in your arsenal because that one day may come that you need to also use it for your strike ball to get you through league that night but that is mostly not the case these days.
Here is an article about bowling on different lane conditions
I find the best combination is to keep one of each type of ball in your bowling arsenal. Now that may seem like a lot to have 4 bowling balls but again, today’s game is an equipment game. The dynamics of the ball can give you (or not give you) the best chance to score well. You just need to figure out which ball is best for the current situation. Now when you start off, generally there is a lot of oil on the lanes so going with a soft-covered ball like a particle ball may serve you well. As the night wears on and the lanes tend to dry up a little, you may want to go to a shiny resin ball, because resin balls give you tremendous reaction once it hits the dry spot of the lane. Now, this can be very effective when scoring because of the grip it has and force it has when it hits the pins. This can be very effective. .
Now if you start to notice that your shiny resin ball keeps jumping and it seems like you lost control of it and you are constantly getting splits or the ball likes to jump left, then it may be time for another ball change. Keep in mind that you may need to see if the best move is a ball change or change your angle in your approach. You may want to move your feet in toward the center to give you a little more oil which can slow down the jumpiness of the ball and get you back to throwing strikes. .
However, throughout the night, it may get to a point where no matter how you adjust the ball still keeps on jumping. At this time, you may want to consider another ball change. You can have a urethane ball ready to use. Now urethane balls are not really popular anymore like they were in the 1980’s but there can be those instances where it can be effective. Remember, everyone has a different bowling style and some people put more hook on it than others so the equipment needs to be adjusted accordingly.
Now another determining factor that you will realize is that even though a bowling ball is particle, each ball has its own reaction that fits your needs. This is where a lot of experimentation comes in to play. You can have one type of particle ball that you are scoring good with but not great and it works well. You feel good, you are very consistent , have good rotation on the ball but you are simply not throwing as many strikes as the guy or gal next to you. Why?
This is where the surface of the ball comes into play. Believe it or not, the surface of the bowling ball in today’s game is very important along with the “weight block” inside the ball. With a lot of trial and error (and possible spending quite a bit of money) you may find the right ball with the best surface and weight block that will fit your game and give you quite a bit of scoring opportunity.
Keep in mind several factors as you are experimenting with these “technology” balls. First, does it give you a lot of mistake area on the lane? Not only mistake room but let’s say you make a mistake and for example turn the wrist early, will it give you a cushion and not penalize you hefty with an ugly split? Does it work on many types of lane conditions where the only adjustment you need to make is with your feet and target? If you are bowling well and consistent does it carry the strikes? These are the questions that need to be answered and if the answer is “yes” too all these questions than that ball may be a great candidate for your permanent bowling equipment! Also another factor is does the ball soak up the oil and then lose the great reaction that it had when you first bought it? The ball needs to have a consistency as well as longevity. Again, if the answer is “yes” to these questions, than make it a part of your arsenal. If you buy a ball and all of a sudden you are shooting honor scores but being very consistent and friendly to “your” bowling game, then this is a “bread and butter” ball for you!
Once you find the right ball with the best surface and weight block for your game, you can then talk to your Pro Shop Specialist about different ways to drill it up. You may want a ball to give you maximum flip or you may want it to not flip as much, or you may get 2 identical balls drilled differently. The possibilities are endless! Regardless of what you decide to do, in today’s scoring “throwing lots of strikes” game the key to scoring is ball surface and weight block that match you style of game. Since you don’t have access to every ball combination possibly at a moment’s notice, the best thing to do is find a ball that gives you the best chance on “most” lane conditions and use that as part of your arsenal.
Again, doing this may take some time and may cost a few bucks because the “next best ball” that just came out on the market may not work for you. But rest assured there is always one that is. Although practicing with your powerful bowling arsenal is key, also practicing technique with a ball that you would normally not use is also key for best practice results with your bowling style. Sometimes you need to take out the plastic ball and bowl a game or 2 just because it will force you to execute a great shot in order to strike. That way you sharpen your skills for when league does come around, you can pull out your score balls.
Good luck and may the next 300 be with you!