How do I choose the best bowling ball for my game? – John Gaines

There are a couple factors to look at to help you make this decision.

Ball weight, ball speed, first ball, adding to your current arsenal, rotation of your hand around the ball, looking for more hook, less hook, for league, or for tournament play, can all determine which ball is best for you.

If this is your first ball, the correct ball weight can usually be determined by just a couple things. First, if you go to the bowling center, pick up a couple different weight balls. If you can easily pick the ball up with two hands and bounce it around, it’s too light. If you pick it up with two hands and you have to cradle it with the help of your back, or your knees buckle, it’s probably too heavy. One rule of thumb is whatever weight house ball you can use comfortably, you can usually go up one pound in getting your own personal ball. The reason is house balls don’t fit you. When properly drilled by a pro shop for your hand, it will make the ball much easier to hold on to thereby making it easier to go up one pound from the house ball.

Ball speed- If you have a tendency to throw the ball very hard, you would probably be better served with a bowling ball that has a dull or matte finish surface. If you throw the ball very slow, a better choice would be a shiny surface bowling ball.

If you are looking to add a ball to your current arsenal, you first have to determine what’s missing with your current bowling ball. Does your current ball hook too much? Not enough? If your current bowling ball hooks too much, look for a shiny ball or symmetric core ball. If your ball hooks too little, look for a duller matte finish ball, an asymmetric or high differential core bowling ball.

For league play, unless your ball speed is very low or rev rate is very high, an asymmetrical core with a medium surface would be best.

For tournament play, if you must select one type of bowling ball to give you a consistent ball reaction on most sport pattern conditions, your best choice would be a symmetric ball with a shiny reactive surface. If bowling on a longer, heavy oil sport pattern, an aggressive matte finish surface will react best.

If you have trouble converting spares, a plastic ball can be your best ball option. A plastic ball will not hook very much if at all. This is good because it takes any lane condition out of play. Your ball does not need to hook to knock down a single pin. The ball just needs to hit the pin and it will go down.

Correct ball weight and fit are the most important factor in determining the correct bowling ball for you

The surface of the bowling ball is your second consideration in the ball selection process.

Next, match the surface with the type of core design to give you the overall ball motion you seek.

No one bowling ball works on every lane condition. If you expect your game to get better and become competitive on league or tournament lane conditions, then you will need to develop your arsenal around the next ball for your game.

Consult your pro shop professional and your bowling instructor to discuss specific brands and models of bowling balls when you are considering purchasing your next ball.

If you have any other questions about how to select the best ball for your game, or if you have any other topics you would like me to cover, please email me at [email protected]

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