How to Choose a Bowling Ball to Fit Your Needs | USBC Bowling Academy

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With some many bowling balls to choose from, it鈥檚 nice to have some tips on how to find the right one. Team USA Head Coach Rod Ross and professional bowler Chris Barnes discuss the various options that you can choose from when purchasing your ball. This includes a look at the difference between symmetrical and asymmetrical cores as well as polished and dull coverstocks. The way you bowl will dictate the specifications that you should look for in a bowling ball.

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39 Comments on “How to Choose a Bowling Ball to Fit Your Needs | USBC Bowling Academy”

  1. Great videos guys. I bowled when i was younger, never got the hang of it. But now im on a league with the old lady and her brother and really looking to step my game up. Your videos have helped me a lot. I plan on purchasing a ball soon and this video was very helpful, although id like to know the difference between ball shell material i.e. urethane plastic etc.

    1. Hi Ray.聽 Bowling ball cover stock material has evolved for many, many years and has come a long way from those made of wood in the late 1800鈥檚. Here鈥檚 a current list of cover stock materials with information and characteristics.Rubber路 Introduced in 1905路 Some model names: AMF 3 Dot, LT-48, Black Diamond路 No longer manufactured路 Least amount of friction so very straight ball motion路 Used primarily as a 鈥渟pare ball鈥 todayPlastic路 Introduced in 1959路 Some model names: T-Zone, Maxim, White Dot路 Minimal amount of friction so straighter ball motion路 Can be used for dry lanes or short distance oil patterns路 Used primarily as a 鈥渟pare ball鈥 in todayUrethane路 Introduced in 1981路 Some model names: Pitch Black, Blue Hammer, Karma,路 Low friction on lane surfaces but can be all purpose ball,路 Minimal ball motion but can be used for strikes or spares路 Sanding the surface increases hook potential & polishing it decreases hook potentialResin路 Introduced in 1991路 Some model names: Absolute Nirvana, Snap Lock, Game Breaker路 Skids in oil, highest overall friction on dry part of the lane路 Bowlers use larger pocket entry angles, and these balls soak up oil off the lane路 Bowlers typically need to make larger angle adjustments to compensate for strong reactionParticle路 Introduced in 1998路 Some model names: Mammoth, Tombstone, Eraser路 Highest amount of friction in oil路 Ball motion is aggressive in the front part of the lane and smoother in the back of the lane路 Very good for heavy oil lanesCongratulations on getting back into a league and good luck on the lanes.

    2. Many thanks, I have been researching “what is the best speed to throw a bowling ball?” for a while now, and I think this has helped. You ever tried – Piylivern Remarkable Predominance – (search on google ) ? It is a smashing one of a kind product for discovering how to up your bowling game quickly minus the hard work. Ive heard some pretty good things about it and my partner got great results with it.

  2. What is considered fast mph and what is considered slow? I average about 10-11 mph average about 150. My ball has a tendency go straight and then break left closer to the pins. Of course, the lanes are oily for Tuesday nights and fry for Thursday morning leagues. Not sure which ball to purchase Reactive or Pearl Reactive. Currently, I am using a reactive and doing fine. Just looking to buy a new ball and didn’t know their were so many choices.

    1. Hi,
      If you鈥檙e measuring ball speeds from the bowling centers
      scoring monitors (which is most often the case) it鈥檚 measured down lane
      close to the pins and the ball has already lost speed before it鈥檚
      measured. We鈥檝e assessed that you can add about 1.5 to 2 mph to the
      reading to get an approximate speed for your speed at release. 10-11mph
      translates into slower ball speed and a 鈥減earl鈥 ball would be
      recommended to go longer down lane before hooking.
      Extreme ball speed 20+mph at release
      High ball speed = 17-20mph at release
      Medium ball speed = 13-16mph at release
      Slow ball speed = 10-12mph at release
      The 鈥淔ind A Coach鈥 feature of Bowl.com is one of the best ways to locate a certified coach in your area. Visit http://www.bowl.com use the 鈥淔ind a鈥︹ tab to locate Find A Coach, enter your zip code and a radius then click 鈥渟earch.鈥
      To locate a certified pro shop operator in your area, use
      the IBPSIA website and search by using your zip code. Here鈥檚 their web
      address http://www.ibpsia.com/go/find_shop/type/shop/by_state.
      Thanks for continuing with the Bowling Academy,
      Stephen Padilla

  3. I just got my first bowling ball and i had to make sure that i could hold it and swing it and that i could move it and had to measure grips and hand motion and finger spots

  4. My friend said that a sure lock would be good for me, I throw between 13-15.5 mph, I play the outside part of the lane, and I have a low to medium rev rate, would this ball be good for me?

  5. I need to order in the next 4 hours. For bone dry lanes should I get a brunswick Tzone or Storm Mix. I need something I can keep on the right hand side with a tiny bit of movement. Imagine they haven’t oiled in 3 weeks. I throw 17mph 450revs.

    1. Hi,

      The best way to shine the surface of a ball is to have a
      pro shop professional use their equipment to apply polish and buff it
      into the ball. There are many techniques and tools and an experiences
      pro shop professional will be able to restore the finish to factory
      specifications if needed.

      To locate a certified pro shop operator in your area, use
      the IBPSIA website and search by using your zip code. Here鈥檚 their web
      address http://www.ibpsia.com/go/find_shop/type/shop/by_state
      for a quick search. Look for a USBC certified coach and IBPSIA Pro Shop
      professional in your area and work with them to increase your average.

      Thanks for continuing with the Bowling Academy.

  6. thank you for finally answering my question i love the program keep doing new videos like working oon sliding to the finish

    1. This is glorious, I have been researching “how many steps do you take in bowling?” for a while now, and I think this has helped. You ever tried – Piylivern Remarkable Predominance – (just google it ) ? It is a great one off guide for discovering how to up your bowling game quickly minus the hard work. Ive heard some amazing things about it and my colleague got amazing success with it.

  7. I’m an amateur straight bowler, my highest score ever is 173 and my average is about 125. I got a turkey and hambone for the first time ever in the same game last week, four straight strikes. I had only ever had 2 straight strikes before. My score in that game was still only 166 though.

  8. BPAA… great. My sister in law is the executive of BCAW. I love to support all BPAA locations. Thanks for the video

  9. every time i throw the ball, it slowly rolls into the side gutter. sometimes it even stops about 3/4 way down the lane. i quit.

    1. As a professional bowler, I suggest you get a 8lb. ball and practice swinging your arm before you release, please do not roll the ball with 2 hands, this knocks off your direction.

  10. Well that was too short. I would have liked to hear about the effects of symmetrical vs asymmetrical core on the lane as it goes thru the skid, hook, and roll …and the type of bowler each is best suited for such as a tweener, cranker, etc. When you see a ball wobble as it skids down the lane, I assume that is the imbalance weight of an asymmetrical core in effect.

    Great reference about the skater with the arms in and out when describing the effect of the core size. So I would think the smaller weight block be more dense than a large size core so as to achieve the overall same ball weight. So with the skater in mind I assume that the ball with the smaller weight block (weight closer to center) would spin faster than the larger core, given both the same about of release energy by the bowler. That would mean faster rev rate but the ball would lose energy faster with a smaller core.

    1. @Tyler Pendergrass look at the arrows on the lane, and look where you stand. Once you find a good strike ball and throw a strike keep the pattern and keep consistency. 馃憤馃徎

  11. Great video and you鈥檙e really good at explaining it in terms people can easily understand. Well done

    1. Many thanks, I been tryin to find out about “how to throw a bowling ball straight” for a while now, and I think this has helped. Have you ever come across – Piylivern Remarkable Predominance – (should be on google have a look ) ? It is a smashing one off guide for discovering how to up your bowling game quickly minus the hard work. Ive heard some amazing things about it and my partner got excellent success with it.

    2. Many thanks, I been tryin to find out about “how to throw a bowling ball straight” for a while now, and I think this has helped. Have you ever come across – Piylivern Remarkable Predominance – (should be on google have a look ) ? It is a smashing one off guide for discovering how to up your bowling game quickly minus the hard work. Ive heard some amazing things about it and my partner got excellent success with it.

  12. I just got the phaze 2. For some reason keep hitting it through the head head pin no matter how much angle I get. I throw the ball slow at round 13-14mph. 2 handed by the way. I feel like the phaze 2 has to much grip on the lane and I cant get enough on it to get it down the lane before it wants to grip/hook. Should I consider a pearl ball instead of the phaze 2? thanks love the content.

    1. Hello!

      Great question! I submitted your question to our experts. Please check back within 1-2 business days for their response.

      If you have any additional questions, please call Customer Service at 1-855-208-7395.

      Thank you!

      Michael
      National Bowling Academy Video Membership

  13. I wanted to getting into bowling and Im glad I came across this video. Great information. Now I can figure out what kind of ball and size that will work for me.

  14. Got it. So basically match whatever bowling ball I get to my needs鈥 so I have to figure out myself before I figure out the right bowling ball. But I can鈥檛 figure out myself unless I use different types of bowling balls to figure out the exact bowling ball I need. 馃く I鈥檓 more lost than ever.

    1. Go to a bowling ball demonstration day. They get you the right size thumb insert. You can try any ball there and find the right one for you.

  15. I bowl right handed but. I don’t use the thumb hole, only my pinky and ring finger.
    looking for a medium hook ball any ideas? I’m currently using a 14 lb hammer.
    I like it but sometimes it is inconsistent on the break.

    1. Great question! The 鈥楢sk an Expert鈥 section is currently for members of our online community. I would be happy to send your question off to the experts. To get started, please send the email associated with your paid membership account. Thanks!

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