Strong vs Weak Bowling Balls - Your One Stop Pro Shop!

USBC Gold coach Bryan O’Keefe and USBC Hall of Famer Carolyn Dorin-Ballard discuss the difference between strong and weak bowling balls and the common misconception of what it means for a ball to be considered strong.

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33 Comments on “Strong vs Weak Bowling Balls”

  1. That totally makes complete sense!! I will add this lesson to the books for sure!! Thank you guys for the demo, GREAT job!!

  2. I believe a weaker ball is those that are for medium to dry lanes, a stronger ball are for medium to oily lanes. Balls that hook less are weaker and don’t have the strong back end reaction except on dryer lane conditions. For heavier oil conditions you would want a ball the that will be able to hook once it comes out of the heavy oil condition. What works for one person might not work for another even on the same lane conditions. So many individual variables come into play.

  3. I think this was a very good teaching video. Now i know more of what to look for when watching my ball go down the lane. I feel more educated as I walk into my pro shop when asking for specifics.

  4. let me see if I follow, the suggestion here is that the bowling ball that hooks less is stronger because it retains more energy? So it’s the old Randy Peterson line straight is great. stand on 20 and throw it down 10. you just need the right ball for the condition be it urethane, solid reactive, pearlized or hybrid reactive or plastic. it only makes sense that the less you hook the ball or the less lane you use, the shorter the shot so the more energy the ball has at the pins.

  5. I always equated a stronger as one that had more drive (roll) through the pins as the backend transitioned

  6. Wow. Such information. Many good. I’ve been in dozens of bowling alleys, bowled thousands of games, and I had not noticed that the lanes are much longer than ever are wide. Thank you, Coach B-reezy, you’ve made me much good.👍

  7. Obvious stuff. If your ball is rolling out. Then go to a pearl ball. Something that retains energy. the duller surface balls have a tendency to roll out if the mid lane is broken down

  8. I’m a senior bowler and my ball speed has slowed down to about 14 mph . The house I bowl has old wood lanes . I can no longer stay behind the ball due to wrist problems, my ball hooks to much and is inconstant .I fight the lanes every week . Anybody reading this post who knows what they are talking about I would like some input . Would a plastic ball like the Hammer Widow spare perform on burnt out lanes for an aging bowler , stroker , without a lot of ball speed ?

    1. d rouse have you tried an entry level ball like tropical storm, they tend to hook less and still have decent power also they make a lot of great urethane balls like the pitch black and the black hammer, i would stay away from the hot cell it’s a great urethane ball but i find it read very early

    2. I’d try a higher number Abralon Pad like 4000 grit – or polish the ball – or both. If the ball is like 500/2000 you could even try try tuning the ball down a bit and go 1000/3000 (OR ANY COMBINATION THEREOF). The first number (500) is for the backend reaction, and the BIG number (2000) is to get the ball down the lane. You can sculpt your ball to read the lane in a way you can manage. I bought a spinner so I could do it myself. I’m 61 years old – 193 avg. Mid range balls might be easier to handle if you’ve been throwing top of the line balls. YOU may also have to figure out how to use the oil as your “friend” and bowl more in the oil. Friction has become your enemy……. how you deal with it is scientific bowling – throw the ball – observe the ball – decide what to do. Good Luck!!!!!

    3. You need a low flare layout with a short pin-pap. Something like 90×40 @ 2″ or less [maybe 1 1/4″ for wood], then play with surface as others suggest. At 14, you’re probably getting earlier read than you might like, so pearl with some surface [to bleed off a touch before end of pattern/make it less jumpy] might be an idea. Something long with a higher rg and low hook rating like the Rhino is something to consider.

    4. I would suggest going to your ball driller and tell them what you bowl on and have them suggest a ball and layout for your game. I know how it is to get old.;-)

  9. hi any suggestion for bowling lanes in miami area? coming back to bowling and need some equipment update and lesson.

  10. Me personally idrc to much I just get up and trow the ball however I feel like it sometimes I hook or just send it straight I average 150ish per game and I’m still fairly new but this was helpful but I don’t see why people make a fuss about where they stand since idont have a certain place to stand and I can usually get strikes

    1. I bowl about 150 and I don’t “usually get strikes” so I’m not sure what you’re talking about… And I have a specific starting place when I bowl.

    1. @Sean McClelland Yes, or Strong on Dry Lanes, Strong on heavy oil. I consider my Motiv Hydra to be my Dry Lanes Jackal.

  11. Well if u are a 495 rev guy with high speed u have to play to the edge and then back, sometimes u just have to, example, if ur on a 36 ft sport you cant really throw a phaze 2 down the lane

  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 ,

      We have received the following response from our experts regarding your question:

      Thanks for the question! Before considering another ball, check out this video on adjusting the bowling balls surface. <>

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  13. wow very good video, been bowling for 18 years and ive always looked at left to right not front to back but it just changed my whole thinking process of if i want a stronger ball or not im really happy i checked out the video and watched im definitely gunna take those and learn.

  14. I used to be a more avid bowler but haven’t bowled for awhile so I have some OLD equipment. Probably @ 15-20 years old. I feel like in order to be competitive I’d have to upgrade my equipment. Newer cores mean different weight blocks and more aggressive flips into the pocket.
    But I also see that I may have relied too much on equipment in the past to do what better mechanics and drills could do for me. Do you think it’s possible for me to still use my existing equipment on most current lane conditions or has the evolution of bowling balls advanced enough so that no matter how much I improve my skills a newer ball is necessary?

    1. You definitely need to get something new. Storm Hyroad, or IQ and Motive Venom Shock are awesome benchmark balls.

  15. So wouldn’t I want one of each of these for different Lane oil conditions as well as a spare ball? And should your spare ball be weak or strong? As a new bowler do I really need three different balls for League?

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