How to Choose a Bowling Ball

Bowling balls come in all shapes and sizes, and knowing how to choose a bowling ball is vital to anyone who is serious about their game. Beginning bowlers can easily become confused trying to make decisions about which bowling ball to buy. Weight is a big issue, and so is deciding on cover stock, or what the ball is made out of (particle, reactive, urethane, etc.).

Professional bowlers generally have several bowling balls, maybe 6 or 7. Learning how to choose a bowling ball as a beginner can make a big difference in a bowler’s level of success. Even newcomers and intermediate level players should consider having at least 2 different bowling balls – a strike ball to use for strikes and a spare ball to use for spares.

Certain bowling ball qualities make some balls good for shooting strikes and other balls better for shooting spares. Strike balls grip onto the bowling lane more and tend to hook toward the pins as they hit, creating a better chance that the pins will all go down. Spare balls have a different cover stock than strike balls, and they are usually made of plastic. This kind of ball does not grip the lane like a strike ball and takes a straighter path down the lane. If you are shooting for a spare, you get the best results when aiming for a particular pin so the straight pathway of the spare ball is better for this type of shot.

Bowlers that really want to increase their average may choose to purchase a custom bowling ball, which can be done at the local pro shop. Custom balls work really well because they are made according to the purchaser’s specific needs. It is a good idea to get a professional opinion when deciding how to choose a bowling ball.

Custom balls are tailored to the bowler’s specific measurements and preferences. The pro shop will gather information about height, strength and weight. Of course they also take into account your preference for the bowling ball’s weight. Most pro shops will recommend a ball that is one-tenth of your own weight, so a 180-pound man would use an 18-pound ball. As with other preferences, this depends on the particular bowler and what makes them comfortable. Two more considerations when choosing a bowling ball are how you hold the bowling ball and whether you prefer a conventional grip or fingertip grip.

Conventional grip and fingertip grip are the different grips on a bowling ball. The holes in a conventional grip ball are drilled deep enough for the fingers to fit in to the 2nd knuckle. Conventional grip balls usually go straight down the lane with little or no curve. And this is the most common grip found in house balls at the bowling alley.

The holes in a bowling ball with a fingertip grip are not drilled as deep, and the fingers only go in to the 1st knuckle. The fingertip grip leaves more of the bowler’s hand exposed and able to grasp the ball. This allows for greater power and the ability to put some spin on the ball when it is released.