When you first start bowling, more often than not, you are never given any instructions on how to choose a bowling ball. It’s not like playing a board game where all of the rules are nicely spelled out for you. When you first start bowling, knowing how to choose the right bowling ball can mean the difference between having a great experience and having a relatively frustrating experience.
If you have chosen a good bowling ball, you will concentrate less on how the ball feels in your hand and more on proper bowling technique. Technique, for a beginner, is more important, to a certain extent, than the ball you are using.
If you are new to bowling then you most likely do not have your own bowling ball. so, when you do bowl you will be stuck choosing your ball from those that are available at the bowling alley. Bowling balls provided by bowling alleys, known as house balls, do not have a reputation of being of the best quality.
Looking for a house ball that perfectly suits you is similar to looking for the perfect pool que at the local pub. The perfect house ball simply does not exist. You are more likely to get close to perfection if you know what to look for in a good house ball. There are three things you should concentrate on when choosing a house ball; the balls weight, the balls grip, and the balls coverstock.
Bowling balls range in weight from six pounds to sixteen pounds. The weight of the bowling ball that you choose for yourself should depend heavily on two factors; your strength and how well you can control the ball. Many beginners when choosing a bowling ball just pick it up and decide whether or not it is too heavy for them.
To help determine the proper weight ball you should take a few practice shots with the ball. During the practice shots if you are straining to pull the ball back in your arm swing then the ball is too heavy. If you strain to pull the ball back in a controlled manner you will lower your shoulder, your elbow will pop out to the side, and your back will arch to the side of your bowling arm. This is natural body mechanics. But, straining in this way will throw off your bowling technique and ruin your game.
By the same token, during your practice shots, if the ball feels if it has no weight to it then it is obviously too light. You would think that using a ball that is too light would not be a bad thing. But, using a ball that is too light becomes a control issue. Unless you are skilled and have a lot of physical control you will power through a bowling ball that is too light and overshoot the shot.
A balls weight is important. But, it is not the most important aspect to choosing a good house ball. In my opinion, the grip of a house bowling ball is the most important aspect of choosing a bowling ball. If the holes of the bowling ball are too loose or too tight they will affect how you release the ball. How you release the ball is single most important factor in how well you can throw a bowling ball. Releasing a bowling ball is the last facet of control you have over the ball itself. After the ball is released, when it meets the lane, you no longer have any control over it.
You will never find a perfectly drilled bowling ball. That is unless it was drilled specifically for you. Here are a few rules of thumb for determining a good grip. You should not have to grip the ball tightly through your bowling swing. When you start your swing the ball should rest easily on your thumb. As you work through the swing inertia should distribute the weight of the ball easily between your fingers and thumb. If on the down swing you have to grip the ball to hold on to it, then the holes are too big. If the holes pull at all on release then they are too small. The weight of the ball should stay evenly distributed, between the finger and thumb, through the entire swing.
A final aspect you should keep in mind when choosing a bowling ball. Avoid balls with divots and nicks. Even if the are very small they will still affect the roll of the ball. Just like the bend of the pool que at the local pub. It can still be used but the outcome of the shot is unpredictable.
I hope this little practical guide has shed some light on the different things you should consider when choosing a bowling ball the next time you are at the bowling alley.