The gear player does not make the gear as much as the gear can make the player in the game of bowling. As a beginner, it can be a daunting task when you first set out to choose your bowling ball. You might look at the style and think that a bowling ball looks great and simply choose it on this premise. However, it is not as simple as this.
When it comes to the world of bowling, there are a few things that you need to keep in mind. Having played games as a beginner and failed miserably against some of the local pros, I had to set out and find out what you need to do when you choose the right bowling ball.
In this article, we will explore some of the top tips and features you need to look for as a beginner. Many of these might seem pretty straightforward, but once you have the right ball, you will notice a massive difference in your game. You might find that bowling now becomes a professional game that can help you make a name for yourself.
Table of Contents
How To Choose A Bowling Ball In 5 Simple Easy Steps As A Beginner:
One of the biggest things that have fascinated me when looking at bowling balls is the cores. I can go on and on about them for days, but there are many other important features to consider as well. While we will have a close look or more of a glance at the different core types, here are a few of the fundamental tips that you can use when selecting a new bowling ball:
The weight of the ball is the first thing that all players consider. Once you walk into your local alley, you might find yourself holding a couple of the local balls to feel the weight before you choose one. This is the same when you need a new bowling ball for your competitions or when you have to select one as a beginner for yourself.
A professional player once told me that a rule of thumb is to always stick to 10% of your own bodyweight. This makes it simple and you can see that a 140-pound player, might be left with a 13 or 14-pound ball when they need to choose the weight. It should be simple and easy now when you select a new ball.
However, not all of us are strong enough to carry the weight of our own bodies and support them. It is important to keep in mind that you occasionally need to go lighter or heavier. One cliché that I have found common is that many people believe heavier balls tend to have more impact and will hit all of the pins. This is not the case if you can keep it between the lanes.
You might consider holding out the ball with one arm to see if you can manage it. If not, the ball might pull you off balance. As a beginner, your balance will be one of the most important parts of your game and allow you to bowl more accurately.
The heavier balls tend to be better at straight shots, but when you need to simply put it into the lanes and you have some oil that you are not accustomed to playing with, the lighter ball can actually help you with your hook.
Moving onto one of the more technical terms in the world of bowling, we also have to look at the coverstock. The coverstock protects the outer part of the bowling ball and will help it react in a certain way as it proceeds down the lane. In the early years of bowling, this was generally made of wood, but with the advancement of technology, we now have the urethane and polyester (Plastic) coverstocks to choose from.
- Polyester: The polyester coverstock is the most basic of them all and it is made from simple plastic or plastic composite materials. It has been designed for beginners to allow the ball to react a little less on lanes. This means that the bowling ball will go straighter when you actually bowl in lanes with a lot of oil. However, they lack some hook potential and friction for curved shots.
- Urethane: The urethane bowling ball is the modern ball and it has been designed to help the professional players modify or change their games in such a way that it can work effectively and the ball behaves as they desire. Since most games are played on lanes with either medium or heavy-oil, the urethane coverstock has more friction to give you curves shots. Unfortunately, these balls are a little softer and much more expensive
The coverstock you choose for your bowling ball will be influenced by the way you play the game and the level of skill you have. Polyester balls can also be broken up into the “Vanity Bowling Ball” selection and these are basic bowling balls, with some sort of design on the ball that will allow it to look a little more professional or custom.
The core is one of the most important parts of the game when you start growing. Much like a golfer starts looking at the shaft of the golf club, you will have your bowling ball core that players an instrumental role in the behavior of the ball, as you start to improve the quality of your game and you move to the next level.
I have decided to give you a small breakdown of the 3 most common cores that you will need to explore. However, these cores actually go much deeper than this:
- Pancake Core: Most polyester balls have a pancake core. These cores have been found to give you some of the basic features that players need when starting the game. You have a weight on one side and a lot of filler materials on the inside. They are fairly cheap, but won’t give you much to work with in terms of the curve.
- Symmetrical Cores: Once you look at your first urethane ball, the symmetrical core will be the first to come to mind. This core is a little more advanced and commonly seen as the “light bulb core”. However, they are balanced out more evenly and will ensure the ball can roll down the lane with fewer issues. Users have more freedom when drilling holes as well.
- Asymmetrical Cores: If you play in lanes with a lot of oil and you need an angular shot that will hook more to hit the pins, the asymmetrical core will be one of your best friends. However, they are really daunting to play with if you have limited experience and many people might see them as unbalanced. This core needs some professional coaching and is commonly reserved for the players that are in the elite levels.
As we mentioned in the coverstock segment, your core will be greatly determined by the level of skill you have. Much like the coverstock, they also vary in price, with the pancake core being the cheapest. You should only consider the other core types if you have some adequate training in the field of bowling or you play at a pro level.
d) Reactive Resin (On the Cover Stock)
Most of the common bowling balls don’t have a lot to offer when we look at the reactive resin. The reactive resin can be seen as a coating that is on the outer side of the coverstock and helps it to react or behave the way it should in lanes with oil.
The solid reactive resin has been spread evenly, which means it promotes an even rolling experience for anyone that needs to have the ball go straight. Not only that, but it can be one of the simplest to clean once you are done playing as well.
As you find the Pearl Reactive Resin, you will notice some comfort in the way you play on lanes with less oil. They tend to partially cover the ball but have been smooth out in such a way that it makes it more comfortable when you need it. This reactive resin will also be a great option for beginners on most of the plastic bowling balls.
The Hybrid Reactive Resin takes a lot of skill to play with and you do need some training to ensure you can play with it correctly. It combines the smoothness of the pearl with the solid reactive resin to give you more of a versatile experience. However, these bowling balls tip the scales a little high when we consider the overall price ranges.
Lastly, we have found a newer version that has been experimented with lately. The Particle Reactive Resin is basically glass or composite particles that have been added to the outer coating of the bowling ball. As you should imagine, it does provide the ball with a little more friction and should give you additional hook potential.
As a player myself, I would recommend that most beginners start out with the basic solid resin or pearl options. The rest of them are a little expensive and you won’t really know how to use them as of yet.
e) USBC Approved:
Last but certainly not least, you also need to follow the guidelines put forth by the USBC. This is the governing body when you look at bowling balls and some of the professional features that they have. If the ball does not meet their standards, you will not be allowed to play with them in your competition games.
It is worth noting that all the gear that you buy should meet the USBC regulations. This will make it eligible for gameplay and ensure that you get some of the best value for your money. Fortunately, most bowling balls and bowling ball gear will have some sort of indication that will show you if it has been approved by the USBC.
Additional Things To Keep In Mind:
These are the main features that you will need to focus on when you choose your bowling ball. However, there are also a couple of other things that I think is important for users when selecting their first bowling ball. Here are a few additional features to keep in mind, after you have the basics done and accounted for:
- Drilling Holes: You will need to have the holes drilled in the bowling ball once it is bought. This can be a daunting prospect but find somewhere comfortable that meets your game and how you will be bowling. Have a look at the cores section to get some tips on drilling the holes.
- Style: The coverstock is important, but you also want to look professional. To ensure you do look professional, you need to have a stylish bowling ball to compliment you. While these might be considered “Vanity Bowling Balls”, they are much better than something standard.
- Lane Conditions: Lastly, you need to take the lane conditions into account and this will have an effect on the ball. It is also one of the reasons why many professional players have more than one bowling ball for their games.
These are only a few of the minor feature that can make you look or feel more professional. We recommend focusing on the basics first and if you want to, you can use these additional features to spice up the bowling ball.
Practice will be your best friend if you ever plan to succeed in the world of bowling and no matter how many tips you are given, you need to spend some of the hours at the bowling alley. However, these tips should help you get the best out of every bowling experience. Let us know in the comment section if these tips have helped you, or how you proceeded to select your favorite bowling ball.