Your bowling ball choice is so important when bowling that if you get that piece of bowling equipment wrong and you are bowling with equally skilled bowlers you will have very little chance of winning.
Bowling ball weight
As a beginner the bowling ball weight is the first thing to decide. All good coaches suggest using the most weight you can handle without losing control of your shot. More ball weight will create more pin action and so higher scores. Sixteen pounds is the maximum weight allowed by the USBC rules of bowling, but if that is too heavy for you then you should try a lighter weight. This is because it is more important to feel comfortable and in control of the ball.
Advantage of a custom drilled grip
Buying your own ball with a good custom drilled grip for your hand makes handling a bowling ball much easier and should help you swing the ball with less effort and more consistency. There are many kinds of custom grips but the most common grip for advanced bowlers is the finger-tip grip. First time bowlers are often advised to start with a conventional grip because this makes it a little easier to hold onto the ball. The downside of a conventional grip is that it makes hooking the ball more difficult due to not being able to get as much finger lift on your shot.
Different kinds of cover-stocks
Several different kinds of balls are available and if you have learned to hook the ball they can increase your options when adjusting to lane oil patterns. Bowling balls range in their overall hooking potential from very little hook to very aggressive hook. In general, the different kinds of cover-stocks or shells have the most impact on the hook potential of a bowling ball. Plastic balls hook least, urethane balls are next on the scale of hook and reactive resin balls hook the most.
Hook potentials of cover-stock types
Each kind of cover-stock is offered with a range of hook potentials. For example, reactive resin cover-stocks come in a large range of hook potentials identified by looking at the differential number of each ball. A higher differential number will hook more because this differential number indicates more flare potential for the ball. Higher flare means the ball will have more fresh surface of the ball in contact with the oil pattern which reduces the ball’s tendency to slide on the oil. The surface friction of the ball also impacts hook and the surface can be changed with sandpaper or polish usually on a bowling ball spinner.
Core shapes and dynamics impact on hook
The shell or cover of the ball impacts the amount of hook potential the most, but the bowling ball core or weight block can be positioned in a certain way in relation to the grip at drilling time to determine the amount and shape of the hook for a specific bowling ball. This is important when matching your bowling release and bowling ball choice to the lane oil pattern in order to create the most room for error and maximum carry.
Bowling ball resources
User reviews of almost every bowling ball that comes onto the market.