The relationship between bowler and bowling ball is unique in sports. Unlike baseballs, basketballs, and footballs, various bowling balls are vastly different in how they are made. And unlike other balls, the bowler’s hand actually goes in the ball. So choosing the right bowling ball and having it drilled to fit the bowler properly can make or break a bowler’s level of play.
For intermediate and advanced bowlers, choosing the perfect bowling ball can be more complex than some would originally think. When looking at potential balls it is important to take into consideration the ball’s core and coverstock in order to make the best choice. That’s why the bowling ball advertisements have so much information about the technical specifications. Ball manufacturers are constantly changing the shape and density of ball cores and the chemical composition of coverstocks to improve ball performance.
According to tests conducted by the United States Bowling Congress (the official governing body of bowling) the coverstock of the ball has the greatest effect on the amount a ball can hook. When playing on dry lanes it is best to choose a pearl or stiff coverstock so it will be easier for the ball to slide in the front end of the lane. If the lane has a heavy coat of oil it is better to choose a solid coverstock in order to increase the gripping action the ball will have as it rolls down the lane.
The core design of the ball is also extremely important at the higher levels of play. The flare potential and the radius of gyration will both play a role in the hook potential of each individual bowling ball. The level of flare potential will affect the reaction of the ball in the back end of the lane. A high rating will cause a more powerful reaction and a low rating will create a lesser one. The rating of gyration will affect when the ball will work into its rolling pattern. Balls with high ratings will roll in the back end of the lane while balls with low ratings will roll for a larger portion of the lane.
Fortunately, bowlers do not have to learn the chemistry and physics of bowling balls to choose a ball. Much as Consumer Reports magazine tests various products, bowling balls are tested and reviewed Bowlers Journal and Bowling This Month. The SmartBowler.com Ball Guide takes the magazine reviews and other factors into account to provide ball shoppers with a very convenient resource for comparing balls. The “HOOK” rating indicates the total hook potential of a ball. The “SNAP” rating indicates the degree to which the hook occurs down the lane. The SmartBowler.com Ball Guide also helps bowlers manage their budget, as sometimes balls with the same general performance have a much different cost.
After reading the ads, the magazine reviews, and the ball guide, SmartBowler.com recommends that anyone shopping for a performance bowling ball consult with a SmartBowler pro shop operator before making the final choice. These experts know how to match a ball to the bowler and the lanes to achieve the best results.