If you’re at the point in your game where you are considering purchasing a new bowling ball or adding one to your arsenal, knowing the differences between stronger and weaker bowling balls can be a pivotal turning point in your game.
Everyone likes to see the bowling ball hook on the backend and strike, but when you are choosing between stronger and weaker bowling balls it important to note where the bowling ball begins to hook – not just how much.
Stronger Bowling Balls
Stronger does not mean more hook… necessarily. A stronger bowling ball hooks more through the heads (foul line to just past the arrows) than a weaker bowling ball will. Stronger bowling balls typically have a duller finish with a symmetrical core. These bowling balls are designed for a higher volume of oil, so they grip on the lane earlier instead of sliding.
A stronger ball will have less right-to-left hook down lane because it has exerted much of its energy on the first half of the lane.
Weaker Bowling Balls
Now that you are watching your ball travel down lane and are focusing on where it begins to hook, a weaker bowling ball is going to slide through the heads more than an aggressive bowling ball and show more right to left movement on the backend part of the lane.
Think of it like a snow tire on ice. When a snow tire hits ice, it slides. But when it gets back onto pavement or snow, it grips.
After a weaker ball has traveled down lane to the end of the pattern, it will begin to grip and turn much faster than a stronger bowling ball would at this point of the lane.
A weaker bowling ball saves its energy because of its shiny coverstock and asymmetrical core inside.
Which one do you need in your bag? The answer depends on what the lane conditions are:
If it’s lower volume (dryer), you want a shiny, weaker coverstock bowling ball.
If it’s higher volume (oily), you want a duller, aggressive coverstock bowling ball.
Things to remember when adding a new ball to your arsenal
- Check for proper bowling ball weight
- Make sure each grip feels the same
- Change the surface of the bowling ball
It’s always important to make sure you are using the proper bowling ball weight with any bowling ball. A good gauge is to be around 15mph. If you find yourself regularly dipping down below that it may be time to go down in weight.
Adversely, if you are regularly throwing above 16mph and you are not yet using a 16lb pound bowling ball, it’s time to move up in ball weight. If you are looking to get an exact fit for every one of your bowling balls, consider having your balls drilled with interchangeable thumbs. Remember, you can always make a bowling ball hook earlier or later by adjusting the surface of the ball with an Abralon pad. Don’t hesitate to talk with your pro shop operator about what you’re thinking of doing to get a second opinion.
Lastly, we talked briefly about stronger and weaker bowling balls and their cores. Check out this video on different cores bowling balls have for more information.