Getting Fitted at a Bowling Ball Pro Shop

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Duration: 22:35

More often than not, when a bowler feels stuck and can’t seem to improve their average any further, it’s because their ball doesn’t fit their hand properly. We see bowlers all the time who go to their local bowling ball pro shop looking for lessons and wonder why they’ve reached a ceiling in their game, and nine times out of 10, the problem is their bowling ball fit.

When your ball doesn’t fit correctly, you squeeze to maintain a good grip, which puts too much pressure on your hand muscles and causes an unnatural stroke. To avoid discomfort, pain and that dreaded score ceiling in your game, you must have your ball properly fit to your hand. In this lesson, we visit the bowling ball pro shop of coach Ron Hoppe to take a closer look at the keys of good ball fit, and bust some of the most common myths of ball fitting so you can get exactly what you want when you walk into your local bowling ball pro shop.

Tips to the trade at the bowling ball pro shop

Ask any manager of a bowling ball pro shop what’s the most important aspect in the process of becoming a better bowler, and they’ll say the fit. If you don’t feel comfortable with your bowling ball in your hands, you simply can’t improve. Fit comes first. To help you get a sense of what goes into proper fit, bowling coaches Ron Hoppe and Stephen Padilla introduce the essential components of good bowling ball fit, and teach you how to leave the local bowling ball pro shop with a well-fitted and effective new tool for your arsenal.

The coaches begin their demonstration by talking about some of the myths and misconceptions of bowling ball fitting. They teach you about the difference between adjusting pitch to create a more comfortable hand feel and to maximize your stroke, and they explain why having a bigger span does not always translate to a higher rev rate.

You’ll also learn how to ensure you get an accurate bowling ball fitting by completing a self-measurement prior to visiting the bowling ball pro shop. This quick test will show you the approximate span you’ll need for a comfortable fit, so you can confidently talk to the bowling ball pro shop manager if something doesn’t feel right. With these expert tips for finding your right fit, you’ll be well on your way to improving your game!

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7 Responses to “Getting Fitted at a Bowling Ball Pro Shop”

  1. Robert

    Just started Bowling 3 years ago, wish I would of had this info then. Could have saved some money and a less difficult learning curve.

  2. Peter

    Wonderful video with great information. I would really like to see some expansion on the grip spans, including how to also get a good measurement on the ring finger. Too many times I have people come into my shop from another location in town and the ring finger is almost always stretched out while the middle finger is just fine.
    Otherwise this is a must-watch video for everyone.

  3. Tony

    Good info, but was hoping for an answer on a proper fit, I have been told that when a ball is drilled correctly, you can hold it by your side, relax your hand and the ball should not fall off, is this accurate info?

    • Customer Service

      Hi Tony. A beginning bowlers “conventional” fit should be comfortable and allow a bit of room for movement as they develop their technique. A custom fit fingertip grip should be relaxed enough to allow the hand to be comfortable and versatile during the release. As with any fit if the ball holds onto the bowlers hand the bowler can use less grip pressure to swing and deliver so the repeatability and versatility factors increase with a high performance fit.
      If the ball can hold onto the bowler’s hand without excessive grip pressure chances are the span, pitches, and hole sizes are close to exactly what that bowler needs. An exception might be if the fit holds on the hand but doesn’t allow for an easy release from momentum.
      See a certified fitting professional often to make the proper adjustments over time.

  4. Laura

    I am having a hard time finding someone to drill my new ball (Pyramid Path Rising). I live in West Monroe, LA but will be willing to travel if not to far. Do you have any suggestions as to where I might find a great driller like the Ron Hoppe?

    • Customer Service


      The Bowling Academy and USBC Coaching recommend an International Bowling Pro Shop and Instructors Association (IBPSIA) certified pro shop professional to fit and drill equipment. To find an IBPSIA pro shop near you and to search by zip code and radius use the follow link:

      Thanks for continuing with the Bowling Academy.