Erik Vermilyea

Quick Tip: How & Why You Sand a Bowling Ball

Erik Vermilyea
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If you have ever watched the PBA Tour you’ve likely seen bowlers and their coaches sanding a bowling ball. By doing so, they alter the bowling ball’s surface to change its reaction or ball motion on the lane.

A brand new bowling ball comes out of the box with a surface setting designated by the manufacturer. Rarely has a professional bowler ever competed with a brand new out-of-the-box ball without adjusting its surface; posing the question, why would you?

Learning to adjust a bowling ball’s surface with sanding discs is a simple process and in this quick tip Coach Erik Vermilyea with Track demonstrates how.

Sanding Disc Grit

The lower the number grit sanding disc you choose, the earlier the ball will hook and vice versa, the higher the number grit sand disc you choose the later the ball will hook.

If you’re unsure on which one to choose, National Bowling Academy has a great demonstration on the effects each grit sanding disc has on a bowling ball’s motion, “Making Adjustments to the Surface of your Bowling Equipment.” (Skip right to the surface test at 1:30).

Sanding a Bowling Ball

Next you’ll take your bowling ball and place it on a ball cup or another sanding disc and begin resurfacing the ball.

In a circular motion start sanding the ball. The goal is to apply the sanding disc evenly throughout the entirety of the ball, it’s a rule, actually. Another rule is that sanding a bowling ball can only be done before competition.

Next, grab a dry towel and remove the access dust from the bowling ball.

If you’re concerned that you’ll never get the bowling ball back to the way it was when it came out of the box, don’t be. The only thing you should concern yourself with is matching up to what the lane gives you.

Check out more equipment tips and free bowling videos National Bowling Academy offers to help you improve your game.

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One Response to “Quick Tip: How & Why You Sand a Bowling Ball”


    Unfortunately, Coach Vermilyea's tip is TOTALLY ILLEGAL as of the 8/1/19 mandate of the USBC "Dry Towel Rule.

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