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For a lot of bowlers, especially new bowlers, the question of bowling ball life span is a very important consideration. Bowling balls can be very expensive, and the bowler will like to know how long does a bowling ball last before they need to get another one.
The answer to that is convoluted because many variables affect the bowling ball life span. One is the manufacturer and type of bowling ball purchase and the other important factor is how well the ball is maintained by the bowler.
How long does a bowling ball last?
For the most part, you can expect to have your bowling ball last five to ten years. Although it is rare, sometimes the ball has a defect (such as a split-core) that you may not be aware of right away. If this is a manufacturing problem or defect, then you should be able to return the ball in exchange for one without the defects. Aside from that, there are certain maintenance and care programs you can use on your bowling ball to increase the bowling ball life span.
How often should you clean your bowling ball
One of the easiest and also important maintenance procedures is to wipe off your bowling ball after each game to get rid of the oils and marks left from bowling. While cleaning your bowling ball, look for any specific trails of oil left on the ball. If there is a specific and noticeable trail of oil, then it would be a good idea to take it to the pro shop to get it resurfaced so that it will roll more smoothly and not have the grooves that will affect your game.
Storing a bowling ball
How you store your bowling ball when not in use is also very important. To help increase the bowling ball life span, make sure you have a bowling ball bag and keep it in a dry and room temperature place where moisture and other contaminants cannot reach it.
Bowling ball routine maintenance
Aside from the two listed above, there is some other routine maintenance that should be performed for both expanding the bowling ball life span as well as maintaining your game and the bowling ball’s performance such as the following:
- It is a good idea to re-polish the ball as well as to use grit to scuff out any marks and residue oil (After ten games of bowling).
- You should take the bowling ball to the pro shop and have a full resurface performed on it as well as getting the finger grips replaced (After about sixty games of bowling).
- After each game of bowling, clean the bowling ball.
These little maintenance tips will help increase the bowling ball life span as well as your game. Letting a ball go without being cleaned, polished, or resurfaced will result in low performance and will bring more wear and tear upon the bowling ball. Making sure you have the finger grips and inserts replaced is important to keep them from cracking and causing damage to the ball or your fingers as well as your game. Simple maintenance of your bowling ball is essential in improving your bowling ball’s life span.
When to upgrade your bowling ball
There comes a point when you need to consider if it’s time to upgrade to a new bowling ball. if you are an active league bowler, your bowling ball goes through a ton of games. Let’s break it down. The maximum number of rolls in a game is 21 (2 rolls per frame with 3 potentially in the 10th frame). Each league night consists of 3 games so that’s 63 rolls a week and in a 32 weeks league that turns into 2013 rolls. This doesn’t even count the practice games and recreational bowling that you may do outside of league play. After a while, you will need to start thinking about upgrading your bowling ball. Here are some reasons that make you change your bowling ball:
Ball performance or Surface is diminishing
The first and obvious reason for changing out your current bowling ball for a new high-performance bowling ball is when you notice that the ball isn’t performing as well as it uses it. If nothing else has changed in your approach, style, or release but your performance seems to lack the punch it uses to then it may be due to the ball. Also, the surface of the bowling ball plays a big factor in performance. Remember when getting your ball for the first time and seeing how shining and blemish-free it was? Now it’s getting so many knicks, scratches, and maybe even divets that those imperfections are starting to change the effectiveness of your shots.
Your game play has changed
Another reason for upgrading is when you have changed in some way that affects your game. Maybe you find out you started as a stroker but finding that you are much more suited to the cranker style. Or you’ve steadily gotten stronger and can handle a heavier bowling ball. Sadly the opposite can be true and you might need a lighter ball due to age or a recent injury. Neither of these things is a bad thing. That’s just life and making adjustments to change is the best thing that you can do on or off the lanes.
Technology Has Changed
The same bowling ball that you have used for the past 25 years (even 10 years ago) may not cut it anymore. Especially with the changes now in oil patterns and lane conditions. Today’s bowling balls outperform the bowling balls that were on the market years ago. So you may be sentimentally attached to the Urethane ball that carried you for so many years but to compete in today’s game, you have to upgrade. You might even be surprised by how much better you score.
The 4 keys to perfect bowling
There is nothing finer in bowling than to make a perfect delivery of the bowling ball that leads to the perfect strike. 4 basic principles must be achieved for each roll of the ball to get that strike.
#1 The approach must be smooth and in perfect timing
To bowl well, it starts with a smooth, rhythmic approach. The steps to the foul line will lead the bowler in perfect motion and timing for the ball to pass the ankle and finally release the ball. Regardless of how many steps you take to the foul line, it should be with balance and in exact timing with the rest of your body.
#2 The body must be in line with your target not the lane
Keep your body square with your intended target. So if you are aiming at the 7 pins, then your body should be facing that pin. It will hinder and possibly throw off your shot if your body is in line with the lane and not the pin.
#3 The release must have spin (hooking ball)
This is probably the most difficult part of the ball delivery because it takes place in a fraction of a second and must be done exactly when the ball is being released. Right at the precise moment when the ball passes the ankle, the thumb must exit the ball first. Then a fraction of a second later, the fingers must impart lift on the ball as they come out of the finger holes to execute the proper spin on the ball so it will hit strongly on the pins.
#4 Keep your eyes on the target
It is essential to keep looking at the intended target through ball delivery. It is even recommended to keep looking at the target until the ball is halfway down the lane to ensure an accurate release. If you look up too soon, the body will naturally follow where your eyes go.
These 4 principles are necessary for every shot. While other factors will have a bearing in your bowling, these principles are at the foundation of every ball delivery. If you want to get better at bowling than this is where you want to start.
How to combat bad bowling days
Let’s face it, no matter how good you are, you are going to have bad days. That’s just a normal part of life; in work, social and of course sports. Even the best pro-sports players have bad days; the question is how do you deal with it and work through it so that you make a bad performance into a learning lesson and more productive?
Don’t lose your temper
When you start realizing that you’re having a bad day with your bowling game, remain calm. That is very important and something many bowlers aren’t all that great at accomplishing. Emotions take over and you are not only upset about your own bowling game but also those on your team; feeling like you are letting them down as well. Keep in mind that everyone has a bad day and you are not alone. Most people on your team will understand; and, they will be more supportive and receptive if you keep your cool and not throw a tantrum.
When you lose your temper, it’s an almost guarantee that your bowling game will even suffer more. The angrier you get, the less you care as you become mad and the more mistakes you will make. Try to focus on the game and your teammates instead of having a bad day. Reign the temper in and relax, enjoy the sport.
Don’t psych yourself out
Instead of getting angry, some bowlers instead turn within their selves and try to dissect what is going wrong with the game. While this is perfectly fine as long as it is done on a healthy level, it can cause a lot of problems and inhibit your bowling game if you focus too much on what might be going wrong. In short, don’t overthink it. Try different things such as moving overboard on your approach, aiming for a spot a little to the side of the arrow you usually throw towards, change bowling balls if you use more than one; there are a lot of things to try, as long as you don’t spend all of your time thinking about it. Remember to relax and have fun; your bowling game and experience will improve just by that alone.
Don’t make drastic changes to your bowling game
Although it is important to try different changes if your bowling game is suffering, it is equally important to make sure those changes aren’t so drastic you won’t be able to tell what is working and what isn’t. Start with small changes first. Study your stance, your approach, your release, and how the bowling ball is traveling down the lane. Instead of trying to change every tactic at once, or drastically moving over three boards on your approach, try more subtitle changes until you discover where the problems may be located.
Again, it’s still important to remember that even though you keep your temper in check, don’t psych yourself out and don’t make drastic changes, you can still just be having an off day. Accept it, enjoy the game, and keep mental notes for the next time. Everyone has a bad day now and then; you cannot always expect to be on the top of your game every single game.
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