Bowling (In Under Five Minutes)

Essentials: Learn Bowling In Under Five Minutes

Bowling is a great sport. Not only is it a great date atmosphere, but you can continue playing the sport for your entire life. Although the sport is pretty simple at its core (roll the ball, hit pins, repeat) there are some things you should know before you get out to the lanes.

So let's get started on a few simple things you should know about the sport of bowling.

Bowling Balls

There are really only two things you should buy if you decide to start taking a serious approach to bowling. And the most important is a bowling ball, since it's pretty tough to knock pins down without one. Let's see what you should be looking for when you buy a ball.

Bowling Balls

The first experience most people have with bowling balls come in the form of the "house balls" that bowling alleys put out for new bowlers to use if they don't have their own ball. They work fine for a once-a-year bowler, but they have some limitations:

  • It's very hard to get a house ball to hook (curve into the pins) like you see experienced bowlers do.
  • The reason for that is part skill level and partially because the house balls are very low performance.
  • They are made to accommodate a wide variety of hand sizes and are very hard to control.
  • If you only use a house ball, you may end up learning the wrong way to spin a ball, such as using two hands to bowl or not using your thumb.

If you want to begin bowling well, your best bet is to pick up your own ball. Let's take a look at your best options.

There are two basic types of balls you can focus on to get started; a Low/Mid performance ball and a High performance ball. Don't be fooled by the name since a low performance ball does not mean that it is a low quality ball. All that means is the less expensive the ball is, the less curve you'll get out of it. Let's take a look at two options:

Option 1 - A low or mid performance ball is perfect for a new bowler, and we recommend taking a look at a ball like the Brunswick Strike King. This ball will run you around $60-$90 and will give you a great opportunity to learn the sport while perfecting your spin on the ball.

Option 2 - Once you have your game on point, you should look at a ball like the Storm Sky Rocket. Not only will this allow you to get more hook on your ball, but you also get a nice scent to it. Yes, this ball comes scented like Sangria and it's a pretty amazing smell. There are also other scents, and they all last a long time. More hook and a great scent? Yes please.

No matter which ball you decide on, you'll need to pick the right weight. If you're an adult over 150 pounds, you should be using a ball that is at least 15 pounds. If you're under 150, plan on using a ball that is about 10% of your body weight.

Next, you'll need to decide between a conventional grip or finger-tip grip. House balls are drilled with a conventional grip, which means your thumb and fingers go all the way into the holes. This is a little easier to grip, but won't give you ideal hook on your ball. This isn't a bad way to start though, since it's a nice introduction to proper grip.

When you're ready to go more advanced, a finger-tip grip is the way to go. With this style your thumb goes all the way into the ball and your fingers only go in up to the first knuckle.This gives you more time between your thumb and fingers leaving the ball, and allows you to get more spin and power on your ball. Which should you go with? Whatever feels more comfortable for you. Ask your local pro shop to let you use a few different balls to see what you like the best.

Learn Bowling Pro Tip

Make sure you go to your local pro shop to have your ball fitted and drilled. It's the best way to maximize the potential of your ball.

Bowling Shoes

Are bowling shoes important, or are they just an up-charge at the lane? Let's take a look.

Why Do You Need Bowling Shoes?

  1. They help your your score. The approach to the lane is very important, and you need to make sure you can get some momentum as you approach the lane for your shot. A good bowling shoe will help you do that by giving you grip to walk, while still allowing you to slide into your shot.
  2. They help keep you safe. A regular shoe will stick to the floor instead of sliding, and when that happens you may take a tumble when you're trying to throw a heavy weight down a slippery lane. Also, they keep you from looking silly if you fall down while on a bowling date.
  3. They help keep the lanes clean. The lanes in an alley should be smooth, clean, and free of divets. Wearing bowling shoes that have never stepped in gum, walked through dirt, or have had rocks stuck in them help to keep the lanes that way.

So no, bowling alley owners are not trying to just take an extra few dollars from you. They just want to make sure you stay safe and keep the lanes clean for everyone.

Learn Bowling Pro Tip

Buy your own pair! Even if you only bowl 10 times in your new bowling shoes, your costs will probably be covered. Plus, you don't have to use a shoe that has been worn by hundreds of people.

Purchase your pair here: Brunswick at Amazon

Learn to Bowl Conclusion

Bowling is a fun sport, and it's easy to pick up and hard to perfect. Hopefully this has helped you understand a little more about the game, and you can feel free to check out our video below for more tips and tricks that we learned at Legacy Lanes in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Enjoy the game!


About The Author
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Ray is the founder of Stray Monkey, and as a shameless plug he wants to remind you to check out the Research the News podcast.

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