Did you know that bowling has been around in some form since 5000 B.C.? Well, it has. There is evidence of a game that ancient Egyptians played where they rolled stones toward objects with the intention of trying to knock them over.
Since then, there have been some different variations of bowling that were invented, which has also lead to the need for updated equipment for playing the game. And one very important piece of equipment when it comes to playing this game is the bowling ball. Bowling balls have come a long way in their various designs and different features.
Bowling has continued to grow in its popularity over the decades. With advances in technology have come more intricacies in the bowling balls. It’s made it where you can match the type of bowling ball you get to the kind of bowler you are. In this discussion, we’re going to take a look at some of the different factors you should look at when choosing a bowling ball, and more specifically, at what the best bowling ball is for straight bowlers.
What Kind Of Ball Should A Straight Bowler Use?
If you watch different people bowling, you’ll see a variety of different techniques. Some bowlers roll the ball very fast, while others send it down the lane very slowly. You’ll see balls that get heaved half way down the lane before loudly dropping to the floor and others that leave the bowlers hand silently rolling over every inch of the lane. The other main difference you’ll observe is that some bowlers hook or curve the ball, while others only bowl straight shots.
The different kinds of bowling balls have varying cover materials, referred to as coverstocks, and one of two types of weight blocks. The weight blocks are located inside the bowling ball and they affect how the ball rolls down the lane. We’ll talk more about that further down.
Coverstocks come in four main materials—plastic, urethane, reactive resin, and particle. Each type has its own benefits to provide for different kinds of bowlers. Straight bowlers should use a bowling ball with a plastic coverstock. The reason for this lies in the smooth surface that plastic has. There isn’t a lot of friction created between the ball and the lane allowing the ball to roll straighter. A plastic coverstock option is the best bowling ball for beginners, as well as more advanced bowlers who use straight shots to pick up spares.
Where Do You Aim When Bowling A Straight Ball?
If you’re a beginner, the way you aim your bowling ball may be different than the way a more advanced bowler aims theirs. Generally, there are two ways to aim bowling balls. You can spot bowl or pin bowl. Beginners tend to aim by pin bowling, meaning they set their sights all the way down to the pins and aim there. Spot bowling has you aiming at the arrows that are only about a quarter of the way down the lane.
If you’re aiming at the pins themselves, you should be aiming at the pocket right between the head pin and the pin to the right or the left of it, depending on whether you’re right-handed or left-handed. This is the spot that gives you the highest chance at a strike.
Bowlers who are going to use the spot bowling technique for making straight shots should aim their bowling balls slightly off to the right or left of the center arrow. However, there could be more to it than that. Some of it depends on where you stand, how you point your arm, and what your release is like, too. But these are the basics of aiming to get you started.
Why Do Bowlers Spin The Ball?
People have all sorts of reasons for spinning their bowling balls. If you watch some of the best bowling competitions, you’ll notice that a lot of the professionals spin, or hook, their bowling balls when they throw down the lane. In fact, some amateur bowlers will tell you they do it because it looks cool.
The real reason, though, is it can lead to more strikes, which means higher scores. The most common way to get a strike is to hit the pins in the pocket that’s located between the 1 and 3 pin on the right and the 1 and 2 pin on the left. The best chance at hitting that pocket the most accurately is to hit it at an angle. And the best way to hit it at an angle is to hook the bowling ball.
Should I Bowl Straight Or Hook?
There are successful bowlers using either of these methods. You get more power by bowling with a hook. The added force created by the spinning gives you more carry on the pins, which means they are more apt to fall down and take others with them. So, hooking the ball is the best bowling technique to give you a higher percent chance at a strike.
That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ever bowl straight, though. You’re not likely going to bowl a strike every time, even if you have the best bowling ball for the job. Sometimes there will be pins left over. In those situations, you’ll want to be able to bowl a straight ball to pick up the spare.
How Do I Choose A Bowling Ball Core?
This is where the weight block comes in. The weight block is what’s at the core of bowling balls. Straight bowlers should go with a high mass bowling ball because the placement of the weight block inside makes it where the ball won’t roll as heavily. That means the ball will go a long way down the lane for straight shots rather than having a tendency to hook.
Are Heavier Bowling Balls Better?
Heavier bowling balls are better at giving you the power to knock down more pins. That being said, the heaviest ball available may not be the best bowling ball for your capabilities.
Heavier bowling balls are better at gaining energy that can then be transferred into knocking over the pins. A heavy bowling ball gives you, the bowler, more hitting power than a lighter ball does.
If the ball is too heavy for you, though, don’t use it. Using a bowling ball that’s too heavy won’t allow you to control it the way you need to. It could also lead to an injury, so you need to choose the right weight of ball for your body and strength.
Is My Bowling Ball Too Heavy?
There are a few things to look for to determine if your bowling ball is too heavy for you. The best bowling ball weight for your strength level will be the one that allows you to bowl your whole session without feeling overly fatigued, let you maintain control over where the ball goes, and won’t make you feel pain.
One test you can do is to put bowling balls in the palm of your hand to see if you can hold them without having your arm shake. If you get to a weight where the ball causes your arm to start shaking, then that bowling ball is too heavy for you.
Do Bowling Balls Go Bad?
Bowling balls do go bad at some point. When that is can be dependent on you and the care you take with your ball. The best bowling ball lifespans are usually at least a decade, but they could be even longer. If you have regular maintenance done on your ball and store it properly, it’s likely your ball will continue to perform well for quite a long time, as an amateur anyway. For professionals playing many tournaments, bowling balls don’t usually last as long.
Sometimes bowling balls will get chipped or will start to crack. Another thing that can happen is there will be a separation of the coverstock from the core. These things aren’t really repairable, so in these cases you’ll likely have to get a replacement.
How Often Should I Replace My Bowling Ball?
If you put in the effort to take care of your bowling ball, you shouldn’t have to replace your bowling ball for 5 to 10 years. If you see there are surface problems or the core and coverstock separate, you should replace your bowling ball immediately.
What About Brands?—Is Pyramid A Good Bowling Ball?
The Pyramid Path ball is rated as a best bowling ball for beginners and for straight bowlers. It has a super-smooth coverstock that keeps it heading down the lane without breaking into a heavy roll. Couple that with its inexpensive price and it makes for a great all-around ball for all kinds of bowlers.
Recapping The Best Bowling Ball For Straight Bowlers
The best bowling ball for straight bowlers is one with a plastic coverstock and a high mass weight block at the core. This kind of ball will keep the ball from spinning into a heavy roll and keep it heading down a line toward the pins where you want it to go.
It’s important for you to get the best bowling ball for your style of bowling. It will give you the best chance at improving your skills so you can have more fun when you go out to bowl. You’ll find you have better control over the ball, which also keeps you the most protected from injury. You’ll also be able to improve your game, which should count as a plus in anyone’s book.
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