(Images courtesy of Worldwideinterweb)
Customising a bowling ball can help your game by improving
accuracy and consistency and as custom balls fit your hand
perfectly, they are more comfortable to use. Plus you can get a
personalised design, so you'll look like a pro, whether you're
scoring 300's or 30's!
Here's an all-you-need guide to getting your paws on one such
custom ball, from how to measure your hand size properly to
choosing the best ball for you. Note that we're showing you
the "conventional drilling" approach. Here's how to measure up:
Professional tools are available, but you can get a good fit
using some simple (and cheap) alternatives. The easiest is to
use the Smart Bowling Ball or Ball Fit Ball which can be found at
every Tenpin site, usually on the reception or shoe hire collection
Use this ball to measure your thumb, ring ringer and middle
finger. Use the read outs to make a note of which bowling
ball size you need (known as your span). This read out will
be a letter which you can use to pick your bowling ball on the
alley and you'll be guaranteed it will always fit your hand span
Thumb and finger inserts are sometimes used to better fit a
bowling ball if you are struggling to find that perfect snug fit
for your fingers and thumbs. The more experienced you are as
a bowler the more you may feel the need for these inserts as you
will know how to add power and curve to the ball.
The Smart Bowling Ball will help you measure
thumb-to-middle-finger distance and thumb-to-ring-finger distance.
Be sure to measure using the hand you're going to bowl with!
You're looking for the distance between the base of the thumb
at one end, and the second crease (the one in the middle) of your
finger at the other.
(See image to the right)
For a perfect fit, we suggest taking 3mm off the measured
lengths. For most people, the measurement to the middle
finger is slightly longer. At Tenpin our house balls are
drilled the same distance apart so that both left and right handed
guests can use the balls.
Choosing a Ball Type
There are two factors to consider when choosing your ball:
weight and composition. Bowling balls vary in weight from 6
lbs to 16 lbs. Our definition of "not too heavy": a ball that
you're comfortable using for at least three games.
The composition of the ball (what it's made of), affects how
much it grips the lane. Experienced bowlers prefer lots of grip so
they can hook the ball in different directions. These balls
are made from reactive resin (often urethane). The grip gives
them precision and control. Beginners (people who bowl less
than twice a month) normally opt for a ball that skids over the
surface. This means that the ball travels straighter towards the
pins. These balls are typically plastic or polyester.
Each to their own on this one! You can choose from an array of
colours, patterns and effects and many manufacturers now let you
use your own image. Let your imagination run wild.