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Using Bowling Finger Inserts
Shaping the gripping holes with the right amount of contour and beveling the edges of the holes are also as important to you as being fitted for a proper grip and proper finger pitches to help your delivery style.
You have choices in drilling the gripping holes into your new bowling ball. You can simply drill the holes into the ball, contour the holes to match the shape of your thumb and fingers, and then bevel the edges of the hole to a desired level of comfort, and then use the ball as it stands.
The other option is to use fingers inserts. Finger inserts are added urethane material tubes with gripping holes contoured inside the tubes which allow you to fit your gripping fingers into the tubes. Each insert is sized and contoured so you can simply slip the tube down into the larger drilled holes and glue them in.
Each insert has predetermined hole sizes shaped to match your finger dimensions and conform to your desired pitch angles drilled into the outer holes of the ball.
Some finger inserts are made with a softer feeling material than others and you may select your personal preferences. Typically, inserts will cause less irritation to your gripping fingers, particularly on the edges of your fingernails or the skin on the front or behind and above your nails.
Inserts can help prevent your skin from splitting or wearing off top layers of skin where you would then need to use some form of skin patch material or tape to protect your fingers while you bowl.
Thumb slugs can be inserted into a larger thumb sized holes drilled into your ball and glued into place. The pro shop professional can drill through the slugs in the same manner as the ball material itself. The thumb hole can then be contoured and beveled as needed to match the shape of your thumb.
Thumb slugs feel differently when holes are drilled into them and can yield a more consistent gripping feel from delivery to delivery than perhaps the feel of the ball core material itself.
Thumb slugs also come in a non-solid style as sleeve inserts which are pre-drilled with contoured holes and beveled top edges of the sleeves so they merely need to slip into a slightly oversized thumb hole and glued into place. Solid thumb slugs and thumb sleeve inserts are available at virtually any pro shop as are a variety of finger inserts.
Thumb slugs, sleeves, and finger inserts have grown in popularity through the years just because the gripping feel is smooth and consistent and reduces skin irritation caused by repeated deliveries of your bowling ball.
It is recommended by the manufacturers to change inserts about every 60 - 80 games or if they begin to split or wear and the feel on your gripping fingers is lost. Many bowlers purchase their own insert removal tool and carry their own inserts to remove and replace as needed. Safe, fast drying glue works well to fasten inserts into place.
Pro shop operators are happy to remove and replace inserts for you, as needed, for a nominal fee. If you already use finger inserts, make sure you check them regularly and change them when they begin to wear. Getting a consistent grip on your bowling ball is very important if you want a good, crisp release of your bowling ball each shot you make.