Why Lane Conditions Change
The two most critical changes you will observe in lane oil conditions are breakdown and carrydown. Knowing that a breakdown of the lane oil will occur after several games of bowling will alert you in advance that some type of adjustment will be needed.
If you are averaging 160 or more and are working to improve your game, increasing your percentage of pocket hits and improving your spare shooting are of vital interest to your game.
Once you develop a system of lining up to the pocket, adjustments will be necessary after the oil breakdown occurs. Once this happens, you must make an adjustment or risk missing the pocket altogether.
The use of high technology bowling ball coverstocks is largely a reason for oil breakdown. Every time a bowling ball
is delivered, the lane condition effectively changes.
Regardless of which oil pattern is put down at your local bowling center, your bowling ball picks up and retains oil in the pores of the coverstock and literally removes the oil applied to the lane surface.
Once the ball passes the final distance of oil application, the oil retained in the coverstock can never be replaced.
As oil is retained in the coverstock of your bowling ball, less volume of oil remains on the front end of the lane. The oil separates open and then closes after the ball passes until such a time when the breakdown in lubricity occurs and the oil no longer is able to close.
At this point, a high friction portion of the lane surface is exposed and the oil will have been completely broken down.
Oil carrydown is the other chief reason lane conditions change. As oil remains on the surface of your bowling ball, the ball will leave thin strips of oil conditioner on the dry back end of the lane.
Each delivery will cause more oil strips to appear on the back end of the lane across the lane surface where bowling balls have been delivered.
When these strips of oil will remain on the dry back end of the lane as the ball passes through the area, the oil strips are commonly referred to as carrydown.
In the end, all lane oil will break down and carry down so the net effect for you as a bowler is to make adjustments to compensate for the purpose of continuing to hit the pocket and pick up routine spares.
If you are having problems with dry lanes after the oil has broken down, consult with an experienced bowling instructor to discuss techniques for making needed adjustments.