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Bowling Ball Skid Versus Traction



By: bowlingball.com, 2/27/17

If you are averaging between 150 and 170 or for any bowler really, you likely have encountered varying lane conditions where your bowling ball reacts differently. These variances are largely due to bowling ball skid versus traction.

Dry lane and oily lane conditions determine how much overall ball skid distance or traction your bowling ball will encounter as it travels down the lane.

Ball skid (slide) typically refers to the distance a bowling ball will skid on the front end of the lane before changing directions as a first transition point in the mid-lane.

Once a bowling ball is released onto the lane surface, the ball will skid a given distance until it moves from the skid phase to the next phase of ball motion, the hook phase.

Given the constants of your delivery style, the lane surface characteristics, and the bowling ball surface texture you choose, the lane conditions affect ball skid more than any other factor.

Bowling on a heavily oiled lane will allow your ball skid to maintain good speed until the lane surface provides increased friction.

An oily lane will help your ball maintain its speed of travel longer than does a dry lane.

The opposite effect occurs on dry lane conditions. Dry lanes can give the appearance that your ball is losing speed at a slightly faster rate than on an oily lane.

Dry lanes create increased surface friction which shortens your ball skid distance so you will likely notice your ball begin the hook phase of motion closer to you than on oily lanes.

In simple terms, bowling ball skid distance is generally determined by the amount of oil conditioner applied to the lane surface through which your bowling ball travels.

As the volume of oil application is diminished in the mid-lane, your ball transitions. Once your ball reaches the dry back end of the lane, it transitions a second time and changes directions noticeably as it enters into the roll phase of ball motion.

There are other factors affecting bowling ball skid distance:

*the bowling ball coverstock texture (shell)

*the drilling layout

*the axis of rotation and tilt imparted on the ball by the bowler

*the launch speed of the ball

*the volume and lubricity of oil conditioner applied to the lane surface where the ball initially travels

It is very useful to own multiple bowling balls with varying coverstock texture to help you combat oily or dry lane conditions. The ball coverstock should be your number one priority when choosing a new bowling ball to match best with the local lane conditions you encounter frequently. Having multiple bowling balls on hand helps you when competing on dry or oily lane conditions because you can use varying surface textures and drilling layouts to gain a desired overall ball reaction. Be aware of your bowling ball speed and try to keep it consistent once you are aligned to the pocket so you can retain a reliable ball reaction as long as possible and before an adjustment is needed.

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