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How Should I Prepare My Bowling Ball Surfaces For My Next Tournament?

If you are asking how should I prepare my bowling ball surfaces for my next tournament, start by understanding how the various grit pads texture your ball surfaces?

By varying the coverstock texture and altering the amount of traction your bowling balls create when in contact with the lane surface, you can control skid distance and back end reaction with your existing equipment.

If you wish to avoid spending hard earned money on new bowling balls before entering your next tournament event, get involved in the decision process of altering the texture to the coverstocks to best match the lane conditions you will encounter.

Once your bowling balls are drilled, a remaining option is to control ball skid and back end reaction by preparing the coverstock surfaces to work on the lane conditions you think you will face in that next tournament.

Here are a few techniques to consider to prepare your equipment surfaces for your next tournament:

500-grit: This texture is for heavy oil and causes the ball to read the lane extremely early. This usually when playing very direct angles by bowlers with a great deal of ball speed.

360, 1000-grit: This texture combination creates a reaction of increased skid length from the 500 grit pad alone. You can still use this texture on heavier lane oil conditions. Usually, heavy oil also means clean and fresh back-ends so this type of aggressive coverstock preparation can be effective.

500, 2000-grit: This combination of grit pads is good for your benchmark lane conditions helping you to read the lanes quickly and matches with medium to light oil but not too aggressive to cause your ball to read the lanes too early. This finish will still give you a delay in the hook transition with a strong entry angle.

500, 4000-grit: This grit texture combination works extremely well on multiple patterns, giving the ball easy length through the heads, a subtle but noticeable mid-lane reaction, and an enormous amount of friction at the end of the pattern. This finish can generate some of the strongest entry angles on fresh oil patterns but the danger is that the ball may start to skid too far as the pattern carries down the lane.

Here are a few more general ball surface tips:

1. To reduce oil absorption, clean your ball coverstock with a ball cleaning agent after each use.

2. If you think your ball has lost some of its “out of the box” reaction, restore the ball to its original factory finish. This is especially important for balls that are highly sanded or polished.

Sand to 400 grit and then use a high-gloss bowling ball polish shiny reactive ball coverstocks.

Sand to 220 grit, then use a high grit texture polish to restore the original factory finish on matte finish balls.

3. If there is a visible track or nicks and scratches on your bowling ball surfaces, ask your pro shop to refinish the ball coverstocks then restore the surfaces to the original factory finishes.

4. If your ball has more than 50 games on it since you last refinished the surface, remove the oil from the ball by using the pro shop "revivor" type device.

5. If you choose to use grit pads yourself to prepare your ball surfaces, the lowest grit pads should be applied with more pressure, but for a shorter duration than higher grit pads. The higher grits pads should be applied with less pressure, but for a longer time.

None of these tips are perfectly suited to your individual game but they will certainly get you closer to your goal of having your bowling ball surfaces ready for use in your next tournament.