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Postpone Your Decision to Plug And Re-Drill Your Bowling Ball, Originally Posted: 12/4/2013; Updated: 1/22/2023

If you find yourself resisting surface texture alterations to your bowling balls, consider changing your view.
We know that changing bowling ball drilling layouts can also change your ball reaction. However, please do not think plugging and re-drilling your ball to get a new layout is your only option.

Plugging and re-drilling your bowling ball can be somewhat costly and can take some time before you are able to use the ball. There is a quicker way to alter your ball reaction.

Your first step instead should be to resurface the bowling ball coverstock. By altering the surface texture, you can either extend the ball skid length and increase the back end reaction or decrease skid length and get more controlled back end reaction.
In fact, the pro shop professionals will screen your ball surface and apply new grit pads to alter the texture and create more or less traction on the lane depending on your preference.

This quick process, which can be done in just a matter of minutes, is far less costly than a complete plug and redrill procedure.
In many cases, a plug and redrill procedure will produce a very similar ball reaction change as will the resurface technique. You can save both time and money trying to screen and prepare a new textured surface on your bowling ball.

Following a routine of regular surface maintenance to your reactive bowling balls will keep your ball reacting predictably and consistently. It is when you allow 30 - 670 games to pass with no attention paid to your ball surface is when you lose the reaction you expect.

Following a simple guideline to alert you when to modify your bowling ball coverstock is the trick to protecting your investment in your equipment.

Plugging and then re-drilling your bowling ball will not change the fact that you still must maintain the ball surface. Either way you need to maintain your ball surfaces with routine procedures.
If you use a polished reactive ball, re-polish the ball after ten games of bowling.

Do the same if you have a matte finish reactive ball and scuff with chosen grit Abralon pads after ten games (10) of bowling.

After 30 games use a high speed ball spinner to refinish your ball surface by scuffing and re-polishing shiny bowling balls, a common service provided by all pro shops.

After 60 games of use, a full resurface is needed. At this time, it is also a good idea to change finger inserts if you use them.
Repeat this process after the 60 game interval and you will retain a reliable bowling ball reaction.

To reduce oil absorption, clean your ball coverstock with a ball cleaner during and after each use. There are ball cleaners on the market today which allow you to clean the surface of your ball during USBC competition.

Although there are multiple methods to prepare your ball surfaces to gain a desired ball reaction, you likely must rely on your pro shop to help you in doing so.
For those of you with the spirit of doing surface maintenance yourself, you can easily obtain grit pads, ball cleaners, and polish to give you options in applying various surface textures to your equipment.

Since coverstock maintenance services are available for modest fees at pro shops everywhere, try these steps well ahead of plugging and re-drilling your equipment.

Coverstock maintenance is your fail-safe step before changing drilling layouts. Consult with your local pro shop professional to plan and implement routine ball surface maintenance procedures.

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