A REFRESHING CHANGE: Now Is The Perfect Time To Have Your Ball Rejuvenated.
By Bryan O’Keefe
The league season is half over. Now is a good time to take your ball into the local pro shop to refresh the ball’s surface and/or get it rejuvenated.
Without periodic maintenance, the ball’s characteristics on the lane will change, adding one more challenge to your pursuit of consistency. Over time, dull balls become shiny, and shiny balls will become gritty. When that happens the ball simply doesn’t perform the way it was originally intended. Balls that have had the surface dulled for a stronger reaction on the lane are like big sponges: the more grit, the faster the ball will lose its original surface. Oil tends to find its way into the cover stock and fills those tiny imperfections, essentially creating a shiny surface.
Now that ball, which was meant grab the lane and get into its roll early, will start going longer. It’s like a snow tire on a car. When the tracks get filled with snow and ice, the tire essentially becomes one smooth surface and loses its traction. Conversely, shinier balls like to go longer down the lane and then change direction. After awhile, that surface becomes gritty and dull, and you’ll notice it starting to hook earlier and lose its down-lane reaction.
Here are four indicators that will let you know whether your ball needs to be brought in for service:
The first is the overall appearance of the ball. If your ball is a popular model, take it into a pro shop and compare it to the same ball brand new. If they look like two different balls, it’s probably time to get your ball cleaned.
Second, keep track of the amount of games you bowl. For every 30 or so games you bowl, you should have the surface of the ball freshened and returned to the surface that you started with. If you use a dull surface, the pro shop will take the ball down to a low grit to remove the imperfections and oil residue, and then return it to its desired grit. If you use a shiny ball, continually clean it. And after 50 games, take it to the pro shop to have the ball shined to its original finish.
Third, watch the overall shape of the ball motion. If you notice the ball just doesn’t have the same pop in the back end of the lane, it may be due to the ball’s changing surface.
Finally, check for handprints! When a ball hasn’t been refreshed for a very long time, you might be able to actually see a handprint on the ball’s surface. That’s an indication that a trip to the pro shop is long overdue. If that’s the case, you need to have the oil extracted from the ball’s shell. Bowling pro shops use small microwave ovens called the Rejuvenator and the Reviver, which use heat to extract the oil from the ball’s surface.
In any case, don’t neglect your bowling ball. Keeping it clean and refreshed will add pins to your score.
Bryan O’Keefe is Team USA Assistant Coach and facility manager at the International Training and Research Center