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Don't Get Rid Of Your Old Bowling Balls, Originally Posted: 2/8/2013; Updated: 5/26/2023

Don’t be in a hurry to get rid of your old bowling balls. There are times when less aggressive equipment can work nicely.

Older bowling balls tend to have symmetric core designs and have a mild track flare potential. This type of ball is very controllable and will act predictably on most lane conditions. Older asymmetric bowling balls tend to have less flare potential than newer asymmetric equipment and therefore, will give you somewhat less aggressive back end reaction.

Any older bowling balls you elect to keep, like reactive resin or particle coverstocks, should be restored by resurfacing them and preparing the screening procedures to enhance the type of ball motion you seek. If you do keep your older bowling balls, resurfacing the coverstock is one way to liven up the ball reaction. Ultimately, you CAN change the ball motion enough to fit lane conditions which the ball may not have matched with before, particularly if you are a tournament player. Sometimes older reactive balls are very dependable reacting pieces of equipment. If you encounter lane conditions which require you to play an outside line such as the PBA Cheetah pattern normally provides, resurfacing an older bowling ball just might match up well to that pattern.

If your older ball was manufactured with a mildly aggressive coverstock, you can screen the ball with fine grit pads such as 2000 - 4000 Abralon pads layered texture to decrease ball motion instead of trying to fight the ball to react on heavy or medium/heavy oil conditions. The decreased surface friction will skid easily on dry portions of the lanes and perhaps minimize the over-reaction you may have previously gotten on wet/dry conditions or when the front end oil breakdown occurred.

Another strategy is to screen the surface with 1000 - 1500 grit pads to create slightly higher levels of friction and therefore more traction in oil if you feel the ball is skidding a bit too far.

It's not necessary to keep multiple older bowling balls with similar coverstocks and track flare potential ratings unless you have a favorite ball which has brought you much success in competition.

Some new bowling balls on the market today are designed to produce very similar ball motion to equipment you may already own. Be careful not to invest money in new equipment unless you are reasonably certain the new ball will react well on the lane conditions you are targeting.

Don't be in a hurry to retire an old bowling ball just because you have invested in new equipment. You may be putting aside a ball which can still be very effective.

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