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How Important is A Bowling Ball Coverstock

How important is a bowling ball coverstock? The answer is a simple one, very important.  In fact, the bowling ball coverstock is the single most important factor in selecting a new bowling ball. Although the hook potential ratings are also key considerations in choosing a new ball, the coverstock influences the length potential rating of any new bowling ball is perhaps two-thirds importance in the entire decision making process.

Learning how important is the bowling ball coverstock is most evident when evaluating the lane oil conditions.  Pliable, solid coverstocks are manufactured to react in heavy to medium heavy oil. Solid coverstocks typically will not skid too far past the desired break point down the lane. This type of aggressive coverstock matches well with the low friction factor on the lane surface due to the application of the a heavy volume of oil on the front end and on the mid-lane portions of the lane surface.

Solid coverstocks viewed under a microscope will reveal peaks of ball material rising above the lowest levels of the porous, urethane composition materials. These tiny peaks, not unlike mountain range peaks viewed from a distance, are what come into first contact with the lane surface and develop gripping power as the ball travels on the lane surface. Another comparative example of the traction in oil a solid coverstock provides is to snow tires.  Snow tires are made to grip icy road conditions in a similar way as aggressive coverstocks are designed to grip oily lane surfaces.

Pearl or stiff coverstocks will not grip the lane surface nearly as quickly as will the pliable, solid coverstocks. For lane conditions which are dry or medium dry, a pearl or stiff coverstock matches well due to the increased length or skid potential the smooth surface of the ball provides. Under the same microscope example referred to earlier, the stiff coverstock will not display peaks of ball material but rather more of a contiguous and level surface with less pores on the ball surface. This type of ball surface encourages good skid length with less surface friction and therefore matches better on dry lanes than heavy oil.

Of course, there are various degrees of aggressive or less aggressive coverstocks available in the market. Some solid coverstocks are less pliable than others and are designed to match with medium oil conditions. Some stiff coverstocks are more pliable than other coverstocks.

The first step in determining which coverstock to select in your next new bowling ball is to evaluate the lane oil condition where you are targeting the new ball to match best. Next, choose the factory prepared coverstock finish which also matches the lane oil conditions. There are ball surface charts available in most pro shops to help you choose a coverstock in your new bowling ball.

Factory finishes range from about 1000 grit to 4000 grit finishes. The lower the grit finish, the more aggressively the coverstock will respond in oily conditions. The higher the grit finish, the smoother the surface of the coverstock will be and the longer skid potential will be to match with dry or medium dry lane conditions.

Experimentation with grit finish surface strategies are necessary to pinpoint precisely which combination of coverstock and grit finish on your new ball will match with targeted lane conditions. In fact, most professional bowlers on tour today will change the coverstock finish to a known grit before each session on the lanes because they are aware how important surface changes are to gaining the best ball reaction available to them during competition.

Our “Perfect Scale®” rating feature is also very, very useful in a new ball coverstock selection process because it provides comparisons of the latest bowling balls in today’s market against our sophisticated rating scale system. The “Perfect Scale®” can be easily accessed from our home page by clicking on the button and then browsing the information provided at the “Perfect Scale®.” has created our own hook rating system using a method for indicating a ball’s hook potential and a way for consumers to compare bowling balls made by the leading manufacturers. Our goal is to simply make it easier for you to compare products and feel confident in your purchase selection process. has become the No. 1 “e-tailer” of choice for bowling equipment by the consumers of America. Ordering is an easy process by following simple online instructions 24 hours a day, every day of the year! Thanks for visiting

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