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Life Expectancy Of Modern Bowling Balls, Originally Posted: 11/7/2012; Updated: 8/19/2021

A commonly asked question manufacturers receive is how long is the life expectancy of modern bowling balls?

The answer is no one really knows. We can only surmise how long a new bowling ball will perform well or last before potential core separation or coverstock cracking. It may be that a new ball has at least ten or more years of reliable life and can benefit your game over that duration. If proper routine maintenance is performed on any bowling ball, the chances are that the ball will last five to ten years minimum with effectiveness and reliability.

One thing you can do to preserve the life and effectiveness of your equipment is to make sure you store your bowling balls at ambient temperatures when not in use. Storing your equipment at room temperature and away from extreme cold or hot climates is a must if you wish to extend the longevity of your equipment.

What is important for us as consumers to understand is that the frequency of defective items in a new ball made by any leading manufacturer is minimal. In fact, manufacturers boast that only about 2%-4% of all new bowling balls have some flaw or defect and are not top quality items.

What we can do as bowlers is to make sure we do our part in protecting our investments in new bowling balls. Whether or not you own a great number of bowling balls, it is important to learn an easy and reliable method for coverstock maintenance. Since you cannot do anything about a bad core separation or a surface blemish other than ask for a replacement item, the only real thing you can do is protect the surface of your bowling balls.

Coverstocks are available with a variety of surface textures with given additives in the polyurethane material composition to produce ranges in surface friction. These surface friction ranges help you control ball motion. By resurfacing your ball periodically, you not only preserve the longevity of your ball but you also maintain a known surface texture to meet the challenges of local lane conditions.

Of course, you can do some maintenance yourself by cleaning and/or polishing your bowling balls immediately after use but the real maintenance comes from using the services of your local pro shop.

If you are like most bowlers, you randomly visit a pro shop and decide to clean, texture and/or polish your bowling ball coverstock only when it appears very dull or when it has lost its reaction capabilities.

To restore the ball to as near to new and out-of-the-box reaction capabilities, get to the pro shop regularly and develop a habit of maintaining your coverstocks. Random visits to the pro shop with no predetermined coverstock maintenance strategies only prolongs your ability of restoring reasonable ball motion control as opposed to performing procedures such as screening, cleaning and/or polishing your bowling ball coverstock on a predetermined basis.

In order to get the best results from your bowling balls, we recommend you follow a simple schedule of getting your bowling ball coverstock maintained by your local pro shop professional.

Here is a recommended schedule alerting you when to perform coverstock surface maintenance:

1. Re-polish shiny bowling balls and scuff your dull bowling balls with chosen grit Abralon pads after 10 games of bowling.

2. Scuff and re-polish shiny bowling balls after 30 games of bowling.

3. Full resurface is needed and finger inserts should be replaced after 60 games of bowling.

4. Repeat steps 1-3 for the next interval of 60 games of bowling.

5. To reduce oil absorption, clean your ball coverstock with a ball cleaner after each use.

6. If there is a visible track on your ball, ask your pro shop professional to refinish the ball to remove the track and restore the ball to it's original factory finish.

There are multiple methods of preparing the coverstock surface of your bowling ball equipment which yield slightly different results.

Some preparations will help your ball read the lane surface earlier and some, later. Some methods will produce more or less ball hook motion when transitioning in the mid-lane and on the back-ends of the lane.

Coverstock maintenance services are available for a modest fee at most pro shops. Consult with your local pro shop professional to prepare the ball surfaces of your equipment to match with local lane conditions.

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