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Wake Up Your Bowling Balls, Originally Posted: 10/5/2012; Updated: 9/3/2021

Wake up your bowling balls
. If you are just taking the game seriously and hope to improve your average and have observed a noticeable difference in your ball reaction, then perhaps it is time to take stock of your equipment arsenal and wake up your bowling balls.

Our staff at believes that developing a simple and useful bowling ball coverstock maintenance schedule not only protects your investment in your equipment, but also keeps your equipment ready to go in competition.

Once you roll 30 to 60 games on each bowling ball in your arsenal, it is likely time to get to the pro shop and resurface the coverstocks.

For those of you just getting familiar with the game, the term coverstock commonly refers to the outer layer of polyurethane materials wrapped around the core of a bowling ball.

Coverstocks are available in a variety of surface textures and additives mixed in the polyurethane materials to produce different ranges in surface friction.

Bowlers will randomly visit a pro shop and decide to clean, texture and/or polish their bowling ball coverstock only when they appear very dull or scuffed. More can be done to preserve your ball reaction capabilities via a routine maintenance schedule.

To return your bowling ball equipment to its new and out-of-the-box condition, however, it is important to establish a simple maintenance schedule to follow. A routine maintenance schedule is key to restoring your bowling ball surfaces to best match with the lane conditions where you bowl.

Here is a simple list alerting you when to perform coverstock surface maintenance:

1. Re-polish shiny bowling balls and scuff (with chosen grit Abralon pads) your dull bowling balls 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...reduce the resurface interval time by one half if you bowl on wooden lane surfaces which causes nicks and scratches so the track marks will not be as pronounced and will smooth the ball surface more consistently than by waiting for 60 games.

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 during and/or after each use of competitive sessions. Many ball cleaning substances are cleared for use by the USBC during competition.

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

Your pro shop professionals understand the multiple systems available for resurfacing bowling ball coverstocks. Each method will yield slightly different results.

Some preparations will help your ball react on the lane surface earlier and some later, depending on the amount of oil on the lanes. Given methods will serve to control the hook motion of your bowling ball when transitioning in the mid-lane and on the back-ends of the lane.

Coverstock maintenance services are available for modest fees at most pro shops. Consult with your local pro shop professional regarding a maintenance schedule to prepare your bowling ball surfaces to match with local lane conditions. Or have resurface your favorite ball! Check out our resurfacing service here. Thanks for visiting

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