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Customizing the Bowling Ball Surface By: bowlingball.com

When you are trying to customize your ball surface there are many factors you need to look at before making a decision. One of the most important factors is the lane condition you will be bowling on. Be honest with yourself are the lanes really that oily or are you a weaker player than you want to admit. Are you playing the correct area on the lane? Look to see how others are fairing. A good cross section of bowlers should give you an idea on the type of condition that you are bowling on.

Next determine what change you would like to see in your ball reaction.

  • MORE SKID
  • MORE HOOK
  • EARLIER ROLL
  • LATER ROLL

Many bowlers do not get the reaction that they are looking for because their ball is actually rolling or hooking out. That means that by the time the ball has reached the break point and is ready to make its turn - it has expended all of its energy in the front part of the lane and has nothing left to make it hook. This problem will be obvious to the trained eye. The ball will start to hook and then stop and roll straight. Many bowlers see this and think that they need to dull the surface more so that the ball will hook more. Actually, the opposite is true. In order to get the ball to store up its energy until it reaches the break point - the ball should be polished to create more skid through the front part of the lanes.

Remember no skid - no hook.

There are conditions under which a bowler may want to dull up the surface of their bowling ball so that it gets into an earlier roll. You can tell if your ball needs to get into an earlier roll just by watching it as it reacts past the break point. If the ball skids and begins to hook but not enough and moving on the lane or an adjustment with ball speed is not an option - then you may want to dull the surface.

Determining how to finish off your bowling ball usually is done through trial and error methods. The manufacture along with the advice of better bowlers who have already experimented and a good pro shop can usually come up with a surface to begin with.

For those of you would like to do it at home - we recommend that you turn your ball in your ball spinner often when sanding or using any type of abrasive. Turn it so a different sector is on the top. I would turn it every 60 seconds. Not turning the ball can result in making the ball out of perfect round. (An automated resurfacing machine is your best bet - found in all top pro shops)

While doing any work to your ball surface keep these things in mind. Don't change too many factors at one time. Also start light and work your way up and make sure that you are polishing or sanding the surface in a controlled manner. And don't try to skip stages it won't work. Example: When you want to get more skid through the heads start with 220 to remove any finish. Then proceed with 320, 400, 500, 600, 800, 1000, and then to 1500. Always use wet dry paper and keep the surface of the ball wet with water mixed with soap.