Are you looking to step up your bowling game and impress your friends at the alley?
Learning how to curve a plastic bowling ball could be just what you need! Mastering this technique not only enhances your skills but also elevates your performance in those strikes and spares.
In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything from the basics of plastic bowling balls to the advanced techniques for that perfect curve.
Can You Curve A Plastic Bowling Ball?
In short, yes, you can curve a plastic bowling ball. However, it will be much harder compared to a urethane bowling ball, for example. This is due to their material composition being ideal for bowlers who prefer to throw straight shots and spares.
One key distinction between plastic bowling balls and their counterparts made of different materials is the type of surface each possesses.
While plastic, or polyester, bowling balls typically feature a smoother finish that allows them to glide straight down the lane with minimal friction, urethane and reactive resin balls have a rougher texture designed to grip and hook more aggressively.
For example, plastic bowling balls are an excellent choice for beginners learning to bowl in house lane conditions because they offer a predictable skid trajectory across the slick oil patterns found in most alleys.
In contrast, bowlers using urethane or reactive resin balls may experience more variation in their hook due to those materials’ higher responsiveness and ability to read changes in lane surfaces better.
Techniques For Curving A Plastic Bowling Ball
Proper Grip And Stance
The first step in mastering the technique of curving a plastic bowling ball is to get your grip and stance right. This means choosing the right ball weight, placing your fingers and thumb into the correct holes, and having a relaxed yet firm grip on the ball.
Your stance should be balanced with feet shoulder-width apart and slightly bent knees. You should also have a slight lean forward toward the foul line for better momentum.
With proper finger control, you can rotate your hand to create different curves as you release it toward your target arrow on the lane.
As you prepare to release the bowling ball, it’s essential to maintain proper finger control. The key is to let go of the ball at the right moment and angle for an effective curve shot.
Another important factor in achieving a successful release technique is timing. Make sure you start your forward swing with a relaxed arm and then accelerate as you approach the foul line.
Remember that every bowler has their own unique style and delivery method when it comes to releasing a plastic bowling ball effectively for curved shots.
Adjusting Angle And Speed
To effectively curve a plastic bowling ball, it’s essential to adjust both the angle and speed of your throw. By changing the angle at which you release the ball, you can make it hook left or right as it travels toward the pins.
Aiming for different areas of the lane also affects how much hook or curve is necessary based on lane conditions.
One key technique to perfecting your angle and speed adjustments is experimenting with hand placement during release.
Practice Drills For Curving
When it comes to curving a plastic bowling ball, practice is essential. There are several drills you can do to improve your technique and increase the chances of hitting those strikes.
One effective drill is to aim for specific targets on the lane, such as pins or arrows, and adjust your release techniques accordingly.
You can also try using tools like wrist supports or resistance bands to strengthen your fingers’ control over the ball’s rotation. Remember that consistency in the approach and execution of these drills is key to mastering this technique.
Choosing The Right Plastic Bowling Ball
Weight And Size Considerations
When choosing a plastic bowling ball, weight and size are important factors to consider. The weight of the ball should match your strength and playing style.
A lighter ball is easier to throw but may not have enough momentum to knock down all the pins, while a heavier one requires more strength but can provide more power for striking.
In general, most adult men use balls weighing between 14-16 pounds while women use ones ranging from 10-14 pounds. Children typically opt for balls between six and eight pounds in weight.
Surface Texture And Durability
Selecting the right surface texture and durability for a plastic bowling ball can significantly impact your performance. Typically, plastic balls have a smooth surface compared to other types of bowling balls like urethane or reactive resin.
The smoother surface allows for less friction with the lane, resulting in less hook and more accuracy when rolling straight shots or spares.
When it comes to durability, plastic balls are generally very durable and long-lasting due to their material composition. This makes them an excellent option for beginners or frequent bowlers who don’t want to spend too much money on replacing worn-out balls frequently.
Price Range And Budget
As with any other sports equipment, the price range of plastic bowling balls varies depending on their quality and features. Generally speaking, beginner-friendly plastic balls are more affordable than high-end ones designed for professional players.
The budget you set for your ball purchase will largely depend on your skill level and frequency of play. If you’re new to the sport or only bowl occasionally, there’s little need to spend hundreds of dollars on a ball.
A mid-range plastic ball can cost around $50-80 and provide sufficient performance for most bowlers. However, if you’re serious about improving your game or participating in competitions regularly, investing in a top-tier model that costs upwards of $100 may be worth considering.
Maintenance And Care For Plastic Bowling Balls
Cleaning And Maintenance Techniques
Keeping your plastic bowling ball clean and well-maintained is crucial to its longevity and performance. To clean your ball, use a microfiber towel or a dedicated ball cleaning cloth with approved cleaners from the manufacturer.
Avoid using abrasive materials that can damage the surface of the ball.
Storing your plastic bowling balls in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight can help prevent cracking and warping. Avoid leaving them in hot car trunks or areas with high humidity levels.
When transporting them, use a bag designed for bowling balls to protect them from impact and accidental drops. Regularly inspect your plastic balls for cracks, chips, or other signs of wear and tear that may affect their overall performance on the lanes.
Storage And Transportation Tips
As a responsible bowler, it’s essential to take care of your plastic bowling ball after use. Proper storage and transportation can significantly extend the life of your ball.
To prevent any damage or scratches on the surface, store your plastic bowling ball in a cool and dry place.
When transporting your plastic bowling ball, always use a protective bag that fits snugly around it. This helps prevent any accidental falls or bumps during transit.
It’s also important to keep your ball away from sharp objects that may scratch its surface while in transport.
When To Replace Your Plastic Ball
As with any piece of equipment, plastic bowling balls need to be replaced when they start to show signs of wear and tear. It’s important to assess the state of your ball periodically so that you can determine if it needs replacing before it affects your performance on the lane.
One sign that your ball may need replacing is if there are visible cracks or chips on the surface, which can affect the ball’s grip and trajectory.
Additionally, if you find that you’re not getting as much hook or curve as you used to, it may be time for a new ball.
Last updated on June 11, 2023
Jerry Coleman is a professional bowler and experienced bowling blogger. He founded and owns the voelkersbowling.net website, which provides news and information about the sport of bowling. Jerry has competed in numerous tournaments over the years and has won several awards for his bowling skills.