How Long Do Bowling Pins Last? (Quick Facts)

If you’re an avid bowler, pro shop owner, or bowling alley proprietor, knowing how long bowling pins last is crucial for both optimal performance and cost-saving purposes.

As we all know, those satisfying strikes and spares depend on the quality of the pins being used. So, have you ever wondered how long your trusty set of pins will stay in prime condition?

In this blog post, we’ll discuss what factors affect a pin’s lifespan, whether it’s wooden or synthetic, and share some tips on prolonging its life to keep your game at its best.

How Long Do Bowling Pins Last?

On average, bowling pins have varying lifespans depending on the material they are made of, with wooden pins lasting around 1-2 years of frequent use and synthetic pins lasting up to 3 competitive seasons.

Wooden Pins: 1-2 Years Of Frequent Use

Wooden bowling pins have a rich history in the traditional game and continue to be widely used today.

With proper maintenance and a resilient coating, these wooden pins can last 1-2 years of frequent use in bowling alleys.

An essential factor in prolonging the life of wooden pins is to recoat them after about six months, as mentioned earlier. This process helps maintain their durability while protecting them from excessive wear caused by frequent impact from bowling balls.

Moreover, woodworkers have come up with innovative methods such as using multi-piece cores to significantly improve the resilience of these classic components within our beloved game.

Synthetic Pins: Up To 3 Competitive Seasons

Synthetic bowling pins have become increasingly popular in recent years, particularly for their exceptional durability and cost-effectiveness. In fact, these pins can last up to three competitive seasons before needing replacement.

One example of an industry-leading synthetic pin is the Twister Pin – the only 100% USBC-approved option available.

These pins are manufactured using a special high-density plastic material that boasts superior resilience against wear and tear caused by frequent collisions with bowling balls.

As such, synthetic pins like the Twister Pin provide a smart investment for those seeking to maintain high-quality conditions within their bowling establishments without constantly worrying about replacing worn-out wooden pins.

Resurfaced Pins: Extended Lifespan

One effective method to increase the lifespan of bowling pins is resurfacing.

When a pin has been used extensively and its exterior becomes worn or damaged, it can be sent for resurfacing instead of being discarded.

The process involves sanding down the outer layer, removing any imperfections, and then applying a new coat of protective material like nylon or Surlyn.

Resurfaced pins can extend their useful life by up to 50%, making them an economical choice for both amateur bowlers and professional leagues alike.

For instance, if your wooden pins typically last about two years with regular use before needing replacement, they might now endure for three years after being resurfaced – saving you money while maintaining consistent play experiences at your local bowling alley or even in official tournaments.

How To Prolong The Life Of Bowling Pins

To extend the lifespan of bowling pins, proper storage, regular cleaning and maintenance, replacement of worn pins, choosing the right pin set, and applying a protective coating are important measures to take.

Proper Storage

Proper storage is essential in maintaining the longevity of bowling pins. When not in use, the pins should be stored in a cool and dry place to prevent warping or cracking due to temperature changes and moisture.

Furthermore, storing them vertically with enough space between each pin prevents any unnecessary pressure that could affect their shape. If you’re using a pin rack for storage, make sure it’s sturdy and free from debris that could scratch or damage the pins’ surface.

Regular Cleaning And Maintenance

how long do bowling pins last

In order to keep your bowling pins in good condition and prolong their lifespan, regular cleaning and maintenance are essential. This involves wiping down the pins with a damp cloth after every use to remove any dirt or debris that may have accumulated during play.

Performing biweekly maintenance on the pins can help to extend their life even further. Additionally, proper storage is crucial – keep your bowling pins in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight when not in use.

Replacement Of Worn Pins

To get the most out of your bowling pins, regular replacement of worn or damaged ones is essential.

When a pin starts to show signs of wear and tear, like chipping or cracking on the base, it can compromise its durability and overall performance.

In such a scenario, proprietors replace them with all-new cases every couple of years. Synthetic Twister ® Pin technology is designed for long life and ease of use compared to traditional wooden pins that only last one to two years with frequent use.

Choosing The Right Pin Set

Choosing the right pin set is crucial in prolonging the life of bowling pins. Pin sets come in varying materials, including synthetic and wooden options. Synthetic pin sets are more durable and can last up to three competitive seasons with proper care, while wooden pin sets have a lifespan of 1-2 years with frequent use.

Another factor to consider when choosing a pin set is its design. Bowling pins are numbered for easy identification, helping bowlers understand certain splits or find the pocket.

The sound of the ball hitting the pins also adds an essential element to the game’s experience.

By selecting the right pin set and taking proper measures for regular cleaning and maintenance as outlined above, bowlers can ensure their equipment lasts longer without needing unnecessary replacements or repairs.

Protective Coating

Another way to extend the life of bowling pins is by applying a protective coating. This coating can be made of nylon or Surlyn, which are materials that help resist impacts and scratches from pinsetters.

Pins with a protective coating will naturally last longer than those without one. In fact, some bowling alleys may even resurface their worn pins with this type of material to give them an extended lifespan.


In conclusion, the lifespan of bowling pins depends on several factors such as frequency of use and material.

Wooden pins can last up to 2 years while synthetic pins can last up to three competitive seasons with proper maintenance.

To extend their lifespan, it is important to store them properly, clean and maintain them regularly, replace worn-out pins, choose the right set of pins, and apply protective coating whenever necessary.

By doing so, proprietors can save thousands of dollars while ensuring consistent scoring for their patrons.

Last updated on May 1, 2023