Bowling is an exciting and versatile sport, with many unique techniques to master.
Among these is the increasingly popular two-finger bowling style, used by pros like Jason Belmonte to generate impressive spin and control.
If you’re curious about trying this thumbless approach or seeking ways to enhance your current skills, choosing the right ball can make all the difference.
In this blog post, we’ll explore key factors in selecting the perfect bowling ball for two-finger bowlers and delve into various types of balls well-suited for this technique.
Best Bowling Balls For 2 Finger Bowlers – Quick Comparison
Pros And Cons Of The Two-Finger Bowling Technique
What Is Two-Finger Bowling
Two-finger bowling, also known as thumbless bowling, is a unique approach to the sport that involves inserting only the middle and ring fingers into a bowling ball while leaving the thumb out.
The primary goal behind two-finger bowling is to create maximum revolutions on the ball for increased hooking ability.
By eliminating the use of their thumb during release and focusing solely on finger rotation, two-finger bowlers are often able to generate more spin compared to traditional bowlers.
Advantages Of Two-Finger Bowling
The two-finger bowling technique offers several notable advantages, making it an appealing option for many bowlers. One significant perk of this style is the ability to generate a high rev rate.
By using only their two fingers and eliminating the thumb from the grip, players can put more spin on the ball with greater ease.
Another advantage of two-finger bowling lies in its accessibility to newer or casual bowlers because it does not require a custom-fit ball. Instead, you can pick up any standard house ball and adopt this grip style without issue.
This makes it perfect for those who may not have their equipment or don’t want to invest in one right away.
Moreover, the precision aiming aspect of this technique enables bowlers to have a steadier release during play – an essential factor that contributes to consistent scores across games.
Disadvantages Of Two-Finger Bowling
As powerful and aggressive as the two-finger bowling technique may seem, it comes with its own set of disadvantages.
One notable drawback is the difficulty in controlling revs on the ball due to the bowler’s reliance on added rotation from their fingers.
Another significant concern associated with this non-traditional technique is the increased risk of wrist problems and damage to finger ligaments and tendons. By not using a thumb hole, more stress is placed on these areas during play, potentially leading to pain or injury over time.
Additionally, generating sufficient power without proper support from all three fingers (thumb included) might lead some players into awkward grips that could exacerbate the existing strain on muscles and joints.
How To Choose Bowling Balls For Two-Finger Bowlers
Choosing the right weight of a bowling ball is crucial for two-finger bowlers. The ideal weight of a bowling ball should be approximately 10% of the bowler’s body weight, up to a maximum of 16 pounds.
Bowling balls generally range from 6 to 16 pounds in weight, with 12 to 14 pounds being the most popular weight range. It’s important to find the right balance between choosing a ball that is heavy enough to generate power and light enough for optimal control.
One example of recommended balls is Roto Grip’s Centrum, which features weights suitable for different physical abilities and skill levels as well as its MicroTrax S18 coverstock that helps increase hook potential while maintaining control over your shots.
Younger or less experienced bowlers should opt for lighter bowling balls within this range – typically between six-14 pounds – while more experienced players may prefer heavier balls closer to the maximum limit but still fall within their comfort zone.
Material Of The Ball
The material of a bowling ball is an essential factor to consider when selecting the right ball for two-finger bowlers. The coverstock of a bowling ball can either improve or hinder your performance on the lane, depending on its composition.
For instance, plastic coverstocks are ideal for beginners since they are less expensive and provide excellent control due to their low friction surface. On the other hand, reactive resin balls have gained popularity among pro bowlers due to their high-friction surface that provides better hook potential and pin carry.
Urethane and proactive covers combine the best aspects of both plastic and reactive resin surfaces while offering more versatility in terms of handling different oil patterns on the lanes.
The core design is an important factor to consider when choosing a bowling ball for two-finger bowlers. The shape and placement of the core affect how the ball rolls down the lane, giving it different performance characteristics.
Beginners are advised to mostly select core types with symmetrical or pancake shapes as they offer unique performance and are easier to handle. A bowling ball designer must balance a variety of factors when iterating on core shapes during the design phase of a bowling ball.
Coverstock is a critical factor to consider when choosing a bowling ball for two-finger bowlers. It refers to the outer layer of the ball that determines its traction on the lane and determines how it reacts to different oil patterns.
Polyester coverstocks are an economical option suitable for beginners, while urethane coverstocks provide more traction and hook potential, making them perfect for advanced bowlers.
The grit finish applied to a ball’s surface also influences the level of friction with the lane. For example, a 2000-grit finish allows for better performance on heavy oil patterns compared to other finishes like 4000-grit polished ones.
The hook potential of a bowling ball is an essential factor to consider for two-finger bowlers. It refers to the ability of a bowling ball to curve on the lane, which can help in hitting more pins effectively.
The optimal hook potential depends on several factors such as weight, material of the ball, coverstock, and core design. For instance, reactive resin balls offer high hook potential due to their porous surface that grips the oil on the lanes better than other options.
On the other hand, urethane balls have lower hook potential but still provide control over speed and direction while offering a smoother roll.
Types Of Bowling Balls Suitable For Two-Finger Bowlers
Reactive Resin Balls
Reactive Resin Balls are a type of bowling ball that has gained popularity among intermediate to advanced bowlers because of their high hook potential.
They are an advanced form of polyurethane with additional additives that increase the ball’s porosity, resulting in increased friction on the lane and an enhanced back-end reaction.
If you’re a two-finger bowler looking for a reactive resin ball, it’s important to consider your level of experience as these balls may not be suitable for all players.
Urethane bowling balls are a popular option for two-finger bowlers due to their consistency and control.
These balls are made from urethane coverstock, which is typically found on entry-level performance bowling balls aimed at bowlers who want to achieve excellent shots while also having good hook potential.
Urethane bowling balls provide an ideal balance of grip and control that can help two-finger bowlers achieve better shots on medium to dry lanes.
They offer a more consistent motion than resin balls, allowing for greater accuracy and precision when throwing the ball down the lane.
Custom-drilled polyester balls, also known as “plastic” balls, are a great option for two-finger bowlers using a fingertip grip. These balls are affordable and low-maintenance compared to other types of bowling balls.
They have less hook potential but offer excellent control and accuracy, making them perfect for straight-shooting bowlers or those who prefer lighter weights.
In earlier times, plastic bowling balls were made from lignum vitae wood and were popular among bowlers. Today’s custom-drilled polyester options offer more durability and longevity while maintaining affordability.
Polyester balls are an excellent option for two-finger bowlers as they provide a middle ground between reactive resin balls and plastic balls. Polyester balls offer great durability and retention of shape, making them a popular choice among beginners.
These types of bowling balls also come at an affordable price point, which makes them a budget-friendly option to invest in for practice or league nights.
In addition, polyester balls provide a firm grip on the ball surface, which is important in maintaining control throughout the throwing motion.
For those who struggle with excessive hook potential when using reactive resin or urethane bowling balls that require more finesse when executing throws, polyester balls can be an ideal solution to improve consistency in their game.
In conclusion, selecting the right bowling ball for two-finger bowlers involves considering several factors such as weight, material, core design, coverstock type, and hook potential.
Polyester balls are suitable for beginners while experienced bowlers may prefer reactive resin or urethane balls. Two-handed bowling has become a popular technique among professional bowlers like Jason Belmonte.
While there are pros and cons to using two fingers instead of three in bowling, it is legal in PBA tournaments.
Last updated on May 2, 2023
Rosalina Giles has been bowling for the past five years, and in that time, she’s picked up a few tricks of the trade. She loves discussing new bowling techniques and news with her friends at the lanes. Plus, she used to be a manager of a small bowling alley in downtown Chicago- so she knows her stuff!