Friday, July 3, 2015
Tip of the Week: Ball Surface

Bowlers that I have had the pleasure meeting across this country do not fully understand nuances of the bowling ball surface. They always say they want more hook. Where do they want more hook? Do they want to see more motion or hook, in the back end, or do they not have enough hook to get the bowling ball to the pocket? These are a few quick tips that will help you with adjusting your bowling ball reaction and increase your score.

Let’s start off first with what hook actually means. Hook is defined as the amount, measured in boards and angle that a bowling ball deviates from its original trajectory in its path down the lane. In layman’s terms, how much change of direction the bowling ball makes on the lane should be described as hook.

Let’s start with a polished or shiny reactive bowling ball. Don’t get me wrong, a shinny ball may look better to the bowler, but what a lot of bowlers don’t realize is, the shinier a bowling ball, the further the ball will skid, or go farther down the lane surface before it deviates, or changes direction and hooks into the pocket. This is great for bowlers that encounter drier lane conditions, or bowlers that have a high rev rate. So if your bowling ball does not have enough friction to get to the pocket, simply take it in to your local pro shop to dull the bowling ball.

The duller the surface the more friction to the lane, hence the sooner the bowling ball will change direction. This is great if you are bowling on heavier oil patterns. If you need less friction, polish your dull bowling ball. If you need more friction, then dull your bowling ball.

So remember, more friction to the lane the sooner the ball will change direction. For you bowlers that like to see a snapping motion in the back end you need to realize you will not see as dramatic a snap with a dull bowling ball, as you will with a polished one.

Have a talk with your pro shop operator to create the proper surface adjustment for your game. Hope this helps you bowl better. Until next time, Strike a lot!!!

T.J. Yeip is the Manager of GLC Bowling and the Lead Technical Advisor. He is an IBPSIA Advanced Certified Member and former PBA member. You can email your questions to him personally at

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