how do i choose the right weight bowling ball
how do i choose the right weight bowling ball

You know that feeling of excitement as you walk into a bowling alley, ready to enjoy a fun-filled evening with friends? As the sounds of pins crashing and laughter fill the air, you can’t help but wonder, “How do I choose the right weight bowling ball?” We’ve all been there, standing in front of rows of brightly colored balls, unsure of which one to pick. In this article, we will guide you through the process of selecting the perfect bowling ball weight for your unique style, helping you unleash your inner bowling champion. And while we’re at it, we’ll answer another burning question that often comes to mind – “Is it OK to wear a wrist brace all day?” So, let’s get rolling and discover the secrets to a successful bowling experience!

Factors to Consider

When it comes to choosing the right bowling ball, there are several factors that should be considered to ensure the best possible experience on the lanes. These factors include bowling skill level, bowling style, lane conditions, weight preference, and physical ability. By taking these factors into account, you can find the perfect bowling ball that suits your individual needs and enhances your performance on the lanes.

Bowling Skill Level

Understanding your bowling skill level is crucial in determining the right bowling ball for you. Whether you are a beginner, intermediate, or advanced bowler, your skill level will dictate the type of bowling ball that will help you achieve optimal results.

Beginner Level

If you’re just starting out in the world of bowling, it’s recommended to start with a bowling ball that is specifically designed for beginners. These balls are typically characterized by their durability, affordability, and ease of use. They have a predictable and controllable trajectory, making them ideal for those who are still learning the basics of bowling.

Intermediate Level

As your skills progress and you become more comfortable on the lanes, it may be time to consider upgrading to a bowling ball that offers more versatility and control. Intermediate-level bowling balls have a wider range of performance characteristics, allowing you to fine-tune your shots and adapt to different lane conditions.

Advanced Level

For advanced bowlers who have mastered the intricacies of the sport, high-performance bowling balls are the way to go. These balls offer superior hook potential, increased angularity, and enhanced pin carry, all of which are essential for achieving the highest scores possible. Advanced-level bowlers often require custom weight and drilling configurations to meet their specific needs.

Bowling Style

Another crucial factor to consider when choosing a bowling ball is your bowling style. Your style of play greatly impacts the type of ball that will work best for you, so understanding your preferred style is essential.

Straight Shooter

Some bowlers prefer to aim straight down the lane, relying on accuracy and consistent delivery to knock down the pins. For straight shooters, a low hook potential ball with a smooth and controlled roll is ideal. These balls offer stability and predictability, ensuring that your shots stay on target and hit the pocket consistently.

Power Player

Power players generate a lot of speed and revs on their shots, resulting in a high hook potential and increased pin action. For power players, bowling balls with strong coverstocks and aggressive core designs are recommended. These balls are designed to handle the increased revolutions and provide the necessary traction on the lane to maximize pin carry.

Hook Style

Hook bowlers rely on the hook action of the ball to create entry angle and increase pin carry. If you fall into this category, a ball with a high hook potential and a reactive coverstock is essential. These balls deliver a controlled and angular path, allowing you to hit the pocket consistently and maximize pin carry.

Lane Conditions

The condition of the lanes you bowl on significantly impacts your ball’s performance. It’s important to consider the level of oil on the lanes when choosing a bowling ball, as different balls react differently to various oil patterns.

Dry Lanes

When bowling on dry lanes with minimal oil, it’s best to choose a ball with a higher friction coverstock. This will ensure that the ball grips the lane and maintains a consistent and controlled trajectory. A dull surface finish is also recommended, as it provides better traction on dry lanes.

Medium Oil Lanes

Medium oil lanes require a ball with a balance between friction and smoothness. Look for a ball with a medium friction coverstock that will provide enough traction to navigate through the oil, without sacrificing control. Polished finishes are commonly used on medium oil lanes to create length and a controllable backend reaction.

Heavy Oil Lanes

Bowling on heavy oil lanes can be the most challenging, as the oil makes the lanes more slick and decreases friction. To combat this, bowlers should opt for a ball with a high hook potential, strong coverstock, and aggressive core design. These balls will dig into the oil and create a strong angular movement down the lane.

Weight Preference

The weight of the bowling ball you choose is crucial for maintaining control and accuracy in your shots. It’s essential to select a weight that you can comfortably handle while maintaining proper form and technique.

Lightweight Balls

For bowlers who prefer a lighter ball, typically ranging from 10 to 12 pounds, the main advantage is increased control and ease of handling. Lighter balls allow for a smoother swing and less strain on the body, making them ideal for bowlers with limited physical strength or those who are just starting out.

Medium Weight Balls

Bowling balls in the range of 13 to 15 pounds are considered medium weight. These balls are the most commonly used by bowlers of all skill levels. They offer a good balance of control, power, and overall performance. Most bowling alleys have a variety of medium weight balls available for use.

Heavyweight Balls

For bowlers who have the strength and experience to handle it, heavyweight balls weighing 16 pounds or more offer increased hitting power and pin carry. These balls require significant physical strength and proper technique to generate the necessary speed and revolutions. It’s crucial to assess your physical ability and ensure that you can handle the weight comfortably without risking injury.

Physical Ability

Understanding your own physical ability is essential when choosing the right bowling ball. Factors such as overall strength, finger and wrist strength, and any existing injuries or physical limitations should be taken into consideration.


Bowling requires a certain level of physical strength, especially when using heavier balls. If you have a good amount of upper body strength, you may be able to handle heavier balls and generate more power on your shots. However, if your strength is limited, it’s advisable to stick with a lighter ball to minimize strain and prevent injury.

Finger and Wrist Strength

Strong fingers and wrists are important for maintaining a consistent release and controlling the ball’s rotation. If you have weaker fingers or wrists, it may be beneficial to use a lighter ball or consider using finger inserts to provide additional support and stability.

Injuries or Physical Limitations

If you have any existing injuries or physical limitations, it’s crucial to choose a ball that minimizes strain and allows for a comfortable playing experience. You may need to consult with a healthcare professional before deciding on the weight and type of ball that is suitable for your specific situation.

Trial and Error

Choosing the right bowling ball often involves a process of trial and error. Everyone is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. There are several strategies to employ when experimenting with different balls to find the perfect fit.

Testing Different Weights

One option is to try out balls of various weights to see which one feels the most comfortable and allows you to maintain control and accuracy. Start with a weight that you think is manageable and gradually increase or decrease until you find the perfect fit. Remember, it’s better to go lighter than to risk using a ball that is too heavy and leads to injury.

Feedback from Other Bowlers

Seeking feedback from more experienced bowlers can provide valuable insights and recommendations. Discussing your concerns and preferences with fellow bowlers or even consulting with a coach can help guide you toward the right ball for your individual needs. This external feedback can offer different perspectives and help you make more informed decisions.

Adjustments and Adaptations

Lastly, be open to making adjustments and adaptations based on your experiences and observations. Pay attention to how certain balls react on different lane conditions and make notes to help guide future decisions. Regularly evaluating your performance and making necessary changes can lead to continuous improvement and better ball selection.

Getting Professionally Fitted

For those who are serious about their bowling game and want to optimize their performance, getting professionally fitted for a bowling ball is highly recommended. This process involves visiting a pro shop and consulting with a professional who has the expertise to guide you in choosing the right ball.

Visit a Pro Shop

A pro shop is a specialized store that carries a wide range of bowling equipment, including balls, shoes, and accessories. Pro shop operators are knowledgeable about the sport and can provide valuable guidance on selecting the right ball based on your individual needs and preferences. They can also assist with other aspects such as drilling and fitting adjustments.

Consultation with a Pro

During a consultation with a professional, they will assess various aspects such as your bowling style, skill level, physical ability, and any specific concerns you may have. They will take measurements and evaluate your needs to recommend the most suitable ball for you. This personalized approach ensures that you get a ball that is perfectly tailored to your game.

Grip and Drilling

One of the significant advantages of getting professionally fitted is the customized drilling service. A professional will measure your hand and take into account factors such as your grip strength, span, and finger pitches. These measurements will be used to drill the finger holes in the ball, ensuring a precise fit that enhances your performance and minimizes strain.

Additional Considerations

In addition to the main factors outlined above, there are a few additional considerations that may influence your decision-making process.


Bowling balls can vary in price, ranging from affordable beginner balls to high-end professional options. It’s important to consider your budget and find a ball that meets your needs without breaking the bank. Remember, price doesn’t always dictate quality, so it’s crucial to strike a balance between affordability and performance.

Personal Preferences

At the end of the day, personal preference plays a significant role in selecting the right bowling ball. Factors such as the brand, color, and overall aesthetics may influence your decision. Don’t be afraid to choose a ball that gives you confidence and makes you excited to step onto the lanes.

Evolution of Skill

Finally, keep in mind that your skill level and style may change and evolve over time. As you progress in the sport, your ball selection may need to be reevaluated to accommodate your growth. Regularly reassessing your needs and making adjustments to your equipment will help you stay on top of your game.


Choosing the right bowling ball is a crucial step in maximizing your performance and enjoyment on the lanes. By taking into account your skill level, bowling style, lane conditions, weight preference, and physical ability, you can make an informed decision that suits your individual needs. Whether you’re a beginner, intermediate, or advanced bowler, there is a perfect ball out there for you. Remember to experiment, seek professional guidance, and adapt to your evolving skill level to ensure your bowling experience is the best it can be.

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Jack Jones
Hello! I'm Jack Jones, and I'm thrilled to welcome you to the world of bowling at As a dedicated bowler and bowling enthusiast, I am excited to share my passion for the sport with you and provide valuable tips to enhance your bowling skills. With years of experience in the bowling industry, I have gained a deep understanding of the game and the techniques required to improve your performance on the lanes. I have had the privilege of bowling in various leagues and tournaments, honing my skills and learning from top-notch professionals along the way. Through my articles and content on, my aim is to guide beginners and experienced bowlers alike towards achieving their personal goals on the lanes. Whether it's refining your bowling technique, mastering tricky oil patterns, selecting the right equipment, or strategizing your game, I'm here to equip you with the knowledge and insights you need to excel. I strongly believe that bowling is not just a sport but a way of life. It brings people together, fosters friendly competition, and provides a platform for personal growth. My writing philosophy is centered around promoting a positive and inclusive bowling community where everyone can thrive and enjoy the game. As you explore the rich resources and articles on, I encourage you to reach out and engage with me. Share your experiences, ask questions, and let's build a vibrant community of bowling enthusiasts who are passionate about improving their game. Thank you for joining me on this exciting bowling journey. Together, let's knock down those pins and inspire each other to reach new bowling heights! Sincerely, Jack Jones