Bowling Balls Choosing the Right Coverstock

Bowling balls are available in a variety of coverstocks, top weights, pin locations, weight blocks and more. Choosing the proper bowling ball to best suit your game can prove to be a challenge. Fortunately, there are quite a few resources available online to research your bowling ball decision.

Below, is a brief breakdown of how the coverstock of a bowling ball can determine the reaction of the bowling ball on a specific lane condition.

Coverstocks refer to the surface of the bowling ball. For example, most bowling balls will have either a dull surface or a shiny surface. From the manufacturer, the new bowling ball will already have this characteristic. However, you can alter the surface to your liking by adding a bowling ball polish to the ball or simply dulling the surface by using a dulling compound or even a scotch brite pad.

When a bowling ball is shiny, the reaction of the bowling ball tends to have more length before it reaches the breakpoint and hooks. When it is dull, the ball will roll up earlier, giving the appearance of more hook. In reality, the bowling ball just reaches it's breakpoint sooner when it is dull compared to when it is polished. Depending on the lane condition, you will be able to determine which bowling ball surface is right for you.

If the lane is slick (more oil on it), you will want a reaction from the ball that will roll earlier. The reason being is that the oil delays the rotation of the ball being able to reach its mass bias, the point of where the ball flips and begins to hook.

By using a coverstock that is dull, it creates more friction between the surface of the ball and the oil on the lane, in turn having the ball reach its breakpoint sooner.

When the lane condition is on the drier side (less oil on the lane), you will want to use a bowling ball with a little more shine to it. A shiny ball will have less friction in a sense that the shine makes the bowling ball skid further down the lane before it starts to turn. However, it should be noted that on dry lanes, the bowling ball will want to naturally go into its roll sooner because of the small amount of oil that is on the lane.

The coverstock is one important aspect of bowling balls and being able to properly match up your game to the lane condition.

Ideally, you will want to speak with your local bowling ball pro shop operator about your next bowling ball purchase. It is best to have them watch you bowl as well as talk about what bowling balls are currently in your bag.

If a bowling ball pro shop is not located in the center you bowl at, many excellent resources are available online. One such resource for bowling balls is

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By: Chris Miller


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