A lighter bowling ball may help you to enjoy the game of bowling more. If you feel like you have been run over by a truck each time you get done bowling, then switching to a lighter bowling ball may help you to feel a lot better.
I have a bad back, and it affects my hip and my knees as well. About 20 years ago, I was using a 16lb bowling ball. I was a younger man then and it was no problem.
I used a 16lb ball for years and I bowled 4-5 days a week. It was just macho to be using the heaviest ball allowed.
All the bowlers were using 16lb balls and bowling very well with them.The heavier ball carried the pins better, so you got more strikes.
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A Lighter Ball Makes Bowling Easier
Things change dramatically once you have a back injury. That heavy ball becomes your enemy as your age increases as well.
You wind up going home like I said earlier, like you were run over by a truck, Literaly!
Read on to find out why.
A Light or Heavy Bowling Ball?
Why did the heavier balls carry better? Well, if the pins weight 3-1/2lbs each, then hitting them with 16lbs of weight surely would give a better deflection.
Heavy balls send pins flying harder, resulting in knocking more pins down(at the same speed) than a 15lb or 14lb ball would.
Imagine a truck impacting a small car, the car loses, because the bigger, heavier truck has more mass or weight.
That is true, because it is a law of physics, that weight and speed affect the force of mass. I will tell you, I have thrown a 14lb ball for at least 10 years.
I have noticed that as I have reduced my ball weight over the years, my single pin leaves did increase for a while at first.
But I did learn how to overcome that(I still get some!) and not get near as many.
Lighter is Better as we Get Older
As I got used to the ball, my average got even better than it was before I switched to the lighter ball. I am able to bowl all night in comfort, and feel good the next day as well.
In fact I was able to increase the number of days that I bowled from 1 to 3 each week. So, it is a choice I gladly make, to reduce my pain, and make the game more enjoyable.
You need to be able to control the ball, and maintain accuracy without being exhausted after one game.
If you are experiencing this, try going to a lighter ball, and see if it helps your back, knees and maybe reduce you finger pain and help you feel a little better.
A Little Speed Goes a Long Way
What I found, is that if I increased the speed slightly, the carry improved and I got more strikes, as long as I was accurate on my shot.That being said, it really depends upon the oil pattern or conditions that particular night you are bowling. One night you have to play a little slower, or a straighter ball may carry pins better.
Learn How to Play the Lanes
Sometimes, you may have to play the outside of the lane, throwing harder to get the ball to strike. This is exactly why, as you get better at hook bowling, in reality it actually gets harder or more challenging for you!
The reason is because you know so much more about how the oil affects your hook. You realize that you must make adjustments to get that 4-5 degree angle that produces strikes. Most likely your average will have improved, and that also makes it more difficult.
Accuracy is the Key
I have also found that if you make good shots, the pins will fall and you can get a lot of strikes with the lighter ball. The trick is, you must be a bit more accurate, because the weight change of the lighter ball made my side to side adjustments much smaller.
I also noticed that because of my lighter ball, the amount of deflection is more, and sometimes for me a little bit lighter hit carries more ten pins. Now that’s me, and it may be a bit different for your style. Bowl how you bowl best, don’t listen to everyone else. If you practice good mechanics, when you bowl in competition, you will score better.
Adjustments are Smaller With a Lighter Bowling Ball
Bowling with my 16lb ball, I would sometimes make a 2-board move with my feet and one board move on the alley in the same direction. However, when using my 14lb ball, I rarely move more than one board if any at all for all three games all night in leagues.
I think that when I was throwing the heavier ball, I had a tough time keeping it on the same board, but that is much easier with a lighter ball.
If you happen to need a bit more speed on any given night of bowling, it is made easier by the reduced weight of the lighter ball. I also feel in my opinion, that the 14lb ball does not normally get to a point of hooking almost out of control, like my 16lb balls used to feel like.
A Lighter Ball is More Controllable
This may be because I am able to control the speed much easier. I remember seven board moves because my old 16lb ball was hooking that much! Some of that was likely because I was getting fatigued from that 16lb ball. And by the third game, I just couldn’t keep the speed up where I started at.
But, the bottom line is this, if you can’t comfortably throw the heavier ball, then you need a lighter ball. For instance, say you throw the 16lb ball for the first game and bowl fine. Then, the second game you are feeling a bit tired, and the third game is just a struggle to get through, a lighter bowling ball will help you.
Maybe You Can’t Throw That Heavy Ball Anymore
As we get older, our muscle mass slowly disappears, and we just don’t have the strength we had in our younger days. So like it or not, it becomes necessary at times to go to a lighter bowling ball. Maybe you don’t even notice that you are not throwing as fast as you used to throw?
When the pattern breaks down, it becomes easier to add more speed to a lighter bowling ball. Later into the 3rd game, when fatigue would set in it makes a difference. The oil is mostly gone, and the lanes become very loose.
Loose lanes simply means the ball is hooking more and more on each shot. Now, with the lighter ball, fatigue is not as much of a problem. Talk to your local pro shop, see if they might agree.
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