Two-Handed Bowling Technique with Jason Belmonte and Oska Palermaa

The two handed bowling technique is seen today in almost every Pro tournament. We can’t hardly watch bowling on television without hearing the two handed bowling technique being discussed or seeing it highlighted.

Two Handed Bowling Technique

There are two people presently who dominate the sport of bowling using the two handed bowling technique. Jason Belmonte from Australia, and Osku Palermaa of Finland, are the two most successful two handed bowlers.

Osku Palermaa

Osku Palermaa has been said to be one of the strongest bowlers in the world. He has be clocked throwing his spare ball with one hand at over 30 mph. His two handed strike ball is around 20mph.

Why is this two handed bowling technique becoming so popular with the younger bowlers all around the world? Because,it’s simply just exciting to watch!

The increased speed and extra revs generated, just explode the rack, and also generate more carry with the pins, which is basically enlarging the pocket for them. That is why this style of bowling is still very controversial.

Jason Belmonte

Panorama of Images of Jason Belmonte

 

If you look at each frame of the panorama of Jason, you see he actually delivers the ball with one hand. Look at the next to last image and you see Jason has his left hand clearly away from the ball.

Here is a match between Jason Belmonte, who throws the two handed technique and rival Sean Rash who throws the conventional style.

See if you think the two handed technique has an advantage or not?

There is some bad blood between these two bowlers, from words that were exchanged at a prior tournament that adds some drama to this match!

 

Bitter Rivals: Jason Belmonte and Sean Rash

Bitter Rivals Jason Belmonte And Sean Rash Video

Two Handed Bowling Technique

The two handed bowling technique has advantages and disadvantages. Let’s take a look.

Advantages

  • Body Stress Relief

Using the two handed bowling technique takes the stress of the one shoulder and distributes the weight more evenly throughout the body.

  • No Thumb

When they throw the ball for strikes,it does not require the use of the thumb.

In two handed bowling, the opposite hand acts like a thumb to help hold onto the ball. However, two handed bowlers will use the thumb inserted in the ball for spare shots.

The thumb, as we all know, causes a lot of problems in normal one handed bowling. Sometimes the thumb will stick causing the bowler to pull the ball, resulting in many errant shots. Or, the thumb will slip out too soon, causing the ball to drop prematurely. So eliminating the thumb altogether is a definite plus.

  • Speed, Power and Revs

But probably the biggest difference by far using this technique, is the fact that this particular style produces more speed, more revs or turn on the ball and power while at the same time maintaining accuracy. This style actually reduces stress on the wrist, because of the help of the other hand.

The two handed bowlers would have a definite advantage on long and heavy oil patterns, just because they can generate all those revs, and strong hook on the ball.The heavier oil would also help in making ten pin spare less likely to hook to the inside too much, and cut down on misses there. The different PBA Oil patterns that the pro bowler encounter make for some difficult conditions

Using the 2nd hand makes the ball more stable and secure than conventional three-fingered bowlers who bowl without a thumb. The arm swing is not nearly as high as conventional bowlers, so the speed of delivery is created in faster footwork, more spine tilt, and rotation and a strong slide.

Disadvantages

However, it is a fact that sometimes all those revs can be a problem, in particular on the shorter oil patterns the PBA bowlers, and sport league bowlers deal with that are basically similar to dry lane bowling.

  • Spare Shots

Because of all the revs producing a strong hook, the two handed bowlers will use the thumb on certain spares. This is not a problem for the pros, but in the local bowling alley, all the extra balls become a problem sometimes.

  • Physically Demanding

But, could this type of bowling be harder on our bodies or not? The most controversial problem may be the stress put on the lower back because of lower degree of spine tilt and rotation for the ball delivery.

It is also involving much more movement of the entire body, so it requires a bit more  body flexibility and possibly increased stamina.

  • A Ton Of Pressure On The Knees

And the what about the stress on the knees? Some say it is about the same stress on the knees as conventional bowling, where conventional bowlers use a fast approach and a strong slide. Two handed bowlers definitely need speed for the ball to reach the pocket before it hooks. it is a sudden stop on the plant foot knee.

Two Handed Bowling Technique Can Anyone Do It

First thing to understand is that these two-handed bowlers are good athletes to begin with. They are younger and in very good health without the problems cause by aging. You must be flexible and have reasonable strength in the lower back and no lower back problems.

However, there seems to be some talk about it being easier on the fingers as far as arthritis pain. This could be of some interest to bowlers who have a problem with arthritic fingers. At least maybe a modified two handed style of sorts?

Using the other hand to stabilize the ball just may relieve the pressure in the fingers. Older bowlers may have too many issues with arthritis to attempt two handed bowling.

Senior backs and knees may already be too worn out to bend safely for that lower delivery necessary to roll the ball with two hands. Or maybe we just aren’t flexible enough anymore? Well, I know for a fact, that is a strong possibility with me!

Osku Palermaa & Jason Belmonte In Slow Motion

Slow Motion Video Comparing Osku Palmeraa And Jason Belmonte

A Comparison Illustrates the Different Styles of Each Bowler

If you watch Jason Belmonte, you will see he takes the ball back with two hands. Then, as he comes forward, preparing to roll the ball down the lane, he keeps one hand behind the ball. Jason’s left hand is holding the ball until he nears the foul line, and at the last second he pulls the left hand completely off the ball.

On the back swing,He will keep his elbow straight back and tucked inline with his body and keeping it inline straight behind the ball. Jason bends lower, and forward a bit more to generate more speed for the ball delivery.

Both Jason and Osku release the ball one handed, just as a right-handed conventional bowler. Both bowlers have a two handed bowling technique(approach) and they generate a ton of revs and power.However, they both remove the opposite hand before they release the ball.

Jason And A Condition Called Singular Chirophobia

One thing you may not know is that Jason has a condition that forces him to bowl with two hands. It is called Singular Chirophobia. An extremely rare medical condition that is characterized by the fear of using one hand.

Doctors told his parents that there was no cure. He learned to deal with it, and found his silver lining. He considers himself the best bowler on the planet! Ok, well I think Jason is pulling our leg a bit, take a look and see what you think?

Jason does admit on his FaceBook page this is all in fun, I thought you might enjoy it!

An Image of Jason Belmontes video about Singular Chirophobia for

We must give Jason credit for convincing the world to embrace the two handed style of bowling. He has said that throughout his life he has been ridiculed for his unusual style of bowling. But, now more and more, the younger players are copying this two handed style of bowling.

Is Two Handed Bowling Considered Real Bowling

Some argue that two handed bowling is not real bowling. Therefore, it should not be allowed in competition. Why not? I think it is fine and also fun to watch the ball destroy the pocket and send the pins flying the way it does!

Most bowlers trying the two handed bowling technique, tend to attempt to spin the ball. Also, they throw the ball out onto the lane, which tends to make for an inaccurate shot. The best shots for accuracy are to roll the ball onto the lane and not try to add additional spin on the ball.

Overall, the basics are the same. Consistency shot after shot is the key to success with either style, conventional or two handed bowling. Either style requires the bowler to throw the same ball and deliver it in the same place time after time.

The oil patterns break down and require adjustment, just as they do for the one handed bowlers. Plastic balls are recommended for spares, because of the revs generating a lot more hook, the spares are a tougher also! 

It looks like a lot of fun to try! So, I tried it. I quickly found out I could not generate enough ball speed. Flexibility and a good back are a must! it doesn’t hurt if you are still a young person as well!

So if you are in good shape, and don’t have any back problems, go for it!

Chas

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18 thoughts on “Two-Handed Bowling Technique with Jason Belmonte and Oska Palermaa”

  1. I recently started bowling again, after bowling league in the 80’s.
    I have bought a used Storm Optimus. It gave me a little hook, but not as much as I want. I have started to throw “two handed”.
    The release is REALLY one handed. I find it easier on my body, but I have actually seen my score suffer. I know I will improve with practice. A ball in the pocket cleans em out, but I am taking a rest because I developed tendonitis in the forearm. I’ve got a nice hook now, but it’s easier to hit a gutter on either side!!
    My best game this summer was only a 162, but I’ve been only rolling 110’s after going two handed.

    Reply
    • Hi Fred,
      Well congrats on going two handed and being able to have success! I tried it, and could not get the style to work for me. Belmo makes it look easy! Yes, The release is really one handed, you can see that in two handed video’s when you slow them down. I have some back and hip issues, so I would have to go with a lighter ball to attempt to bowl two handed with any success. I currently use a 14lb ball, and going lighter is something I don’t want to do. I guess it is basically the same rules apply. You have to hit the same shot the same way to have the best scores. When the two handed bowlers get right they have power and tons of pin carry! But, when it is off a bit, it is similar to any big crankers…ugly splits! I stay with my one handed delivery because I can avoid those nasty splits, and more often than not have ten pins or seven pins, sometimes a five pin..mostly one pin spares to convert. I have ugly splits too, but fortunately they are fairly rare.The downside is I don’t get as many strikes. It is a give and take. Consistency is what makes the scores improve. Practice, practice…and more practice. Good luck with your two handed game, and remember you can always go back!
      Chas

      Reply
  2. I think the two handed technique would be fun to try. It looks like a great way to put a new “spin” on things! Now that I know I need to deep clean my bowling ball, trying out a different technique might also be in the game for me. I appreciated the step by step breakdown of how Jason Belmonte and Oska Palermaa’s techniques differ. I am thinking if I can master control of the ball, this technique could work really great for me in improving my low average (112).

    I am so glad I found you site!

    Reply
    • Hi Karin,

      Well if you keep coming back, and reading all these bowling articles, you will be heading to the bowling alley to try them out! Then, when you get six or seven new bowling balls, you will need a Bowling Ball Rejuvenator to keep them all clean!

      I am glad you liked the breakdown of the two handed bowlers step by step, I really enjoyed doing it. My readers enjoy this article as well, it is the most popular article.

      look at it this way Karin, with a 112 there is more room for improvement! If you were a 235 bowler, you only have 65 pts to improve! lol

      Thanks for your comment and come back!

      Chas

      Reply
  3. This looks very interesting. I’d like to learn how to do this. Next time I go bowling, I’ll play around with it. 

    What would be the best technique you’d recommend for a novice to master to improve their game? My average scores are not impressive at all. I’m not sure why I’m so terrible!

    Reply
    • Hi Holly,

      If you try it, be careful at first, it feels so different. you may want to get one of the lighter kids balls to play around with at first, seriously! 

      There is really only one thing you can as a beginner, is get someone to teach you. One day with a good coach will help so much! Local alleys will sometimes have a clinic for one or two days, they are fantastic!

      But, you can also read a few of my articles as well to help you get some idea.

      https://getmorehook.com/hook-b

      https://getmorehook.com/bowlin

      Just remember to have fun! Thanks for leaving a comment and come back!

      Chas

      Reply
  4. I bowl with my three fingers the conventional way mainly because thats how I was taught and also I’m old now and the two handed bowling technique would but strain on my lower back which I don’t need. I don’t see anything wrong with the two handed technique if you can do it. Like you said it’s fun to watch.

    Reply
    • Hi Cory,

      I agree, my back doesn’t like it either! I can tell you quite a few of the kids are trying it and starting to score very well! I know older bowlers that felt two handed bowling was cheating!..lol  I don’t see it that way. in fact they do a one handed release at the foul line!

      Yea, the speed and power they can create is awesome to watch. The pins don’t stand a chance! And two pro two handed bowlers have claimed titles in the first year or two after going on tour! Pretty impressive!.

      Thanks for leaving a comment!

      Chas

      Reply
  5. Hello Chas, great article!! I haven’t been bowling in 12 years, but I plan to go back next month. I don’t recall using the two-handed technique as I usually use one hand, but it looks fun and I will try it out. If Pameraa and Belmonte can do it, I guess I can as well. Thanks again!!

    Reply
    • Hi Ahmad,

      I know I am a bit old for it, but I gave it a whirl a few times. My old back says “NO!” so I stick with one-handed bowling. Quite a few of the youngsters are using the Two Handed Bowling Technique nowadays and doing quite well. 

      If you are going to try it, that little skip that belmonte uses in the approach, will help you gain the momentum necessary to bowl two handed!

      Palermaa was clocked throwing his one handed spare ball at 30mph! That is the world record!

      Thanks for leaving a comment!

      Chas

      Reply
  6. Hi. I’m a senior in high school and a two handed bowler. I had tried for months to curve a ball with one hand, but I never could get enough hook. Then, I saw a video of Belmonte’s two handed bowling, and I decided to give it a try. I’ve increased my score ever since. It’s important to note that, on heavier oil, you may have to slow down on your throw to get it in the pocket. I see other two handers hurl the ball as fast as possible. Then, they can never figure out what they’re doing wrong. I’ve been bowling this way on an average of about five games per week for four months straight now, and I feel like I can control the ball a lot better. I would like to bowl more, but it all comes down to money.

    Reply
  7. I”m getting back into bowling. i’m 72(240) 6ft1 & prime was 1994 299 700 Series 200 avg league. Yesterday open bowling this big young man was bowling two handed and pins were flying like a buzz saw. I had a 200+ game out of five. My speed 15mph per machine. I’ve never seen pins being thrown all over the place. He had one 235 game. I have got to try the two handed delivery. I will always use my one handed hammer for spares. I don’t use count boards spares. I line up with pin as target bowl over arrow & follow through to pin. 10 pin I move up past return alley on left gets the machine out of picture & cut steps down to 2-3 mostly just

    Reply
    • Hi Maverick,
      My best advice is be careful, and try a lighter ball at first, even a kids house ball till you get the feel of it. I tried it, and it is fun, but I have back issues and it did make my back a little sore. That is the problem for me. It puts more strain on the back. Then, that little skip/jump step before you release the ball takes some practice, but makes it much easier!. Good luck and thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.
      Chas

      Reply
    • Fairly positive you can’t switch from one handed to two handed in the middle of play… New rule this year I’m told? You have finish the way you start period

      Reply
      • Hi Marty,
        I am not sure. I looked through the new rules and only found the rule change about cleaning the ball is no longer allowed during play.You cannot change from left to right handed bowling during the year at any time(except for injury, then you need to establish an average for the other hand), unless you have bowled in separate leagues using left hand in one and right hand in the other.Two handed bowlers use a dominant hand to deliver the ball, so they must use the same hand. I know quite a few two-handers use one hand for spares. So, I guess they would have to use two hands for the first ball every time? Interesting point none the less! Thanks!
        Chas

        Reply
  8. I became fan of two handed style since the emergence of Simonsen and Svensons. Belmonte and Palermaa and other two handed bowlers are now my favorates. Now I started to learn the two handed style using my one handed ball layout. I guess I have plaved around 30 to 40 games now. I’ve noticed that if I Put more power on my ball, I ended up on pin ten or gutter(im left handed). Putting less pwer, I can hit the pocket. Ive tried the house ball and its gives more accurate shot to the poket whether less or bigh speed. Looks like I have to used less aggressive ball as Svensons using urethane.

    Reply
    • Hi Alejandro,
      Two handed bowlers are definitely for real. Svensson joined the PBA in 2014 and has 6 PBA titles! Simonsen joined in 2013 and was the youngest ever PBA champ in 2016! I think that says a lot for two handed bowling.Not many one-handed bowlers have that kind of success in such short periods of time. You may want to experiment with not using the thumb for strikes, but then use the thumb for spares? I don’t bowl two-handed, so I am just going by what other two-handers do! Good luck! And thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment, it is appreciated!
      Chas

      Reply

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