Select the proper bowling ball weight and avoid discomfort or injury

Selecting the Proper Bowling Ball Weight: A Guide for New Bowlers

By Dylan Byars

3 min read

Bowling is more than just hitting pins; it's about control, comfort, and fun! One of the crucial decisions you'll make is selecting the proper bowling ball weight. It might seem a bit tricky at first, but don't worry—let's break it down so you can find the perfect ball to enhance your game without breaking a sweat.

Understanding the Basics of Bowling Ball Weight

Why does the weight of a bowling ball matter? The right weight affects your control over the ball, your throwing speed, and ultimately, your overall enjoyment of the game. If your ball is too heavy, you might find it hard to control, leading to strain or injury. On the other hand, a ball that's too light could mess up your aim and make it difficult to knock down those stubborn pins.

The 10% Rule: A Starting Point

A good starting point for beginners is the 10% rule. This guideline suggests that you select a ball that's approximately 10% of your body weight. However, keep in mind the maximum weight for a bowling ball is 16 pounds. So, if you're around 160 pounds or more, you won't necessarily need a 16-pound ball, but you'll be in the range where many experienced bowlers find comfort and performance balance.

Test Before You Invest

Now that you’ve got a rough idea from the 10% rule, it's time to test different weights. When you visit a bowling alley, don’t shy away from experimenting with different ball weights. Start somewhere in your estimated range and adjust based on how comfortable you feel. Can you easily swing the ball? Does it feel like you’re in control? These are key questions that will help you fine-tune your selection.

Comfort Over Convention: Listen to Your Body

Listening to your own body is crucial. Even within the advised range, what works best can vary greatly from person to person. If you feel pain or discomfort after a few rounds with a certain ball weight, it might not be the right one for you—regardless of what the guidelines say. Aim for a weight that allows you to bowl comfortably throughout multiple games.

Enhancing Your Game with the Right Choice

Choosing a lighter or heavier ball also depends on your playing style. If you're a speed demon who loves hurling the ball with great velocity, a heavier ball might actually help you control and channel that power effectively. Conversely, if you’re focusing on precision and technique, you might find a slightly lighter ball easier to maneuver, allowing you to refine your aim and angles.

Embrace the Experimentation

Selecting the proper bowling ball weight is a personal adventure. It’s about finding that sweet spot where comfort meets control, allowing you to enjoy the game and improve consistently. Remember, the best way to know if you've made the right choice is simple: it feels right in your hands and makes the game more enjoyable. So, take your time, experiment, and let the good times roll!