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by Rob Wagner
Bowling is a simple sport that requires very little equipment, but bowling equipment does make a big impact on your bowling game. The different types of bowling balls allow for different movement as it rolls down the lane. A wrist brace dramatically improves your delivery of the ball. And bowling shoes, like all athletic shoes, allow you to better perform the technique necessary for success.
Do I need custom bowling shoes?
You don't need to buy bowling shoes, but it is usually the first thing a bowler will purchase, so he can stop paying rental fees to wear shoes that have been worn by hundreds of other people. With your own bowling shoes, you are also able to get shoes designed for just for a right-handed or left-handed bowler. The soles of bowling shoes are not the same on both feet. One shoe has a slick surface that is designed to slide on the lane, while the other sole has more grip to provide traction.
How do I know which bowling ball is right?
Pick a bowling ball that is not so light that it bounces down the lane. Men should use a bowling ball that weighs 14 to 16 pounds. Women's bowling balls should be 8 to 12 pounds. A smaller women's ball works well for children. When choosing a custom ball, ensure the thumb hole allows you to remove your thumb freely without losing your grip. With your thumb in the hole, your middle and index fingers, or middle and ring fingers, should spread easily to and inside the holes. Your knuckles should be directly over the holes and your palm should lay flat against the ball.
What are the types of bowling balls?
There are four types of bowling balls: polyester, urethane, reactive resin and particle. Polyester bowling balls are inexpensive and are typically used as a house ball. Urethane bowling balls have a higher friction than polyester balls that gives them a better ability to hook. Reactive resin balls have even more friction than urethane models, further increasing the ball's ability to hook in the lane. Experienced bowlers prefer particle bowling balls that use a ceramic, glass and resin composite, which helps bowlers control the ball.
Do I need a wrist brace?
Perhaps the most important -- yet most neglected -- piece of bowling equipment is the wrist brace. A wrist brace trains the wrist to deliver the ball at the proper angle. The brace should hug the wrist properly without severe restriction and extend up the forearm.