Pre-Season Ball Maintenance

[custom_frame_right shadow=”on”][/custom_frame_right] Industry Insider by Jeff Ussery

Fall leagues are just a few weeks away, and while many of us pick up the rock throughout the summer and play a few games here and there, there’s just as many who haven’t seen their bowling ball since April.  No matter which category you fall in, August makes for a great time to see your local pro shop professional and get your equipment tuned up for the league season.

One thing I learned while working at Hammer was the critical importance of coverstock management, and just how much influence it can have on your results.  Sure, it seems like a simple topic and makes sense to everyone.  But the most accomplished bowlers out there know that a fresh surface really can mean the difference in one extra hit per game.  So what is it you should be doing before your leagues hit the floor?

Step 1: Have your equipment evaluated by a professional.  If you’re in one of our BowlersMart markets, stop by one of our stores and let us take a look at your bag.  If you’re not, I recommend finding a qualified individual in your local area.  If you’re not sure whether or not you’re close to a BowlersMart location, take a look on our website here:  The store manager will be able to tell you the best course of action to get your stuff up to snuff for the beginning of league.

You’re likely to get a recommendation somewhere between a good cleaning and a full resurface, depending on the condition of your equipment.  This is necessary to get a fresh cut surface contacting the lane surface.  That’s absolutely key in creating not only good ball reaction, but consistent reaction as well.  Don’t be surprised by the price!  Bowling ball maintenance is not cheap.  But it’s worth the investment to keep your favorite ball in play for years to come.

Step 2: Purchase the right items to maintain your products throughout the season.  Bowling ball maintenance doesn’t stop at that preseason visit.  In fact, the best way to lengthen the amount of time you need between those more expensive services is to maintain your bowling balls on a weekly basis.  The proper maintenance would be for you to clean your ball off AFTER you finish bowling every week.  I know, it seems so much easier to just do it next week before bowling.  But you’ve already given the oil and contaminates a full week to absorb in to your coverstock. It’s really far better to treat your equipment after you finish bowling.

I highly recommend a few different products that I have experience with.  If you’re looking for a cleaner for a dull or sanded finish ball, I recommend either Powerhouse Clean n’ Dull or Motiv Power Gel.  Both are a good deep cleaning formula that leave the ball in a dull state with no film.  For shiny coverstock balls, I like Powerhouse Power Wash or Tac-Up.  Both of these leave a very good tacky feel to the cover.  All of these products can be purchased on our website at

Just as important when cleaning your bowling ball is to do it with a good quality microfiber towel.  These are quite popular in bowling now and can be found in stores everywhere.  But they do a far better job cleaning the ball than a standard woven towel.

Following these simple steps for an easy way to improve your scores this season!  Would you like to learn about something in particular in our next industry insider column?  Make your suggestion by e-mailing Jeff Ussery at [email protected].

3 thoughts on “Pre-Season Ball Maintenance

  1. Brian Schmidtberger says:

    Thanks for the post, Jeff. After reading through your article, it would seem like a ‘no-brainer’ to maintain your equipment post-bowling as opposed to pre-bowling. I will also look into purchasing different types of cleaners for the different surfaces.

  2. Johnny Wilson says:

    Good luck with your new venture. You will do good as you have in the past.
    If I can help you with my Handicap spring grip bowling ball , get in touch with me. My shop is for sale. been over 50 years owning and operating full time Pro Shops. time to retire.

    God Bless! Johnny

  3. A.Thomas says:

    If you can’t tell your equipment needs help or replacement, you are in the wrong sport. This sport requires consciousness while engaging.
    None of the pro shops locally know as much about balls (other than the brand advertising), so they are not going to be much help; not to mention the self-serving suggestion that you buy from them. (They will never suggest a ball from a line they don’t carry even if it is perfect for you.) The distributors that service them are uncaring, obtuse and of little help to bowlers. (They should be removed from the delivery system by manufacturers for the benefit of end users.)
    As for drilling vs. bowling style, you should be on top of that from previous years. Don’t be “trying a drilling” if you can’t afford three or four of that ball… to be sure what works best for you at your houses. Your pro won’t be throwing it and he, if he bowls at all, will be throwing demos.
    Experience tells me my thumb was misfitted by at least 8 pro shops over the last ten years in five cities; my fingers by 9 or 10 (lost count)–some nationally renown. I don’t need a pro, I need a drill press and a bucket of Vice grips. So this article is mostly flotsam.

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