Bowling Ball Restoration

Industry Insider with Jeff Ussery

With leagues starting up all over the country, bowlers are turning to all kinds of methods to “restore” the hook in their ball. We talked last time about ball resurfacing and the need to have the finish on your ball touched up occasionally. One of the newer methods to restore hook to the bowling ball is to attempt to draw the oil out of the coverstock.

There are many different machines and methods for doing this. Some of the more popular commercialized products include:

• Innovative Revivor – This is a small controlled temperature oven that rotates the ball slowly. They use oil absorbing pads, and it typically takes anywhere from 20 to 45 minutes to complete this service.
• Powerhouse Wave – This is an upright machine holding a couple of gallons of controlled temperature water in a sealed PVC tube. The machine constantly filters the water as it “scrubs” the pores of the ball.
• Jayhawk Detox – The newest device in this category uses ultra-sonic technology to penetrate the pores with controlled temperature water. Water is changed after 1-3 balls of use in the machine.

Now along with these, I’ve seen people try all kinds of things on their own at home. I’ve heard about people putting balls in dishwashers, ovens, microwaves, hot cars…I’ve even seen an aluminum foil wrapped cardboard box outfitted with a hairdryer. Please, PLEASE, do not try any of these methods to heat your ball and draw the oil out of it! If you do, you’ve got a reasonable chance of your ball looking like this when you’re done:

So what makes the 3 machines above so much better than your at-home method? You might notice one consistency in the three machines – they all control the temperature the ball is subjected to. Also, none of the three are designed to apply too much heat. They top out around 150 degrees Fahrenheit.

[custom_frame_right shadow=”on”][/custom_frame_right] So the next time you’re looking to get the oil out of the coverstock and see that big hook on the lanes, just stop by a local BowlersMart store, or your closest qualified pro shop, and ask for an oil extraction service. You’ll definitely be happy with the results, and your ball will still be in one piece!

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] or leave your comments below.

4 thoughts on “Bowling Ball Restoration

  1. Harley Aaron Bollinger says:

    Got a buddy who put a couple of his balls in the oven…needless to say he forgot about them and had to buy a couple new ones…

    • A.Thomas says:

      Change grips beginning and middle of league each year, assuming 2/3 leagues per week. More frequently if you bowl more often. If the edge rounds before that, change them out. If they fit poorly change no matter how new they are.
      Get new ones a few nights of bowling before any important tournament.
      Not all grips are created equal.

  2. Bowl Attic says:

    Hi Jeff i would like to see you do a review on some of the list less expensive Oil Extractor on the market today like the Innovative personal Reviver, The Nu Ball, The Original Sweat Box and maybe The Alley Cat. I would like you to do a Face Off Thanks! let me know Bowl Attic

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