The Impact of Bowling Ball Surface Adjustments

How Different Surfaces Will Make The Bowling Ball React Differently

Today, we’ll visit the subject of ball surface and its impact on your bowling ball’s reaction.

Changing the texture of the coverstock on the bowling ball is the easiest way to change your ball reaction. Not only does it have the greatest impact on the end result, but you always can change it again if you didn’t like the result.

Unlike drilling a ball, which modifies the ball’s characteristics for life, ball surface can be altered dozens of times to experiment with ball motion.

How Much Can You Change Bowling Ball Reaction By Adjusting The Surface?

To give you an idea of how much range you can create by just sanding a ball, we’ve recorded two videos for you.

These balls are the same model, and we drilled them identically. The only difference is the surface preparation. We have one ball at 1,000-grit Abralon and one ball at 4,000-grit Abralon. The higher the number, the finer the grit used on the surface of the ball, creating a smoother texture. The lower the number, the more coarse.

We’ll start with the 4,000-grit surface, which gives the bowler a moderately strong ball reaction. Notice the distance on the lane that this shot begins to transition from right to left.

Bowling Ball Surface Is The Biggest Influence On Bowling Ball Reaction

The Impact of Bowling Ball Surface Adjustments from on Vimeo.

Here is the same ball in the same layout at a 1,000-grit surface. This ball hooks noticeably earlier than the one at 4,000 and will not hold the pocket. After making an adjustment of five boards with the bowler’s feet, the 1,000-grit ball now will hold the line to the pocket.

Surface is the biggest influence on your ball’s reaction. Surface dictates about 70 percent of the total ball motion. If you need more or less hook, change the surface, not the layout. The layout only determines the shape of the ball motion. Without even using polish, we created five boards in separation through these two balls.

Is your equipment over or under reacting? There’s likely a surface change you can make to improve your results.

2 thoughts on “The Impact of Bowling Ball Surface Adjustments

  1. Eric Sider says:

    John, I took 5 pads and my polish to a practice session last summer with my Track 706a, hyroad Pearl and roto grip theory. Started with 1000 pad on all 3, then added polish. Then 1500 pad then polish. Same for 2000, 3000 and 4000 pads then with polish. Helped me settle on 1000 polished on hyroad Pearl,1500 polished on 706a and 1000 polished on theory. For me polish is a must on house shot here in Daytona Beach area. Theory was okay a few years back when I was back in Annapolis area.
    Eric Sider(Bowl America Odenton)

  2. roderick allen says:

    Not fully understanding how this works….I change the surface of a No Rules from 2000 too 4 thousand….and then back…ball still read too soon… still needing more length I returned the surface too 2000… polished the 2000 which smooths the 2000 surface back out…I’m I back too 4000 or what?? The results were just what I wanted but how does this work?? THANKS

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