League season is just around the corner. In fact, in my center, some of our leagues are starting this week. So, as you could imagine, this is a busy time for us shop guys, with people getting new balls for the upcoming season.
But I understand that not everyone can afford to get a new ball every single fall season. I get it. Bowling balls are expensive. But even if you aren’t getting a new ball, there are a few things that I suggest you investing in before your league starts.
First, the easiest one, new grips. If you are using finger inserts, and obviously most league bowlers are, I would suggest you replace them. Sure, they might feel “alright” to you right now, but that is because you’ve gone at least a year without replacing them and you can’t remember when brand new grips feel like. Trust me, I promise you, new inserts make a significant difference. They can decrease your grip pressure, increases your rev rate, and improve your scores.
Some people, though, feel that inserts don’t need replaced. To them, they still feel relatively tacky and solid. However, I can assure you, if you’ve had them in your bowling ball for a full league season, they have significant wear and tear that can cause you to squeeze more, grab it, and/or completely whiff it at the bottom. Trust me when I tell you that they are worth the $10.00 investment.
Next, I would suggest a full resurfacing. The coverstock is the single most important factor in bowling. It is what comes in contact with the lane every single shot. Therefore, when that coverstock becomes worn and tracked, the ball loses significant performance. Being in the shop, I can tell you that bowlers simply do not resurface their bowling balls often enough. I am not telling you to do it every 30 games, necessarily, but if it is a ball you plan on using regularly throughout the year, you need to, at the very least, get it resurfaced once every league year.
Lastly, get the oil taken out of your balls . . . by a professional. Please don’t try to do this yourself. Do not let it bake in the sun, do not soak it in a warm, soapy bath, and, most importantly, do not use your oven. It doesn’t matter if your local pro shop has a detox machine or a rejuvenator, they’re both better than any alternative you can do at your house. These machines are designed for the sole purpose of heating up your bowling ball at a controlled temperature, and drawing the oil out from within your bowling ball. Please, let them do their job. Because getting a proper detox is significantly cheaper than having to replace the bowling ball that you burnt in your oven.
If you do these three things, I can assure you that it will almost feel like you do, in fact, have a new ball for the start of the league season. Will it be brand new? Obviously not. But will it be a significant improvement over what you had before? Absolutely. So please, bring you bowling equipment into your local pro shop before your fall leagues begin, and if you aren’t considering a new bowling ball for the upcoming year, please ask your PSO if they think you’re a candidate for any of the following options that I laid out.