How to Purchase the Correct Equipment For You This Season

Over the last few days, we talked about things you could do to get yourself and your equipment ready for the upcoming fall season other than purchasing a new ball.

We went over surface maintenance, oil extraction, and getting your fit checked. All of which are excellent options if you don’t want to invest the time and money into getting a new ball – or balls – for the upcoming season.

However, what if you do want to invest some money into new equipment? What should you be considering? How should you decide what to purchase?

Well, the obvious answer is finding a local Pro Shop operator (PSO) that you trust to get the right ball into your hand. But what if you want to do some research on your own before consulting your PSO?

The first thing you need to do is consider what you already have. Odds are, if you’re reading this article, and you’re bowling a league this coming season, you probably already have a ball or two – or eleven – of your own. And odds are, of the balls you currently own, some of them are still usable, and if your put some time, money, and effort into getting them ready for the season – see our previous article on getting your balls ready for league season – they’ll be as good as new.

So, like I said, consider what you have. Do you already have some weaker equipment for when the lanes get drier? Do you already have some stronger equipment for when the lanes are tight? If you have both, maybe you need something in the middle, like a benchmark ball.

You have to answer all of these questions yourself, obviously, as I personally have no idea what it is that you have in your current bag. But if you’re able to answer these questions, it will make your decision and your conversation with your PSO much, much easier.

Two other important variables you have to factor into your decision are the lane surface and the amount of oil (volume and length) that your center is putting out. The lane surface really makes a huge difference.

If you’re bowling on a high friction surface, regardless of how much oil the center is using, it is quite possible that purchasing a big strong ball with a lot of surface would be a mistake; you may get more performance out of a strong pearl/hybrid ball instead.

Of course, if you aren’t aware of how long the house pattern you’re bowling on is or how high or low the volume is, this is all something that you’re PSO should be able to help you with before you come to a final decision.

Once you’ve made your decision, I would personally suggest you and your local PSO to get together and re-check your Positive Axis Point (PAP) if you haven’t had it checked in a while. That doesn’t mean that your PAP has changed. In fact, it likely hasn’t changed much, if any, but if you’re going to be investing money into a new bowling ball, you need to make sure that it is being done right.

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