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How to Throw a Bowling Ball

Bowlers either throw the ball straight or throw a hook. The staff at BowlerX.com has some tips on how to throw the perfect shot, as well as which bowling ball can help you accomplish it.

How to Throw a Bowling Ball

BowlerX.com is an authorized dealer for AMF, Brunswick, Columbia, DV8, Ebonite, Hammer, Motiv, Radical, Roto Grip, Storm, Track, and many other brands. We are rated #1 for customer service, product knowledge and pricing. When you shop with us, you will receive first quality products at the lowest prices.

How to Throw a Straight Shot

While most experienced bowlers like to throw hook shots on their first shot, the straight shot is the easiest, most consistent shot and is usually the first technique most new bowlers learn. You will need a good straight shot when you want pick up a few pins for a spare.

  • Bend your elbow to a 90-degree angle and keep your bowling hand directly underneath the ball with a straight wrist.
  • Take two or three strides while swinging your bowling arm out and back. Keep your shoulders, hips and wrist aimed straight ahead.
  • As the ball comes forward, bend your knee and release the ball onto the lane as it passes your ankle, keeping your hand straight and palm up the entire time to avoid sending the ball off course.
  • Follow through by swinging your arm straight toward the target.

If you like to throw the ball straight, we recommend a polyester ball, also called a plastic ball.  The coverstock is designed to create little friction between ball and lane and offers the least hook potential. Brunswick, Hammer, DV8 and Roto Grip offer some excellent choices in polyester coverstock balls.

How to Throw a Hook Shot

The hook shot is the result of a combination of two forces, side rotation and revolution. In other words, how you release and rotate your fingers is more important than how you move your wrist. Trying to force a spin with your wrist or by moving your arm sideways across your body will not make the ball hook. It will only make it difficult to control ball, and you will often throw a gutter ball.

  • Use your normal approach technique, but remove your thumb from the ball as you take your final step with your foot. Leaving your thumb in for too long will make it difficult to control the ball.
  • Instead of just dropping the ball onto the lane, lift your middle and ring fingers up and to the side of the bowling ball and simultaneously turn them counter-clockwise for right-handers and clockwise for left-handers.
  • As you release the ball, your arm should continue to swing forward and toward your target, like you are giving a handshake. At first, the ball will travel straight down the lane and then the side rotation will take over, causing it to hook into the pocket.

Urethane bowling balls are used for beginner to intermediate balls. The ball will react relatively early when rolling it down lane, is easier to angle, and has higher hook potential than a polyester ball. They are versatile and durable, but our advanced and professional customers prefer reactive resin coverstock bowling balls that are ideal for complicated spins and hook shots.

When you need more pointers about how to throw a bowling ball or which ball to buy, give the BowlerX.com team a call at 844-269-5379 or contact us online.