Bowling is a sport that can be rewarding despite its challenges. There are few things that can match the feeling of scoring a strike as you see all the pins go down. For those who’re interested in trying it, here’s a simple guide starting from how to throw a bowling ball to doing some of the more essential techniques like hooking a throw.
Getting the Right Ball and Equipment
Before learning the bowling techniques for beginners, you’re going to need to have the right equipment for your bowling career. Though if you are just starting, you can rent a ball and shoes. Some bowling alleys even offer to rent you gloves, too. You will still have to choose them though.
When it’s your first time, renting is a good option since it will give you an idea of what’s out there. First, let’s start with the shoes and glove. A lot of people wonder why you should get bowling shoes, when you’ve got a perfectly good pair you’re already wearing.
The problem is, even the smoothest sneaker out there tend to have treads for a solid grip on the ground. That is exactly what you do not need when you’re bowling. The smooth floor is there to help with your slide towards the throw. If you used normal shoes, it would ruin your throw by disrupting it, while also opening you up to injuries if you trip.
As for gloves, they’re not exactly necessary. They can help a lot with your grip and support your wrist to avoid injuries. If you’re starting out, it’s better to try throwing barehanded first.
The final thing to pick is your ball. The first thing you should be aware of is the weight of the ball. It should be at close to 10 percent of your body weight. This is to a maximum of 16 pounds. For example if, you weight around 150 pounds, you should be getting around a 15 pound ball. Getting anything lower is too light for you.
It isn’t an exact science though. Pick up a ball and feel if it challenges you enough when picking it up. Too light a ball will make it hard to control, while too heavy a ball makes it hard to throw. Go for a comfortable middle to get the best results.
After the weight, you should be able to grip it properly. You should check the finger holes whether you can fit your fingers in them. If they are too tight or too loose, they can ruin your game. You should also be able to grip it lightly with one had. If your hand is flat against the ball, then it’s too big for you.
Now that you’ve got the right ball and equipment, it’s time to actually learn how to throw it properly. Learning the best way to throw a bowling ball, starts with how to hold a bowling ball properly.
Most bowling balls that you rent at an alley have the conventional grip, which is what you should first learn. This particular grip places the middle and ring finger holes closer to your thumb. Try it out by inserting the mentioned fingers into the holds; the side-by-side holes are where your ring and middle finger go, while the last one holds the thumb. You fingers should go into their second knuckle. Any deeper and you will have difficulty releasing the ball.
You should then try your best to hold the ball with two hands so that you can be assured of balance when holding it and so that your fingers have enough support.
Once you’ve got the hang of holding the ball, you should try swinging it one-handed to. Swing it in an underhanded manner so that you can get the feel of how to start throwing the ball. This should also give you an idea of whether the ball is too heavy for you.
Once you’ve managed to try out a few swings, it’s time to learn how to release a bowling ball. Go into an empty lane and it’s time to try out releasing with just your arm. Stand on the release line to try things out.
Start your swing and then as your arm goes forward, your thumb should leave its hole. Your thumb should be now pointed in the direction that you want the ball to go to. Now, you continue your swing and at the very edge of your swing, your remaining two fingers should uncurl to let the ball go.
The result should give your ball enough forward momentum to leave your hand and go forward. This initial attempt will most likely end in the gutter, but this should give you an idea of what to do.
Your next step is to add stepping forward to your release. This adds more forward momentum to your release. The best way to do this is four steps away from the release line. Take four steps and your last step should be opposite of your releasing arm.
After you’ve done a few practice releases, you should then learn the next step in bowling: how to hook a bowling ball. Hooking is to throw the ball in a way that it curves. You’re going need a lot of practice for this move.
The thing is, hooking the ball is mostly in your wrists. To do it, you’ll need to know how to smoothly throw the ball. The next step is for you keep your arm straight as you swing. Once you’ve got the hang of it, the key is to rotate your wrists into the handshake position as you release the ball. Your hand should look like you are shaking someone’s hand when you stand up.
It can be hard to get this right. If you’ve got the chance, you should practice this move at home with a tennis ball. This reduces the strain on your wrists and gets your hand muscles used to the motion.
Once you’ve got the hand of it, you should go out and impress your friends with your improved skills.