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Can You Bowl a Hook With a Conventional Grip? Curve With A House Ball?

Hooking the bowling ball is something that the majority of us strive to do on the lanes. But what if you bowl with a conventional grip instead of a fingertip grip? Can you still generate a good spin on your ball?

And for that matter, what about newer bowlers who don’t have a brand-new ball of their own? Can you do it with a house ball from the alley? This article will answer these two questions.

Hook with a Conventional Grip?

First off, a conventional grip simply means that your fingers go fully inside the holes instead of just the fingertips. The fingertip grip is indeed favored for the hook because it gives you more freedom to generate revolutions.

But if you’re trying to generate hook using the conventional, you can do it. Just make sure you have the right equipment, fitted propertly, and that you take care with the proper mechanics of the release.

First, you want to ensure that the ball is properly fitted to your hand, or else you’re going to have a difficult time of it no matter what type of grip you use. And the type of ball you have is also important. A reactive ball is designed to hook unlike plastic and polyester that aren’t.

There are some other technical points that you need to keep in mind to generate a hook. Make sure that your thumb is exiting the ball first, before you try to lift at all. Try to make sure that your thumb is relaxed and not tense or tight. As you can feel it leaving the ball, lift and rotate your hand. (Review our article on bowling a hook in more detail.)

It can still seem frustrating at times, because the hook will usually be smaller with a conventional grip. This is because the conventional grip reduces the rev rate.

But keep at it if the conventional feels more comfortable to you; everyone has slightly different preferences and there’s no one “perfect” type of shot or level of hook that is best for everyone.

Can You Hook with a House Ball?

The other big question or today is whether or not you can throw a curve with a house ball you get at the alley. These plastic balls aren’t made to hook, as previously explained, so that point is undoubtedly a disadvantage.

But you can still get a modest hook (maybe up to 5 boards), and if the lanes are very dry, a little more. If you have to use house balls, try to release the ball more slowly and maintain a lower swing.

One easy way to throw a hook with a house ball is to go thumbless, which is becoming an increasingly popular style. With this form you can generate enough revolutions to hook it, but some argue that this style is less consistent and adaptable to varying lane conditions.

Overall, if you’re trying to hook with a house ball, you may want to consider looking in to getting your own ball, as the superior coverstock material and properly fitted grip will make bowling a hook a lot easier! Browse some of the most popular bowling balls.


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