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How Heavy of a Bowling Ball Should I Use?

If you want to become a better bowler, it’s important to select your bowling ball carefully. We recommend investing in your own ball¬†because it will be correctly fitted to your hand, a crucial factor for finding a consistent stroke.

But another big decision to make is how heavy your bowling ball should be. In general, a male adult with average strength will choose a ball that weighs 15 or 16 pounds, and a female will choose a ball from 10 to 12 pounds. But of course some of us are larger or smaller or have above or below-average strength. So from this base guideline be sure to adjust accordingly according to your size and strength.

But there are a few other keys to keep in mind when choosing a ball. Check out some of our favorite affordable bowling balls.

Heavy Bowling Balls Aren’t Always the Best

It may be tempting to pick a heavier ball off the bat, since it might seem natural that this will be able to knock down more pins. But in reality, there are some significant disadvantages to doing this.

Even though a heavier ball will on average strike the pins with more force, which theoretically increases the chance of pinfall, this is missing a crucial part of the force equation: the force you generate when you throw it. If the ball is lighter, you can throw the ball with more force, which might cancel out any pinfall advantages you’d get from a heavier ball.

There also may be some ego-related reasons for not wanting to use a ball that could be considered “too light.”

But the bottom line is that you don’t want to strain or injure yourself. Don’t forget how many times you will shoot the ball each game: usually close to 20. Playing several games per night a few times a week is enough to really take its toll on you if the ball is too heavy. It definitely wouldn’t seem strong or tough to have to sit out of a night of bowling due to injury! But that’s exactly what can happen if you decide to use a ball that’s too heavy for you.

How Heavy of a Bowling Ball is Right for Kids?

This is another common question, because the younger ones are often quite eager to start throwing strikes as well. If you are choosing a bowling ball for a child, a good rule to follow is one pound for every year of age of that child. For example, a 9-pound ball for an 9 year old kid. But as with adults, be sure to take the kid’s strength into account, and always err on the side of “too light:” the last thing you want to do is get the child injured as a result of a ball that is too heavy.

How Heavy of a Bowling Ball is Right for Seniors?

We might not want to admit it, but we all start to lose our strength as we get older. One of the great things about bowling is that it’s a sport you can play even if your peak years of physical fitness are way behind you! But for seniors, it is wise to use a slightly lighter ball, often from 10-14 pounds depending on age and overall strength. Muscle fatigue can really start to set in if you are bowling frequently, so it’s a good idea to drop down even a little more than you might think.

Take a look at some solid bowling balls you might want to try.


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One Response to How Heavy of a Bowling Ball Should I Use?
  1. inside of a bowling ball
    September 5, 2014 | 11:46 pm

    I really don’t like heavy ball, for me slightly heavy is always good specially when playing then add your proper posture your good to play the game.

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