Can You Go Bowling with Long Nails? 5 Things to Know

Not everyone likes having nails cut down to the bed, but there are some activities where long fingernails are just going to get in the way. Bowling is typically considered one of them, but there are always exceptions to the rule.

It is possible to casually go bowling with long nails. However, cutting them short is better when joining leagues or going pro.

If it’s just for the occasional fun outing, it’s totally fine to keep fingernails long. They might chip or break a bit until a little skill is developed, but it is still possible. While most people suggest cutting them short for more serious outings, enough practice might be enough to quell any concerns. Keep reading to learn about bowling with long nails.

Perfect the Granny Roll

The Granny Roll is a two-handed bowling technique where both hands are used to support the ball, thus saving a lot of stress on the fingernails. Standing at the foul line, spread both legs wide. Then put the ball near the ground and give it a hefty push.

It’s not often very accurate, but it will almost definitely save those fingernails. It’s considered one of the safest and easiest techniques in bowling, so it’s definitely worth a shot. Additionally, it is not a technique that is allowed in competitive play, so it’s only good for casual outings.

Pick Out a Better Ball

Picking out suitable tools is necessary for just about everything. Therefore, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that taking better care in selecting a bowling ball can help reduce the risk of damaging fingernails. Most of the balls that are going to be available at the alley are going to be made to be good for a range of hands, but that doesn’t mean they’re all identical. If bowling becomes a serious pastime, consider just buying a personal ball that fits individual specifications.

Bigger Ball

Bigger balls are great for many things, one of which is keeping fingernails safe. They help further distribute the weight into more space, making it less stressful for the hands carrying it, which will in turn help lessen the risk of damage to the nails.

Bigger Finger Holes

Many players who have longer nails opt for balls with larger holes, so there’s more room for their fingers. They cause less stress on the nail itself and allows for more room to move within the holes. This tends to be a perfect solution for nails on the shorter side of long.

Lighter Ball

The simple fact of the matter is that a lighter ball is going to be less stressful on the fingernails and the hands they are attached to. If the nails are sturdy, a lighter ball may be all it takes to keep them from chipping or breaking off. Not to mention, a lighter ball is often useful in learning new techniques.

Protect Those Nails

Another common practice to protect fingernails while bowling is to add a little something to help keep them attached. It might not look very pretty, but there tends to be some good success among players. Most of it comes down to adding grip and stability, while also usually adding a layer between the nails and the ball.

These are some products that can help protect fingernails while bowling:

  • Bowling Tape
  • Band-aids
  • Nail Savers
  • Finger Cots
  • Wrist Support

Don’t forget to also protect the thumb, even though it never ends up in a hole. It’s one of the most commonly broken fingernails when bowling! The offhand shouldn’t need any extra protection, but most of the fingers on the dominant will.

You might also want to read about how to reduce thumb swelling when bowling.

Practice, Practice, Practice!

As with pretty much everything, bowling with long nails is going to take a lot of practice. Find a method that works best for the individual and then perfect it. It’s going to be a slow ride, but it can be done!

This might be playing with the Granny Roll style, selecting a personal ball, or even just learning a new way to grip. Everyone’s different, and therefore, so are the solutions.

Bowling more than twice a week has most people suggesting those nails get clipped short. It’s not a requirement, but it does make things easier. However, if those nails are too good to get rid of, there’s no shame in looking a little silly while learning how to play with them. Everyone starts somewhere, and don’t let what’s typical deter from the fun.

Risks Involved with Bowling with Long Nails

The least risky method of bowling is the Granny Roll, but that’s not always feasible. Therefore, there are going to be some risks involved, especially with long nails.

For example, nails don’t always break evenly. An unfortunate snap could break back into the nail bed and cause some serious damage or lead to infection. Not to mention, blood poses a potential health risk.

Nobody likes to admit it, but bowling alleys are filthy. It’s not feasible to scrub everything perfectly all the time, and there are a lot of hands and different types of people who are going to be there all day. Having an exposed wound, even something as small as a tear under the fingernail can pose very serious health risks.

Keeping fingernails short helps negate the chances they’re going to break back enough to cause any real damage, leading to more fun in the lanes and less time administering first aid.

Can you wear fake nails when bowling?

It is possible to bowl with fake nails, but it can be rather difficult and is not recommended. The reason why it can be hard to bowl with fake nails is that it is going to be difficult to fit the fake nails in the bowling ball holes. Either they hurt you by pressing against the bottom of the finger hole, therefore pressing your nails up in the nail rood. Or the long fake nails can break off when releasing the ball. So the long fake nails will probably get in the way of your release, and that will of course not benefit your game.

The best way to go about this is to use shorter or more flexible nails, like gel nails. This will allow for more accurate throws, as well as prevent any potential damage or soreness to your fingers and long nails.

Can you wear acrylic nails while bowling?

Bowling with long acrylic nails can also be a hassle. But there are ways to make it work. Here are a few tips to help you bowl with long acrylic nails and avoid any accidents.

First, make sure your nails are properly trimmed and filed to ensure they won’t get in the way of your bowling technique.

Second, use a ball with a thumbhole that is big enough for your acrylic nails to fit through.

Finally, if you’re still having trouble with your acrylic nails getting in the way, try wearing gloves or sporting tape around your finger holes. This can help to prevent any slipping or catching on the ball. Of course it doesn’t help you out if the nails are too long.

While it is possible to bowl with long acrylic nails, preparation and practice are key for successful strikes. Be sure to take extra care when prepping and using longer nails while bowling in order to prevent any accidents or injuries.

And while you are at it, is it necessary to wear bowling shoes when you go bowling?

And why are the rental bowling shoes so ugly?

Final Thoughts

While it’s solidly recommended to have short nails when bowling, it is possible to play the game with longer nails. It’s best when playing casually rather than professionally or in a league since safe techniques such as the Granny Roll can be utilized. Otherwise, there are different methods for protecting fingernails with products or a personal ball. In the end, no matter what is chosen as a solution, practice is key.

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Also Read:  15 Ways to Reduce Thumb Swelling from Bowling