Do Bowling Balls Go Bad Over Time?

Bowling balls can go bad and degrade in performance over time. Here are some of the main factors that can cause bowling balls to go bad:

Oil Absorption

The porous coverstock of bowling balls absorbs lane oil and conditioner every time you bowl. Over many games, the ball can become saturated with oil, causing it to lose its tackiness and not grip the lane as well. Too much oil absorption leads to reduced hook potential.

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Coverstock Wear

The outer coverstock material gets worn down from continuous impact with the lane. This wear causes the ball surface to become smooth and polished over time. A worn coverstock does not grip the lane as effectively and leads to decreased hooking action.

Chemical Breakdown

Inside the bowling ball, the various chemical components that give the core its density and Bowling Ball dynamics can start to break down over years of use. This leads to changes in the ball motion and performance.

Cracks and Damage

Cracks, chips, gouges, and other physical damage to the coverstock or core from impacts can change the ball’s rolling dynamics. Even small cracks degrade the structural integrity and performance of a bowling ball over time.

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Changing Lane Conditions

As bowling lanes are oiled and conditioned differently over many years, a bowling ball designed for certain lane conditions may become less optimal over time as lane characteristics evolve.

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Advances in Technology

With bowling ball technology continuously advancing, an older ball with dated core and coverstock technology will not hook and strike as well as newer balls on the market.

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To maximize bowling ball lifespan, proper care is essential…

The key is to clean the ball frequently with ball cleaner to reduce oil absorption, polish to minimize coverstock wear, and proactively inspect for any cracks or damage. With care and maintenance, a high quality bowling ball can remain effective for many years. But ultimately the toll of continual use necessitates replacing older equipment. While balls don’t suddenly stop working overnight, their performance and hitting power declines gradually over several seasons of play.

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