Bowling is a fun sport that people of all ages can enjoy. It may look straightforward – just roll a ball down a lane to knock down pins. But having the proper gear can make a big difference in your bowling abilities and enjoyment of the game. Here is an overview of the basic equipment you need to get started with bowling.
The bowling ball is the most essential piece of equipment. Bowling balls come in different weights, typically between 6 to 16 pounds. Heavier balls can knock down more pins, but lighter balls may be easier to control for many beginners. The size and finger holes of the ball should fit your hand comfortably. Bowling balls are made from plastic, urethane, or reactive resin. Reactive resin balls offer more power and hook potential on the lane. Bowling balls should be matched to your skill level and playing style.
Wearing bowling shoes, rather than regular street shoes, is important for safety and performance. Bowling shoes have special soles that allow you to slide as you approach the foul line, helping you avoid slipping. Meanwhile, a small rubber heel stops the sliding motion once you release the ball. Rental bowling shoes are usually available at bowling alleys. For frequent bowlers, having your own pair ensures you always have shoes that feel comfortable.
Bowling Ball Cleaner
Using a bowling ball cleaner is recommended to regularly remove oil and dirt buildup on your ball’s surface. A dirty ball can affect your roll and shorten the life of your ball. Bowl cleaners are applied to the ball surface after games. Some people also use a simple rag to wipe their ball down between turns.
A rosin bag helps keep your fingers and thumb dry for a good grip on the bowling ball. Repeatedly sticking your fingers into the powdered rosin before grabbing your ball creates tackiness. This prevents your fingers from sticking inside the ball when swinging it. Most bowling alleys provide rosin bags, but frequent bowlers may want to have their own.
Bowling Glove (Optional)
Some bowlers use a specialized glove on their bowling hand to improve grip and provide wrist support. This is not mandatory equipment, especially for casual bowling. But it may help certain players feel more comfortable releasing the ball.
A bowling bag is convenient for transporting your ball, shoes, accessories, and other gear to and from the bowling alley. Bags come in various sizes and designs.
With the proper bowling equipment, from shoes to ball, you’ll be set to enjoy bowling more. Focus first on finding a comfortable, fingertip-fit ball and a pair of bowling shoes. Then you can add other accessories over time if you decide to bowl regularly. Proper gear won’t instantly turn you into a strikes master, but it allows you to gain control, consistency, and avoid injury.