Bowling Accessories – Your Ultimate Guide

Discover the world of bowling accessories – the game-changing tools that can take your bowling experience to the next level. From the ball you roll down the lane to the shoes you wear and the bags you carry, this ultimate guide has you covered.

So, fasten your seat belt and get ready to up your bowling game!

Now the question arises …

Why is it Important to Choose the Right Bowling accessories?

You might be wondering, Can’t I just pick up any old ball and shoes and have a good time?” 


You see, the right bowling equipment isn’t just about having a good time (though that’s important too); it’s about playing your best game possible.

Imagine trying to run a marathon in flip-flops or write a novel with a broken keyboard – it’s not going to be pretty, right? The same goes for bowling. The equipment you choose can significantly impact your performance, comfort, and overall enjoyment of the game.

Think of it this way: the right bowling ball, shoes, and accessories are like your trusty sidekicks, helping you achieve those perfect shots. They’re your allies on the lane, and choosing wisely can mean the difference between a fun day out and a memorable victory.

Okay William, I have got it that bowling accessories are important but what comes under this umbrella? Okay, let’s answer it …

What are the Different Types of Bowling Accessories?

When we talk about bowling accessories, we’re diving into a few key categories:

  • Bowling Balls: 

These are the stars of the show, the tools of the trade, and your ticket to those glorious strikes. We’ll explore the various types of bowling balls, how to pick the right weight, and what those fancy terms like “coverstock” and “core” really mean in the bowling world.

  • Bowling Shoes: 

Hold on! Your everyday sneakers won’t cut it on the bowling lane. Bowling shoes are specially designed to help you slide and glide with finesse. Later on in this guide, we’ll delve into the types of bowling shoes and why that perfect fit is crucial.

  • Bowling Bags and other Accessories: 

Think of these as your bowling ball’s cozy home and the little extras that can give you an edge. From choosing the right bag to essential accessories like gloves, wrist supports, and cleaners, we are gonna discuss all with you today.

Are you ready to cover each of the above in depth? Then, why not get to the heart of the matter …

1. Bowling Balls

Here, first discuss …

Types of Bowling Balls

Beginners might be surprised to learn that not all bowling balls are created equal. In fact, they come in various types, each designed to give you a unique advantage on the lanes.

  • Urethane Bowling Balls: 

These are often the choice for beginners. They offer a controlled, smooth roll and are less likely to hook aggressively. Urethane balls are a great starting point for those learning to control their shots.

  • Reactive Resin Bowling Balls: 

If you’re looking for more hook potential and pin action, reactive resin balls are the way to go. They grip the lane better and create more angular movement, making them favored by many experienced bowlers.

  • Plastic Bowling Balls: 

These are straightforward and reliable. Plastic balls are excellent for shooting spares due to their predictability and minimal hook. Every bowler, regardless of skill level, should consider having a plastic spare ball in their arsenal.

  • Hybrid and Particle Bowling Balls: 

These are advanced options designed for specific lane conditions. Hybrids blend the characteristics of reactive resin and urethane, while particle balls incorporate microscopic particles for added traction.

Bowling Ball Weight and Size

Now, let’s talk about finding the right bowling ball weight and size. Like many beginners you may assume that a heavier ball means more strikes, but that’s not necessarily true. 

The ideal weight depends on your strength, style, and comfort level.

  • Weight: 

Bowling balls typically range from 6 to 16 pounds. While it might be tempting to go for the heaviest ball, consider one that you can comfortably control. It’s all about finding that balance between power and precision.

  • Size: 

The size of your bowling ball is determined by its diameter. Most adults find success with balls that have a diameter of 14 to 16 pounds. Again, comfort is key. You should be able to hold the ball without straining or feeling like you’re about to drop it.

Bowling Ball Core

Think of it as the engine that drives your ball down the lane. There are two primary types of cores: symmetrical and asymmetrical.

  • Symmetrical Cores: 

These cores offer a smoother, predictable roll. They are ideal for beginners and those looking for consistent performance. Why are they called Symmetrical cores? Simply because they are symmetrical in shape, which means they have a uniform mass distribution.

  • Asymmetrical Cores: 

Asymmetrical cores are more complex in shape, and they create variations in ball motion. They offer more hook potential and versatility, making them a popular choice among seasoned bowlers who want to fine-tune their shots.

In your journey to becoming a skilled bowler, understanding core types will help you tailor your equipment to your playing style and lane conditions.

Bowling Ball Coverstock

Alright, let’s talk about the coverstock – the outer shell of the bowling ball. This is where things get interesting. Coverstocks come in various materials and textures, and they play a significant role in how your ball interacts with the lane surface.

  • Plastic Coverstocks: 

Plastic coverstocks are smooth and offer minimal friction with the lane. They’re commonly found on spare balls because they roll straight and are predictable.

  • Urethane Coverstocks: 

Urethane is a bit tackier than plastic, providing more grip on the lane. It offers a controlled, consistent hook and is a popular choice among bowlers of all skill levels.

  • Reactive Resin Coverstocks: 

These coverstocks are the go-to for serious bowlers. They have a high friction surface that creates a strong hook potential. Reactive resin balls are perfect for those looking to maximize pin action.

Understanding coverstocks is like knowing the secret sauce in bowling. It’s all about finding the right one to match your playing style and the lane conditions you encounter.

Bowling Ball TypeDescriptionBest for
Urethane Bowling BallsOffer a controlled, smooth roll and are less likely to hook aggressively.Beginners and bowlers who want more control over their shots.
Reactive Resin Bowling BallsGrip the lane better and create more angular movement, making them favored by many experienced bowlers.Bowlers who want more hook potential and pin action.
Plastic Bowling BallsStraightforward and reliable. Excellent for shooting spares due to their predictability and minimal hook.Every bowler, regardless of skill level, should consider having a plastic spare ball in their arsenal.
Hybrid Bowling BallsBlend the characteristics of reactive resin and urethane.Bowlers who want the best of both worlds.
Particle Bowling BallsIncorporate microscopic particles for added traction.Bowlers who bowl on challenging lane conditions.

Now that you’ve got a grip on the basics of bowling balls, it’s time to drill down into the concepts of bowling ball drilling.

Bowling Ball Drilling

This process is about customization – transforming your ball into a precision tool tailored to your unique style and needs.

Layout and Drilling:

The layout and drilling of your bowling ball can significantly impact its performance. It’s like customizing a race car to fit a specific track. Different layouts and hole placements create various ball reactions.

Consult a Pro:

While it’s tempting to DIY, I strongly recommend consulting a professional driller. They have the expertise to analyze your game and determine the best layout for your ball.

Balance Holes:

Balance holes, also known as weight holes, can fine-tune your ball’s performance. They are strategically placed to ensure your ball maintains the correct weight distribution.

Coverstock Preparation:

Your bowler driller will also prep the coverstock to ensure it’s smooth and ready to grip the lane. This process can further enhance the ball’s reaction.

By understanding it, you can work closely with your pro shop to optimize your ball’s performance. It’s like having a trusted mechanic who fine-tunes your car for peak performance on the track.

Till now you have known the nuts and bolts of bowling balls, and now it’s time to put it all together and ask a real question, Mr. William….

How to Choose a Bowling Ball?

My buddy, you can make an informed decision by keeping only a few things in mind:

Consider Your Style:

  • Your playing style plays a pivotal role in selecting the right ball. Are you a power player looking for maximum hook, or are you more into finesse shots? Choose accordingly.

Analyze Lane Conditions:

  • Different lanes have different oil patterns and conditions. Understanding these conditions will help you select a ball that performs optimally.

Talk to Experts:

  • Don’t hesitate to seek advice from fellow bowlers or pro shop experts. They can provide valuable insights based on their experiences.

Demo Days and Testing:

  • Many pro shops and bowling alleys offer demo days where you can try out different balls. This hands-on experience can help you find the perfect match.

As you embark on your journey to select the ideal bowling ball, remember that it’s not just about the ball; it’s about finding the perfect companion that complements your unique bowling style.

By mastering the art of selecting and drilling a bowling ball, you’re well on your way to improving your game. 

But that’s just the beginning. Let’s explore another essential piece of your bowling arsenal: shoes. 

Trust me; the right pair of shoes can make all the difference.

2. Bowling Shoes

Ah, bowling shoes – they’re not just any ordinary pair of kicks. They’re your trusted companions on the slick, shiny lanes, and choosing the right pair can spell the difference between sliding smoothly into victory or fumbling your way through a game. Let’s lace up and get started:

Types of Bowling Shoes

Before we dive into the nitty-gritty, let’s talk about the different types of bowling shoes. You’ll find three main categories:

  • Rental Shoes: These are the shoes you usually get at the bowling alley counter. They’re okay for casual games, but if you’re serious about improving your game, investing in your own pair is a smart move.
  • Performance Bowling Shoes: These are the real deal. Performance shoes come in two varieties: sliding and braking. The sliding shoe allows for a smooth glide during your approach, while the braking shoe provides stability and traction. Many experienced bowlers opt for this dual-slider approach for maximum control.
  • Universal Bowling Shoes: If you want the best of both worlds, universal shoes offer both sliding and braking soles. They’re a versatile choice for bowlers who prefer flexibility in their game.
Type of Bowling ShoesSliding SoleBraking SoleComfortPrice Range
Rental ShoesYesNoVariable$5-$10
Performance ShoesYes (left shoe)Yes (right shoe)Good$50-$150
Universal ShoesYes (both shoes)Yes (both shoes)Good$100-$200

PS: Time-pressed? For a rapid review of key points, you can scan the tables ahead.

Importance of Proper Shoe Fit

You may wonder why fit matters. Imagine trying to run a marathon in shoes that are too tight or too loose – it would be a disaster. The same principle applies to bowling shoes, except you’re racing down the lane to hit those pins.

ComfortBowling shoes should fit snugly but comfortably, providing support to your feet without causing pain or discomfort during the game.
StabilityProperly fitting shoes offer stability, which is crucial for a consistent and controlled approach to the foul line.
ControlWell-fitting shoes enable precise footwork, allowing you to maintain balance and accuracy throughout your throw.

How to Choose Bowling Shoes?

First you should know the shoes’ key Features for Enhanced Performance … 

  • Interchangeable Soles and Heels: 

Many performance bowling shoes come with interchangeable soles and heels. This allows you to customize your slide and brake to match your playing style and the lane conditions. It’s like having a toolbox for your feet.

  • Durability: 

Bowling shoes endure a lot of wear and tear, so look for durable materials and construction. Reinforced stitching and high-quality materials will ensure your shoes last for many games to come.

  • Sizing: 

Pay close attention to sizing, as it can vary between brands. Try shoes on to ensure they fit comfortably, and don’t hesitate to ask for assistance.

  • Style: 

While style isn’t the most critical factor, you might want to choose a pair that reflects your personal taste as well. After all, confidence on the lanes can be a game-changer.

Bottom line is a well-fitting, high-quality pair can boost your performance and make every game a comfortable and enjoyable experience.

With the right shoes, you’re well-equipped to tackle the lanes with confidence. But we’re not done yet – in the next section, we are gonna explore the often-overlooked world of bowling bags and accessories. They may not be in the spotlight, but they’re essential for keeping your gear organized and in top-notch condition.

3. Bowling Bags

Imagine trying to carry your groceries without a shopping bag, or attempting to haul your luggage without a suitcase – it’s not practical, right? The same logic applies to your bowling gear. 

A proper bowling bag is not just about convenience; it’s about protecting your valuable accessories and making your trips to the lanes a breeze.

Types of Bowling Bags

Let’s begin by exploring the various types of bowling bags. There are a few options to choose from, each catering to specific needs:

  • Single-Ball Bowling Bags: 

As the name suggests, these bags are designed to carry a single bowling ball. They’re compact and lightweight, making them perfect for beginners or those who prefer to travel light.
Benefit: Single-ball bags are all about simplicity and convenience. They keep your ball secure and protected, with some even featuring additional pockets for accessories.

  • Double-Ball Bowling Bags: 

If you’re a bit more serious about your game and want to carry an extra ball or two, a double-ball bag is the way to go. These bags typically have separate compartments for each ball.
Benefit: Double-ball bags offer flexibility, allowing you to bring multiple balls to adapt to changing lane conditions or practice different shots.

  • Rolling Bowling Bags: 

For bowlers with a full arsenal of equipment, rolling bags are a game-changer. They come with wheels and a retractable handle, making it effortless to transport your gear.
Benefit: Rolling bags provide ultimate convenience, especially if you’re carrying multiple balls, shoes, and accessories. They save you from lugging heavy bags around and keep your gear organized.

Type of Bowling BagBenefit/PurposeKey Considerations
Single-Ball Bowling BagSimplicity and convenience. Keeps your ball secure and protected.Size, durability, additional pockets.
Double-Ball Bowling BagFlexibility. Allows you to bring multiple balls to adapt to changing lane conditions or practice different shots.Size, durability, number of ball compartments, additional pockets.
Rolling Bowling BagEffortless transportation. Great for bowlers with a full arsenal of equipment.Size, durability, number of ball compartments, wheels, retractable handle.

Remember, choosing the right bowling bag isn’t just about picking one at random; there are several factors to consider to ensure it meets your needs and preferences:

What to Consider When Buying a Bowling Bag?

  • Size: 

Think about how many balls you want to carry and what additional gear or accessories you’ll need to stow away. Make sure the bag has enough space to accommodate everything comfortably.

  • Durability: 

Look for a bag made of sturdy materials with reinforced stitching. Bowling balls can be heavy, and a durable bag will stand up to the wear and tear of frequent use.

  • Style: 

While style isn’t the most critical factor, you might want to choose a bag that suits your taste. Many bags come in various colors and designs.

  • Additional Features: 

Some bags come with extra pockets for accessories, shoe compartments, or even detachable pouches. Consider what additional features will make your life easier.

  • Portability: 

If you plan to transport your gear to the lanes frequently, think about whether you’d prefer a single-strap bag or one with a shoulder strap for comfortable carrying.

A well-chosen bowling bag ensures your bowling accessories are safe, organized, and easy to transport. It’s your trusty sidekick on your bowling adventures, so pick one that suits your needs and style.

Remember, good players don’t only invest in the above gears because they know from wrist supports to cleaners, each accessory plays a unique role in perfecting your game. 

So, In this section, we’ll provide a brief overview of some must-have bowling accessories that can enhance your performance and keep you in top form.

4. Bowling Gloves

Picture this: you’re about to take your shot, but your hand feels a bit sweaty, or you’re not quite confident in your grip. That’s where bowling gloves come into play.

Purpose: Bowling gloves provide a secure grip on the ball, reduce friction, and minimize the risk of blisters. They’re particularly useful if you tend to sweat or if you’re looking for extra control during your throw.

5. Bowling Wrist Supports

If you’ve ever felt strain or discomfort in your wrist during a game, a bowling wrist support might be your saving grace.

Purpose: Wrist supports offer stability to your wrist, ensuring proper positioning during your release. This can help reduce the risk of injuries and improve your shot consistency.

6. Bowling Tape

Ever wish you could adjust your grip on the fly without making permanent changes to your ball? That’s where bowling tape comes in handy.

Purpose: Bowling tape, applied to the inside of your thumb or finger holes, can fine-tune your grip and help you achieve the perfect fit. It’s especially useful if your fingers tend to swell or if you want to experiment with different feels without drilling.

7. Cleaners

Your bowling ball is like a finely tuned instrument, and like any instrument, it needs regular maintenance to perform at its best.

Purpose: Bowling ball cleaners remove oil, dirt, and grime from the ball’s surface, restoring its tackiness and grip on the lane. Regular cleaning not only prolongs the life of your ball but also ensures optimal performance.

These accessories – bowling bags, wrist support, bowling tape, and bowling gloves may seem minor compared to your bowling ball and shoes, but they play a crucial role in your overall game.

Consider adding them to your arsenal to fine-tune your performance and never forget to use cleaners to keep your accessories in top-notch condition.

Bowling AccessoryBenefit/Purpose
Bowling GlovesProvide a secure grip on the ball, reduce friction, and minimize the risk of blisters.
Bowling Wrist SupportsOffer stability to your wrist, ensuring proper positioning during your release. This can help reduce the risk of injuries and improve your shot consistency.
Bowling TapeFine-tune your grip and help you achieve the perfect fit. It’s especially useful if your fingers tend to swell or if you want to experiment with different feels without drilling.
CleanersRemove oil, dirt, and grime from the ball’s surface, restoring its tackiness and grip on the lane. Regular cleaning not only prolongs the life of your ball but also ensures optimal performance.

Now that we’ve covered the essentials of bowling balls, shoes, bags, and other bowling accessories, it’s time to bring it all together.

So, are you ready to discover …

How to Find Perfect Bowling Gear For Yourself?

Congratulations on making it this far on our journey through the world of bowling accessories!

In this section, we’ll delve into the art of finding the perfect bowling gear tailored just for you.

Trust me; it’s not about having the most expensive or flashy accessories – it’s about discovering what works best for your unique game.

Consider Your Bowling Skill Level

The first step in finding your ideal bowling gear is to consider your skill level. Are you a beginner, still honing your technique and finding your groove on the lanes? Or are you a seasoned pro looking for accessories that can keep up with your advanced skills?

For Beginners:

  • Start with the basics. A straightforward, reliable bowling ball that matches your weight and style is an excellent starting point.
  • Invest in comfortable shoes that provide proper support and stability as you learn the ropes.
  • Accessories like gloves, wrist supports, and tape can offer valuable assistance during your learning journey.

For Intermediate and Advanced Bowlers:

  • By this stage, you likely have a clearer understanding of your playing style and preferences. Consider customizing your equipment to suit your unique needs.
  • Explore different ball types, coverstocks, and core designs to find the perfect match for your style and the specific lane conditions you encounter.
  • Fine-tune your gear with accessories that enhance your control, consistency, and performance.

Consider Your Budget

Bowling gear comes in a wide range of price points, and it’s crucial to find a balance that suits your budget without compromising on quality.

Keep in mind that while high-end equipment can be enticing, it’s not always necessary, especially if you’re just starting out. So, for you here are some …

Budget-Friendly Tips:

  • Look for quality mid-range options that offer excellent performance without breaking the bank.
  • Consider purchasing gently used equipment from reliable sources, such as pro shops or fellow bowlers.
  • Focus on essentials and gradually build your collection as you progress in your bowling journey.

Consider Your Bowling Style

No two bowlers are exactly alike, and your playing style plays a significant role in determining your ideal gear.

For Power Bowlers:

  • If you’re known for your powerful throws and aggressive hooks, look for high-performance balls with reactive resin coverstocks.
  • Accessories like wrist supports can provide added stability during your powerful release.

For Finesse Bowlers:

  • If you rely on finesse and precision shots, consider smoother-reacting balls with urethane coverstocks.
  • Bowling gloves may help you maintain a consistent, controlled grip.

For All-Around Bowlers:

  • If your style falls somewhere in between, versatility is key. Opt for equipment that offers a balanced mix of control and hook potential.
  • Experiment with different accessories to find the combination that complements your playing style.

On the basis of my experience, I will suggest you …

Consider Trying Out Different Equipment

Before purchasing, borrow balls, rent shoes, and experiment with accessories at your local bowling alley or pro shop. This hands-on experience will help you discover what feels most comfortable and effective for your game.

In conclusion, finding your perfect bowling gear is a journey of self-discovery. It’s about matching your equipment to your skill level, budget, and playing style. Don’t rush the process; take your time to experiment and fine-tune your gear until you find the combination that helps you roll those strikes with confidence.

Well, here is the summary of your important learning:

Skill LevelBallShoesAccessories
BeginnerUrethane ballRental shoesBowling gloves, wrist supports, tape
IntermediateReactive resin ballPerformance shoesBowling gloves, wrist supports, tape
AdvancedHybrid or particle ballPerformance shoesBowling gloves, wrist supports, tape, cleaners

As we near the end of our value page, there’s one more essential topic to cover: maintaining your bowling equipment. 

Bowling Accessories Maintenance Tips

Congratulations on coming this far in your journey to becoming a bowling equipment expert! It is our final piece of the puzzle.

In this section, we’ll explore the essential maintenance practices that will help you keep your gear in tip-top condition and ensure it performs at its best whenever you hit the lanes.

Basic Maintenance Practices

Here are some quick cleaning and maintenance routines that every bowler should know:

Cleaning Your Bowling Ball:

  • After each game, wipe down your bowling ball with a clean, dry towel to remove dirt, oil, and lane debris.
  • For a deeper clean, use a specially formulated bowling ball cleaner. Apply it sparingly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Periodically, you can also use a microfiber cloth to give your ball a gentle polish.

Cleaning Your Bowling Shoes:

  • Keep your bowling shoes clean and dry. Use a shoe brush or a damp cloth to remove dirt and moisture.
  • Make sure the soles and heels of your shoes are in good condition. Replace them if they become worn down, as they directly impact your approach and slide.

Storing Your accessories:

  • Invest in a quality bowling bag to protect your gear from dust and damage when not in use.
  • Store your accessories in a cool, dry place away from extreme temperatures, which can affect the performance of your gear.

Inspecting Your Accessories:

  • Regularly check your accessories, such as gloves, wrist supports, and tape, for wear and tear. Replace them if they show signs of damage.

Even with proper care, bowling equipment can encounter issues from time to time. So, we want you to know some common problems and tips on how to troubleshoot them perfectly.

3 Common Bowling Accessories Issues & Their Solution

Scuffs and Scratches on Your Bowling Ball:

  • Light scuffs and scratches are normal wear and tear. They can affect the ball’s performance, but not significantly.
  • To address minor scuffs, use a polishing compound or a ball resurfacing machine at your local pro shop.
  • For deeper scratches or damage, consult a professional driller or resurfacing expert.

Cracked or Damaged Bowling Ball:

  • Cracks in a bowling ball can be a severe issue. If you notice any cracks, stop using the ball immediately to prevent further damage or injury.
  • Consult a professional driller or pro shop for advice on whether the ball can be repaired or needs replacement.

Worn Out or Damaged Accessories:

  • If your accessories, such as gloves or wrist supports, become worn or damaged, replace them promptly to maintain consistency and comfort in your game.

By incorporating these basic maintenance practices into your routine you’ll extend the lifespan of your gear and ensure that it consistently performs at its best.

Remember, a well-maintained bowling arsenal is your ticket to strikes and spares with confidence!

Finally, you now have a comprehensive understanding of bowling gear, from balls and shoes to bags and accessories, as well as how to maintain them. I hope this knowledge serves you well on your journey to becoming a skilled and knowledgeable bowler. Roll those strikes, and enjoy every game!

Final Thoughts:

Congratulations on completing your journey through the world of bowling accessories! We’ve covered a lot of ground, from the basics of choosing the right bowling ball and shoes to exploring essential accessories and maintenance tips.

Now, let’s recap the key points and encourage you to put your newfound knowledge into action.

  • Bowling accessories are essential for the game and include bowling balls, shoes, bags, and accessories.
  • Your choice significantly impacts your performance and enjoyment of the game.
  • Understanding the types of bowling balls, their weight, size, core, coverstock, and drilling is essential for making the right selection.
  • Properly fitting bowling shoes provide stability, control, and comfort.
  • Bowling bags and other accessories, such as gloves, wrist supports, tape, and cleaners, play critical roles in your game.
  • Finding the ideal bowling gear involves considering your skill level, budget, and playing style.
  • Trying out different equipment before making a purchase is vital to finding the perfect match.
  • Regular maintenance practices, such as cleaning and proper storage, extend the lifespan of your accessories.
  • Knowing how to troubleshoot common equipment issues helps you address minor problems promptly.

Apply What You’ve Learned:

Now, it’s roadmap to put this knowledge to work. Here’s how:

  • Assess Your Gear: Take a close look at your current bowling equipment. Is it the right fit for your skill level and playing style? Are there any maintenance issues that need attention?
  • Visit a Pro Shop: If you need to upgrade or fine-tune your gear, visit a pro shop and consult with experts. They can help you make informed choices based on your unique needs.
  • Try Before You Buy: Before making any significant purchases, try out different options at your local bowling alley or pro shop. This hands-on experience is invaluable.
  • Commit to Maintenance: Incorporate regular maintenance practices into your routine to keep your gear in top condition. Clean your bowling ball and shoes after every game, and inspect your accessories for wear and tear.
  • Stay Informed: Continue to explore and expand your knowledge of bowling accessories. The world of bowling is always evolving, and staying informed can help you stay on top of the latest developments.

Remember, bowling is not just a sport; it’s a journey of improvement and enjoyment. Your accessories are your ally on this journey, and with the right gear and proper care, you’ll be well-prepared to rock!

Now, grab your gear, hit the lanes, and let the strikes begin!

Resources Used for Research:

The Relationship between Goal Proximity and Specificity in Bowling: A Field Experiment

Effects of differential self-monitoring and level of mastery on sports performance: Brain power bowling