What Weight Bowling Ball Do Pros Use & Should You?

Being a bowling expert I am often asked this question, “What Weight Bowling Ball Do Pros Use?”

So I thought of answering it today. 

Let’s first see, what do pros say about their preferred bowling ball weights?

Some professional bowlers shared their bowling ball weight preference with me, so I am quoting them here.

  • “I use a 15-pound ball. I think it’s the best weight for me because it gives me a good balance of power and control. I can throw it hard enough to generate good pin carry, but I can also control it well enough to hit my target.” 
  • “I used to use a 16-pound ball, but I switched to a 15-pound ball a few years ago. I found that I could throw the 15-pound ball with more speed and accuracy, and I was getting better results.” 
  • “I use a 14-pound ball. I’m not a big guy, so I don’t have the same upper body strength as some of the other pro bowlers. But I’m able to generate a lot of power with the 14-pound ball, and I’m very accurate with it.” 

As you saw, there is no definite number. 

Yet, my observation is that pros usually prefer heavier bowls ranging between 14-16 pounds.

But, the question arises …

Why do Pros Use Heavier Bowling Balls?

What Weight Bowling Ball Do Pros Use

It’s because they provide more power and pin carry. Heavier bowling balls generate more momentum, allowing them to hit the pins with greater force. 

This increased power results in better pin carry, meaning the pins are more likely to be knocked down and score higher points.

However, it’s important to consider the effect of heavier bowling balls on accuracy and control

While heavier balls may provide more power, they can be more challenging to control and may lead to less accuracy.

So, the main question is…

Should You Follow Pros & Start Using a Heavier Bowling Ball?

Well, my recommendation is if you are a beginner don’t go for it yet. Ultimately, finding the right ball weight is about finding the balance that works best for you and your game.

So, take baby steps – start with the lighter ones. Initially, the advantages of using a lighter bowling ball are numerous. 

Firstly, it allows for a greater degree of control and accuracy. With a lighter ball, you can easily adjust your hand position and release, leading to more consistent shots.

Additionally, a lighter ball puts less strain on your body, reducing the risk of injury.

On the other hand, heavier balls can generate more power and pin carry, but it requires more strength and control. So, they limit your ability to make subtle adjustments.

Major drawback is the impact on your bowling technique. When using a heavier ball, it can be difficult to maintain proper form and release the ball smoothly. This can affect your aim and overall performance on the lanes.

Additionally, using a heavier ball increases the risk of injury. For beginners, using a heavier bowling ball can lead to muscle strain and fatigue

The extra weight puts more strain on your muscles and joints, making you more susceptible to strains, sprains, and even more serious injuries. 

The key is to start with a bowling weight that offers a good balance of power and control..

What Weight Bowling Ball Do Pros Use

Interestingly, did you know that the average male bowler uses a 15-pound ball, while the average female bowler typically uses a 14-pound ball? 

This observation highlights the importance of finding the weight that suits your individual style and strength. 

So, It’s crucial to listen to your body and not push yourself beyond your limits.

Yet, gradually with practice, you should consider using a heavier bowling ball. It directs me towards my next point …

How Can You Gradually Transition to a Heavier Bowling Ball?

To transition to a heavier bowling ball gradually, start by practicing with a slightly heavier ball during your warm-up rounds. This will allow your muscles to adjust and build strength over time. 

As you become more comfortable with the slightly heavier ball, gradually increase the weight during your practice sessions.

It’s important to listen to your body and not push yourself too hard. Take breaks if needed and always prioritize your safety.

Additionally, as you transition to a heavier ball, it’s essential to adjust your bowling technique. This may include focusing on proper grip, release, and follow-through.

This gradual transition to heavier balls will provide more power and better pin action, increasing your chances of getting strikes. 

By doing so, you will enjoy …

Benefits of Using a Heavier Bowling Ball 

Greater Pin Carry: You’ll experience greater pin carry when using a heavier bowling ball. This extra force helps the ball to hit the pins with more power, increasing the chances of knocking them down. 

Larger Entry Angle: Additionally, a heavier ball has the advantage of creating a larger entry angle into the pins, which leads to better pin carry.

The increased weight also helps to reduce deflection, ensuring that the ball maintains a straighter path towards the pins.

Accuracy: The impact of using a heavier bowling ball on accuracy can be significant. When you throw a heavier ball, it creates more momentum and energy as it travels down the lane. 

So, if you’re looking to improve your pin carry and overall scoring potential, considering using a heavier bowling ball gradually can be a great choice.

Remember, finding the right balance between ball weight and technique is key to maximizing your potential without sacrificing your well-being.

Interesting Fact & Final Words: 

Do you among ones that think using a 16 pound ball is better than 14 pounds just because of increased weight?

No, not at all! Bowling Beyond the Basics reveals something opposite. 

If we keep the kinetic energy formula in mind: 

KE = 1/2 * m * v^2


  • KE is kinetic energy in joules (J)
  • m is mass in kilograms (kg)
  • V is speed (mph)

If 16, 15, and 14 pound balls have equal momentum i.e. 48.5 Km/s they will achieve speeds of 14.9, 16, and 17.1 mph respectively.

That means, 

For 16 pound ball: KE = 1/2 * 16 * 14.9 ^2 = 178.8 J

For 15 pound ball: KE = 1/2 * 15 * 16 ^2 = 192.0 J

For 14 pound ball: KE = 1/2 * 14 * 17.1 ^2 = 204.7 J

Wait, WHAT? 

Will a 14 pound ball have the highest KE among these all three? Yes!.

So, the bottom line is you shouldn’t be crazy about using the heaviest bowling ball. 

If you’re looking to bowl like the pros, it’s important to choose the right weight bowling ball for you. 

While professionals typically use heavier balls ranging from 14 to 16 pounds, it’s crucial to find the weight that feels comfortable and allows you to maintain control.

What Weight Bowling Ball Do Pros Use – FAQs

Can Beginners Use the Same Weight Bowling Balls as Professionals?

Yes, beginners can use the same weight bowling balls as professionals, but it’s important to learn proper technique for lifting heavier balls. Using a lighter ball initially offers benefits for beginners, allowing for more control and less strain.

Are There Any Disadvantages to Using a Heavier Bowling Ball?

Using a heavier bowling ball might seem advantageous, but it can have drawbacks. It may affect your performance, causing fatigue and increasing the risk of injury. Consider the impact before making a choice.

What Factors Should I Consider When Choosing the Right Bowling Ball Weight for Me?

When choosing the right bowling ball weight for you, consider factors like your strength, skill level, and desired performance. It is important to choose a ball weight that feels comfortable in your hand and allows you to maintain good form.

It is a good idea to experiment with different ball weights to find the one that is best for you. You can also ask a bowling pro for advice.

How Can I Gradually Increase the Weight of My Bowling Ball Without Risking Injury?

To gradually increase the weight of your bowling ball without risking injury, start by choosing a ball that is slightly heavier than your current one. Then, gradually increase the weight over time, focusing on proper technique and listening to your body’s limits.

Are There Any Techniques or Exercises That Can Help Me Handle a Heavier Bowling Ball More Effectively?

Build grip strength with techniques like towel squeezes and wrist curls. Exercises like shoulder presses and bicep curls will help you develop good arm and shoulder muscles.

Resources Used to Provide Authentic and Up to Date Information:

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

Let’s Go Bowling

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