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The point of having an arsenal is to get diff erent reactions. You want a golf bag. You don’t want four fi ve-irons in your golf bag, do you? You have to clean the ball and reapply

the desired surface regularly. Putting the desired surface back on each ball after a block or after each league night will not only improve the ball’s performance, it will help you better understand ball motion and lane play, which is the most diffi cult part of our game. You should always carry a cleaner,

a clean towel, some polish and some Abralon pads. And when you clean the ball (which you should do before and after you apply a new surface), clean it the same way every time.

LIMITLESS OPTIONS No matter how many (or few) balls you have, the number of surfaces you can put on the ball is almost limitless. A shiny ball doesn’t always have to be shiny, and a dull ball doesn’t always have to be dull. The lane condition should dictate how you surface your ball. I’ve gone to tournaments in which it was apparent our equipment wasn’t right for the conditions, so we’ve changed the surfaces on the arsenal to match up better with fresh oil, etc. Chang- ing surfaces is easy and doesn’t take long. You can turn one ball into six or seven.

MAXIMIZING OPTIONS Spread your arsenal out. Change the surface of a ball three or four ways and see how the ball responds. Try 500 grit or 1000

A clean slate: Top professionals, like Parker Bohn III, change and reapply the surface of their bowling ball arsenal every round.

polish and see the diff erent reactions the ball has on the lanes. Gaining this knowl- edge will help you maximize the options you have on the lanes. Too many bowlers feel that they have to use the ball just as it came out of the box.

I’ve read about all sorts of ways to clean and sand a ball. Keep it simple. The main thing is to make sure you clean and sand the whole ball. I set the ball in a ball cup and clean it parallel to the track. Then I simply fl ip it over 180 degrees and do it

The truth, of course, is that lots of bowl-

ers have pads and cleaners in their bag, but never use them. I think that’s because they’re uncomfortable and feel like they don’t know how to use the tools. That’s what practice sessions are for. Try diff erent

again. Make sure you clean the whole ball. The same for sanding. As for the desired surface,

if I want 4000 grit on the ball (smooth but no polish), I make sure it doesn’t have any lines in it. If I want a rougher surface, something


surfaces. It teaches you about ball motion. You can see what diff erent balls do as they go through the skid, hook, roll phase.

LONGEVITY The other issue with cover stock is longev- ity. Balls will last a lot longer if the bowler cleans them before they put them away. Also, use a clean towel. I see bowlers pull out a towel that looks like it’s been dragged through the mud, or it’s two years old and has never been washed. Always use a clean microfi ber towel. And don’t mix and match towels. If one has polish residue on it, only use it for your shiny ball. That’s how critical it is to keep the surface the way you want it. Again, bowling balls are not cheap. Your

cover stocks will last a good long time, and you’ll get good ball reaction for a long time, if you keep the ball clean and continually reapply a surface. — Del Warren is a USBC Gold Level Coach,

head coach of Webber International’s men’s bowling team and vice president of the Kegel Training Center.

Keeping The Proper Surface On Your Ball Is Easy

with lines on it, I’m going to use 500 or 1000. Make sure the surface is consistent over the entire ball. Also, always start one or

two steps back from your desired surface. If you want a 1000 fi nish, start with 360, then 500 and then 1000.

The same with polishes.

Some polishes are tacky (bowlers like to see the ball snap!), and some have slip agents in them that will make the ball go further down the lane. Just make sure the surface is uniform over the entire ball.

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July 2013

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