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Bowling/How to choose a recreational "all around" ball


I'm fifty years old. Through our church bowling night, I have recently discovered the fun of bowling after about a 20 year absence and I'd like to purchase a good general purpose ball. I don't want to spend a huge amount of money and the thought of two balls, one for strikes, one for spares, seems silly to me for someone at my skill and interest level. The array of choices seems dizzying though. Different coverings and compounds, more hook from this, less from that. Back in the day, we put the hook on the ball by the way we threw it, the position of our thumb, or so I thought anyway.
I must say I would like one of the pretty colored balls, there's still some desire for "cool factor" in me even though I'm not as young as I once was. If it makes any difference, when I quit bowling before, I used to bowl anywhere from 160 to 190 but I never remember breaking 200. I also used a 15 lb. ball. At the bowling night, I used a 15 lb. ball and it seemed heavy but I wonder as I start using those muscles again if it won't be OK. I'm about 190 as far as my weight and I do have more aches and pains than I used too but I can't imagine using a lighter ball. Does age and physical condition enter into ball weight choice?
Sorry to ramble, just trying to give as much good info on my situation as I can.

Lots of good info. Thanks. I'd assume you can still handle 15 pounds if fit properly. Your ball should literally hang from your hand, minimizing the need for any grip pressure.

That being said, you might grip a little as back in the day the drillers didn't know as much as a modern guy now. You'll fight a little muscle memory.

Without knowing any real skills details, my first thought would be a basic urethane ball, not usually very flashy.

Additionally, the typical entry level products are very good, as most manufacturers don't want good cover formulas to go away just because they're a year old! So many of the top coverstocks are from top high performance products from a couple years ago.

Your driller should take you out on a lane to see you actually bowl and get some benefit from understanding your speed, rev rate, tilt and axis rotation to better customize a ball just for you. You won't spend too much but you should get very good bang for the buck as modern equipment is very good. Thanks for the question. Hope that covers what you need.  


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