Just Got Hooked?

Just Got Hooked?

So you’ve been trying to get that house ball to curve on the lanes.  Putting just your 2 fingers in the ball, no thumb, cocking that elbow to create as much spin as you possibly can in order to get that ball to hook.   Possibly even using a pretty light ball so you don’t tear up that elbow & wrist too.  Sometimes the house ball will hook a lot & sometimes it won’t.  That all has to do with how much oil is on the lane while you’re bowling…but that’s another article.

The house ball isn’t designed to hook, the shell is made out of polyester.  Polyester is the industry term for a plastic ball.  Polyester is very hard so it doesn’t create friction with the lane & that’s what we need to get the ball to hook, friction.  Yes, you can get any ball to hook if you spin it hard enough (we call that “rev rate”).   But why work so hard to try & hook a ball that isn’t designed to hook?  Rather, use a ball that IS designed to hook.  Those are balls that have a reactive resin shell.  Reactive resin is actually very soft.  No, you can’t feel how soft it is by touching it, but trust us, it is much softer than a plastic ball. With a reactive resin ball, you try half as hard & get twice as much as you do with that house ball.  That soft shell creates a lot of friction with the lane and that’s why it hooks.

But with all of these different balls on the market, which one would be good.  Well, it depends.  If you want to keep spinning the ball with just using 2 fingers & no thumb, it’s all about making sure you don’t get a ball that hooks too much.  That’s very easy to do.  And too much hook can be just as frustrating as not enough hook.  There are 2 ball categories you can choose from, Entry Level or Lower Mid-Performance.  These type of balls have a lower hook rating but you won’t need a lot of help because your rev rate will be so high.  A couple balls in the Entry Level category are the Brunswick Rhino and the Storm Tropical Surge.  If you want something with a little more hook potential, you can choose something out of the Lower Mid-Performance category, like any of the 4 Roto Grip Hustles (INK, 3TP, HSB or Au) or any of the Hammer Vibe balls.

If you want to use your fingers & thumb to hook the ball, you can pick from the same two categories listed above, Entry Level or Lower Mid-Performance.  But just remember that those who put their thumb in the ball, your rev rate will be lower, thus making it harder to get the ball to hook as much as you want.  If you purchase an entry level ball, be prepared to purchase another, stronger ball a few months down the road.  As you get better at spinning the ball, you will reach the potential of an Entry Level ball & may want a new ball that hooks more.  We recommend skipping the entry level price point & go straight to the Lower Mid-Performance category.

Don’t stress yourself over which specific ball either.  Pick a color you love & go.  If you drilled a 3 different balls, from 3 different companies, all in the same price point, you really wouldn’t notice a difference.  It’s not until you get into the more dynamic balls in higher price points that balls really begin to separate themselves from each other.

The last 2 things are ball weight and the proper fit.  With ball weight, we recommend going 1 or 2 pounds heavier than the house ball weight you are comfortable with.  Why?  Because house balls aren’t designed to fit any one person’s hand.  The holes are too big, the spread is too far apart.  Your own ball will be custom fitted to your hand and a proper fitting ball will allow you to use a heavier ball for a longer period of time.  You also should go to a “finger tip” grip.  No, that doesn’t mean you’re holding the ball with just the tips of your fingers.  It just means you put your fingers into the ball up to the first knuckle crease.  If you bury your fingers too deep into the ball, it makes it harder to spin the ball.  Talk to your local pro shop, they should be able to measure your hand for that proper fit.  House balls are drilled with a “conventional” grip, you want to use a fingertip grip.  Just mention that to the pro shop & they will know exactly what you are talking about.

We hope this little article gives you some quality insight on transitioning to you first “hook” ball.  Remember, just because a ball costs more, doesn’t mean it’s “better”…and that’s a topic for yet another article.  If you have any further questions, check out our buying guide articles or feel free to contact us at orbdrillers@orbdrillers.com

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