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 Post subject: I'm fed up with my thumb
 Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:07 pm Post Number: #1 Post
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I've had thumb swelling/shrinking problems as long as I can remember. Recently, I decided to try KT tape on my thumb, but I wrap it under and over the top. I've never seen anyone else do what I'm doing.

My fit based on wiki and changes from Mo in the past:

MF:
4 9/16"
3/8L, -0-
RF:
4 5/8"
3/8R, 1/8R

Thumb:
Turbo SG
Thumb Holes: 29 ovaled to 31, 29 ovaled to 61, 29 ovaled to 15, 61/64 round, 15/16 round
1/8R, -0-

My flexibility is 105*, dry skin and 2 3/8" thumb length


My thumb swells like crazy, but it can also shrink. Its like it continually fluctuates in size. Sunday, it felt good and I felt secure in the ball. Then all of a sudden the ball fell off my hand. Then last night, I started with my 61/64 round hole with 2 white pcs up front and 3 black in the back. Thru practice it was good, the last shot in practice I hung just a touch. I pulled one pc and damn near threw the ball the arrows on the first frame. By the end of the night, I had all the tape out and was struggling to clear the ball.

There are some nights where my thumb goes up/down, some nights where it might stay fairly consistent and some where it swells and swells like last night. I feel like I've tried just about everything.

Magic Carpet
Motiv release tape
KT Tape on the back and around the entire thumb
Tiered taping
Different pitches
Wearing a small thumb slug between shots

I haven't tried one of the thumb saver sock deals. Any other advice you folks can give me?


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My stats:
Rev rate: 360
Axis tilt: 17*
Axis rotation: 55
Speed: 15.5-16 at the decks
PAP: 5R, 1/4U


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 Post subject: Re: I'm fed up with my thumb
 Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 6:22 pm Post Number: #2 Post
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I’d check your diet, sodium intake can make you swell. Get some lotion, dry cracked hands tend to swell and get stiff.

For tape, play around with the positioning. Might need to put it down lower if you’re grabbing a touch.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm fed up with my thumb
 Posted: Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:05 pm Post Number: #3 Post
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44boyd wrote:
I’d check your diet, sodium intake can make you swell. Get some lotion, dry cracked hands tend to swell and get stiff.

For tape, play around with the positioning. Might need to put it down lower if you’re grabbing a touch.


Valuable input.

As for tape height, I do move it up/down as necessary.

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My stats:
Rev rate: 360
Axis tilt: 17*
Axis rotation: 55
Speed: 15.5-16 at the decks
PAP: 5R, 1/4U


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 Post subject: Re: I'm fed up with my thumb
 Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:10 am Post Number: #4 Post
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Just checking, I know mine is too high up when I start hanging up in it.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm fed up with my thumb
 Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 3:53 am Post Number: #5 Post
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Switchgrip.

I have 3 sizes. I have yet to remove all the tape from my largest one, it is definitely large enough. I had that one drilled up this past summer because my thumb was swelling like crazy in the heat and humidity. I think I will be all set if I hit my thumb with a hammer, it is plenty big.
I like just one piece of white tape on the front for texture, I have found I really don't like alot of tape built up in the hole.

I think the removable thumbs are worth their weight in tape.

I also have them drilled oval and found that my thumb swells less since I have gone to the oval.

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Right Handed
PAP 4.75" up 1/2"
45* rotation
12* tilt
330 rev rate
16 mph off hand


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 Post subject: Re: I'm fed up with my thumb
 Posted: Fri Nov 09, 2018 5:31 pm Post Number: #6 Post
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Get a cup of ice at the beginning of the session and add a little water. Between shots suck on the ice to help keep your body cool. Do not drink soft drinks, beer, or any other alcoholic beverages. -- JohnP


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 Post subject: Re: I'm fed up with my thumb
 Posted: Sat Nov 10, 2018 2:07 am Post Number: #7 Post
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So I think I found something that will work.

Yesterday, I experimented with different pitches in a ball that doesn't have my Switch Grips. Nothing really helped much. I came home and started really looking at my thumb to evaluate the size and shape. I decided to try the one thing I hadn't tried......a tapered thumb hole. I drilled a thumb hole 15/16 full depth, 61/64 1 3/4" deep and then 31/32" 3/4" deep. This was okay, but I felt it was simply too tight at the bottom.

I drilled another slug 61/64" full depth and 31/32" 3/4" deep. This was money. I was able to clear the ball consistently and I had room for tape but if my tape was a touch snug I didn't hang. If it was a touch loose I could still execute a decent-to-good shot. So I'm going to get rid of all the oval switch grip slugs I have and just go with 3 slugs.

1) 15/16 full depth, 61/64 3/4" deep (for deep winter when my thumb really shrinks)
2) 61/64 full depth, 31/32 3/4" deep
3) 31/32 full depth, 63/64 3/4" deep

This should allow me to solve my problems or at least have the ability to find a slug that feels comfortable with the proper tape/tape positioning.

I did try the thumb sock and it was A-W-F-U-L. Mega-slick and I hated it.

I bowled on the Viper today and struck at will so I'm pleased with the adjustment.

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My stats:
Rev rate: 360
Axis tilt: 17*
Axis rotation: 55
Speed: 15.5-16 at the decks
PAP: 5R, 1/4U


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 Post subject: Re: I'm fed up with my thumb
 Posted: Fri Nov 30, 2018 5:31 pm Post Number: #8 Post
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I made some other changes to dial this experiment in further.

The fitting cylinder shows I need 1/16 to 1/8 LEFT lateral. I used 1/8 right lateral for years, then changed to -0-. If I use 1/8 left lateral I blister my thumb. So, I added 1/8 right lateral and I've been averaging 247 the last 7 games. I stopped completely wrapping my thumb with tape. I also started taking an ibuprofen before bowling and that has helped with my swelling. I put an alarm on my phone to remind myself to take it. My thumb still swells slightly, but only enough to remove a piece of tape or two.

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My stats:
Rev rate: 360
Axis tilt: 17*
Axis rotation: 55
Speed: 15.5-16 at the decks
PAP: 5R, 1/4U


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 Post subject: Re: I'm fed up with my thumb
 Posted: Sat Dec 01, 2018 5:14 pm Post Number: #9 Post
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Something passed along by PBA champ, Parker Bohn III (heard this in the 90's, dated perhaps as it preceded switch grips and the myriad of tapes that followed)

In a pinch, a tiny bit of Chapstick can help. Be careful with it, because a little is usually enough.

Tricky thumbs are like running carrying kettle bells ...

Best of luck.

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The short poem Desiderata contains words of wisdom for us all.
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=ih-HTtMtwek
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