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 Post subject: Advice on buying a second ball for league
 Posted: Tue Apr 10, 2018 6:00 pm Post Number: #1 Post
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Quick background:

I purchased a RG Critical 14# as my first fitted ball. After months of practice and league I received lots of advice that someone my size should be throwing at least a 15# ball to increase pin carry (which was suffering).

At the advice of a local pro shop, I was sold a 15# Code Red and converted both balls over to thumb slugs for consistency, which I really like. But, swapping between weights during league was just not working for me, so I focused on using the 15# Code Red for a majority of play.

Although I know my game still needs a lot of work, I'd like to get a second 15# ball to compliment the Code Red for differing/changing lane conditions during league and eliminate using the 14# all together. The upcoming ProAm signup is promoting a Hyroad Nano, which is a good budget ball, but I'm not sure if it will be a good compliment for my Code Red, so I'm looking for advice.

I'm 6'3" and 230 lbs with long arms and wide shoulders. I don't have a high backswing and average 14-16mph. I suppose I would classify myself as a stroker, but am still working on consistent release of the ball to achieve the proper rotation. I don't know my rev's.

I know my game and consistency is more important than the equipment at this point, but I'm really guessing when it comes to picking out equipment. Any advice would be appreciated. Thanks.

EDIT: I did ask the mechanic about the oil pattern they use during league and he replied that they employ a 42' "House Pattern" and a total oil volume of 23.15ml, which may be considered med to high.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on buying a second ball for league
 Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 4:16 pm Post Number: #2 Post
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To be able to make a good recommendation your release specs are needed And the layout you have on the Code Red.

I would talk to your proshop that recommended the change in weight. athey should be able to steer you in the right direction.

Other questions I have...
Do you wwant this ball to be stronger or weaker?
Do you want a similar ball motion shape or do you want it to be different? This would be more about the layout.
What color? this is my ongoing joke about the most important bowling ball characteristic.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on buying a second ball for league
 Posted: Fri Apr 13, 2018 5:01 pm Post Number: #3 Post
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Thank you for the response.

EricHartwell wrote:
To be able to make a good recommendation your release specs are needed And the layout you have on the Code Red.


I don't know the specs on the code red, but can ask the pro shop for them.

EricHartwell wrote:
I would talk to your proshop that recommended the change in weight. athey should be able to steer you in the right direction.


The proshop did not recommend the change in weight. When I began bowling for the first time I was using a 13# house ball. When I went in to purchase my first ball I went with a 14# RG Crticial at the shops request, which I liked a lot. During league, I had conversations with several bowlers about ball weight and they recommended that I try a 15# ball for better action. I had a used 15# ball drilled to see if the weight felt better for me. The pin action was definitely better but the additional weight was a bit more taxing on my shoulder. I decided to get a new 15# and was steered towards the CR by another proshop that I had done some side work for. Neither shop has really had me out on the lane to observe my style.

To be honest, I need a lot of help with the basics but have had a problem finding good coaching. A new ball is not going to fix the problems I have with my approach/swing/release, but it would be nice to have a second ball in my arsenal with different characteristics that I could use on differing lane conditions.


EricHartwell wrote:
Other questions I have...
Do you want this ball to be stronger or weaker?


Probably weaker. The CR is currently breaking hard on the back end sometimes.

EricHartwell wrote:
Do you want a similar ball motion shape or do you want it to be different? This would be more about the layout.


Something similar since I am comfortable with my current starting position.

EricHartwell wrote:
What color? this is my ongoing joke about the most important bowling ball characteristic.


LOL, to be honest, I would throw a pink ball with a unicorn on it if I thought it would help my abysmal average. No pride or vanity here.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on buying a second ball for league
 Posted: Sat Apr 14, 2018 12:24 am Post Number: #4 Post
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Developing a good relationship with the proshop takes time. This time when you go back you start talking like you are here. Ask the questions, have them watch you bowl. Utilize them for what they know. Your request is pretty simple, you want a weaker ball than the Code Red with similar ball motion for higher friction conditions.

Also, they should be able to be that second set of eyes. Good proshop operators want to see you become a better bowler and should be more than willing to help. For a nominal fee of course. You can't expect them to help your cause for free.

You had mentioned the HyRoad Nano, That in my mine is going to be Stronger/earlier than the Code Red.
If you want to stick with Storm for a ball down from the Code red I would suggest the Match Up.
This would give you a 2 ball set that are fare enough apart to cover a pretty wide range of conditions.

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45* rotation
12* tilt
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 Post subject: Re: Advice on buying a second ball for league
 Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 10:10 am Post Number: #5 Post
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I don’t know many of the specifics about my ball, like tilt or axis or rotation. I’m not that sophisticated a bowler. I’m not sure how to find out that information and I’m not sure whether it would help me any, short of being a group of statistics that I slip into my signature here. I wouldn’t know what to do with that information if I had it.

Like you however, I have often said that it makes sense to have more than one ball available when I’m bowling. Whether it’s for League play, or just for fun. I figure that if I have at least one ball that has no bizarre core, and could be a ball that is just thrown for straight shots at Spares, that would be sufficient.

I USED to think that the two balls I should have in my bag, would be strictly for oil conditions. A ball for wet lanes, and one for dry lanes. More porous, vs LESS porous. One that would dig down through the oil and find friction, and the other that would slide easily on dry lanes.

But as we all know, that’s not the only criteria!

Sometimes it has to do with needing a ball that’s lighter, when we get tired, (at least for us old folks) or needing one that has more hook, which also becomes an issue that adds another ball to our bag.

The Pro Shop Guru here at the Lanes where “I” Bowl most often, Recently told me that he has seven or eight balla that he brings to tournament play!!!! Overkill?????

I dunno.......I refuse to become such a bowling-infected snob that I spend all kinds of hard-earned money on every ball, every gadget.........I just wanna have fun bowling. Even in my “golfing” days, I got to the point where I put my scorecard in my back pocket, and just enjoyed the journey.

By the way, did you see all the strategically-placed tape on Anderson’s fingers? What’s up with THAT??!!

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on buying a second ball for league
 Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 3:45 pm Post Number: #6 Post
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Quote:
I don’t know many of the specifics about my ball, like tilt or axis or rotation. I’m not that sophisticated a bowler. I’m not sure how to find out that information and I’m not sure whether it would help me any, short of being a group of statistics that I slip into my signature here. I wouldn’t know what to do with that information if I had it.


For the average bowler it's not important to know these specifics. However, it is important for the person that chooses the layout for the ball to know them. -- JohnP


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on buying a second ball for league
 Posted: Mon Apr 16, 2018 4:36 pm Post Number: #7 Post
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I used a Code Red for the majority of the season and like it a lot. For me, despite the very asymmetric core I found the ball gave me a very good "benchmark" type shape and overall strength. I think it's just the R2S hybrid coverstock dominating the characteristics of the ball, again, *for me*.

As a step down, I might suggest the Roto Grip Hustle INK. It would be significantly weaker than your Code Red and give you a very different look. Almost everyone reports that this ball is very controllable and a crazy good value for the price.

Another ball I like a lot is the Roto Grip All Out Show Off. It doesn't have a unicorn on it but it does look like a unicorn frappucino so there is that. I think it's a little stronger than the Code Red but still a significant step down from the Code Red.

There are tons of others from Storm/Roto and other manufacturers that people might recommend though. No great reason to be "brand loyal" unless you're a staffer- as for me I tend to roll the brands my PSO promotes/has a staff contract with.


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on buying a second ball for league
 Posted: Tue Apr 17, 2018 6:25 pm Post Number: #8 Post
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newroller wrote:
LOL, to be honest, I would throw a pink ball with a unicorn on it if I thought it would help my abysmal average. No pride or vanity here.


If you look quickly, it kind of looks like a unicorn...

Attachment:
unicorn.jpg


Seriously, tho. Can you break your wrist, and throw your Code Red straight enough to make the 10 pin consistently? If not, consider a plastic/urethane spare ball. Improving your spare shooting (arm swing, targeting, timing, etc) will make a much bigger impact on average than a 2nd strike ball option.

Steve


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on buying a second ball for league
 Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:50 pm Post Number: #9 Post
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Is that the popular consensus, that buying a plastic ball for straight shots is the way to go? Do those have any type of significant core to them, or are they just solid plastic balls?

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on buying a second ball for league
 Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:50 pm Post Number: #10 Post
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Like everything else, there are many different opinions. Many coaches and high level players will advise using a dedicated spare ball (plastic, urethane).

The advantage of throwing straight at spares is that it is condition independent - just line up and execute. No adjusting for friction, conditions, equipment, etc. It also creates (requires!) a more precise swing plane, body alignment, timing, etc. It requires better mechanics and habits than using the wiggle room built into the oil pattern.

I used a plastic (or rubber) ball for years, but then went back to using reactive because I became good at throwing it straight. I felt like that technique (awareness of hand position, elbow in, slight backup ball) was helping me with my regular game so I have stuck with it. It's also one less ball to carry around. However, it takes time to get good at.

Most (right handed) league bowlers will hook at the left side spares, and go straighter at the 6/10. If you're hitting these pins consistently, keep doing what you're doing. If you miss a couple easy spares every week, consider a change in technique or a plastic ball to help you cover them. It might be more productive (for scoring) than a 2nd strike ball.

There are plastic and urethane balls with modern cores, and there are weaker reactives that might serve double duty for dry conditions and spare shooting. Hammer has a Black Widow spare ball and urethane with the gas mask core. Roto has the Hot Cell. Lots of symmetric urethane options as well.

Steve

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on buying a second ball for league
 Posted: Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:29 pm Post Number: #11 Post
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Besides all the other reasons, A good reason for a league bowler to have a dedicated spare ball (plastic, urethane).

Is that it saves wear & tear on their expensive strike ball like Less oil getting on it or if your shooting the corner. Your throwing higher speed a lot at the corner, you miss the ball bounces up out the gutter hitting the rack, pins jammed up in the corner of the pit the ball drives into the base of one etc.

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 Post subject: Re: Advice on buying a second ball for league
 Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 12:24 am Post Number: #12 Post
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bowl1820 wrote:
Besides all the other reasons, A good reason for a league bowler to have a dedicated spare ball (plastic, urethane).

Is that it saves wear & tear on their expensive strike ball like Less oil getting on it or if your shooting the corner. Your throwing higher speed a lot at the corner, you miss the ball bounces up out the gutter hitting the rack, pins jammed up in the corner of the pit the ball drives into the base of one etc.


All good points I had not considered. I actually have been using my 14# RG Critical to pick up corner spares as it has lost it's lustre and doesn't hook like it used to. I don't have to use much effort to get a straight track out of it.

Thanks to everyone for their input. I did end up buying the Nano and had a chance to throw it this morning. The ball motion seems to work well for my targeting, although I did have to modify my starting position slightly. It seemed to be a bit more predictable and was more consistent for me. This could simply be the slight difference in fit and/or that new ball action, however. I'm having the CodeRed baked and resurfaced for the first time also, as it's been in action for quite a while and used several times a week. It will be interesting to see how it behaves after rejuvenation.

In any event, the nano was affordable enough to drop the money on, as I spend enough time bowling each week that it's nice to have new equipment from time to time. Just replaced my shoes with some Dexter Pro Am II's as well, and didn't realize how much slide I had lost with my existing pair and how much the heels had worn out on the inside. :D


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 Post subject: Re: Advice on buying a second ball for league
 Posted: Sat Apr 21, 2018 9:09 am Post Number: #13 Post
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You know, that’s an interesting point! Balls wear out, huh!?

I guess I figured that a ball, constantly battered by ball-return machines, and so forth, could POTENTIALLY be damaged over time, but that that was a “hit or miss” proposition; like the risk of getting a crack in your windshield when following too close behind a dump truck on the highway.

*I wonder if it is possible to Insure a bowling ball against damage?
*Do Bowling Lanes have disclaimers for damage?
*I wonder how ball-return machines work/protect?
*How are damaged/unplayable balls disposed of?
*Can’t balls be resurfaced?

I would presume, I suppose, to retire a ball that has a chunk taken out of it, but that’s about it?!

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