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 Post subject: Urethane or Reactive? I've been away for a long while
 Posted: Wed Apr 25, 2018 4:49 pm Post Number: #1 Post
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Folks, I'm just getting back into bowling after many years. Back in the early to mid 1990's, my average was 180 and I rolled a Blue Hammer urethane. Reactive balls really were not common and the lanes in most houses were still wood.
Now at age 59, it's been recommended I step down to using 15 pound balls, which my wrist and fingers would greatly appreciate.
My question this time around is urethane or reactive?
I could easily buy a new 15 pound Blue Hammer.
But if I switched to reactive, would I find the reactive ball hard to control? I'm a stroker style bowler, 2nd arrow, down and in. I have seen reactive balls make a hard left turn instead of a gradual hook.
On long oil, am I correct in saying that sanding the ball would help it get through heavy or long oil?
I'd really hate to buy a reactive ball only to find another learning curve to hurdle.
Thanks for any advice you folks could provide.

Mark


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 Post subject: Re: Urethane or Reactive? I've been away for a long while
 Posted: Wed May 09, 2018 5:35 am Post Number: #2 Post
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No one replied.

1. Because there is now more urethane ball today will not react just as it did back in the day. That being said, the new modern urethanes have dynamic cores, so they are not the same either. So the only way to go back and get the same reaction with your old blue hammer, is to go back in time to the early 90s.

2. Urethane today has a niche for mostly high rev players on certain conditions demanding more control. A reactive ball is probably the way to go for most people on most conditions.

3. The balls hit much harder than they used to. This is why so many people no longer use 16 pounds. Honestly, 14 pounds is fine. A well rolled 14 pound ball will hit harder than a poorly thrown 16 pound one. Which isn't to say to go all the way down to 14 (not that there is a problem with that), just use the weight that easiest for you. If your wrist and fingers will appreciate a lower weight, then you'll probably be rolling it better and thus will score better as well.

Discussion of using 16 pound balls simply because the extra weight will knock down more pills belongs back in the 80s.

4. Long oil. If you're playing on a house shot, there is a ton of free hook throwing it to the outside. This is more a question for a sport shot league (yes, sanding it to lower grit could help it roll sooner). If just doing house shot now, don't over complicate things.

5. There is a big reasons scores have gone way up since the early 90's. The balls strike more. That's probably what you'll find by getting a reactive. It's doesn't have to be something for heavy oil. The truth is, any reactive ball when thrown to the outside on a house shot will come back. Because of the house shot you really don't have to worry so much about control.


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 Post subject: Re: Urethane or Reactive? I've been away for a long while
 Posted: Wed May 09, 2018 12:39 pm Post Number: #3 Post
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Sorry, don’t know why I missed this one.

1) A urethane ball is good to have. You can use it to roll it straight to pick up your spares or as a strike ball when the gutters are in play (you can still play up between first arrow and the gutter if you want to stay out of the oil or if the lane asks for it like on a short sport pattern).

2) Yes but we need to figure out which reactives (you will probably want two reactives that complement each other, today it’s like golf clubs and most people own an average of 3-6 balls) that best suit your style of play and the lane conditions you will be playing in. A good pro shop can really help here, post your location and I am sure someone here can point you in the right direction. It’s also a good thing to check your fit, as we age our flexibility decreases plus back in the day spans used to be very stretched out which caused carpel tunnel and wrist problems to many, todays fit is more relaxed and more comfortable.

3) Use the highest weight ball that you can comfortably roll at a good consistent speed for 6-8 games without hurting yourself. A good rule of thumb is 16 lbs at 16 mph monitor speed, 15 lbs at 15 mph, 14 lbs at 14 mph and so on. It is better to be able to roll a 14 lbs at 16 mph than a 16 lbs at 13 mph.

4) Yes, house shots are easier, they are high scoring “recreational” patterns to drink beer and relieve stress after work. Many people in house shot leagues take it too seriously and believe they are very skilled bowlers because they can average 200 on a house shot. When you put this type of bowler on a sport league they get to meet reality. Averaging 200 on a sport league is still a great achievement, when people say bowling got to easy they are talking about house shots. For a house shot 1 or 2 reactives will do. For a sport league where they play short, medium and long challenging oil patterns you will need 5-6 balls possibly including a urethane. Always shoot spares straight on difficult oil patterns (unless it’s a bucket or double wood).

5) Exactly, see above.

Hope this helps, you have come to the right place so ask at will. Don’t invest in balls until you can find a good pro shop to check your fit (plug and redrill an old ball) and watch you bowl, only then can they recommend the correct ball, layout and surface (yes you can scuff or polish a ball but first check league or tournament rules for when you can do this). As I said post your location and someone here will point you in the right direction, if it’s a far drive it’s totally worth it taking a long drive to find a good pro shop where you can build a good relationship. Welcome back to bowling! Help grow the sport!


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 Post subject: Re: Urethane or Reactive? I've been away for a long while
 Posted: Wed May 09, 2018 1:42 pm Post Number: #4 Post
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IMO urethane is a waste of space in a bag.
Buy a entry level reactive, sand it and lay it out weak for a similar hook shape without the nasty downlane effects.

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 Post subject: Re: Urethane or Reactive? I've been away for a long while
 Posted: Thu May 10, 2018 12:23 am Post Number: #5 Post
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If you’re a Stroker, I would suggest a hybrid asymmetrical. I love watching the PBA50 and besides Parker, most of the strokers like Walter Ray, Duke, Haugen etc all use the strong equipment.

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