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Malcolm Schweizer
05-19-2018, 8:14 PM
We just got a new bowling alley. This is a big deal for a small island. So- I checked it out. First of all, isnít $50 an hour a bit pricey for a bowling lane? Iím aware that everything is more costly here, but that seems high. Second, I was using a 13 pound ball and throwing it at 14mph. Just curious if that is good or not. I realize that itís about whether or not you knock down the pins, but I was enjoying seeing my speed on the screen. Third- my five year old daughter got three strikes! The ball rolled down the alley at 3mph, dead center, and all the pins fell down!!! She was beside herself.

Dave Lehnert
05-19-2018, 8:48 PM
https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?259407-Cost-to-go-Bowling&highlight=

Nathan Johnson
05-19-2018, 11:17 PM
14 mph at 13 pounds is on the slow side, especially with a plastic ball. Too much deflection and no carry.

I'm around 16-17 mph with a 15 pound ball, and even that is fairly slow, though the new balls carry much better. Power throwers are 20+ mph at 15 pounds. (Ball technology is such that you don't really need a 16 pound ball now, so good bowlers are going with 15s for higher rev rates and more speed.)

Ultimately though, you threw it fast enough to have fun.

Malcolm Schweizer
05-20-2018, 3:28 AM
https://sawmillcreek.org/showthread.php?259407-Cost-to-go-Bowling&highlight=

Thanks- didn't think to search before asking. Well, at least it seems I'm right- it's pricey compared to yours and the other responses. We have very high rates for electricity, and the rent in that area is top dollar.


14 mph at 13 pounds is on the slow side, especially with a plastic ball. Too much deflection and no carry.

I'm around 16-17 mph with a 15 pound ball, and even that is fairly slow, though the new balls carry much better. Power throwers are 20+ mph at 15 pounds. (Ball technology is such that you don't really need a 16 pound ball now, so good bowlers are going with 15s for higher rev rates and more speed.)

Ultimately though, you threw it fast enough to have fun.

Can I at least get a "not bad for a first try"? Well, hey- my daughter knocked em all down at 3mph, so speed isn't everything.

Mike Cutler
05-20-2018, 6:31 AM
Can I at least get a "not bad for a first try"? Well, hey- my daughter knocked em all down at 3mph, so speed isn't everything.

Absolutely! It only matters how much fun you and your daughter had.
$50.00 an hour seems pretty expensive for a "family' to have a lane for an hour.

I grew up in a "bowling family", golf too. I used to watch my father just beat the pants off the guys with the radical release, and big hooks, trying to get that ball down the alley like Sandy Koufax pitching. Week after week, he would just kill them. He had a straight away release, offset by a half dozen or so boards, right of the head pin. Just the smoothest drop and release you would ever see. Placement and release.
I bowled briefly in the Navy for fun, but probably haven't been in a bowling alley in 25+ years.
The speed the ball goes down the alley, has nothing to do with the score.;)

Jason Roehl
05-20-2018, 8:40 AM
I'm not much of a bowler, but I have made some observations of weekend warriors at the lanes over the years, based on physics. I used to always grab a 16 lb ball to show how tough I was. I had a couple friends who would use 12-13 lb balls. They were able to send the balls down the lane at a much higher (not measured, just visual estimation) speed. They always got more pin action, which often meant more pins falling. Then I recalled some of the physics behind it--kinetic energy is half of mass times velocity squared. Increasing velocity (easier to do with a lighter ball) does more to put more energy into those pins than increasing mass (heavier ball). So I started using 13-14 lb balls, and noticed more pin action. Just some food for thought.

Shawn Pixley
05-20-2018, 11:17 AM
I bowled a lot in my youth and young adult years. I worked up to a 185 average throwing a 15 lb modified rubber ball. Today, Iíd likely start with a 12 lb. The secret is consistancy of throw and your ability to read and adjust.

Tom M King
05-20-2018, 11:18 AM
I haven't been in so long, that I didn't even know they came with radar now. Now I want to go again.

Malcolm Schweizer
05-20-2018, 1:26 PM
I applied what I know from many years shooting pool- I put a little spin on the ball and I saw how it would bite down the lane. I had fun. It’s not a sport I would frequent, especially at $50 an hour, but I see the fun in it. It does look silly from afar, but when you do it, it’s fun.

Nathan Johnson
05-20-2018, 3:05 PM
I don't think it looks silly at all.
Of course, I've been a league bowler for years and occasionally do amateur tournaments.

There is way more involved with ball selection, bowling form, understanding oil patterns, etc than you would initially think.

Malcolm Schweizer
05-20-2018, 4:13 PM
I don't think it looks silly at all.
Of course, I've been a league bowler for years and occasionally do amateur tournaments.

There is way more involved with ball selection, bowling form, understanding oil patterns, etc than you would initially think.

Yes- I watched an interesting YouTube video about oil patterns that made sense to me as a pool player. Put Spin on the ball and it bites at a certain point. That’s kind of what I meant- to the layperson it looks silly because you just roll the ball down the lane and knock over the pins. Once you realize the science, however, it becomes more interesting.

Marshall Harrison
05-20-2018, 4:34 PM
I bowled a lot in my younger years. These days I don't think my knee or shoulder would tolerate it. I could maybe bowl a game but I would pay for it later. Probably be paying for it a week later. The shoulder is courtesy of too many throws to 1st base from deep in the hole behind 3rd base. The knee is courtesy of the US Army.

I'll stick to wood working which if not safer at least is less painful just from participating.

Wade Lippman
05-21-2018, 10:38 AM
They have closed down all the bowling alleys around here; so I guess that puts you about 100 years behind us!

Derek Meyer
05-21-2018, 5:59 PM
I bowl regularly in multiple leagues a week and have for the last 20+ years. At our bowling center, in Western Washington State, the lanes are $36/hour on Friday and Saturday nights (prime time) and as low as $20/hour before 5pm.

Ball speed can be measured either at the foul line or at the pins. Our center measures at the pins. I throw 16 lb equipment and have a ball speed of 11.5 to 12.5 mph most of the time on my strike ball, but I throw 18 to 20 mph at my single pin spares.

Ball speed at the pins is dependent not just on how hard you throw it, but on your rev rate (how fast the ball turns as it goes down the lane), the oil on the lanes and the type of ball you are throwing. The high-end reactive bowling balls are made of materials that have a high coefficient of friction, so they slow down quicker as they travel down the lane than plastic or urethane balls do. The lanes are oiled with a particular pattern, and usually have much more oil in the middle of the lane than they do at the edges. So, if I throw 17 mph out of my hand, but use a reactive ball and have a high rev rate, the ball will slow down much more than if I throw a plastic ball straight down the middle.

It's great to hear that you are taking your kids bowling and that they are having fun. Today's youth have so many activities vying for their time that youth bowling has a tough time competing. Bowling is one of those sports that you can enjoy your whole life, and it can be total recreation or as competitive as you want to get.

andrew whicker
05-24-2018, 2:59 PM
I noticed that if I focused on bowling as fast as possible, I would more likely get a 7/10 split. But what do I know, I'm a terrible bowler. Just go straight and try to offset the ball a few inches to the right of the head pin.