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How to Grip a Bowling Ball

Learn how to grip a bowling ball from former PBA touring player Mike D'Ambrosio in this Howcast bowling video.


How do you grip a bowling ball? Well, you have to remember you're not going to throw the bowling ball. You're going to roll it. So a proper grip is very, very important. When you're fitting into a ball, you have to make sure you have enough pressure to hold the ball in place without dropping it. For a fingertip grip, you're going to place your fingers in the ball, bury your thumb, and apply pressure with your thumb toward your fingers, without putting any tension on the fingers. When you have a conventional grip, you have to use all three fingers to basically hold onto the ball. All three are inserted deep, to the second knuckle, and you're going to apply pressure to all three.

So the rotation and the speed are going to be different between both pressures on each grip. For a conventional grip, that's more for the novice bowler, beginner bowler, to get acclimated with how you hold the ball. You're going to have pressures of all three fingers inside the ball. At the same time, it's going to give you a different rotation and a little bit straighter projection down the lane. When you go to a fingertip grip, a fingertip grip is more advanced. It has more of your fingertip itself in the ball only, and then you're burying your thumb inside the ball. It order to get some rotation, you have to allow that finger grip to be relaxed and also get the thumb out of the ball quicker. So a fingertip grip allows you to do that, and you'll attain more dynamic and reaction of the bowling ball down the lane. A conventional grip compared to a fingertip grip gives you a different dynamic around the ball.

A conventional grip, you have your fingers more inside the ball, shorter span, less of a span around the ball. So it will give you a different rotation, a little more speed. A fingertip grip, you have more of your hand around the circumference of the ball. So it's going to give you a little bit more tilt, a little more rotation, and will create more dynamics for the bowling ball itself. When you insert your hand into a ball, you have to make sure the fingers and thumb are straight in the ball. If you bend your knuckle, it's going to create a lot of friction against your skin and could cause a bruise or a callous or a blister. To properly insert your thumb, you have to make sure the pad of your thumb is flat against the inside of the ball. There's not much pressure, but enough pressure to hold onto the ball during the swing. And that's how you grip a bowling ball.

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