Article Contents

  • 1. I currently throw 15 pound balls and I’m 55 years old. My ball speed is slow and...
    • 1.1. Steve Kloempken
    • 1.2. Bryan O’Keefe
    • 1.3. Kelly Kulick
    • 1.4. Bill Hall
  • 2. What is your opinion on wrist bands and how do you decide if you need one? What type...
    • 2.1. Steve Kloempken
    • 2.2. Bryan O’Keefe
    • 2.3. Kelly Kulick
    • 2.4. Bill Hall

We have two interesting topics to discuss that many of us have dealt with at some point in our bowling lives. Through years of working with our CATS system here in Reno, I’ve seen how low ball speed can adversely affect pin carry and scoring potential. Our first question deals with lowering ball weight as a way to generate more ball speed and its effects on pin carry. Our second question will lead us through the sometimes confusing world of wrist braces.

Editor’s note: The format of The Round Table column consists of posing technical questions submitted by readers to several top bowling coaches and educators and having them respond in “round-robin” style.

this month's panel

This month’s panel

I currently throw 15 pound balls and I’m 55 years old. My ball speed is slow and seems to be getting slower as I get older. Would dropping to a lighter weight help generate more ball speed? How badly would using a lighter weight affect my pin carry?

Steve Kloempken

There has been some research in this particular area, so know you aren’t alone! I would say the question of dropping ball weight isn’t specific to your age but more toward your present state of health. Plenty of young people would benefit from dropping the weight of their ball, too. Chances are that if you are noticing your ball speed decreasing, it is indeed time to consider changing to 14 pounds.

There are several reasons why this is a GOOD THING!

  • Bowling ball technology and design in lighter balls has never been better. You often get an equally dynamic shape, sometimes even stronger, in the 14 pound version of a ball as you do in the 15 pound ball.
  • Your rev rate and axis rotation will often increase naturally. It’s easier to get your hand underneath the ball and let the fingers rotate around the side of it with a lighter weight.
  • You’ll be able to increase your ball speed without physically trying to throw it harder. Since the amount of force created by the ball impacting the pins is a result of the mass of the ball (weight) times the speed at which it’s traveling, the lighter ball may actually hit with MORE force.
  • It will put less stress on your body, allowing you to bowl more games with better consistency due to the reduced fatigue.With that being said, go ahead and make the change! You won’t regret it.

Bryan O’Keefe

In your situation I believe dropping to a 14 pound ball might be the best option. The difference ...

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Mike Jasnau

About Mike Jasnau

Mike Jasnau is a Teaching Pro / CATS Instructor at the National Bowling Stadium in Reno, NV. He is a PBA Champion, USBC Silver Level Coach, and Storm Instructional Staff Member.