Article Contents

  • 1. You can’t be sloppy or indifferent about placement
  • 2. Tape types: textured, slick, and protective
    • 2.1. Textured tape
    • 2.2. Slick tape
    • 2.3. Protection/fitting tapes
  • 3. Taping tricks
    • 3.1. Learn to put tape in the hole quickly and IN THE RIGHT PLACE
    • 3.2. The tape belongs directly on the pad of your thumb, not off to one side of the other
    • 3.3. I believe you should always layer the tape
    • 3.4. What about when you’re in-between sizes?
    • 3.5. If you think your thumbhole is tight enough, add a piece of tape anyway!
    • 3.6. You may need three or four pieces of tape on some days
    • 3.7. Use tape like the pros do

There are folks who, while spraying the ball all over the lane in practice, will say, “Don’t worry. My thumb will swell up here in a minute and I’ll be fine.” Aaarrgghh. While they are waiting for their thumb to swell, they squeeze the ball, execute poor shots and, most importantly, get bad reads from their altered ball motion. Then they wonder where “the shot” went when the arrows come up!

Arrive early and check the fit of every ball BEFORE you bowl. Add or remove tape as your thumb size dictates at the moment. If you add tape before you warm up and have to remove it before the first frame, so what? During that critical time—those precious few moments to find the line and choose the ball—you can make a quality decision about both because the ball you’re throwing fits your hand and any erratic reaction is because the ball was truly reacting to the lane, not your poor throw.

The use of tape is an art. You’ve seen numerous pros add or remove tape from the thumbhole even while on the television show. Don’t ever hesitate to change, add, or remove tape because you think it takes too long. Your teammates will be happy to wait on a good shot.

You can’t be sloppy or indifferent about placement

Some think tape should be centered in the “middle” of the thumbhole. It does go in the middle of where your thumb is in the hole. The middle is NOT found by drawing a straight line from the bridge (space between the finger holes) directly down to the thumbhole. If you line up the middle of your thumb with this line and, not putting your fingers in the holes, spread your hand over the ball, your fingers will be far to the left of where the finger holes are currently drilled for a righty and far to the right for a lefty.

With your hand in the ball, you can easily gauge where the tape belongs. The LEFT edge of the tape is actually pretty close to that “middle” ...

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Susie Minshew

About Susie Minshew

Susie Minshew is a USBC Gold Coach, Master Silver Instructor, a regional PWBA champion, and past president of IBPSIA. She has authored two new books, Whoever Finds It First, Wins and Bowling Whisperer. Visit her online at