Article Contents

  • 1. Interchangeable thumb inserts
    • 1.1. Personal opinion / summary
  • 2. Molded thumb inserts
    • 2.1. Making the mold
    • 2.2. Making the insert
    • 2.3. Personal opinion / summary
  • 3. Summary

One of the most crucial elements of becoming a better bowler is consistency, or in other words, repeating shots. A related aspect of improving and becoming the best you can be includes knowing your equipment and when to make changes. Maybe lesser known but just as important is consistent feel between pieces of equipment. Knowing when and what to change to is just the beginning. Having a consistent feel between them is incredibly important. So many aspects come into play, including span, pitches, hole sizes, and more.

In the past, I’ve always just done my best to make each ball feel similar enough so that I can switch between them with few issues. However, as my arsenal continues to change and expand, a need for consistent feel is becoming more relevant. Recently, I’ve bowled some tournaments as well as league nights where inconsistent fit caused issues. One even possibly caused me to lose a tournament, while another cost me throwing a gutter ball more than once. If you’ve experience these situations or something similar, you can understand the frustration that comes with it.

For those of us who are fortunate enough to have different pieces of equipment and switch between them as needed, we’ve had to deal with doing our best to get a consistent fit among them. This isn’t the easiest task. Fortunately, in the last 10 years or so, there have been a couple of great advances to help us with this issue, and I am predicting this is just the beginning. Two solutions I want to show you are interchangeable thumb systems and molded thumbs. Both of these are great options and each have pros and cons associated with them.

Interchangeable thumb inserts

There are a few different types of interchangeable thumb options available from several different manufacturers, including Vise, Turbo, and GripLoc Products. The one I am most familiar with is the Turbo Switch Grip.

These are made up of two components (technically three, actually): the outer sleeve and the inner locking sleeve. Although these are considered two pieces, there is also the urethane piece that ...

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Yuma Scott

About Yuma Scott

Yuma Scott is a USBC-certified Silver coach with over 20 years of coaching experience. He is a former high school bowling coach and he was previously the men's and women's head coach of the Robert Morris - Peoria collegiate teams. Yuma is currently in the process of becoming a pro shop operator and he can be found online at