Why Is My Bowling Ball Speed So Slow?

It is no secret that bowling ball speed is one of the keys to success in bowling. However, if your bowling speed is slower than you would like, what could be the problem? Let's take a look at the potential causes below.

If your bowling ball speed is slow, then it could be due to the following:

  • Form
  • Bowling Ball Weight
  • Lane Conditions
  • Bowling Ball Condition

While bowling ball speed isn't the only factor in getting a high score, it is still important. This article will discuss the potential reasons your bowling speed is so slow. In addition, we will answer other frequently asked questions about bowling, so read on!

An unrecognizable man is about to throw a bowling ball - Why Is My Bowling Ball Speed So Slow

Four reasons your bowling speed is slow

Bowling is a fun and challenging sport enjoyed by people of all ages. However, to be successful at bowling, you need to consider a few key factors. One of these key factors is bowling speed.

The speed of your bowling ball can have a significant impact on your score. So let's look at the top four reasons your bowling speed might be slow.

Man playing bowling


One of the main reasons your bowling speed might be slow is your form. If you are not using proper form, this can affect the speed of your ball.

Some bowlers old the ball high near there should in hopes that the higher stance will give more momentum to the ball. While this is a good tactic, it can cause you to strain your arm and be inaccurate.

Instead, try starting your form with the bowling ball at your waist and use your legs to generate most of the power. This will help you to avoid injury and be more accurate.

Bowling Ball Weight

Another reason your bowling speed could be slow is due to the weight of your ball. If the ball is too heavy for your strength, you will not be able to generate enough power to bowl fast.

The ball's weight should be comfortable for you to lift and swing. If you are not sure how much your bowling ball should weigh, then ask a professional at your local bowling alley. They will be able to help you find the perfect weight for your ball.

You can also use the 10% rule when choosing a weight for your ball. This rule states that the ball should weigh 10% of your body weight up to a 16-pound bowling ball. So, if you weigh 150 pounds, your bowling ball should be 15 pounds.

In other words, if you are only 120 pounds and bowling a 15-pound ball, then the ball is too heavy for you. This will make it challenging to generate enough power to bowl fast.

Lane Conditions

The lane conditions can also play a role in how fast your bowling ball goes. For example, if the lanes are dry, your ball will not have as much friction and will not slow down as quickly.

You will find that if you play on a lane that has just been oiled, your ball will travel faster than usual. Ask the local bowling pro what the lane conditions look like and which lanes have been used the most.

Bowling Ball Condition

In addition to the weight and lane conditions, the actual condition of your ball can also affect its speed. For example, if your ball is old or used a lot, the cover may be worn down.

This will cause your ball not to have as much friction, so it will travel faster. Also, if you don't polish and deep clean your bowling ball regularly, the oil and dirt build-up will make your ball travel faster.

Try combining these four factors the next time you go bowling to see if your speed improves. Remember to focus on your form and practice regularly to perfect your technique!

How fast should you bowl?

Depending on your age and competitive level, the appropriate bowling speed will vary. For example, professional bowlers typically bowl between 20 and 21 mph.

If you are just a recreational bowler or are new to the sport, aim for speeds between 16-17 mph. This will give you enough power to knock down all the pins without going too fast and making mistakes.

If you combine this speed with an appropriately weighted bowling ball and good form, you will be on your way to impressing your friends and family the next time you go bowling!

An unrecognizable man is about to throw a bowling ball.

Is it better to bowl fast or slow?

This is a tricky question because a faster shot will give more pin action. However, a slower shot will have more hook potential.

It is important to find a balance between the two depending on your bowling style. For example, if you are more of a power bowler, you will want to bowl faster to create more pin action.

Some recreational bowlers think that grabbing the lightest bowling ball and throwing it as fast as they can result in a strike. However, this is not the case.

You need to have the proper weight for your ball and use the correct form to bowl fast and accurately. For example, a 16-pound ball thrown slower will have more inertia, giving you a better chance of knocking down pins vs. a 12-pound ball thrown as fast as possible.

How can I bowl better?

As we mentioned earlier, bowling ball speed isn't the only factor determining whether you'll get a strike. You also need to have the proper weight for your ball and use the correct form.

Here are a few tips on how to perfect your bowling technique:

Bowling shoes and ball for bowling game,relaxing concept.

Choose the right equipment

This includes finding a bowling ball with the right weight and size for your hand. You should also be using a bowling glove to ensure you have a good grip on the ball.

Also, it is good to have good bowling shoes that are comfortable and slide well. But, on the other hand, you want to avoid shoes that are too slippery or too sticky.

Warm-up before you bowl

It is essential to warm up your arm and muscles before starting bowling like any other sport. This will help prevent injuries and help you bowl better.

An excellent way to warm up is to do some light exercises and stretches. You can also bowl a few practice shots at 50% power to warm your muscles up.


Practice makes perfect! The more you bowl, the better you will become. There are many bowling leagues and tournaments you can join to practice and improve your skills.

It is also a good idea to practice bowling by yourself. This way, you can take all the time you need to work on your form and technique.

Get coaching

Even the professionals have coaches! So if you want to take your bowling game to the next level, consider getting a coach.

A coach can help you with your form, technique, and mental game. They can also give you feedback on what you are doing well and what you need to work on.

Take your time

When you are bowling in a game, it is essential to take your time. Rushing your shots will only result in mistakes and bad form.

Take a deep breath and focus on your target before you bowl. This will help you bowl more accurately and improve your chances of getting a strike!

Be patient

The greats in every sport didn't get that way overnight. It takes years of practice and dedication to become the bowler you want.

So, don't get discouraged if you're not knocking down all the pins each time you bowl.

You need to be patient and keep working on your game. The more you bowl, the better you will become. Just don't give up, and you'll eventually reach your goals!

How often should you clean a bowling ball?

There are different types of bowling ball cleaning solutions, and each has different frequency recommendations.

A male adult is wiping bowling ball with care.


For example, depending on the lane conditions, you should wipe your ball with a microfiber cloth every frame or after every game. Bowling balls are notorious for soaking up the lane oil, affecting your ball's performance.


You should clean your bowling ball with a cleaning spray every six games or so. You can make one at home by using 1 cup Simple Green, 1 cup rubbing alcohol, and 1 cup water in a spray bottle.

The important thing is to make sure you remove all the lane oil from your ball so that it can perform at its best.


You should take a polish solution to your bowling ball around every 15-18 games. A bowling ball polish will clean your ball and help maintain the original factory finish.

Deep Clean

Lastly, you should deep clean your bowling ball every 50 to 60 games. Fill a bucket with hot water and add a few drops of Dawn dish soap. Cover the finger holes with waterproof tape and let the ball soak for 20 minutes.

After that, use a toothbrush to scrub the ball clean. Then, rinse it off and let it dry completely before using it again.

Final Thoughts

There isn't a one-size-fits-all answer to improving your bowling game. Instead, it takes the right equipment, practice, dedication, and patience.

But if you follow these tips, you will be well on your way to becoming a great bowler!

Made it to the end? Here are other articles on bowling that you might like:

5 Types Of Bowling Balls For Different Lane Conditions

7 Types Of Bowling Shoes

Can You Use Windex On A Bowling Ball?

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