Bowling balls maneuver with different speeds and swing patterns. Hooking a ball or having a lot of “hook” means that the ball turns sharply after the release. This helps the bowler to strike down pins with ease. However, at times, the ball tends to lose its hooking capability; this is due to deterioration of the ball or an incorrect technique of the bowler, which is catered by either oiling the ball or improving one’s game.

Factors for Losing Hook on Bowling Balls 

1. Oiling the Ball

Oiling the ball is usually done by applying oil onto the ball using a piece of cloth. This is done to improve the chances of hitting down more pins every time by the bowler. Oiling the ball may make it perform better, but not for long. After some time, bowling balls lose their hooking capabilities regardless if they are oiled or not; this is because materials used for making bowling balls get worn out after some time and loses their durability.

2. Improving the Game

A bowler may improve his game by practicing regularly. This makes it easier for him to improve his modus operandi and, most especially, the accuracy of the rolling ball. It is also suggested that a bowler must watch bowling videos regularly to learn new techniques and movements. Watching such video materials is only effective if watched regularly, at least three or four times a week.

3. Working on the Technique

It is highly suggested that the bowler must improve his technique by practicing. If he gets into a habit of manually twisting his elbow, this may weaken the muscles in his forearm, making him lose his ability to hook. The best way to avoid losing hook is to practice consistently and deliberately. To improve the technique of a bowling ball, he should have a steady stance.

4. Grip

The way the ball is gripped plays an immense role in its hooking capability. A firm grip is necessary when bowling with a ball. Also, if one holds on to his thumb while gripping the ball, he will improve his hooking capability. Thumb holding makes it easier for him to control his release and swing pattern.

5. Arm Swing Pattern 

Swinging in different movements can help an individual improve in bowling. The hooking capability of the ball depends on the exact trajectory of the arm swing. To improve his hook, a bowler must learn to use different arm swing patterns to maintain control of his arm movement and release.

What Is Hooking?

A bowling ball gets its “hook” from the knuckle on one side of the ball. When a bowler sets up to throw the ball, they align their body with that knuckle and then spin their body at a certain speed and force to propel their bowling ball down the lane. During this spin motion, the friction causes plastic particles to wear off in patterns on top of where you are aiming and makes the ball move towards the center from either direction.

Tips to Overcome the Hooking Issue

1. Try using a baseball or heavy softball instead. The heavy ball will allow you to get lower into your stance.

2. Use a softer ball. The softness of the ball will allow you to get extra friction between your hand and the ball. This will help give your hands better traction and make it easier for you to control the ball.

3. Make sure that you’re not holding the ball too tightly. You want to avoid gripping the bowling ball in a manner where it can’t roll freely from the front to back direction of your hand and arm area.

4. Make sure that you’re not sitting on a plane toward the direction of the lane. This can make it hard for you to have a good balance and roll when going down the lane. To fix this, try to adjust your distance back in your stance to come towards an even plane with the lane.

5. Ensure that your hand has a neutral position when bowling so that your hands and arm can move freely. You should not grip too tightly because this can cause the ball to lose its hook.

6. Check that you follow the proper steps in your delivery. This will keep your ball from losing its hook and cause it to roll straight towards the pins.

7. Pay attention to the number of chalk marks on your ball. Once it has accumulated a certain number of marks, take it back to the pro shop and replace it with a new one.

8. If you are using an eight or ten-pound ball and have problems with not getting enough strikes down the lane, use a lighter ball instead. A lighter ball can help give you more control over your release area and help improve your hook around the pins.

Top Bowling Ball Brands With the Best Hook

1. Motiv FX Octane Bowling Ball 

This ball comes in a pearl white finish with eight finger holes and is designed to give bowlers more hook around the pins. It has a differential between its ball-to-pin of 3.5. This means that the ball is designed to allow bowlers to get better marks down the lane. It also comes with a 500-grit sanded finish that helps give you more control over your release area and allows the fingers on your hand to grip the ball better without causing too much friction.

2. Roto Grip T-Zone Solid Color Bowling Ball

Another great bowling ball for beginners is the Roto Grip T-Zone Solid Color Bowling Ball. It comes in various colors and has a 3-1/2 degree hook that allows bowlers to get more strikes. This ball is designed to give bowlers more spin. It has a differential between its ball-to-pin of 3.5 and comes with a 500-grit sanded finish that helps in gripping and releasing the ball. 

3. Brunswick Mammoth Bowling Ball

Another bowling ball worth considering is the Brunswick Mammoth Bowling Ball. It has a 2.75-inch finger hole and comes with an initial differential between its ball-to-pin of 3. It also has a 500-grit sanded finish that gives bowlers more control over the directional path of their throw. 

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If you are having problems with your bowling ball losing its hook, you will want to look at the various causes listed above. If your ball has a very slick surface, the first thing to do is adjust the grip. You can also use wax to increase friction on the bowler’s hand. The next step is to take your stance and swing into account. If your stance is too wide or too narrow, you will likely have problems with friction and balance issues.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How do you determine the weight of your bowling ball?
A. There are several different ways to go about determining your ball’s weight. The easiest method is to look at the end of your ball and locate the number. If you’re using a brand new bowling ball, it should be located near where the finger holes start. If you are using a used ball, it may be located in between the finger holes.

Q. What is a differential between ball-to-pin?
A. There are three different types of ball-to-pin differential: pin-carry, hook, and overall differential. Pin carry is the ability for the ball to spin on its axis and remain in the pocket after impact. Hook refers to the bend in the ball’s path as it travels down the lane, and overall differential refers to how far down the pocket it will ultimately strike.