How well your bowling ball performs depends a lot on its condition. When you roll it along the lane, its microscopic pores create friction that improves its hook potential. Over time, these pores accumulate dirt and oil, impacting a bowling ball’s performance and turning it into what’s known as a ‘dead ball.’
Resurfacing helps remove this buildup from the pores and restore the sharp edges that generate friction. Your bowling ball will grip the lane more firmly, have a better hook potential, and move down the lane faster than before. In this guide, the abrasive experts at Red Label Abrasives outline the steps for resurfacing your bowling ball and bringing it back to life!
As a general rule, you should resurface your bowling ball every 60 games. When it has been sanded so frequently that you can’t see the logo any more, it’s time to buy another ball.
Many sports shops that sell bowling balls will also resurface them for you, but you can also manually resurface them at home if you have the necessary tools and materials.
You will need the following:
Once you’ve assembled all of the materials listed in the previous section, you’re ready to make your bowling ball as good as new!
During this step, you decide what you want to achieve by resurfacing the ball. Your choices will determine both the sanding technique and the grit you use.
Position the bowling ball on the spinner with the finger holes at the top. This is the starting point. When you finish sanding this exposed surface, you’ll rotate the ball 180 degrees and sand the bottom. Then you’ll rotate the ball 90 degrees to access the sides.
Spritz the ball with water to minimize dust spread and reduce heat from the friction between the sanding pad and spinning ball. Soak the pads you intend to use in a bowl of water. While they’re getting wet, set the spinner at the lowest speed setting- going too high can increase the risk of making a mistake.
Start sanding your bowling ball. After spraying it with water, cup the lowest-grit abrasive pad in your palm- using your fingers may result in serious injury if one gets stuck in a ball hole during movement- and run the pad over the ball in a back and forth motion at least five times. Then turn the spinner off, reposition the ball with the finger holes at the bottom, and repeat. Keep repositioning and sanding until you get the entire surface.
Once you’re finished, pick up the abrasive pad with the next grit level (e.g. 800 if you started off with 500), wet it, and repeat the above steps.
Tip:As a general rule, you’ll want to apply more pressure for a shorter period of time if you’re using lower-grit abrasives to do something like even out deep grooves. If you’re using higher-grit pads to carry a final smoothing and polishing, apply less pressure for longer periods.
After you’ve finished sanding the ball, wet it down to clear away any dust and wipe it clean. If you want, you can then apply a compound that gives the ball full contact with the lane during play. Set the spinner speed to high and use a cloth to evenly apply the compound as you rotate the ball in the same manner you used while sanding.
Once done, use a new cloth to apply a polishing agent that gives the ball a tacky finish and a sharp reaction on the backend. Put the spinner on its highest setting and spread the polish throughout the ball surface until it shines.
Take the ball off the spinner, spray some cleaner on it, and wipe it down with a fresh cloth. Remember to clean the finger holes as well. Now you’re ready for a new game!
Tip: Keep some pads in your sports bag to resurface your bowling ball at the lane as needed
Surface condition plays a key role in ball reaction. With the wide range of lane conditions out there (oily vs. dry) and increased rate of transition, properly managing that surface is key to your success. By resurfacing your bowling ball when necessary, you’ll enjoy your best performance on the bowling lane every time.
If you’re ready to get started, Red Label Abrasives provides premium-quality abrasive pads that can play a valuable role in improving your game! For more information, please call 844-824-1956 or fill out our contact form.