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How To Use Bowling Tape

Learning how to use bowling tape is fairly easy. Bowling tape is a great accessory choice to keep in your bag for those times when your bowling fingers or thumb shrink during your session on the lanes or prior to bowling and when you want to restore the proper grip following your previous session on the lanes.

How to use bowling tape begins by simply inserting a piece of pre-cut tape in your thumb hole, as example, about an eighth of an inch below the surface of the ball with the rounded edge upward. The tape may be inserted by use of scissors or a small knife blade, both of which may be stored in your accessory pouch, supporting one piece of tape on the tip of the blade. Curve the tape slightly into the contour of the inside of the hole as to make it easy to insert the blade with the tape down into the hole and down to the desired depth. The tape should be inserted slightly below the top edge of the hole to prevent the tape from pulling up and fraying over the hole edge while you bowl.

It is recommended to place the tape either where the flat part of your thumb grips the ball, or where your thumb sits in the hole directly behind the back of your thumb. Both locations will eliminate the loose feeling in the thumb hole when gripping the ball and prevent you from squeezing the ball with your thumb unnecessarily while trying to gain a good grip.


It is recommended to use a textured tape where your thumb grips the ball to improve gripping action. To release the ball quickly, fill the looseness inside the hole with a piece of a smooth surface tape which also helps to avoid skin irritation as your hand exits the ball.

Using a smooth surface tape placed behind the thumb in the hole will help prevent skin irritation on the back knuckle area of your thumb while also serving the primary purpose of filling the looseness of the hole. Bowlers who constantly use skin patch substances should consider using smooth surface tape behind the thumb near the irritated area of skin and reduce the amount of skin drag as the ball is released. Of course, placing smooth tape in the gripping portion inside your thumb hole will help you exit the ball quickly with little thumb drag at the critical moment of release.

The use of multiple pieces of tape is a common practice by layering the pieces on top of one another until a sufficient number of pieces are inserted. Some pieces of tape are manufactured with a greater thickness than other brands and require fewer pieces layered in a very loose thumb or finger hole. To state the obvious, removing a piece of tape when your hand expands from the friction created by bowling will help you to release the ball cleanly and on time.


In the case of balls drilled with finger tip grips, the use of bowling tape may be inserted into the holes as a space filler regardless of use of inserts or not. The tape may be inserted in either the front or back of the finger holes, as preferred, to tighten the hole slightly for better finger releasing action. It is another common practice to cut the tape to a shorter length as to fit easily into a finger hole, about an eighth of an inch below the top edge of the hole, because the finger tip grips are typically drilled with less depth than a thumb hole.

With some experimentation, you will learn precisely where placement of bowling tape in your finger and thumb holes works best for you. Cleaning the hole when preparing to replace old tape with new pieces may be done with any ball cleaner substance you carry in your accessory pouch. We hope these tips help.

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