What Grit Sandpaper for Bowling Ball to Altering the Surface?

Forrest Kritzer

If you bowl, you have undoubtedly pondered at some point whether using sandpaper on your bowling ball is acceptable. And on the other hand, if you are not a bowler, then you are wondering what on earth people are discussing!

In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of using sandpaper on a bowling ball and the reasons why people might do it.

Let's get right to the point!

Table Of Contents

Can You Use Sandpaper on a Bowling Ball?

Certainly, you can sand a bowling ball using sandpaper or a sanding pad. Until the USBC banned the practice in 1980, many bowlers used sandpaper to buff their balls. The major justification for the ban was that certain businesses were beginning to employ sandpaper with coarser grains, which unfairly favored bowlers.

Even though you may continue to utilize sandpaper on your bowling ball at home, you should know that it will erode the coverstock far more quickly than sanding discs or abrasion pads.

Therefore, if you decide to use sandpaper, choose a lower grit, roughly 400, and don't use too much of it. It should only take a few passes.

What Are Sandpapers?

Sandpapers are abrasive, painty sheets that have been sprinkled with sand particles. Natural sands were adhered to a backing paper to create the first sandpapers. Both natural and synthetic materials can be used to make the many grits of sandpaper available today.

While finer grits are used for polishing and finishing work, coarser sandpaper is used to remove paint and coatings. Sandpaper is available in rolls or sheets, as well as belts and discs for use with power tools.

Sandpapers have other uses beyond conventional ones, like de-rusting equipment and sharpening blades.

Should You Sand a Bowling Ball?

While it's unnecessary, sanding a bowling ball can help you get the desired results. It's crucial to sand your ball equally and properly if you choose to do so.

The lane conditions you usually play in and your playing style will determine how much sanding is required. Sanding the ball's surface can help it become smoother, which increases the likelihood that it will hook or curve as it travels down the lane.

On dry lanes, it can also aid in speeding up the reaction time of the ball. Additionally, sanding a bowling ball is a procedure that might assist in enhancing its functionality. By reducing surface irregularities, it can help the bowler have a better grip.

To prevent breaking the ball, it is crucial to sand it appropriately. Overly vigorous sanding can damage the coverstock and shorten the life of the ball.

Steps on How to Sand a Bowling Ball?

If you have ever wondered how bowling ball pros get their balls to hook so sharply, the solution is quite simple: they roughen the ball's surface using sandpaper.

They can enhance the friction between the ball and the lane and produce a more severe hook by making a series of tiny dimples on the ball.

Items required:

Here's how you dull or sand a bowling ball to give your game some extra zip.

Step 1: To begin, take a clean ball and start. Any debris or filth on the surface will cause the sandpaper to become clogged, making it more difficult to achieve a smooth finish.

Step 2: Next, pick a sandpaper grit suitable for the bowling you intend to play. For example, you should use (higher) finer grit sandpaper for a later hook if you want to use the ball on a dry lane. On the other hand, you should use coarser grit sandpaper (lower grit) for an earlier hook if you are bowling in an oily alley.

Step 3: It's time to begin sanding after you have chosen your sandpaper. Start by setting the ball on the spinner and applying mild pressure while moving the sandpaper in tiny circular motions. Make sure to cover the whole surface of the ball, being especially cautious over any uneven spots.

Step 4: To reduce the heat generated by friction while sanding the ball, remember to mist or submerge the sandpaper in water or a sanding agent.

Step 5: After finishing, use a fresh towel to wipe up any remaining dust from the ball.

How do you Polish or Resurface a Bowling Ball?

The rubber, resin, or plastic coating covering most bowling balls can eventually scrape and dull. How to polish your ball to restore its shine if worn out.

Fortunately, resurfacing your bowling ball at home is simple and only requires a few simple steps. A clean cloth and polishing compound are necessary. After that, give the ball a tiny bit of polishing compound. Start polishing the ball's whole surface.

To prevent poking any holes in the coating, move slowly and evenly. Use a fresh cloth to remove any leftover compound after a couple of minutes of polishing. Now, you ought to have a gorgeous, glossy bowling ball!

How Many Times Can You Sand a Bowling Ball?

A bowling ball's circumference cannot be less than 26.704 inches or greater than 27.002 inches, according to the United States Bowling Congress (USBC). But as long as a ball stays within these dimensions, there is no restriction on how many times it can be sanded.

Bowlers frequently sand their balls to modify how much friction they make with the lane surface. This can change the trajectory and potential of the ball for a hook. Less friction results in a straighter shot, but more friction produces more spin and can lead to a tighter hook.

If it gets too worn out to return to its original weight and size standards, a ball may need to have its surface professionally resurfaced.

Even though it's not specifically prohibited, bowlers are not permitted to use sanded balls in most competitive leagues. This is because sanding can make it harder for opponents to control the ball, giving the ball an unfair advantage.

Therefore, reviewing the rules before sanding your ball is crucial if you intend to play in a league.

What Are the Benefits of Sanding a Bowling Ball?

Sanding a bowling ball is an essential part of maintaining its condition because it helps to keep dirt and scratches off its surface, which can accumulate over time and negatively impact the performance of the ball. Sanding also increases the friction between the ball and the lane, which makes it easier for the ball to hook. Consequently, frequent sanding can prolong the life of a bowling ball.

What Grit Sandpaper Should You Use on a Bowling Ball?

If you have ever visited a bowling alley, you have undoubtedly seen that the balls consistently appear to have a glossy, smooth surface. This smooth surface makes The ball move faster and farther down the lane.

But the bowling ball's surface can get dull and damaged over time. It is time to get out the sandpaper when this occurs. However, which sandpaper grades and grit levels are appropriate for a bowling ball?

The degree of the scratches and the state of the lane will determine the response.

Use sandpaper with roughly 400 rougher grains for greasy lanes and minor scratches to leave more surface.

Use finer sandpaper, such as 1000 to 5000 grain, for deeper scratches and medium-oiled lanes. A drier lane is correlated with a higher grit number.

Always apply wet or dry sandpaper evenly to prevent any damage to the ball's surface, regardless of your type.

What Is the Best Thing to Clean a Bowling Ball With?

A bowling ball can be cleaned using various techniques, but some are better. Using sanding discs or an abalone pad is a common choice. These items give the ball a smooth surface, making it easier to travel down the lane.

Using alcohol to clean the ball is an additional choice. This technique can remove the polish off the ball's surface while cleaning it off debris and oil. Because of this, it's crucial to clean with alcohol judiciously and to reapply polish after that.

Is it better to wet sand or dry sand a bowling ball?

A bowling ball can have a smoother (lower friction) finish by wet sanding it. A bowling ball can be given a texture (more friction) by dry sanding it.

Using lubricant or water to minimize friction and keep the sandpaper from clogging is known as "wet sanding," a bowling ball. On the other hand, no lubricant or water is used for dry sanding.

While dry sanding works better to remove light scratches and preserve the ball's surface roughness, wet sanding can result in a smoother finish and be more effective at eliminating deep scratches. The decision between wet and dry sanding ultimately depends on the ball's condition and the intended result.

Final Thoughts

In their practice sessions, committed bowlers competing can attempt experimenting with a decent assortment of abrasive pads. Gaining a good understanding of various surface approaches can help you succeed in the game.

Purchasing some sandpaper pads for your bowling ball is a terrific option if you are certain that the coverstock will withstand the sanding. Practice with each one for a bit, then try moving them from side to side on your ball. Improving your playing surface management will help you advance your skills, just like in any other sport.

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