When the pandemic hit and bowling alleys closed, nobody knew when or if they’d open back up. Not knowing when I’d bowl again I wanted to make sure my bowling ball was stored away properly so when the time came, I could use it again. So I hit the internet to look up how to properly store my bowling ball for future use.
How do you store a bowling ball for future use? To reduce the risk of cracking it’s recommended to store your bowling ball either wrapped in plastic(like cellophane) or in a plastic bag(like the one a new bowling ball comes in) like a ziplock freezer bag. The fit of the wrapped plastic or plastic ball should be as tight as possible to keep out as much air as possible. Be sure to also store your wrapped bowling ball at room temperature always.
Knowing where you should store your bowling ball is as important as how to store it. A properly wrapped bowling ball stored in the wrong place will still fall victim to the elements.
Where should I store my bowling ball?
The best place to keep your properly wrapped or sealed(preferably wrapped AND sealed) bowling ball is in a climate-controlled environment. A hall or spare bedroom closet in your home where you control the temperature is my number one suggestion. A close second is your local bowling alley lockers.
However, I highly doubt a local bowling alley will let someone tie up a locker or two(or more) there for a prolonged period of time, which is why a closet in your own home is my number one choice. If your bowling alley does allow for storage for longer periods of time, by all means, go that route. It definitely wouldn’t be free like if you keep your ball at home, but at least there you won’t have to worry about someone accidentally moving it. Or worse, throwing it away.
If you have a bunch of closet space then that is(IMO) the best place to store your bowling ball. Just not a basement or attic(3rd floor) closet. The temperature changes too wildly in those areas of the home. In an instant, a snowstorm can knock the power out for a day or 2, and if you happen to have a generator it will only bring power to essential areas of your home. If you store your bowling ball in the basement or attic the heat won’t reach there, temperature changes will occur and when you go for your ball, it’ll be cracked.
A main hall or bedroom closet should be where the ball is stored. You frequent these areas, you can see it stored there if something should happen to the power it should be fine. Should doesn’t necessarily mean it will though. I don’t know where you live and I don’t know what type of home you have.
What’s also important to note is where not to store your bowling ball. Now, we’ve already touched on the basement and attic a bit, so let’s name a few more places.
The garage is usually where people store sports equipment since it’s easy to get in and out the house. A bowling ball is sporting equipment that’s too special to be left there though. Like I stated before about the temperature in the basement and attics of homes, same goes for garages.
It’s just not a great place to store something so sensitive. The coverstock will either sweat or dry out, and itll be bad. Even with it wrapped up, it wont stop the cold or heat from damaging it.
And I’m not sure why but I just thought I’d mention that you also shouldn’t store your bowling ball in your car. I know some people like to keep things there for safekeeping, depending on your living situation. It’s not a good idea. Temperature is a big one like I mentioned about basements, attics, and garages. But also, if you were to somehow get into an accident or your car was broken into or stolen. You can say bye-bye to your bowling ball you were trying to keep “safe”“.
Click here to find out more about why you shouldn’t store a bowling ball in your car.
How long should you keep a bowling ball and why?
If you develop a proper maintenance routine and store your bowling ball away properly when not in use then a new bowling ball should last between five to ten years. A used bowling ball will have an undetermined lifespan, but as long as you take care of it, then it should last a few years. The balls performance will slowly deteriorate over time as all bowling balls do.
It will take time to “get to know” your bowling ball, so keeping it for a long time is necessary so you know how to throw it. Since every bowling ball and person are different, even with the same ball, the outcomes will be different when thrown. So if you see someone with a bowling ball that the proshop has and every time they throw they’re getting strikes and it looks like there isnt any effort in the throw, you’ll think if you get that same ball you’ll get the same results. Sorry to say that’s not true.
You could get the same results with time, patience and practice though. And with time those same results will come. Everyone has that one, two or three bowling balls that are super special to them they could never entertain the thought of having to dispose of the ball. They could have gotten it as a gift, it was their first ball, it was their mom or dads or maybe they won it in a tournament. Whatever the reason, some people will have their bowling balls for so long they wont remember how many years they’ve had it.
This is perfectly fine and I’m not trying to say that after five or ten years you must dump your bowling balls off on the side of the road by the woods and tell it to “get!”.
What I am trying to say is that as time goes on the ball will start to lose its hook and there’s no amount of coverstock maintenance that will bring it back. Once your bowling ball has lived it’s full life and you know it will never see the boards again, find a way to keep it around if you want to.
Can bowling balls die?
Most will argue that a bowling ball is only dead when it’s cracked beyond repair. Most will argue that with proper maintenance a bowling ball cant die. That’s not my opinion. A bowling ball doesn’t have to be cracked to die, it just has to now perform as it once did out of the box.
And to be fair older bowling balls just weren’t made with the new technology as newer bowling balls today, and they do die eventually. If not sooner than newer bowling balls. But again, that’s my opinion. Everyone will be different
Lane conditions have something to do with it bowling balls dying as well as not properly maintaining the ball. So if you tend to bowl on lanes with heave oil, popular opinion tends to lean towards the bowling ball dying faster than if you would on dryer lanes.
Ive never bowled on heavily oiled lanes so i cant really speak on this. I do believe bowling balls die. Without a shadow of a doubt.
Can I bowl with a cracked bowling ball?
You can but you shouldn’t. The bowling ball is no longer completely round since it’s cracked. If you do decide to use the bowling ball you risk further weakening the coverstock. Check with your proshop to see if the bowling ball is repairable.
Should I clean my bowling ball?
YES! you’re going to want to remove the dirt and oil on the ball from the oil patterns on the lanes. To not do so you risk your bowling ball prematurely dying on you from absorbing oil.