Bowling like any other game is very interesting with many things to learn as one progresses through it. in simple words it is not an easy game and has many terms and rules that one need to get acquainted with. One such term that is often used is hook potential, and that one should search for bowling balls with hook potential only. So before getting into many details let’s understand what is hook potential.
The term hooking in bowling is basically when the bowling ball moves in curve motion rather than in straight. It is very effective for getting a better angle for 1-3 pocket or 1-2 pocket for right or light handers. Hook potential of a bowling ball allows it to hook as soon as it leaves the straight skid motion. Higher the hook potential more easily it will enter the arching motion and one can have much better control over the knocking of the pins.
Symmetric bowling balls can give more of a hook potential than the asymmetric one, also the balls with high differential have more hook potential than the lower differential bowling balls. Balls with high hook potential can be difficult to handle especially if one is an amateur in the game.
Factors affecting hook potential
There are certain factors that affect the hooking potential of bowling balls, and they are:
- Friction: higher friction means higher the chance of the bowling ball to break off into an arching motion. Friction is created by the oil and grease particles present in the lane and when these particles penetrate the motion of the ball it creates the arching motion. Friction effect also is influenced by the type of coverstock of the ball.
- Polish and grit: every bowling ball comes with a different level of grit rating and polishing on the outer cover and these two also affect the friction that is created on the lane. A ball with more polishing and higher grit rating will cause almost no friction thus reducing the hook potential whereas the one with low grit rating and low polishing will show more hook potential.
- The radius of Gyration: radius of gyration decides when the ball will break off into a spin. If a bowling ball has more radius of gyration then it will start arching late when the speed is low and the ball is far in the lane. However, a ball with less gyration radius will spin fast and start arching as soon as it hits the lane.
Coverstock’s effect on the hook potential
The outer shell of the bowling ball has a great effect on the friction and in turn, affects the hook potential of the ball. Different types of material perform differently, some of the common ones are:
- Urethane: it has higher friction levels and thus gives more hook potential. It is known for its good performance in the lane as it gives control and hooks both to the ball.
- Plastic: it has a very polished and smooth surface and thus gives no friction. This ball is known for its least hook potential and that is best for bowling beginners.
- Reactive resin: this material is not that much durable but without any doubt has way more hook potential and give pin action than the other two.
- Proactive: this material has the highest friction offering coverstock material as it is best for getting the highest hook potential.
Now one can easily choose bowling balls with hook potential according to the need of the lane and have control over the pin action.