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in: Featured, Games, Manly Skills, Sports, Visual Guides

• Last updated: September 11, 2020

How to Bowl a Strike

Poster by Art of Manliness about how to bowl a strike.

There is something inherently manly about bowling. Maybe it’s the primitive nature of tossing what is essentially a giant rock at a group of weak, perfectly aligned pins, only to see them explode and crash together. Or maybe it’s because bowling is the only sport where eating nachos is an integral and encouraged part of the game. Whatever it is, the point is, it’s a great deal of fun, especially when your ball spends more time blasting through pins and less time floundering in the gutter.

By itself, bowling a strike isn’t all that hard. Most amateur bowlers end up doing it by accident at least once a game. What makes a great bowler is the ability to bowl a strike consistently, which comes from hours of practice, great technique, and a few insider tips to get you started.

First, don’t go for the heaviest ball imaginable. It’s uncomfortable and less effective. Heavy balls hit pins up and out of the way while lighter balls spend more of their time banging around, causing the type of havoc that results in a strike.

Second, make sure your ball fits your hand. You should be able to fit your finger into the hole up to the first knuckle comfortably. Too tight and you’ll hurt your hand. Too loose and you’ll end up tossing your ball somewhere it doesn’t belong.  

And finally, don’t aim for the dead center of the leading pin. The most effective place to strike a full set of pins is in “the pocket.” The pocket is the space in between the leading pin and the outside pin in the next row. Left-handers will aim for the left pocket and right-handers will aim for the right pocket. With the right ball, the right grip, and the right target, you’ll be well on your way to bowling strike after strike.

1: Line up on the second or third row of dots behind the foul line. Left-handers line up to the left of the middle, right-handers line to the right.

2: Aim by fixing your gaze on one of the lane’s arrows. Right-handers should focus on the arrows right of middle. Left-handers, the opposite.

3: Make your approach by taking four steps towards the foul line. The last step should be the largest as it generates your power.

4: Keep your arm straight as it swings back and then forward, releasing the ball when your arm is perpendicular to the ground.

5: Revise your starting position based on where your ball hits. Move in the direction of your miss. Too far right?. Start further right. Too far left?. Start further left.

Like this illustrated guide? Then you’re going to love our book The Illustrated Art of Manliness! Pick up a copy on Amazon.

Illustrated by Ted Slampyak

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