One of the most polarizing, yet interesting new waves in the sport of bowling right now is the proliferation of two handed bowlers across the world bowling landscape. Finding the best bowling ball for two handed bowlers can be somewhat tricky since the book is so short on this unique advancement in the evolution of the bowling shot, but there are definitely plenty of options out there if you know how and where to look.
In order for you to get a handle on what means to be an effective two handed bowler, we’re going to give you a panoramic view of what two handed bowling is and what it means in the grand scheme of bowling as a whole. It may, in fact, change the way you think about and approach your bowling shot going forward.
What Is Two Handed Bowling?
Two handed bowling is a groundbreaking and relatively new style of a bowling shot release. When done correctly, a bowler uses both hands to guide their shot to add balance to their overall approach and release.
A great two handed bowling shot may not be more powerful overall comparative to a one handed bowling shot, but the addition of a second hand can increase revolutions and both sharpen and add power to a hook shot.
Everything you’ve learned about an effective bowling shot gets turned upside down in the two handed bowling form. Rather than using your dominant hand and dominant hand only to aim, spin and curve your ball upon release, two handed bowling employs your non-dominant hand to support the front of the ball – creating a more stable, dynamic and supported back swing.
On the forward swing, two handed bowlers utilize the second hand to act as a guiding tool for the ball and add extra spin to it upon release.
This extra spin isn’t created by a turn of the support hand. Rather, this extra spin comes about naturally based on the structuring of the two handed bowling shot. The added revolutions and overall efficacy that a two handed bowling shot provides has led to many questions about its legitimacy.
Is Two Handed Bowling Legal?
While many bowling traditionalists have scoffed at the new two handed bowling approach with raised eyebrows, a United States Bowling Congress study of the technique has served as a counterpoint to claims from traditionalists that two handed bowling is cheating.
The United States Bowling Congress has found no foul play with the two handed bowling technique, stating that it doesn’t break existing rules against shifting your dominant hand for different shots. As long as a two-handed bowler releases the ball on one side and one side only, using one hand always as the dominant swing hand and the other as the non-dominant guide, there is no rule violation taking place under USBC regulations.
In short, the added oomph from a two handed bowling shot doesn’t make it cheating. It’s merely a variation, an advancement in the oeuvre of bowling shots which can prove to be a powerful boon to some players’ overall bowling games.
Which Pros Currently Use 2 handed Bowling?
The PBA’s two handed bowling pioneer is Australian sensation Jason Belmonte. The two handed bowling phenom took the bowling world by storm in 2009 when he won his first career PBA tournament at The Bowling Foundation Long Island Classic.
Belmonte has shown time and time again that his win wasn’t a fluke, winning tournament after tournament to become one of the PBA’s most decorated and popular (albeit polarizing) players.
Other top bowlers such as Anthony Simonsen and Jasper Svensson utilize the two handed bowling approach, while PBA Hall of Famer Walter Ray Williams Jr. has been such a champion of the new style that he’s added it to his shot repertoire on the lanes.
Bowling Ball Buying Guide For 2 handed Bowlers
Just like with one handed bowling, throwing an effective strike hook shot in two handed bowling requires a bowling ball which reacts properly to the lane conditions and amount of oil on the lanes you’re playing at.
Utilizing a reactive resin cover stock to maximize the effects of lane reactivity is a major tool for a two handed bowler, just as it is for a one handed bowler. However, there are some key specifications a high-performance bowling ball should have for a two handed bowler to maximize the efficacy of their very particular shot style.
When it comes to cover stocks, a grit between 2,000 and 3,000 is perfect for the high-revolution, wild spin style that can come about from two handed bowling. However, you can also modify the finish yourself to cater to your particular style.
You’ll also need to make sure that your bowling ball has been balanced and weighted for two handed bowling, as there are some subtle but key differences for how your ball needs to react upon shot release.
Just like with one handed bowling, you’ll likely need to tweak your shot style as you go to find your overall shot wheelhouse. Once you do find your own version of a correct two handed bowling form, you’ll need to ensure that your bowling ball is weighted and finished in such a way that it plays to your particular shot pattern.
6 Of The Best Two Handed Bowling Balls
If you peruse forums on two handed bowling recommendations, the Storm Tropical Hybrid Bowling Ball is mentioned more than most. Weighted properly, this ball can give you fantastic revolutions at any speed while putting any lane oil condition to use in modifying your two handed bowling hook for the better. The Reactor reactive resin cover stock and Camber core are a perfect combination for putting the extra spin from your two handed bowling shot to good use, maximizing back-end reaction and increasing the overall power of your hook.
Another favorite in online forums about two handed bowling, the Storm Pitch Black is an interesting choice because it’s actually covered by a Control Solid Urethane cover stock – not a reactive resin cover stock. However, its Capacitor core and innate hook potential makes it a great choice for a two handed bowler whose overall speed isn’t burning up the lanes. You can get some very interesting and sharp hooks just by putting this ball down with ease as a two handed bowler. Proper form puts this ball to good use.
The finish on the Hammer Black Widow Legend bowling ball is simply perfect for two handed bowling, turning the back-end violence potential of a two handed bowling shot into controlled, yet vicious pin carry. Its lightweight construction makes it a breeze to set and stabilize, while its popular Gas Mask core turns up the revolutions late in your shot. You never go wrong with any of the Hammer Black Widows, but this is especially a great choice for the nature of two handed bowling.
Are you playing mostly on heavy oil lanes? If you’re looking for proper reactivity out of your two handed bowling shot, the Brunswick Kingpin is built to conquer heavy oil lanes and ramp up the pin action at the end of your shot. It’s DynamiCore balances power and ball control effortlessly, while its Enhanced Composite Adhesion reactive cover stock redefines the meaning of high hook potential. If you want maximum back-end violence out of your two handed bowling shot on heavy oil lanes, this is your ball
The 5500 grit SLP-finish on the Motiv Venom Cobra’s new hybrid reactive cover stock may be overkill for some two handed bowlers. However, it’s perfect for those who are looking for a sharp, high-energy hook finish deep into the pin pocket. There isn’t a better reactive bowling ball on the market when it comes to putting friction to use quickly and effectively. And with the dual-density weight block properly set, you can definitely parlay that friction into strike after strike as a two handed bowler.
The 1500 grit polish on the Storm Code Red may not be up to most two handed bowlers’ liking, but it’s the RAD4 core which portends high torque at any speed which could prove a major boon for a two handed bowler who’s looking for a bit more front end motion and a solid, sharp break point towards the pins. Sanding this ball to a higher grit and utilizing its internal construction to your advantage may be a great way to go if you want to really put the Storm Code Red bowling ball’s chemistry to efficacious use as a two handed bowler.
Controversies aside, two handed bowling is taking the greater bowling community by storm. Finding the best bowling ball for two handed bowlers is a tricky task overall, but the list above gives you a great starting point to find a ball that will make your high-revolution, high-potential shot that much more effective on the score sheet.
Going against the grain is a big part of two handed bowling, and it can be a huge left turn in your bowling shot arsenal if you find a way to make it work for you.