You’ve probably knocked down thousands of bowling pins in your life. But, do you really know that much about them?

How much does a bowling pin actually weigh? Does the weight of a bowling pin matter?

We’re here to dive deep into the world of bowling pins, giving you an insider’s look at everything you need to know about these oddly-shaped marvels.

First, let’s get this common question out of the way…

Is the weight of a bowling pin important?

Yes! If a bowling pin weighs more or less than the minimum or maximum weight standards in place, it can cause some major problems. The weight of a standard regulation bowling pin has been standardized by such organizations as the United States Bowling Congress and World Tenpin Bowling Association to ensure that bowling games are set up fair and square for players of all ages.

When bowling pins are made, overall weight and weight distribution are a major part of quality control. Bowling balls are made to hit certain pin weights and pin densities, and they lose efficacy when pin weights are altered outside their ideal range.

The right weight ratio promotes the right pin action during and after impact. If bowling pins aren’t the standard weight, it changes action entirely and makes the pin pocket less reliable in a standard ten-pin bowling game.

Whether your bowling alley uses bowling pins made of hard maple wood or synthetic pins, they need to be above the alloted minimum weight and below the maximum weight to keep this great sport from turning into a frustrating game.

There’s very little wiggle room in this. But, that’s because pin calibration is key to proper bowling play.

What are the different types of bowling pins and how much do they weigh?

There are different pin specifications for different types of bowling pins. Most bowling pins made nowadays are for ten-pin bowling. A ten-pin bowling pin has a different regulated weight than pins for other styles such as candlepin and fivepin bowling. In addition, pins for other styles of bowling have a peculiar shape less familiar to most than a standardized ten-pin bowling pin

How much do regulation ten-pin bowling pins weigh?

A regulation ten-pin bowling pin weighs 3 pounds, 8 ounces with an allowed variance of 2 ounces. They have a base diameter of 2.03 inches, stand 15 inches tall, and measure 4.75 inches wide at their widest point.

How much does a ninepin bowling pin weigh?

Also known as Kegel’s pins, nine-pin bowling pins weigh 2.86 pounds. Nine-pin bowling is the closest variant of bowling to traditional ten-pin bowling and traces its roots back to Europe. It’s mostly known as a German bowling game due to its roots and popularity within the country.

How much does a bowling pin weigh in candlepin bowling?

A candlepin weighs 2.43 pounds, or 1.1 kilograms. It has a base diameter of 2.125 inches, a total diameter of 2.9375 inches, and a height of 15.75 inches. Candlepins are almost half the weight of a standard bowling pin, and a candlepin ball is even smaller. A standard candlepin bowling ball weighs 2 pounds, 7 ounces — less than 20% of the weight of a standard ten-pin bowling ball.

How much does a duck-pin bowling pin weigh?

A duckpin bowling pin weighs 1.5 pounds. It has a base diameter of 1.375 inches, a total diameter of 4.125 inches, and a height of 9.4 inches. Some duck-pin bowling alley operators wrap a wide rubber band around each duckpin to facilitate heavier pin action.

How much does a five-pin bowling pin weigh?

The maximum weight of a five-pin bowling pin is 2.45 pounds. Five-pins have a total diameter of 5 inches, a base diameter of 1.625 inches, and a overall height of 12.5 inches.

What other bowling pins are there and how much do they weigh?

There are plenty of other pins out there that aren’t standardized for common bowling alley play. There are arcade game pins with wires attached, wooden pins for home play sets, and plastic pins sold at dollar stores. All of these pins have different weight, height, width, and diameter specifications.

There’s also the unique case of the Brunswick PBA Gold Pin. Used in PBA Tour tourneys, this special pin weighs 3 pounds, 10 ounces. That’s within the allowed range of a normal standardized ten-pin bowling pin, but it’s right at the maximum weight allowed. Featuring a colorful PBA and Brunswick logo, the ten pins in a Brunswick PBA Gold Pin set make things a bit tougher on the best bowlers on the world bowling scene.

Frequently Asked Questions about bowling pins

What are bowling pins made out of?

Standarized ten-pin bowling pins are made of laminated maple wood. They are first constructed by adhering multiple blocks of maple wood together with wood glue to form the approximate shape of a regulation bowling pin. In order to whittle it into shape, the bowling pin is turned on a lathe. This rounds it into form before it is covered in a plastic coating for protection. Finally, the bowling pin is fully painted and give a glossy finish for easier sight and overall aesthetic purposes.

If maple wood is not available for pin production, there are several synthetic substances that can be used in its place. However, these synthetics must come from an approved list and the specifications of the pin itself must align with that of a standard maple wood bowling pin.

How far apart are bowling pins spaced?

Pins are placed into four different rows on a pin deck. There is one pin in front called the head pin, two pins in the second row closest to the bowler, three pins in the third row, and four in the back row.

Bowling pins in the same row are spaced 12 inches apart. Bowling pins in adjacent rows are spaced 20.75 inches away from one another. When a rack is perfect set, each side of the formation should measure 36 inches in length. This is the optimum setup for prime ball actions and proper pin collision after impact.

How much does a set of bowling pins cost?

In the current marketplace, a set of new regulation ten-pin bowling pins costs anywhere from $170 to $200. Used bowling pins can be found in pro shops and online marketplaces for $100 or so.

How long do regulation bowling pins last?

Pins regulated by the World Ten-Pin Bowling Association of World Bowling (or similar organization) are usually replaced by bowling alleys within one to two years. This usage time decreases or increases based on how often a pin is struck.

What is the best bowling ball weight to knock down bowling pins?

Contrary to popular belief, the heaviest bowling ball you can throw is not always the best bowling ball to knock down pins. The best bowling ball to do maximum damage is the heaviest bowling ball you are comfortable throwing repeatedly. You may be able to throw a 15-pound ball, but you might tire out and lose efficacy in later games. In that case, you might want to throw a 13- or 14-pound ball for maximum results throughout your time of play.

Look at how many pins you knock down with a certain weight of ball and what your overall pin action looks like. Adjust your weight and ball type for best results.

How long is a bowling lane from foul line to pins?

On a standard bowling lane, the distance between the foul line and the bowling pin deck is 60 feet long.

Final Thoughts

So, how much does a bowling pin weigh? It just depends! No matter what style of bowling you prefer and what kind of pins are standard to it, the right pins make for the right kind of fun. Both ten-pins and other types of pins are created with your enjoyment in mind. So, get out to your local bowling alley and start enjoying!