If you’re a newbie to the bowling scene, you’re probably wondering what all the fuss is about when people talk about spinning (or hooking) a bowling ball. Most casual bowlers throw a version of a straight ball with varied results. And it’s possible to get plenty of strikes with this approach, especially early in a bowling session.

So, why is spin so important to growing as a bowler? What can hook do for you that a normal straight throw cannot?

We’re here to show you.

Why should I learn how to spin a bowling ball?

When you consistently spin a bowling ball and create a consistent hook shot, whether it’s a modest spin or otherwise, you open up a realm of impact possibilities not available with a straight ball. The finger rotation and swing cycle of a great hook shot increases the potential efficacy of each ball roll.

Whether you fashion a small and consistent hook or a sweeping larger one, the most successful bowlers at your local bowling alley are always going to be the ones who use spin when they release the ball.

But, why is that? What makes a hook shot such a smart play for left-handed bowlers and right-handed bowlers alike?

Why is a bowling ball spin better than a straight release?

When you impart spin on a bowling ball, your ball travels differently down the lane from the foul line to the pin deck. With a straight shot, you need much more discipline and optimum body position to consistently get strikes. If you don’t hold your body in a precise manner and distribute your body weight almost perfectly with your footwork, you’ll miss the pocket over and over again.

Putting spin on a bowling ball, be it with a smooth hook, moderate hook, or angular approach gives you more leeway to play with. No matter what your control level is and how refined your hooking motion may be, you’ll get more pin carry from your bowling hand with a strong hook than with a straight shot.

And as you get your forward swing in order and your bowling fingers working in concert, you’ll be able to add spin in such a way as to increase your scores dramatically. All you have to do is learn the proper technique for you, get your stance position and body control in order, and find your groove. By doing so, you’ll get more power and high scores even if you’re not one of the faster bowlers at your alley!

How do you get spin in bowling?

Ready to knock down as many pins as you see fit? A bowling ball posted to most secondhand retail websites can earn you 200 scores regularly if you know how to maintain a constant grip and spin on it! Here’s a simple four-step process to follow to add some spin and hook to your bowling game:

  1. Find the right grip for your fingers. You can add less finger rotation or more to a hook based on placement and eventual release. In truth, your hand position and finger placement are keys to establishing a rotating axis for your spin shot.
  2. For adult men, adult women, and anyone else to throw a proper hook, the thumb should be the first finger out of the bowling ball. You’ll keep the other fingers in the ball to guide rotation as your thumb braces and tracks the shot.
  3. Lift your fingers out of the ball, rotating your hand into a handshake position while keeping your wrist straight. You should complete this motion when your forward sliding shoe has reached its destination. Moving your arm upward and rotating it slightly will affect the type of hook you throw.
  4. Continue to move your arm in an upward direction on your follow-through as you release. The moment that you kill your motion is the moment you stop influencing the hook of your shot. Keep your point of release consistent and your footwork correct, and you’ll be in good spin shape!

7 Tips For Spinning Bowling Balls And Creating The Perfect Hook Ball

1) Good bowling shoes go a long way.

The better your traction and footwork control on a bowling lane, the more you can do with a spin shot. Putting spin on a bowling ball is all about having a confident, strong base to throw from. The axis caused by a stable base is much more effective for pin carry than the one caused by a wobbly release.

2) There are two positions for how to best hook a ball.

You can either modify your bowling ball, modify your technique, or do both to change the spin generated by your bowling swing. If you modify a ball, be sure to adhere to the guidelines set by any league or organization you’re a part of. It’s safer and smarter to modify your throwing technique, and it also costs less.

3) Reactive resin bowling balls are your spinning friends.

Reactive resin bowling balls are marvels of modern tactile technology. They come with coverstocks calibrated with the simple aim of helping you spin a bowling ball to your liking. When you release the ball, the coverstock absorbs oil and turns it into violent angular energy. That opens up your entry angles, sharpens your hooks, and gives you a better chance to up your scores.

4) It’s called migration and it can help or hurt your bowling scores.

The axis of migration for a bowling ball can either be your best friend or your worst scoring nightmare. If a ball migrates from its path away from the pin pocket due to the spin on your throw, you’re going to have to adjust to that. Work with the migration of your ball and use it to slot your shots into the sweet spot of the pin pocket.

5) Pay attention to the placement of your forward sliding shoe.

Your footwork is critical to a great spin shot. If your forward sliding shoe is pointed away from your target or is placed askew, your shot will likely get affected negatively. Be consistent and confident with how you step on a lane, using your footwork to guide your release towards success.

6) Rotate your fingers consistently.

If you find a groove with finger rotation that leads to strikes or picking up spares, put a mental bookmark on it. The slightest change to your finger movement can alter your spin dramatically. Once you’ve got your finger rotation at its most efficacious, work hard to repeat that movement.

7) Keep your elbow directly pointed at the ground if you can.

Uppercut the pins into oblivion! While changing your arm placement will affect your hook, deviating from a natural upward motion could cause all kinds of problems — both in terms of scoring and potential injury. Don’t alter your arm motion during your swing cycle. Keep it straight and focus on your finger movement.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is it called when you spin a bowling ball?

The proper name for a spinning bowling ball is called a hook shot. While there are different names for different types of hook throws, adding spin to a bowling ball is pretty much the same as adding hook.

What does spinning the bowling ball do?

Spinning a bowling ball increases the damage you can do with a release. Whether you choose a small and consistent hook or something more violent, you increase your opportunities for strikes and spares by opening up different paths and impacts at the pin deck.

Closing Thoughts

It’s time to get in the handshake position and make some pins fall! The right spin on a bowling ball can change everything for you at the bowling alley. A beautiful hook shot knocks down more pins and forgives more mistakes than the common straight ball. Once you dial a hook shot in, you’re going to see increased scores and have a better time at the lanes altogether!