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Bowling with Arthritis: 3 Bowling-Ball Customizations to Ease Pain and Discomfort

by Ashley Kelley

Although bowling is a relatively calm and fun sport, it does take a huge toll on your fingers and hands. While this might not affect the average Joe, those struggling with arthritis may have a difficult time lifting standard bowling balls, let alone landing a strike. To ease any pain and discomfort you experience and to improve the amount of power and control you have, invest in custom-made bowling balls. You'll want to get these three particular customizations.

Drill Custom Holes for a More Comfortable Grip

You'll find that arthritis will slowly take over you. What was once a comfortable hand position might be extremely painful once you're dealing with arthritis. Similarly, you fingers and hands might fall into place naturally at a different angle or position. Cater to these physical changes by drilling custom holes into your bowling ball so that you have a more comfortable fit. Drilling custom holes will allow you to have more control over your bowling ball and will also reduce your changes of getting injured.

Let your hands and fingers fall into their natural position when you get them measured. Some shops will drill the holes for you at no cost at all whereas others might charge you extra for it. You'll have to shop around to find the best deals available.

Customize the Size of the Drill Holes to Fit Tape or Other Support Mechanisms Used

Depending on whether your joints are in pain or not, you might need to put on some type of tape or adhesive at the joints for support. You might even want to wear gloves in order to ease the amount of pressure that the bowling ball has on your fingers and hands. If you are going to be requiring additional support tools and equipment, consider customizing the size of the drill holes in order to make sure that your fingers will fit. You might need to get two bowling balls, one for when your arthritis isn't acting up and one for when it is.

When using additional supports for your fingers and hands, the additional supports may take up a significant amount of space. A larger drill hole may be needed in order for your fingers to fit comfortably. You don't want to have to squeeze your fingers into the holes, as this will only place unnecessary pressure on your knuckles and other joints.

Tailor Weight of the Ball to Your Specific Needs

If you have arthritis, you might be much more sensitive to the weight of the bowling ball you use. A bowling ball that might be slightly heavier can do a lot of damage to your joints over time and worsen symptoms of arthritis. Ideally, you should use a bowling ball that is 10% of your body weight; however, that might not necessarily be feasible depending on whether the arthritis is acting up. On the other hand, a bowling ball that is too light might not give you the power and handling you need to get a strike each and every time. Finding a good balance can be difficult, and standard bowling-ball weights may no longer be suitable for you.

Thankfully, you can get bowling balls custom-made. In these situations, you can tailor the weight of the ball to your specific physical needs and ability. Keep in mind that you also need to consider the type of cover stock that the bowling ball is going to have when purchasing a custom-made bowling ball with a tailored weight. Generally speaking, a reactive resin cover stock will give you the most power for landing a strike.


Don't let arthritis stop you from bowling. Invest in a custom bowling ball, and you should regain control and power to your throws. A custom-made bowling ball will also have less of a toll on your fingers, hands, and joints. You won't have to worry that your symptoms will worsen with each game.