It’s Time to Make Your Move

By Steve Kloempken, Storm Global Technical Advisor

Greetings again to each of you! It is rare that lane conditions and lane surfaces remain the same from year to year, or even week to week, so you are probably experiencing a need for minor changes or modifications to your game. This article will address some common questions about making proper adjustments on the lanes.


From time to time most bowling centers will change the type of conditioner they use to prepare the lanes. This usually happens during the summertime when the proprietor has a slower league schedule and is least likely to upset their most cherished clientele. Different lane conditioners, or oils, have different chemical properties and do not perform alike. Certain lane oils are extremely slick while others allow the ball to slow down faster. Some conditioner travel to the backend easily, often called ‘carrydown,’ while others do not.


Have you ever bowled in a center that started the night with plenty of oil and, by the third game, you felt you could do nothing to keep the ball off the nose? While it is possible that the excessive amount of hook is created due to bowler fatigue, the most likely cause is a lane conditioner that breaks down quickly. Highly aggressive bowling equipment will also cause a lane conditioner to ‘dry up’ faster. Bowlers with higher rev rates, those rebellious ones also known as crankers, also have the same effect on a normal lane pattern. Add a piece of high-flaring, dull equipment to the cranker, and you can almost watch the oil disappear right before your eyes!


PBA Hall of Famer Pete Weber will tell you that it is imperative to make constant adjustments with your feet and target in order to manage an ever-changing lane condition. If, for example, you throw a shot and it goes high, do not waste any time making a move with your feet and/or your eyes. Generally house conditions have more oil in the middle of the lane than the outside. So if you roll a shot and it leaves the baby split, for example, feel free to immediately move inside two boards with your feet and at least one board (maybe two) with your target. Maybe it wasn’t a ‘perfect’ shot but it is important to trust your ball reaction.


Renowned coach Ron Hoppe has trained bowlers from all parts of the globe. A few years back he pointed out that for better bowlers the difference between a great shot and a bad shot is within five or ten percent! This theory was quickly proven to me when shortly thereafter I used the Storm See Your Game® video software to record a few shots. I taped one ‘great’ shot and immediately followed it up with a ‘horrible’ shot. Even a highly-detailed video could barely distinguish the two. The point of this story is for you to realize that it is important to make your moves and adjustments on your ball reaction not your physical execution. Move your feet and your eyes, change ball surface or layout, and then lastly make a physical adjustment. The top professionals will tell you that they move their feet and eyes constantly throughout a game! If it works for them it will work for you too.


If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at [email protected]. Thank you to Joe Cerar for publishing this article, and remember to always ‘Bowl up a Storm!’