Reviewed in the United States on July 29, 2019
What I feel absolutely compelled to tell new bowlers is never, never, never let anyone bully you into taking a ball that's heavier than you feel totally comfortable with. It is probably true that you will want as heavy a ball as you can reasonably handle, eventually, as you improve in bowling. But, if you are just starting out, for the love of mercy! Start out with a light ball. I was bullied into taking a size 13 or so to start with, and I am a petite woman with small bones, and very tiny, delicate hands.
The larger ball, also without being certain of the proper hand placement during release because no one really showed me, until it was noticed way too late that I was releasing the ball improperly, but with a heavier ball to begin with, and improper hand placement, a person can totally mangle their hands. It was completely unforgivable because I DO have such small hands, and I depend on them for tiny, delicate needlework, drawing, and other things where a gentle, steady hand is needed. So, it was profoundly distressing for me to have injured my hands so badly with too heavy balls!
Bowling was never my thing! It is a big, nasty, clumsy ball, generally, and it is just a game, not anywhere as easy as it first looks, but it seems better suited for big, monstrously big and tall people with big farm hands. It can be fun, and it definitely isn't easy, and it takes a lot of practice. Bowling is okay, and I do know of some particularly slender people who are fabulous bowlers.
The whole experience for me was absolute torture for me because I was pushed to take on the heaviest ball this other person thought was right for me. I ended up straining my middle finger so badly that my doctor recommended not bowling on my hand for three months, minimum to allow it to heal. I was in a league, so I continued, and bowled with my left hand. This got a lot of attention, but I am fairly ambidextrous, so it was not so remarkable to me. It is a little extra challenge to bowl left handed. But, none of this, not my pain, my extreme swelling of my hand, and I also got a cyst on my hand, which I eventually had completely removed after several sessions with a doctor, also, which I think was related to the super heavy ball.
I ought to have started with an 8 lb. ball, period. That was what my instinct told me to do, and I shouldn't have let myself be bulled by any officious people. I know from doing other sports that you have to begin slowly, and never, never, never push yourself too hard in the beginning, or you can get injured, and be set back, and also learn to hate the sport or activity because of all the extreme pain and injury. So, it isn't worth it. It is imperative to begin small and slow, and work up, as skills and stamina improve.
They pushed me to use a 10 to 13 lb. ball, and it was way too heavy since I was only starting out, and my hands and bones are so small and delicate. It was a horrendous strain, I got many injuries of my hands, and it was all for nothing. I recommend starting out with whatever is comfortable for you, and learn what you are doing, first, and then as your skills improve enough, and only then, move up to a heavier ball, as you are able, and leave it at that. A heavier ball is good, and it is easier to make all the pins fall down, if you hit them right, whereas with a too light ball, no matter how well you do, the pins might not go down.
The injuries to my hands with the too heavy balls was one of the most disgusting, painful, uncomfortable things I have ever been through. I hated bowling and I'm glad I don't have to do it anymore, but sometimes it was okay, and it can be fun. But, do not let yourself be bullied. Follow your instincts. Start with a lighter ball. I was so injured I also had to go to a 5 lb. ball, and work up to an 8, and then to a 10, eventually. I bowled in these leagues for three years. But, if I had not overdone it too soon, with a too heavy ball right off the bat, I would not have had so many painful injuries, and had to have begun with my other hand, and started with the lightest ball available, more suitable for a seven year old child, but the injuries to my hand by the super heavy balls, and the fact that my technique was not up to scratch immediately, caused me terrible injuries of my hands, a lot of pain, swelling, and my swollen finger turned purple and red, and was twice its normal size. I absolutely hated bowling because of the injuries and pain, and I'm sure it would have been avoided altogether if I had started out with a lighter ball, as I felt was right, to begin with, and moved up to a heavier ball as my bowling skills increased. But, starting with a too heavy ball completely destroyed my bowling experience. It is just something I did, but, I thank God that part of my life (bowling league) is over with. It is definitely not fun when all you feel half the time is pain and injury.