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Old 28th Feb 2017, 11:27   #1
Maki role
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Tenpin bowling, anybody else do it?

I was sort of surprised that there's no thread for it hidden somewhere that I could locate, and if there is it's probably so buried it's best left down there haha. I thought it might be interesting to see who else on Bit-tech goes frequently, or even occasionally actually.

I decided to take it up as a hobby back in November of last year. It's something I'd wanted to do for a while but never taken the plunge. If there's one thing for sure, in the UK it isn't that easy to get into it. Pro-shops are remarkably scarce, so getting some personal equipment and advice is pretty hard, given buying online is simply an awful idea for a beginner.

So far, I'm loving it! It's tough at times, I've had days where my scores were lower than before I began taking it semi-seriously, which is a little hard to swallow. But then every so often I'll get something right and think "Damn, can't wait until that becomes consistent", which makes all the frustration worth it.

I would imagine there are some users here who do it, or perhaps used to? Thought it might be nice to have a place where we can share scores, tips, equipment and all that. If anything treat it like the weight loss thread and post progress haha.

My own scores have taken a massive nosedive since changing to a reactive ball, but one day I'm told it will all be worth it haha.

Yesterday's 3 game total was 401, which is about 100 pins down from where I was before I switched. Will be going again Saturday morning, hopefully that will result in a higher, and not catastrophically lower result
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Old 28th Feb 2017, 13:22   #2
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I often find myself in a 'who can throw it faster down the lane' competition with the guys I normally go with.

My highest score in a single game was in the 160s, but I can't get close to that now. I've only bowled about 6 or 7 times in my life, though.
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Old 28th Feb 2017, 13:51   #3
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I love bowling but only ever play when we got to Butlins for a holiday (which is scarily regular).

I'd like to bowl more often but I find it prohibitively expensive considering how long a game lasts if theres just 2 people playing.

I generally break a hundred, no idea what my highest is, probably in excess of 130 as I remember getting 4 or 5 strikes with a few in a row and a few spares once.
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Old 28th Feb 2017, 15:08   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheMadDutchDude View Post
I often find myself in a 'who can throw it faster down the lane' competition with the guys I normally go with.

My highest score in a single game was in the 160s, but I can't get close to that now. I've only bowled about 6 or 7 times in my life, though.
Sounds like me before I took it up. It's good fun on and off, one of the things I like most about it really. I can be all super serious trying to improve blah blah blah but bring a load of friends and everybody has a great time regardless. Your averages shoot up so fast when you start going regularly though, such an experience driven activity.

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I love bowling but only ever play when we got to Butlins for a holiday (which is scarily regular).

I'd like to bowl more often but I find it prohibitively expensive considering how long a game lasts if theres just 2 people playing.

I generally break a hundred, no idea what my highest is, probably in excess of 130 as I remember getting 4 or 5 strikes with a few in a row and a few spares once.
You have to get savvy with it tbh. Bowling is completely prohibitive in the UK if you go at peak times, it's the main reason why I never took up until recently also.

The trick is to know when centres have offers on, and they basically all do for slow days/times. I go to Charrington Bowl in Tolworth now, aside from being a proper championship bowling setup (aka well kept and oiled lanes and pinsetters) they have a number of good deals on. On Saturday and Sunday (perhaps other days but I never asked) you can bowl at 1 per person per game for the first hour of opening. That's a 4 games if bowling with two people for under a fiver each, which works for me. They've also got an unlimited bowling offer on Mondays and Fridays 8pm-close, but you need to book the lane for 4 people at 12.99 per person. If you can scrape 3 others to play it's good value if you stay the whole period.

This other place I used to go to had half-price Tuesdays. Had half price on bowling and importantly booze! But it was a bit of a dive and always filled with w**kers trying to act cool, Acton in a nutshell I guess.
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Old 28th Feb 2017, 17:06   #5
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I used to bowl in an amateur-league after school for a couple of years. I still have most of the equipment lying around in the garage. Couple of 14 and 15 pound balls, shoes and an assortment of wristguards.

Not exactly a cheap hobby.
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Old 28th Feb 2017, 21:02   #6
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I used to bowl an average of 148. Then I had my bike crash and screwed my elbow so stopped bowling.

I had this mate out in the USA who used to throw the most amazing curve ball. His average was over 200 he was amazing. Used to feel so stupid bowling with him lol. It's funny as well, 'cause he's kinda ditzy and really kind and gentle by nature but bugger me when he gets on those lanes it's like watching Billy Elliot dance.

They say that every one is excellent at something, they just need to find out what it is.

I do miss it I'll be honest. I used to love dollar night (dollar for a hot dog and dollar per game) and 25 cent afternoons

We (my ex wife and I) had a bowling lane about a mile from the house. So yeah, was kinda an institution there to bowl.
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Old 1st Mar 2017, 15:18   #7
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I bowl in a league at Airport Bowl outside Heathrow Airport, currently with a 161 season average, though that varies depending on lane conditions. I use a 15lb DV8 Deviant as my league ball and have an 13.5lb Ebonite as my spare.
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Old 1st Mar 2017, 15:27   #8
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I bowl in a league at Airport Bowl outside Heathrow Airport, currently with a 161 season average, though that varies depending on lane conditions. I use a 15lb DV8 Deviant as my league ball and have an 13.5lb Ebonite as my spare.
If you want to deal with different lane-conditions and stay more consistent then I suggest atleast a second reactive ball.

I had one with a heavy hook and one with only a little. Additionally I had a spareball that stayed right on target if I wanted to.
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Old 1st Mar 2017, 16:48   #9
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If you want to deal with different lane-conditions and stay more consistent then I suggest atleast a second reactive ball.

I had one with a heavy hook and one with only a little. Additionally I had a spareball that stayed right on target if I wanted to.
The lane pattern is the same every week, I have a second reactive ball but I don't use it now as it's too light.
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Old 1st Mar 2017, 20:19   #10
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I bowl in a league at Airport Bowl outside Heathrow Airport, currently with a 161 season average, though that varies depending on lane conditions. I use a 15lb DV8 Deviant as my league ball and have an 13.5lb Ebonite as my spare.
Holy crap, how on earth did I never find out about this place?? Proper league bowling support so I assume well kept lanes and machinery, and only a few minutes drive away. It's usually a fair bit easier to drive to Heathrow than Tolworth for me (although Tolworth isn't hard to reach by any means).

May pop down there in the future to see how it is. Nice average, I haven't been going long enough to measure a season for mine yet, nor am I in a league currently. I'll change all that once I'm happy that I'm consistent enough though.
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 22:55   #11
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Bowled in many leagues for years until I moved up North and am a qualified instructor. One of my balls which belonged to my Dad is an old 16lb Manhattan rubber ball from the 50's. Someone offered me 500 for it twenty years ago (before he died) and I told them, to sod off it was my inheritance, and two years later I bloody got it Dad told me at the time I should have sold it ! My mum still has the 12lb Manhattan rubber one she got from my Uncle (who was in same team as my Dad)

My own ball is a Brunswick Bear (16lb). Looks like a giant Malteser !

My usual end of season average was 170-175 but I finished 180+ a couple of times, which meant I was pretty much bowling scratch ! Not bowled a ball in ten years, but my last game was bang on 200 (and that was my first game in about 5 years) so they say you are only as good as your last game.... so I have quit
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Old 3rd Mar 2017, 22:58   #12
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Holy crap, how on earth did I never find out about this place?? Proper league bowling support so I assume well kept lanes and machinery, and only a few minutes drive away. It's usually a fair bit easier to drive to Heathrow than Tolworth for me (although Tolworth isn't hard to reach by any means).

May pop down there in the future to see how it is. Nice average, I haven't been going long enough to measure a season for mine yet, nor am I in a league currently. I'll change all that once I'm happy that I'm consistent enough though.
Doesn't matter about your average. You get a handicap. I used to have to give my opposite number a 50+ handicap each game - 150 pins over a series ! But its fun.

I always played anchor (bowled last) after Dad died or for teams he wasn't in with me, and if we were playing against people who were there only for the fun, I'd help them, and many a time the person who averaged 100 managed to get a 130-140 and with handicap kick my arse. Join a league regardless of your average.
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Old 4th Mar 2017, 12:12   #13
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Doesn't matter about your average. You get a handicap. I used to have to give my opposite number a 50+ handicap each game - 150 pins over a series ! But its fun.

I always played anchor (bowled last) after Dad died or for teams he wasn't in with me, and if we were playing against people who were there only for the fun, I'd help them, and many a time the person who averaged 100 managed to get a 130-140 and with handicap kick my arse. Join a league regardless of your average.

I'm more thinking of my personal motivation than true results as such haha. If I were to play competitively with somebody then I'd be more than happy to use a handicap, no different to golf in that regard.

I'd like to join once my consistency is at a point where I can begin to make controlled adjustments and learn more easily from the other players etc. For instance if I can't bowl a standard oil pattern, then it will be more frustrating than anything trying to understand a different one. More of a mental thing really.

So today was significantly better than last time. Was getting a much more consistent hook and release, although ball jams really messed my focus in the first couple games. Was in a good place and rhythm, which got broken each time the machine needed some maintenance.

High/Pinfall/Avg was: 189/470/157

Hoping that Monday will be good, fingers crossed for a decent lane without obstructions. After being moved today it was so much better.
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 20:33   #14
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Well continuing the theme of noting down progress, I decided to try out the Pinpal app. Must say that after even one use, I can see how it could become really useful down the line. Being able to see things like which pins I commonly miss etc. seems really cool to me. The best thing though is that it's intuitive. I was worried I'd end up taking longer per turn as I input the pin info, but it's so quick to do that I could add things before the pinsetter had finished sweeping.

High/Series/Average today was: 183/449/150

Whilst it was a slight drop vs last time, it felt so much better. This was the first time I've ever had a game with no opens in it, was able to convert every spare. Unfortunately only one strike though, a hell of a lot of 9/spares. Also let things slide a bit towards the end as the lady from the front desk told us we only had 5 minutes left to bowl about half the game... Who'd have figured going as quick as possible would result in lots of misses?
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Old 11th Mar 2017, 21:02   #15
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This is quite a normal thing in Birmingham, by the way.
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Old 12th Mar 2017, 10:50   #16
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Holy crap, how on earth did I never find out about this place?? Proper league bowling support so I assume well kept lanes and machinery, and only a few minutes drive away. It's usually a fair bit easier to drive to Heathrow than Tolworth for me (although Tolworth isn't hard to reach by any means).

May pop down there in the future to see how it is. Nice average, I haven't been going long enough to measure a season for mine yet, nor am I in a league currently. I'll change all that once I'm happy that I'm consistent enough though.

Thanks, there are bowling leagues pretty much every weeknight there so you should pop in and have a chat with some of the organisers if you're thinking of bowling. I bowl in the Thursday Friendly league...
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 08:37   #17
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Thanks, there are bowling leagues pretty much every weeknight there so you should pop in and have a chat with some of the organisers if you're thinking of bowling. I bowl in the Thursday Friendly league...

Wow, I popped in yesterday and I think I've found me new home. It's simply much more pleasant than Tolworth, fresher, brighter, more evenely busy, staff were nicer and it's cheaper, not to mention half the journey time.

I'm pretty sure the nicer environment had a very positive influence on my bowling yesterday too. Managed for the first time to break a 500 series, just felt so good getting more and more consistent. I feel I'm quickly getting to know my release and swing more, certainly by the end of the evening my rev rate was way higher than when I started.

High/Series/Avg for last night was: 176/510/170
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Old 14th Mar 2017, 16:21   #18
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I'm not sure how it is in the UK, but in the US (ten pin) bowling was really really popular in the 1960s so alleys are still common in most towns as long as there's a minimum population to support it.

I know a friend of mine used to do candlepin bowling whenever he visited Canada, so I've always wondered at the variety, type, and commonality of bowling alleys in other countries.
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Old 18th Mar 2017, 16:22   #19
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Originally Posted by d_stilgar View Post
I'm not sure how it is in the UK, but in the US (ten pin) bowling was really really popular in the 1960s so alleys are still common in most towns as long as there's a minimum population to support it.

I know a friend of mine used to do candlepin bowling whenever he visited Canada, so I've always wondered at the variety, type, and commonality of bowling alleys in other countries.
First time I've ever heard of candlepin bowling. Looks rather interesting, seems to share some characteristics between tenpin and ninepin, the tenpin layout and ninepin's small ball.

Well today I'm calling a bit of a write-off. The centre was so packed this morning that it made it impossible to concentrate at all. On the lane to the left was a party of 20, who were loud but for the most part okay. I can deal with noise, it's a little harder but you get used to it. But the lane to the right holy moly, 7 teenagers (what teenager is up at 7:30 on a Saturday???) all bowling in just the most obnoxious way possible. Dancing on the approach, swinging the balls around, throwing multiple balls at once down the lane etc.

That sort thing really gets to me as you can't easily block it out. You instinctively move away so as not to hit anybody (even when there's no risk) meaning all your shots are off. Half of the time as I was about to release the ball they'd run up to the side and hurl theirs down only inches away from me. That sort of crap just puts me way off. Sure guys, have fun, but ffs let me have some too. Take your bloody turns and try not to bee complete dunces.

/rant

Aside from that, began with 187 and as they started bowling my scores just tanked. Didn't even bother with averages this time, there was a 105 pin difference in my first and last scores... Looking forward to Monday quite desperately.
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