One of the matches that I watched at the 2013 USBC Masters was between Walter Ray Williams, Jr. and Jason Belmonte. I could not help but think of it as a match between the best of the old (one-handed) and the best of the new (two-handed) styles of bowling. Belmonte won easily 761-685. While watching, I noticed how easy it appeared for Belmonte to generate all that power, and while the ball was busy destroying the pins, he remained on balance, under control, posting every shot, unlike lots of one-handed power players.
Also at the Masters, I got a good look at the first two-handed lefty I have ever seen, amateur A. J. Rice. And, I experienced first hand what it is like to bowl with somebody tearing up the oil pattern like a Jason Belmonte or Osku Palermaa. That is when it really sunk in. Strokers stand little chance playing outside of the area on the lane these guys are playing. So, I got to thinking, if you can't beat them, why not join them. And today, I drilled my first two-handed ball.
For this experiment, I am just using an old rubber High Skore Pro ball that I bought for $12.95 on eBay. I am also planning to use a Bowled Solutions Griips glove to 1) preserve my fingers, 2) save time/money on inserts, and 3) be able to flip the ball around for a different feel/reaction. Before I drill another "real" ball, I want to first recalculate my PAP, RPMs, Axis Tilt, Axis Rotation, etc.
While waiting for the Griips glove to arrive, I am practicing the two-handed release with a one-handed ball rolling it onto the couch. One of the realizations I got from watching and listening to Belmonte is that the other hand does not assist in the release, it just acts like a thumb holding the ball in place. The difference is the position with the hand under the ball, arm bent, is the maximum leverage position. For me, the two-handed style means no more wrist brace, no more turning the ball inwards in my backswing, and no more thumb in the way of generating more revolutions. Going two-handed may be the cure I have been looking for all along. I figured it was at least worth a try. I will post some video when I can.
Great video. Thanks, Rick. While Belmo and Osku have similar styles, I tend to prefer Belmo's. Osku is very athletic, and seems to want to rip the cover off every shot, as if 500 RPMs is not enough, and on spares, it's like he is trying to break the sound barrier. While that is fun to watch, Belmo seems much more relaxed and more natural, and I would think that would make it easier for him to repeat shots.
A/S/L: 28/m/York, PA
Even if you don't adopt Belmonte's full style, there is plenty to learn from at least trying to understand the technique. Osku "breaks the sound barrier" because with the revs the two-handed style produces will make throwing even a plastic ball straight very difficult. I've been working on increasing my speed for just that reason. Dry lane conditions could be tough, but if you have the speed plus your Natural Pearl you should be just fine. I hope you enjoy trying a new style or at least have some fun experimenting with it.
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I admire your interest in pursuing something new. I'll admit that I believe the two handed style is the way of the future, and likely the most efficient way to throw a bowling ball. Therefore, I also admit that I am only holding myself back by not giving it a try.
I've been tempted in the past to take up no-thumbing after watching a team mate last season. He hadn't bowled in three seasons, but after two rust buster weeks he started to clean up in brackets every single week, shot two 299s, averaged 226, and was high average in the league...all with just one bowling ball. His effortless efficient speed and revs just murdered the pins. If he was a better spare shooter I'm sure he would have averaged close to 240.
What was most appealing to me about his game is how athletically natural it looked. Most no thumbers you can spot 20 lanes away because of how awkward their push away looks. This guy you'd really have to study to notice what he was doing. Honestly, he's the best bowler I've ever seen, and I wish I was willing to learn to throw the ball the way he does.
I admire the guys who can roll the ball consistently one-handed, no thumb. It's certainly a viable way to achieve more revolutions. However, I believe it requires greater wrist strength, balance, timing, and control than two-handed. In fact, the more I experiment with two-handed, the more natural it seems compared to even one-handed with a thumb. As with learning any new skill, the key is to be patient, start off slow, and learn the mechanics first. I plan to spend a lot of time at the foul line doing 1-step drills before performing a full approach. I believe the increased speed and revolutions will come as a natural by-product of proper Execution.
A/S/L: 52/M/Virginia Beach, VA
Good luck learning this skill- Keep us all informed of your progress. I agree about Osku- he sets up differently than Belmo. His right hand is much further to the inside, and he does get more axis rotation. He shoots spares one-handed, so I don't really know why he feels he needs to throw his spare ball 30+ mph. Too much muscle required.
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A/S/L: 47 Male, Malta NY
Originally Posted By: NoThumbNoProblem
Osku "breaks the sound barrier" because with the revs the two-handed style produces will make throwing even a plastic ball straight very difficult.
Osku often shoots his spares one handed (different from Belmo who always rolls two handed). Osku's spare ball is usually 29-31 mph. I'm a big guy but can't get much over 24mph (measured at the back end) with anything resembling accuracy. Osku must be crazy-strong and a very good athlete.
Osku also has a very strong one-handed, thumb-in strike ball. Yeah I kinda hate him
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first of all i must said that the drilling of the ball is different from one hand.. because of the thumb is always on side.. your fingers must be normal pinch. not too much left or rigth pinch.. belmo uses 1\16 both sides.. and interestingly he uses 1" forward pinch...
i asked ashley to send osku's sheet..
our two handed team is now more powerfull with you.. especially drilling is more important i think..
A/S/L: 37/M/Lincoln, NE
This will be an interesting topic to follow. As far as I have seen/heard there are only younger bowlers (<35) using the style currently. I have wondered watching the two handers primarily on TV if thier style would allow for longevity in bowling. To me it looks like it would create more stress on the body.
I look forward to your progress updates. Seeing how the change goes for you could cause more people to consider the switch.
With as many great games as you have bowled for you to feel you need to make this magnitued of a change to compete makes me question how much I can accomplish bowling with the time/money I am able to put in.
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