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#41093 - 02/14/07 02:07 PM Re: Help with drilling my new ball - thumb problem [Re: Brian Longo]
Ball Action Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 8
A/S/L: Missouri
Here they are. Not the best, but I can take some more if you need a different angle or anything. I'm not sure about span, but I'll be happy to try and measure it if necessary.

Thanks again!

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#41101 - 02/14/07 02:57 PM Re: Help with drilling my new ball - thumb problem [Re: Ball Action]
Brian Longo Offline

Registered: 05/23/06
Posts: 1393
A/S/L: 37/M/Jacksonville, NC
So am I correct in assuming the rubbing is on the right side - like if you hold your thumb up like you're giving someone a "thumb's up" thumbsup - that side? If that's the case, I would say it's possible that your right lateral pitch is probably off, that is, assuming your thumbhole is snug but not tight.

I would also say that a thumb slug or insert would benefit you. It's tough to go from somewhat slick to grabby right before your thumb exits the ball. That would be #1 to fix so start there.

#2 would be to make sure the thumbhole is not too tight. I think the majority of your thumb problem happened because of the tight thumb hole and thus having to jam it in. What I usually do with oval thumbs is measure both the thin and wide parts of the thumb, drill one size larger than the thin measurement and sand out the rest. If I have to run a sander like crazy, then I do it. I also teach the bowler about the virtues of tape and how to use it and how to apply it.

#3 would be to make sure of the lateral pitch once you've found a comfortable fit with your thumb. Monitor any sort of rubbing on that side of your thumb. And more wear on it and that would indicate too much right (under palm) pitch.

First and foremost, though, get a slug or insert for that thumb. Have the ball drilled and finished to accommodate that callous and (hopefully) as it begins to shrink (which might take a month or so), replace the slug with a newer one that fits better and still snug, not tight.

I've seen worse than yours - about 2 of them - and I've managed to correct them and return their thumbs to near normal size. Once you correct the problem, then drill up your NV. Until then, put the NV aside and make sure you find a proper fit. It won't hurt for it to remain blank for a little while. That's what I've done with my Wrath that I plan to drill up left-handed. Until I find a grip I like, I'll butcher the ball I'm using. This way I don't screw up a better ball.
"There are no magical balls, just magical bowlers"

#41113 - 02/14/07 04:08 PM Re: Help with drilling my new ball - thumb problem [Re: Brian Longo]
Ball Action Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 8
A/S/L: Missouri
Thanks for the advice. I called to see about getting a slug or insert put in this week. I'll talk to him about this discussion and see what he thinks will help. And I'll definitely wait on the NV until I find something comfortable. Any instruction on putting some tape in? Was I right about using it on the pad side to tighten it up and force my thumb against the back of the hole? The problem with the round hole is that it has to be large enough for the wide part of my thumb, but then it is too large for the narrow part...maybe some tape will help alleviate this.

#41114 - 02/14/07 04:40 PM Re: Help with drilling my new ball - thumb problem [Re: Ball Action]
Brian Longo Offline

Registered: 05/23/06
Posts: 1393
A/S/L: 37/M/Jacksonville, NC
Yes, using tape will help. When you insert tape, use the white grip tape on the pad side of your thumb, and keep it as square as you can. Insert enough to make the thumbhole feel snug, but not tight. The tape should not be at the top (towards your fingers) of the thumbhole. It actually should be at an angle towards your pinky. You might have to play with it a bit to get the feel right.
"There are no magical balls, just magical bowlers"

#41160 - 02/15/07 10:34 AM Re: Help with drilling my new ball - thumb problem [Re: Brian Longo]
MrBowler Offline
Action Bowler

Registered: 12/08/06
Posts: 298
The way that I put tape in my ball when I replace the tape that is already in there is this. First I remove the tape from the hole, then:

1. I put my fingers in the holes
2. I put my thumb in the thumb hole
3. I slowly pull my thumb out noticing the left and right spots on the ball where it comes out
4. I then align my first piece of tape with those two edges (I use 1" tape because of the size of my thumb
5. I put my fingers and thumb in again and make sure that I have aligned that first piece correctly. This is critical!
6. I then add pieces of tape offsetting them by about 1 mm down in to the hole (so that they can be easily removed 1 at a time)
7. I will test the "snugness" of my thumb in the hole
8. If needed, I will put in one piece of tape at a time until my thumb feels snug.
9. I will go throw a couple of balls and see if it feels like the ball is falling off of my thumb or sticking on my thumb and adjust the number of pieces of tapes accordingly (thus the reason for offsetting them by 1mm).

Each time that I bowl (about every 3 games), I will replace the topmost piece of tape as it seems to get oil on it while I bowl (that may be a problem with the way that I handle the ball, but it is part of my pre-bowling routine).


Edited by MrBowler (02/15/07 10:34 AM)
Keep bowling and having fun!

For everything bowling, see

#41188 - 02/15/07 03:51 PM Re: Help with drilling my new ball - thumb problem [Re: MrBowler]
Chris Cenotti Offline
Bracket Donor

Registered: 03/24/06
Posts: 154
A/S/L: 25/M/Northern California
So since I've been bowling and having gripping problems, I've heard from other bowlers and one coach that gripping is just a problem with the bowler, need to focus on it and just quit doing it. From this thread, I'm seeing that sometimes the gripping comes from improper pitches, which is the opposite.

So how can one find the difference?

#41342 - 02/17/07 11:19 PM Re: Help with drilling my new ball - thumb problem [Re: Chris Cenotti]
EternityEnds Offline
Junior Coach

Registered: 02/17/07
Posts: 41
A/S/L: Dearborn. mi

you never mentioned if you were having a problem sticking in your thumb hole. Yes/NO ????
avg--205 hg--298 hs--789
this season hg--290 hs--726

Ebonite NVD
Ebonite Playmaker
Ebonite Raid
Ebonite Game Breaker
Ebonite Tornado
Storm Ice (spare)

#41413 - 02/19/07 08:42 AM Re: Help with drilling my new ball - thumb problem [Re: EternityEnds]
Reader Offline
Bracket Donor

Registered: 01/01/07
Posts: 170
A/S/L: Philadelphia
I have not yet had my Pitch changed as discussed in another thread. However, I did have my thumb insert changed to a smaller size. From this Forum, I knew, as a beginning bowler, it would likely feel snug. It did feel snug. The first frame I bowled I pulled the ball left, as I was still gripping the ball. As I loosened my grip, the ball became more and more comfortable and I can see that a proper fit will allow me to develop a free arm swing without muscling the ball. It almost seems amazing how the ball will stay on my hand without my needing to grab the ball. Yet, the ball still releases when needed.

Edited by Reader (02/19/07 08:45 AM)
Tropical Storm 14 lbs (Nov. 2006 - 01/29/2007)
HG: 207
Avg: 143
MoRich Seek & Destroy 15 lbs (01/30/2007- )
Ebonite Maxim 15 lbs

Started taking lessons: November, 2006

#41520 - 02/20/07 10:02 AM Re: Help with drilling my new ball - thumb problem [Re: Reader]
Ball Action Offline
Bumper Bowler

Registered: 02/14/07
Posts: 8
A/S/L: Missouri
I almost had my first 600 series in league last week, so I was a little hesitant to mess with it, but I had my old ball fitted with a thumb slug yesterday. It is a good snug fit, and it forces me to keep my thumb straight & relaxed. If I squeeze, then my thumb doesn't clear at the bottom and I end up lofting it. And best of all, it is basically pain-free. The only problem I'm having is that I feel like I'm not getting quite as many revs or as much action on the ball...but our house had some extra oil down last night, so that may have been the problem.

I'm going to make sure this works out for a week or so and see if the callous reduces at all, and then I'll have the NV drilled up. Hopefully that 15# ball will help me take my game to the next level, and with a good fit I won't have to worry about the pain. Thanks for all the help.

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