Wood or Synthetic?????????

Posted by: Pacifca Lefty

Wood or Synthetic????????? - 09/11/08 04:11 PM

Afternoon All,
this might be a multiple topic question as I get into it...
1st lets start with throwing the ball on each surface;
On synthetics you throw the ball straighter cause if you throw it out its a gutterballo and on wood you can throw straight or
go deeper theres more give on the wood.. I've decided to bowl on sythetics this winter to prep me for next year's Nationals in Vegas. My first question is: is my preparation for Vegas good?
My second is: what do you prefer or bowl better on?
thanks,
Pacifica Lefty.
Posted by: General Pounder

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 09/11/08 04:29 PM

I hate to tell you this but nothing you can bowl on will prep you for Nationals. Don't get me wrong, it is a fun time but the conditions can be brutal. Think of the most amount of oil you have ever played on in league. Now triple it. Get the ball outside of 8? Hope you get 3. Pull the ball a board left of your target? Hope you get 3.

Best thing you can do to prep yourself for Vegas is to find a sport shot league. Also, work on your spares. If you have a spare ball, get really aquanted with it. If you don't, get one and learn to like it. Hooking the ball at spares at Nationals is a recipe for disaster.
Posted by: 180fury

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 09/12/08 04:11 AM

humm i bowl on wood. i see a difference on both. i like both really but i love the wood sound. oil holds better on syn but wood is just more fun to me because it seems tuffer to bowl on. but thats just what it seems to me. i have better scores on syn but woods a challenge that i can't pass up laugh
Posted by: Tim Gerard

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 09/12/08 08:37 AM

I prefer wood, only because thats what I have the most experience with. But thats going to change next year as my house will be converting to synthetics. Rumor has it that they will be doing this just after the season starts. So we will bowl on wood untill October, then synthetics after that.
Posted by: Atochabsh

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 09/12/08 10:55 AM

Wood hands down. However, its a dying breed. Soon there will be no wood lanes. We only have one wood house in Sac. and its scheduled to go synthetic anytime. Or at least when AMF gets around to it.

Sea Bowl is synthetic isn't it? We go there next month for travel league.

As for practicing for Nationals. I agree with GP. The lane surface alone will not prepare you for what's going to be in Vegas next year. Best thing to do is ask your center to put out the National shot. Its no secret, and usually posted around bowl.com somewhere. You can find a PBA or Sport league but even that will not be the flat pattern used at Nationals. Still they will give you a taste.

First time going to Nationals? You'll have a blast and the condition will be like nothing you've ever seen before. Plus the atmosphere is bowling bowling bowling.

Erin
Posted by: Reconbbs

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 09/12/08 12:21 PM

All of the bowling alleys around where I live have all converted to synthetic. I haven't been bowling long enough to experience the transition from wood to synthetic lanes. I'm not even sure If I've ever even bowled on wood lanes lol.
Posted by: Calvin Pistorio

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 09/12/08 05:28 PM

Wood lanes? What are those? I've bowled once on wood lanes. Around me its mainly AMF centers and the houses that are wood have synthetic overlays is makes them synthetic. The one time I bowled on wood my plastic ball was really moving and covering at least 15 boards, of course this was also midday and the lanes probably weren't oiled since the night before.
Posted by: Justinmill14

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 09/12/08 10:34 PM

I normally bowl on wood, thats the only thing within 45 min. away but occasionally bowl on synthetics, mainly when our highschool has away matches. Wood does give alot more, I get a lot more reaction out of my Tornado on wood than I do synthetic but I do agree with what general pounder said
Posted by: SimplyAmazuring

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/08/08 11:20 PM

It's not the wood or synthetic issue that will be your challenge - the oil pattern itself and adjusting to how quickly it will break down will be the biggest challenge for nationals. I agree about getting sport pattern experience, as most people who usually throw a big hook on a house shot find their balls in the right gutter 30 feet down the lane on a sport pattern (misses to the right will not come back). Good Luck! - SimplyAmazuring
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/09/08 06:34 AM

Erin said, "First time going to Nationals? You'll have a blast and the condition will be like nothing you've ever seen before. Plus the atmosphere is bowling bowling bowling."

I just bowled is State Tourneys and a few Invitationals out of State, when I used to bowl. but, in the 24 year layoff I had, Nationals has become the top dog. Bowling on it the first time was really a treat. Got goose bumps walking down the center Aisle at the introduction. Then, it was focus and bowling, bowling, bowling.

Then, seeing my score on the big board was a little unnerving. Especially, when the frame didn't go well.
Posted by: Rack Wrecker

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/09/08 06:45 PM

I bowl on synthetic lanes mainly and I just missed out on the transition from wood to syn where I typically bowl. However, I have no information to give about nationals because I've never been to them lol. Interestingly enough, this topic has evoked a question of my own regarding wood or synthetic. Do you prefer to bowl with wood or synthetic pins? Personally I prefer the wood pins. They not only sound much cooler when you hit them but they seem to have better pin action and carry. The synthetic pins I bowl with typically seem to just shoot straight back into the machine. A couple nights ago my lane mechanic friend took me back behind the scenes and seeing how everything works back there I definitely learned a new respect for wooden pins. Also learned to hate some of the machines and why one of my balls got a gouge in it from a stray pin in the wheel in the back.

But what does everyone else think, wood pins or synthetic?
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/09/08 11:06 PM

Bowled on Twister Pins (synthetic) once a bunch of years ago around when they first came out. Sound kind of bothered me a bit, carry was OK. I've heard people comment that the Twisters carry better on light hits but can be a little strange on better hits, but I have not had the chance to experience that.

Now, what I would have been really curious to bowl with, and I don't know exactly when they were manufactured or used, would be the Magna-Pin. It was the first ever ABC approved synthetic pin. Don't know if anyone here knows what I am talking about, but it was a plastic coated metal shocked pin that was filled with some sort of filler material to bring it up to regulation weight and also give it the correct balance. That must have been real interesting. If anyone on here had ever bowled on them, I'd be real curious to hear your input.

Mark
Posted by: bryhardt

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/10/08 01:59 AM

Generally speaking, wood lanes have a higher degree of friction than synthetics. For synthetics, in order from high to low friction are AMF HPL, Brunswick Pro Anvilane, then DBQ.

For USBC Open, its not so much there is a ton more oil, its just distributed differently on the lane. Like others have said, its best to get into a PBAX league and learn how to manage your break point.

Also take advantage of the sport challenge and team practice sessions at the tournament while you are there. They will help you get a feeling for things before you go into the main event.

Posted by: General Pounder

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/10/08 09:59 AM

Originally Posted By: bryhardt
For USBC Open, its not so much there is a ton more oil, its just distributed differently on the lane. Like others have said, its best to get into a PBAX league and learn how to manage your break point.


I want to say that when I read the lane graph for the Open in NM, it had almost double the units of oil in the middle than when it was in Reno. I think that it was 90 units. I just check and the graph isn't on bowl.com anymore.
Posted by: superchick

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/10/08 11:30 AM

I personally like wood.
Posted by: 30 Clean

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/10/08 12:36 PM

No preference. I stink either way. smile
Posted by: bryhardt

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/10/08 03:05 PM

2007 USBC Open was 40 feet, 23.25 mL of oil used with a ratio of 1:4.75.

2008 USBC Open was 40 feet, 24 mL of oil used with a ratio of 1:3.

2007 has slightly more oil in the middle and slightly less outside. 2008 had a little less in the middle and slightly more outside. This is consistent with the ratio change to go to a 3:1 sport pattern.
Posted by: General Pounder

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/10/08 03:46 PM

Originally Posted By: bryhardt
2007 USBC Open was 40 feet, 23.25 mL of oil used with a ratio of 1:4.75.

2008 USBC Open was 40 feet, 24 mL of oil used with a ratio of 1:3.

2007 has slightly more oil in the middle and slightly less outside. 2008 had a little less in the middle and slightly more outside. This is consistent with the ratio change to go to a 3:1 sport pattern.


Thanks. I guess I was given fault info. The pattern for this year is not released yet.

http://www.bowl.com/tournaments/usbcopen/National/laneconditions.aspx
Posted by: saabbowler

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/10/08 03:53 PM

The 6 houses nearest me are all wood. Arnold Bowl, Imperial Bowl, Show-Me Lanes, Concord Bowl, Crestwood Bowl and Quonset Lanes.
Posted by: General Pounder

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/10/08 04:09 PM

I bowled in a tourney at Imperial Bowl last summer. Fun place.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/10/08 04:21 PM

Originally Posted By: saabbowler
The 6 houses nearest me are all wood.


I'm quite the opposite, I can't think of a single wood house near where I am. My home house converted back in 1996, right when I started to really learn how to bowl, so most of my primary experience is on synthetic. Generally, I prefer the synthetic due to lack of experience on wood. I do wish I had more chances to bowl on wood.

Mark
Posted by: coasterlover420

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/11/08 12:29 AM

I would favor bowling on Wood because my home alley is wood so I learned to bowl on wood, but there are some better reasons I have.

I prefer to play deeper than usual, and the high friction on wood helps me do that with good pin carry. On synthetics, a straight shot is a must. On the Cheetah, I can't play any deeper than 3 without hitting light. On wood, I pretty much rocket it to the right and hope it doesn't go high. Also, on longer patterns, wood is much more favorable because you don't have to play as deep as on synthetic. On Shark, I can play 10 boards shallower on wood compared to synthetic. In fact, I have trouble getting my ball to hook more than 5 boards on synthetic with a Shark.

People often ask me, "wouldn't you prefer the smooth reaction synthetics have to offer rather than the violent reaction wood provides?" I disagree. With a smoother roll on synthetics, I get much weaker pocket hits and leave lots of 10 pins. On wood, I find that more and more 6 pins slam to the side wall and kick the ten pin out, and on light hits, pins get slammed around. That's why I prefer wood.
Posted by: Revs_300

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/11/08 12:35 AM

I miss wood for the exact reason stated above... I love to play the whole lane...

well the game has changed, and I am now getting accustomed to synthetic houses... I am starting to like them.

I tool a 7 or 8 year absence and started back the second half last year on a full time basis... I shot 300 shortly after being back full time on wood lanes. However, the more I bowl now at a synthetic house, the easier the adjustments are getting.

I find that for the longest, I have over adjusted on synthetics... even with 3 or 4 guys playing near my lane, I haven't had to move more than two boards on the approach since realizing the over adjustment problem...

anyways, I am the king of ramble, so I will shut up by saying... bring on the synthetics!

and this coming from a guy who wants to bowl in tournaments where the only ball anyone can throw is a blue hammer!
Posted by: cgeorg

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/11/08 07:44 AM

I much prefer synthetics to wood for 2 reasons, although both of them are impacted by the oil pattern laid down as well.

1) Wood tracks up more than synthetics, so it gets to the point that there is 1 spot to play on the lines. I hate that - I like options. On synthetics, I can actually move around on the lane and strike from multiple angles. That tends to not be the case with wood. Wood also tends to hook too much for my liking.
2) Wood houses put down crap for oil. One house near me is getting better - it used to be the case that I had to rocket my weakest stuff at 4th arrow to keep it on the right side long enough to hit the pocket. And they have above ground ball returns. Which makes playing 4th arrow kind of tough! Another place around here, nothing would keep my ball right of the headpin. And this is using an old Black Amber Zone with a 6 inch pin. The owner was there, and we talked afterwards - he complained about another wood house up the street because his ball didn't hook there, and he was proud of his 15 board hook here. He had about 4 revolutions on his old Brunswick zone. Never going there again. The other wood house around here (the one he couldn't hook at) actually puts down a good bit of oil, but I think they use a mop, because there's no pattern. It certainly puts a premium on accuracy, because if you don't roll the ball exactly the same, there is no telling what your ball might do.
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/11/08 08:24 AM

The last few posts seem to express the exact opposite view. I believe it is what you have become accustomed to, and how you have built your arsenal as to whether you prefer one or the other.

My opinion is that synthetic scores higher than wood, and equipment is made for that. Bowling on wood takes an additional skill that most bowlers don't have. You cannot just bank the ball as on synthetics, you really have to read the lanes to bowl.

With that said, you can also carve a groove on wood with repeated shots that you can play for a longer time.
Posted by: Tim Gerard

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/11/08 10:36 AM

Since 99% of my bowling is on wood, am I going to have to change some of my equipment next year when my house is converted to synthetics?
Posted by: cgeorg

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/11/08 11:08 AM

You have a good range of equipment, so you should be fine. You will probably end up playing a different line, and you may want to adjust the surfaces on your balls to match up better with the new condition, but it's not like they make certain balls for wood vs. synthetic.
Posted by: Tim Gerard

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/11/08 11:27 AM

Thanks cgeorg,
I was just thinking that I may need to get an agressive "oiler" added to my arsenal. Something to get more traction on the slicker surface.

As for playing a new different line, lately I have been playing up the 5 board and loving it. I think that may help me when the synthetics are installed. From my brief experiences with synthetic lanes, I usually had to play more outside to get a good look.
Posted by: bryhardt

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/11/08 01:34 PM

Here are some good ole wood lanes. smile
Posted by: CoachJim

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/11/08 01:38 PM

what do you mean resurfacing?
Posted by: cgeorg

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/11/08 01:45 PM

Hey, in antarctica, you take what you can get. Wonder if they have to use a different viscosity oil for the lanes.
Posted by: General Pounder

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/11/08 02:05 PM

I think you could play 4th arrow with a white dot there.
Posted by: Tim Gerard

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/11/08 02:05 PM

Have any of you seen that show "Ghost Hunters" on the Sci-Fi channel? It looks like there is a bowler on that right lane, right at the arrows on the left side of the lane, in the form of an "orb". Whoooo,...sorry,.. I just find all that stuff fascinating, and they always point those things out on the show.
Posted by: Tim Gerard

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/11/08 02:06 PM

Or it just could be dust...LOL.
Posted by: CoachJim

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/11/08 02:10 PM

I'm going to guess someone didn't use a coaster and mom is going to yell at them.

When do you guys think those lanes were oiled last?

Manager: "first you tell me the lanes need to be resurfaced and now you say they need oil"
Posted by: tonyj

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/11/08 02:52 PM

OK I prefer wood myself. I feel on wood the transition from oil to dry is more milder and I can get away with a little more misses. I have mostly bowled on wood all my life. Here are 2 not so worn wooden lanes and I actually hand oil the Harmonia Lanes . 2 lane wooden houses
Posted by: leftykev

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/11/08 05:48 PM

I learned to bowl on wood lanes during the 80's and 90's, using plastic balls during the 80's and urethene during the 90's.

The rare times i bowled on synthetic lanes, I ended up struggling because I was so used to playing deeper right, and was too inexperienced to adjust to the tighter lines synthetic lanes offered back then.

My 10 year absence was the best thing that happened to my game, since I got to relearn bowling on the much heavier oiled synthetic lanes of today, in conjunction with the bowling balls of today, sure make bowling easier.

This past summer, I bowled state tournament at a Synthetic house and a wood house. The lanes had similar dry shots, forcing me to play a roll-out shot to the pocket. I had an easier time getting the ball to transition on the wood lanes.
Posted by: EddieK

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/12/08 10:20 AM

i'll bowl on anything, but given a choice, i'll take wood lanes any day of the week. throw 'light oil' into the deal and i'll pull the plastic or hard rubber out of the bag and be a happy camper. this is bowling as it should be, imo.

i can adjust to synthetic lanes, but i HATE HATE HATE aynthetic approaches. they should be banned for reasons of safety, imo

im so old, it was LACQUER on wood when i started! the "new" plastic balls were hook monsters then... believe it!
Posted by: Dennis Michael

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/12/08 11:05 AM

Eddie, you are right. Lacquer on wood was the standard back then. But, lanes were so poorly maintained and costly to do so, I can see the reason for synthetic.

Yet, there is no replacement for the original.
Posted by: SilentTuba

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/12/08 06:39 PM

Well, since the antarctica link is from a Rutgers website (my alma mater), I did a quick search to find this:


These are the Lorree Hall bowling lanes on the Cook/Douglass campus of Rutgers University. Despite the fact that I lived on the Cook campus for 4 years, and had several classes in Lorree Hall, I never actually went bowling there, although I do know people who have. It's one of the few things I regret from my college days.

Posted by: Scott Gannon

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/12/08 07:36 PM

Originally Posted By: leftykev
My 10 year absence was the best thing that happened to my game, since I got to relearn bowling on the much heavier oiled synthetic lanes of today, in conjunction with the bowling balls of today, sure make bowling easier.


I think that was the worst thing that happened to me. Because I have 20 years of bowling on wood lanes programmed in my head it has not been easy to adapt.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/12/08 08:45 PM

Hey Tuba, I'm a Rutgers graduate too. Lived on Busch all 4 years, my older brother went to Cook. Thanks for putting up the picture, I knew there were lanes under Loree, but I never bowled there. I had heard that they barely maintained the lanes, so many others and I refused to bring good equipment there. I mostly bowled at Carolier when I was at RU.

Mark
Posted by: SilentTuba

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/12/08 10:39 PM

Originally Posted By: Mkirchie
Hey Tuba, I'm a Rutgers graduate too. Lived on Busch all 4 years, my older brother went to Cook. Thanks for putting up the picture, I knew there were lanes under Loree, but I never bowled there. I had heard that they barely maintained the lanes, so many others and I refused to bring good equipment there. I mostly bowled at Carolier when I was at RU.

Mark


Yeah, being a music major, all of my spare time was spent in a small room with a tuba and a metronome. I think I managed to go bowling twice during college...once at Woodbridge Lanes, and once at Carolier. I'd heard the same about the Loree lanes, from people who have bowled there (and been pin setters).

Ah, good old New Brunswick...it might be time to take a trip down there for dinner at Stuff Yer Face on Easton Ave....
Posted by: Satyuros

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/12/08 11:57 PM

Wood all the way, baby. Grew up on it, and just generally like it more. I don't like the sound of synthetic when the ball hits, haha. But I practice at a synthetic house as well (only two houses in my city, one's wood, the other synthetic.) so it works out well for me. There's an adult tournament in january that I'll be defending (woot.), 8 games at one house, 8 games at the other house second day. Really is a perfect display of how different they are, people were having problem staying off the face at the wood house, then the second day people couldn't hit the pocket because it was flooded on synthetic. amusing, to say the least.
Posted by: Mkirchie

Re: Wood or Synthetic????????? - 11/13/08 08:31 AM

Originally Posted By: SilentTuba
Ah, good old New Brunswick...it might be time to take a trip down there for dinner at Stuff Yer Face on Easton Ave....


I could use a good trip to the grease trucks, I haven't been there in a long time now, they were great after late classes.

I ended up bowling a bit at college, we briefly had a club team at Rutgers, but it fell apart the 3rd year I was there. After that, I just went to practice at Carolier when I had the time. I usually managed about one a week.

Speaking of lane surfaces, when I did bowl at Carolier, before they replaced the wood lanes there with synthetics, they had Guardian on top of the wood. I couldn't stand Guardian, lots of friction when it is worn out, anyone else here have any experience with it?

Mark