In bowling, the smallest details matter as much as the larger ones, and it’s true for the thumbhole! Keep in mind that a properly fitting ball is a must in nearly all aspects of the game, from the approach to the release. The ball should feel comfortable in your hand, both while it’s still in your hand and when in it’s in full motion during the swing and release.
Let’s start with the thumbhole since it plays a significant part in a comfortable feel. Here, we will discuss the importance of taping it before throwing your first shot in your favorite Red Rock center.
Create an Airway in the Ball
While tape can be used to take up the empty space in the ball’s hole, it isn’t the only use. The tape also becomes a tool, so to speak, as an equalizer of air pressure mainly by creating an airway in the ball. You will then be able to move your thumb in and out of the hole without significantly affecting its air pressure.
You may need about three pieces of tape layered on top of each other in creating two tiny airways on each side. You will like the quick and clean release from your thumb, thanks to the snug hole.
But what if your thumb is swollen? You should still use three pieces, at least, of tape layered on the hole. You can add more pieces of tape to make a snug hole when your thumb returns to its normal size.
Tip: Try to limit the number of pieces of tape to five, however, as too many will likely change the thumb pitch and span.
If there isn’t sufficient room in the thumbhole for three pieces of tape, you can either have a tiny vent hole drilled or open up the hole itself. Check, too, if your ball has a vent hole drilled into it (i.e., built-in) and clean it of obstructions, if necessary.
Comfort Is the Key
We cannot overemphasize the fact that a precise fit for your thumbhole underlines your comfortable hold of the ball. The tape is then added or removed with one purpose in mind: To ensure an exact fit as your thumb changes in size and, thus, to ensure your optimum comfort.
Tip: Place the first piece of tape ¼-inch below the top of the hole. Then, place every added piece of tape 1/16-inch below the previous one for an exact fit and easy removal.
By the way, the thumbhole’s front is where the pad of your thumb will comes in contact with the ball’s thumbhole. The back is where the knuckle of your thumb comes in contact with the thumbhole.