What Does Carry Mean in Bowling?

As a bowler, your ultimate goal should be to bowl the maximum number of strikes in a game. In addition to choosing the right ball and perfecting your approach, a concept that can improve your chances of bowling a strike is something called “pin carry.”

In bowling, carry refers to the ability of the ball to pick up pins on its own. A good carry means the ball will strike the pins with enough force to knock them all down. A few factors affect pin carry, such as the point and angle at which the ball enters the pocket and the construction of the pin deck.

Pin carry increases your chances of bowling a strike when you enter the pocket correctly. It also minimizes the times you experience corner pin spares, thereby improving your score.

This article will walk you through various factors that affect pin carry and how to improve your carry by perfecting a few steps.

What Does Carry Mean in Bowling?

Factors Affecting Pin Carry in Bowling

One factor that affects carry is the type of ball you use. A heavier ball will usually have more carry than a lighter ball. This is because the heavier ball will have more momentum when it hits the pins, thus more likely to knock them all down.

Check out this article on choosing the right weight: What Weight Bowling Ball Should I Use?

The type of coverstock on the ball can also affect carry. A ball with a harder coverstock will often have more carry than a ball with a softer coverstock. This is because the harder coverstock will create more friction with the lane and, thus, be more likely to pick up pins.

Another factor that affects carry is the lane conditions. You may not be able to control this, but if you throw a few practice shots before starting the game, you will know how much your ball spins and moves depending on the oil pattern. You may need to change your starting and release points after interpreting the lane conditions correctly.

As a general rule, remember that if the lane is dry, the ball will often have more carry than if the lane is oily. This is because the dry lane will provide more friction for the ball and thus help it to pick up pins.

If the lane is too dry, however, the ball may not have enough traction to make it all the way to the pins. If the lane is too oily, the ball may slide through the pins without picking any of them up.

Read more here: How to Read Bowling Lane Oil Patterns.

Finally, your own bowling style is another factor that can affect pin carry. If you bowl with a lot of speed, you are more likely to have more carry than if you bowl with less speed. This is because a faster ball will have more momentum when it hits the pins and be more likely to knock them all down.

How to Improve Your Pin Carry?

If you want to increase your pin carry, you should ensure you are throwing a hook ball as a first step. This way, you can improve your chances of hitting a strike even if your ball is not entering from the ideal entry point.

Choosing the right bowling ball and perfecting your grip on the ball are some of the ways to improve your pin carry. So, let’s look at some techniques that can help you take your pin carry to the next level.

Improving Your Form

One of the most important things that can help you improve your pin carry is to focus on your form. Pro bowlers are in the habit of carrying out a pre-shot routine. This involves wiping the ball and drying your hands, among other things. In other words, don’t approach the shot too quickly.

The next step is to focus on your starting position. Not everyone uses the same posture, so you need to learn which stance you feel most comfortable in instead of copying other bowlers’ styles.

In bowling, body weight plays an important role in perfecting your throw. You are supposed to use your body weight to your advantage. This means shifting your weight from your back foot to your front foot as you swing and then transferring your weight back to your back foot as you release the ball.

Another way to improve your form is knowing when to release the ball. This means finding the sweet spot between too early and too late. If you release the ball too early, it will go high and likely won’t have enough power to knock down all the pins.

On the other hand, if you release it too late, it will go low and likely won’t have enough power to hit a strike. The sweet spot is somewhere in the middle.

Read more on releasing the ball in this article: What is Backswing in Bowling?

Using the Right Ball and the Right Grip

You want to make sure the ball is the right weight for you. If it’s too light, it won’t have much impact. And heavier balls are difficult to swing, especially if the bowler is a beginner.

If you want to improve your pin carry, remember to grip the ball correctly. Instead of using the conventional grip, it is recommended to go for the fingertip grip. In this type of grip, you insert your thumb all the way in, but your middle and ring fingers are only put half in.

However, to perfect the fingertip grip, you must ensure that the ball fits perfectly in your hand. Some bowlers use rubber finger inserts to achieve more lift.

Read more on holding a ball and different types of grip here: How to Hold a Bowling Ball!

You may also use a semi-fingertip grip if you’re comfortable with it. The idea is to have a good grip on the ball, which you can maintain throughout your swing.

Read more on the swing here: What is Backswing in Bowling?


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