What should I do?
“Should I drill this ball pin up to give me some extra length, or pin down to give me an earlier roll?” A vast majority of bowlers today generally make this their primary decision when drilling a new bowling ball. If you’ve ever been in the pro shop business, you’ll hear it all the time.
With so many changes to bowling ball technology over the last 30+ years, what do those changes in layouts really do to ball reaction?
Bowling ball technology has evolved over time making some of our older theories not quite as relevant to today’s game. In order to understand what has changed, let’s take a step back in time and look at bowling ball technology in the early years of bowling.
Past and Present
Early day bowling balls did not have heavy dynamic shapes to create large flare patterns. Take a look at Figure 1. The picture on the left is an example of what the inside of a majority of bowling balls looked like 30+ years ago. They consisted of a small slug at the top of the ball which the fingers and thumb would be drilled over to offset the weight lost from drilling. Since this was the primary shape causing imbalance, static weights such as finger and thumb weight were much more relevant to ball reaction.
When drilling a ball pin up, it would generally have more finger weight. This caused the ball to get down the lane a bit further. When you drilled a ball pin down, it would generally have more thumb weight. This caused the ball to react a bit sooner. The static weights were much more influential because there was nothing else inside the ball for gravity to influence.
Fast forward to today’s game. Take a look at Figure 1 again. The picture on the right shows the inside of a modern day bowling ball. We now have large, dense, and dynamic shapes that dominate ball reaction. We can now create vastly different reactions using different drilling layouts. The laws of physics cannot be broken. Our main concern with the powerful cores of today’s game is the radius of gyration (RG) and differential (Diff). These two work together with other variables to create 3 distinct phases of ball motion as the ball travels down the lane. While there are other variables influencing these phases of ball motion, we are going to hold them constant for the time being and focus on this piece of the puzzle.
The Pin Buffer
Before we understand what the reaction differences between pin up and pin down layouts are, we need to know what is actually changing in the layout that causes the pin to be above the fingers compared to below the fingers. Take a look at Figure 2. It may look like a lot to take in at first, but it’s a great illustration of the difference between pin up and pin down. We can have two different balls with an identical Pin-to-PAP distance and MB-to-PAP distance, but one has the pin above the fingers the other has the pin below. The cause of the change is the final measurement in Storm’s Pin Buffer Layout System, the pin buffer. Shorter pin buffers are going to raise the pin because they have to be closer to the VAL. This is seen in the ball on the left in Figure 2. Longer pin buffers are going to lower the pin because they have to be further from the VAL. This is shown by the ball on the right in Figure 2. The only difference between these two balls is the pin buffer. The ball on the left has a 2″ pin buffer, while the ball on the right has a 4 1/2″ pin buffer. You can see that the pin is forced further down the farther away it gets from the VAL and further up when it is closer to the VAL. Now that we understand what is causing the difference in the layout, let’s take a look at some of the key differences in dynamics that result from putting the pin above the fingers compared to below.
Removing the Mass
When drilling a bowling ball in today’s game, it is important to note where the mass is being taken out of the core. Every hole you introduce to the ball is going to alter the shape of the core. This means the RG and differential are both going to change from the undrilled number. Refresh your mind by looking at Figure 3. As we know, the pin is the designation for the x-axis on the surface of the ball. It is the very top of the core. Approximately 6 3/4″ away from the x-axis is the y-axis. This is 1/4 of the ball and gets us directly into the side of the core. Total differential is measured as the difference between the x-axis and the y-axis. Essentially it is a measure of the difference between the height and width of the core. The larger the difference, the higher the total differential. More differential means that there is the possibility for more imbalance and flare if the core is positioned appropriately from the PAP. Getting back to the topic of this article, let’s take a look at how we change these core dynamics with pin up and pin down layouts.
Take a look at the example that we have shown in Figure 4. It’s a basic example, but you’ll notice the pin is above the fingers. This is going to result in the holes being drilled more to the side of the core. This means that more mass is going to be taken out of the side of the weight block than the top. This is essentially making the weight block thinner than it was originally. The larger the hole, the more influence it is going to have. You’ll notice on most pin up layouts, the thumb hole ends up being close to 6 3/4″ away from the x-axis. As you can see, this increases the difference from the x-axis to the y-axis. This raises the total differential and keeps the RG lower than it would be if the holes were in the top of the weight block. We know a lower RG ball is going to transition faster because it is less resistant to changing direction. Think of an ice skater with their arms in. They spin extremely fast because a majority of the mass is located towards the center. This is going to result in the ball revving up faster and flaring more. Overall, this will make the ball stronger and transition faster off the spot.
Take a look at the example that we have shown in Figure 5. A pin down layout is going to result in the holes being drilled more on the top of the core. This means more mass is going to be taken out of the top of the weight block than the side. This is essentially making the weight block shorter than it was originally. You can see how you are now moving the thumb hole away from the y-axis and drilling the fingers nearly on top of the x-axis. As you can see this decreases the difference from the x-axis to the y-axis. This lowers the differential and raises the RG. We know a higher RG ball is going to transition slower because it is more resistant to changing direction. Think back to the ice skater. If they put their arms out, more mass is away from their center. This makes them slow down and requires more energy to be added in order for them to spin at the same rate as they did with their arms in. This is going to result in the ball revving up slower and flaring less. Overall, this will make the ball weaker and transition slower off the spot.
The days of a pin up ball going farther down the lane and a pin down ball starting sooner are gone if we hold the other variables constant. The changes in bowling ball technology over the years have significantly altered how drilling the bowling ball will influence ball reaction. These large dynamic shapes now dominate ball reaction and overpower static weights. Modeling these two different layouts on our engineering software, we were able to change the differential a significant amount. Prior to drilling, a 15lb Velocity Core has a differential of 0.051. When we modeled the pin up layout, the differential went up to approximately 0.057. When we modeled the pin down layout, the differential went down to approximately 0.035. As you can see, where the mass is taken out of the weight block and how large the holes are makes a tremendous difference on the specs of the core. The main idea of this article is to get you thinking about the cause and effect of drilling a ball in today’s game. Every hole you introduce to a ball is going to alter the shape. Are you altering the shape in a way that matches up to how you throw the ball or what you bowl on? Again, we know that there are many more pieces to this puzzle. All we can do is take a look at each of the pieces one at a time to fit them all together to see the entire picture.
132 thoughts on “Pin Up vs. Pin Down”
Very good info Alex! Thank you Storm Bowling.
Thanks for taking the time to read it! I hope you enjoyed it. Check back periodically for some additional information and articles in the future.
Thank you for a great Article, Alex. I’ve been trying to get this concept to soak into some impervious minds for some years. I’ll just send them the link to this article from now on and save myself a lot of frustration!
Please accept my apologies in advance if you get some boofheads from Australia trying to “correct you.” 🙂
Thanks for the kind words and taking the time to read the article. Hopefully it helps you convey the idea to your customers a little better!
Dear Alex Hoskins,
Do you which drilling layout is good control and high flare. I hv intense fire and want to drill like this Pin to PAP 6″ x PSA to PAP 4″ x 2′ Pin Buffer to VAL. Pls advise
Thanks for reading the article. I have no information on how you throw the ball, lane surface, lane pattern, etc. I can give you a good general recommendation. Layouts that are going to flare a lot and give you some control will be stronger Pin-to-PAP distances, stronger PSA-to-PAP distances, and shorter Pin Buffers. Something like 4 x 4 x 1 is one of our benchmark recommended layouts. There are a lot of variables that go into choosing the right layout for your specific game. If you want a more in depth recommendation, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thanks for the article it was well explained and comprehendible
Thanks for taking the time to read the article and give me some feedback. It is much appreciated!
Very old post about Pin up / pin down. Question is The wife throws a back-up ball. She has a conv, drilled and a finger tip. But sore arm forces her into a 10 pound ball, What ball and stock cover would suggest/ thanks for your time
Thanks for taking the time to read the article. There are many more variables that are going to influence what ball she should go with. I can give you a generic recommendation, but I would recommend going to your local pro shop and getting their opinion. They have more knowledge of the conditions in the center she bowls in and can analyze her style. Options in 10lbs are pretty limited. I’m guessing she has fairly slow speed so I would go with a Match Up B/O/S. It has a pearlized coverstock that will help her ball not lose too much energy too early. Take this suggestion to your local pro shop and see what they think. Thanks again for reading the article!
Thanks for taking the time to read the article. Appreciate the feedback. Bowl up a Storm!
Thanks for the info Alex! What is the difference between staying pin up and moving pin over the right thumb hole or left?
Thanks for reading the article. In general, the farther left the pin is moved (for a right handed player) the weaker the ball will be. This is because the Pin-To-PAP distance gets longer, which stands the core up in a more stable position rotating around the high RG axis. The farther right the pin is moved (for a right handed player) two things can happen. Depending on the player’s PAP, it could get significantly stronger if the Pin-To-PAP distance is between 2.5-4.5″. If it’s moved far enough right the Pin-To-PAP distance can get more stable and the ball can be a bit more controllable. It’s very important to make sure you are laying out the ball measured off your PAP so you can get the orientation of the weight block in a spot that will benefit your style for what you are bowling on. Thanks again for reading the article!
How about for a no thumb bowler
Thanks for your question. No-thumb bowlers are still going to see some difference between the two because of the direction of the migration path relative to the holes. “Pin Down” balls will migrate farther down which causes the ball to transition slower and hook a little less overall front-to-back. “Pin Up” balls will migrate in more of an upward direction which causes the ball to transition faster and hook a little more overall front-to back. The differences will be smaller than they would be with a thumb hole, but there will still be a distinguishable difference between the two. Thanks for taking the time to read the article.
Just read the pin up vs pin down article and found some good info. Question I have is does it matter on track location as to where I can modify the pin down ball so you don’t roll over the thumb hole and does it matter if it’s assymetric compared to symmetric? What generic layout would work for someone that throws 17 mph and has a 4 right and 5/8 up pap on symmetric core axiom
Thanks for your question. With the elimination of balance holes, it’s going to be significantly harder to manipulate where the bow ties end up on the track. You would be able to do more for the player through dynamic fitting and pitch changes. Asymmetric cores you’ll be able to manipulate it a little more through the positioning of the PSA. It’s hard to give a good layout recommendation only knowing the player’s ball speed and PAP. A very generic layout for multiple conditions and multiple styles would be 5 x 4 x 2. I would strongly recommend visiting your local Storm VIP Pro Shop to have everything looked at and taken into account before deciding. Thanks again for reading the article.
Great information here Alex, thank you!
Thank you, very good information
Thanks for reading the article. Glad you enjoyed it. Bowl up a Storm!
Great article and illustration Alex. Thank you!
Glad you enjoyed it. Hopefully you got something out of it that will help you down the line. Take care!
To whom it may concern; my name is Pat, I am 84 yrs. Young lol. Been bowling for a long time. My ball speed 10-12 mph. I bowl on dry wood lanes. Should I drill my ball pin up or down. My ball is an Lt 48. Love it. Please any advise?
Wood lanes have much more built in friction than synthetic lanes. For the most part, you’ll want your ball to transition slower especially if you have slower ball speed. I would recommend pin down with a longer Pin-to-PAP distance. Of course there are more variables that go into it than just that. If you want to dig a little deeper, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.
Really helpful and relevant information. Thank you for clearing up some terms that I usually nod my head and smile through when getting my new equipment drilled! I’m 230 plus on house and 217 plus on sport and had not yet fully understood why these layout considerations were so important.
Thanks for taking the time to read the article. Sounds like you have been bowling extremely well. If you ever have any future technical concerns or ideas for future articles, feel free to send them in to firstname.lastname@example.org. Again, thanks for reading!
Am I missing something? Where’s Figure 2? Otherwise very good info. Thanks for publishing.
There was such an overwhelming amount of traffic on this news section that we actually are investing in some extra IT infrastructure to help out with the amount of traffic. Some of the links do not appear for this reason. They should be completely fixed somewhere within the next couple of weeks. Thanks for the patience.
Thanks for taking the time to read the article. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Can we make this into a poster for the proshop?
Thanks for the idea. I’ll see what we can do. There might be some kind of possibility of that in the future, but no guarantees. For now, you can keep some copies of the article in your pro shop so your customers become more knowledgeable. Thanks for taking the time to read it!
I would think that logically a shorter block would have a lower RG and the taller block a higher RG , the opposite of what was stated
When you remove mass from the top of the core, you are only removing mass from one side of it. This changes the position of the center of gravity inside it. Removing mass from the top forces the center of gravity down from where it originally was. This makes the heaviest spot on the ball further away from the geometric center of the ball which raises the RG. Since the top of the weight block is always closer to the surface, you’re always going to have more effect when drilling into the top. If you would like to discuss this further, send me an email at email@example.com.
It’s my understanding pin up drillings offer more length and therefore more energy retention. Wouldn’t longer or more volume patterns cause the ball to go too far and not be able to recover? Wouldn’t this be an option for pin down?
Pin up is going to cause the ball to transition faster because more mass is being removed from the side of the core as opposed to the top. Depending on the volume of the lane pattern and the friction of the lane surface, you might need either a pin up ball or pin down ball to give you a good look on something longer. If you would like to chat more about it, feel free to send me a message at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I just had a Sure Lock drilled pin-down because I am speed dominate. I throw a little under 300 revs with a speed of 17 at the pins (monitor near the pins)
My pin up No Rules Pearl was blowing through the break point so I went with a pin down Sure Lock. Am I hurting myself by having it drill pin-down. Is this reducing the affect of the strong core that I need because I have such low revs?
Pin down is going to slow that transition down. If you are speed dominant, this isn’t what you want to do if you are looking for more overall ball motion. I think the No Rules Pearl blowing through the break point has more to do with the pearlized polished cover than it being drilled pin up. Remember there are more variables that go into ball motion than just the layout. Feel free to send me an email at email@example.com if you want to chat further about it.
Well written and explained. Thanks.
Thanks for taking the time to read the article! Glad you enjoyed it.
Thank you for writing this. It changed some of my previously held notions about pin up vs. pin down. I will be thinking differently from here on out. Excellent article! I’ll check back for Figure 2.
Thanks for reading the article. Glad I could open your mind up to some new ideas. We’re trying to get the pictures up and working. Shouldn’t be much longer. Thanks for the patience.
Alex, very nice information.. I appreciate the work that you’ve done. Have you modeled the asymmetrical cores. Catalyst, Rad-x, and chaotic cores? If so, what are their numbers pin up and pin down. Thank you very much.
Thanks for taking the time to read the article. I’m glad you enjoyed it. I haven’t done any modeling with asymmetric cores, but it’s something I could for you if you are interested. If you would like some further information on it, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
When you say transition faster or slower, are you saying sooner and later? I have always been told pin up gives a little more length. Is my knowledge correct or wrong?
Transition faster means that it will begin to respond to friction sooner on the lane. The ball wants to transition from skid, to hook, to roll. It will transition through these phases of ball motion faster if the pin buffer is shorter because the RG of the ball is lowered and the differential is raised. Hopefully this makes sense. If you want some additional information, feel free to send me an email at email@example.com. Thanks for reading the article.
Great job, Alex!
I just had a ball drilled and told my pro shop guy i wanted length, and i got pin down. I was a little confused at first but didnt question it, (hes IBPSIA certified and a well respected member in our bowling community.) This article just settled millions of arguments about pin up v. pin down, and the funny thing is people still question you after explaining this to us. EXCELLENT ARTICLE!!!
Awesome! Sounds like he has done his homework as well. Thanks for taking the time to read it!
Great info as it quantifies why ‘pin up’ versus ‘pin down’ is not the be all and end off of ball motion but rather one factor. This will be a great resource to point out when folks on discussion pages ask total strangers how they should get a ball drilled. Thank you for the article with graphics!
I’m glad this will help you out a bit! That was the goal of writing the article. Thanks for taking the time to read it.
Great article. You are so correct that the terms use to mean longer or shorter. Since coming back after almost 25 year layoff its taken me a very long time to change my mind set. You explained it very clearly and I thank you for that.
Thanks for taking the time to read the article. Glad to hear you have come back after the long break. I hope the article has helped you and made a difference in your game!
Thank you Alex for the clean breakdown. I’m a silver level coach of many years and I will use this to help my student understand ball imbalance.
Thanks for reading the article. Hopefully it helps you make an impact on your future students! Check back for some other articles in the future.
Don’t you believe that there are 2 types of length drilling 1 of which would be good for the fourth and fifth and sixth arrow shot where you need good length but a fast transition because of length and volume of oil pin up. The other being a shorter less volume pattern of which a pin down would possibly open up the lane. But I do realize that there are a lot of variables lanes,oil,speed rotation,and tilt to name a few
Thanks for taking the time to read the article. This gets pretty complicated and there are many combinations that could be tried. If you want to dig a bit further into it, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can go into further detail. There are definitely certain styles of players that can benefit from some of the things you mentioned in your comment. We just have to dig a bit deeper into their style and what they are bowling on to be sure it will match up for them.
Great article Alex. Now comes the part where I apply this info to my brain where it actually translates into practical application when considering layout options. Very good stuff. I must read this several times to be clearly understood so it all makes sense. Ones it makes sense, the need for memorization no longer becomes necessary.
Thanks for reading the article! Hopefully it made some sense. If you have any further questions or need more clarification on anything, feel free to reach out to me at email@example.com.
That was really interesting and helpful, I didn’t know understanding the layout of the ball would be so important
Thanks for taking the time to read the article. A lot goes into the layout to match the ball up to not only the bowler, but the lane condition as well. Glad you enjoyed it.
Can you translate this poster into Korean and send it to me by e-mail?
I will see if that is something that I can do. Please send me an email and I will see if we can make it work… Alex.Hoskins@stormbowling.com
On a storm nano tour, I am left handed stroker,pin up,my delivery is almost like Parker bohn.gutter shot. 16/17 mpr on delivery, ideas on how I should have it drilled , average is 195/200 .low reves.would like to be more competitive.thanks
There are so many variables that go into ball motion that will determine how you should drill the ball. If you want to get a good recommendation that takes everything into consideration, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for taking the time to read the article. I really appreciate it!
Hi Alex , I just read the article twice, I’ll read it again I’m sure. Q. I have a high track, ball speed 13mph, revs average, I’m a bit of a tweener. how would you drill a ball for medium dry conditions for me, say a “match pearl” or an “Uproar”? thanks
There are a significant amount of variables that can influence this decision. Please send me an email at email@example.com and we can take a closer look and get you a good recommendation. Thanks for reading the article. I’m glad you enjoyed it.
Alex, great article. I was just watching a video from another manufacturer that tells it’s consumers the opposite, so it made me wonder if you had any Specto data that could solidify this theory even further. I thought I had seen some at one point. For the past 5+ years, I have tried explaining this to many people, as my personal experience aligns with everything in your article, and one manufacturer does provide the numerical data in their ball box that is consistent with what you show. The evidence is there, it is just very hard in this industry though to break through a belief that has been taught the opposite way for decades. I would love to be able to share some “on-lane” data proving even further that times have changed. Thanks again for the article!
Everything that I have written is purely off of what I have learned through great minds in the industry, and testing I have done scientifically. I’ll definitely try and put some data together for you! Please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can discuss it further! Thanks for reading the article and taking the time to comment!
Great article Alex, but I don’t quite understand something. I totally understand the differential changing from pin up to pin down, but I cannot quite grasp how the RG of the ball is either lowered or raised. You state for the pin up, “As you can see, this increases the difference from the x-axis to the y-axis. This raises the total differential and lowers the RG.”, which RG are you referring too in that statement? It seems to me that the low RG axis would remain the same, and the high RG axis would increase. I am confused….
Thanks for reading the article. I have actually changed the wording in that section because it is a bit confusing. The RG of the ball will always go up when holes are drilled. How close the holes are to the X-axis will determine how much it is raised. Since the holes are further from the X-axis on the pin up ball, the RG will not be raised as much as a pin down ball, but it will still go slightly up. Hopefully this clarifies the confusion. If you have any further questions, feel free to send me an email at email@example.com. Thanks for reading and commenting!
I get it now Alex. Thanks so much for the clarification. Really do appreciate your articles, you make it easy to understand, especially the Pin to Pap article (I could never find it explained as well as you did). Will definitely shoot you an email if I have any further technical questions. Thanks again.
Alex, thank you for the article. My problem is transition and over/under conditions. Being in my late sixties, I have always used parallel moves. My average for game one is always higher than game two and much higher than game three. When I get into a wet/dry I am DOA. I recently bought a Pitch Black, so it’s better, but all things being equal, I should have a low differential and pin down for wet/dry?
Wet/Dry can be a bit tricky. The best way to combat it is to try and stay as straight as you can up the cliff. This can be difficult if you have slower ball speed, because you have to use weaker shells/drills to get the ball through the front part of the lane. Problem with that is they become even more erratic off the friction. I like the idea of a pin down with surface. That will get it through the front, but the surface will keep it smooth off the cliff. I think you are on the right track. If you want to talk about it further, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for reading the article!
So a mid to low rev bowler with mid to high speed would probably want pin high to offset the low revs vs high speed? That’s how I’m reading it. Am I on the right track?
Yes. You’re basically describing a speed dominant bowler. Any time a bowler is speed dominant, they need their ball to transition from skid to hook to roll quickly. Shorter buffers accomplish this, which usually will raise the pin above the fingers. They will also need stronger Pin-to-PAP distances as well in order to get the ball to imbalance from the beginning. Their ball doesn’t have as much time on the lane to react to friction. They need the extra help of stronger covers and faster transition layouts just like you described. Thanks for taking the time to read the article. You are definitely on the right track!
Alex, as always very informative information you provided. Thank you for all you do for the sport of bowling… See you at the Ringin’ Ten next month!
I appreciate the kind words. Thanks for taking the time to read the article. See you there!
So I’ve got a ball that I’ve been waiting to drill for sometime now since I want it to be perfect. So I’ve got around 450 revs, 18mph throw. Axis tilt is low and axis rotation is high. I typically throw pin up with my finger hole a couple inches below. My PAP is also 4 over 1 up. Should I still use pin up or should I try pin down?
It really depends on what you are bowling on and how your ball is seeing the friction on the lane. I always recommend having both pin up (faster transition) and pin down (slower transition) balls in your arsenal. Lanes change so much in the modern game that you are handcuffing yourself if you only have one or the other. The key is having a variety so you can create the right shape on multiple conditions. I wouldn’t be afraid to try a few balls with the pin down. Thanks for reading the article.
Very informative read. Thanks for the info!
I’m curious though, being a two hander with no thumb hole, wouldn’t that mean the differential and rg would change less overall? Seeing as how I’m only putting two finger holes into the ball to begin with?
Begs the question… How much of a difference would it make in ball reaction for a two handed bowler? I suppose that is where balance holes would come in.
Yes, you will see less change overall because you are removing less mass overall from the ball. 90% of the time, the fingers are within a few inches of the pin, which will slightly lower the differential and raise the overall RG of the ball. The size, depth, and position of the fingers in relation to the pin, will determine how much the differential is lowered. You are correct, the balance hole becomes critical at this point. You can manipulate the reaction significantly through the placement of it. It will be critical to achieving a specific ball motion. Thanks for taking the time to read the article. Great questions!
Very helpful. Now it’s time to go drill up my new sonic thanks for the information.
You’re welcome! Thanks for reading the article!
I am 68 avg. 207 ball speed 14.5 MPH I am going to purchase a Storm Son!Q I have a IQ Fuion I keep going back to I think its because the Diff. is .47 its drilled pin down how should I get the SonIQ drilled ? I bowl in Florida 46 ft normal oil pattern
Thanks for reaching out. There is a lot that goes in to what the right layout might be. You could compliment the Fusion and do a pin up layout with a shorter pin buffer on the Son!Q to get the ball to transition faster. This would generally make it better on the fresh. You could then go to your Fusion later in the day when the pattern develops a bit more. If you want to get more in depth with it, feel free to send me an email at email@example.com. Thanks for taking the time to read the article.
Your article was very well written thanks for a lot of info in a short article
Thanks. I really appreciate the kind words.
Excellent article Alex. Very informative. Also congratulations on your great run at the Masters!
Thanks for taking the time to read the article. Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for the kind words about the Masters. It was a fun experience!
I’ve been bowling for years and I never really understood drillings or even tried to and your article explained it in a way that just clicked in my mind. Thanks!
Thanks for taking the time to read the article. Glad it all made sense. Best of luck in the future!
This design is wicked! You definitely know how to keep a reader entertained.
Between your wit and your videos, I was almost moved to start my own blog (well, almost…HaHa!) Wonderful job.
I really enjoyed what you had to say, and more than that,
how you presented it. Too cool!
Thanks for reading the article. Glad you enjoyed it! I appreciate the kind words.
I love rrading this because i honestly had they opposite thinking until reading this so everytime i was wanting length i was drilling pin down . Im medium speed medium revs i bowl with no thump but one hand still would u recommend pin up on 40 ft house shots because im more comfortable playing 15 to 5 on lanes but with these pin downs forces me to far left and have no recovery thanks alex your info is huge !!
Thanks for reading the article. It’s really hard to give a recommendation without more information. I don’t know how you throw the ball, what lane surface you’re bowling on, how much volume your house shot has, etc. In general, pin up balls are going to be a bit stronger which will force you left faster. Pin down balls are going to be a bit weaker which will keep you slightly straighter. Remember there can always be exceptions. If you would like a more in depth recommendation, please send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again for reading the article.
I’m a full roller and just bought a Storm Tropical Breeze,16 lbs,top 2.18,pin 3-3.5.Lanes dry to medium,lanes dressed to about 38 feet. I’m accurate,but my carry isn’t the best.Average consistent 188 for 3 yrs.Ball speed just 9 to 10 mph.Bowled 278,651 last night with,don’t laugh,Earl Anthony Magnum 8.Can you send me drilling workup for new ball? Long down and in. Thank You
Thanks for reading the article! Please send me an email at email@example.com and I can send you the information you need.
Thanks I had a ball drilled pin down and it works great for me in one house but not in the other but no problem because I have a sure lock and hyper cell fused and code red thinking of getting a hot cell when they really get bad
Thanks for reading the article. It’s good to have both up and down so you can create different shapes based on what the lane is giving you. If the lanes get really tricky, a Hot Cell will definitely give you more control and keep you out of trouble.
I read this article when it first came out and the information was very interesting. I decided today to revisit this article. A question that comes to mind is how does pin down and up come into play on assymetrical equipment. Thanks
Thanks for reaching out to me and reading the article. The pin buffer is going to affect asymmetrical and symmetrical balls the same. However, asymmetrical balls can be fine-tuned a bit more because of the presence of the PSA (Preferred Spin Axis) To refresh, pin up (shorter buffers) are going to cause the ball to transition faster. This will make the ball stronger overall. Pin down (longer buffers) are going to cause the ball to transition slower. This will make the ball weaker overall. Hopefully this helps. If you have any further questions, don’t hesitate to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again for taking the time to read the article.
I am a high speed, low rev bowler, that struggles on heavily oiled lanes even with the strongest balls on the market. I average 217 on house shot, but once I play on heavily oiled lanes by average declines greatly. This is because I can’t get a good angle at the pocket and my shot becomes real flat. How should I get my ball drilled pin up or pin down to help me get more rotation?
Thanks for reading the article. There are a few more variables that are going to come into play to answer your question. In general, a shorter pin buffer is going to cause that ball to transition faster and change direction more overall because of the increased amount of drilled differential. However, if you have slower ball speed, this might not be the best option. You may want to go with a longer buffer to allow yourself to stay a bit straighter and keep the pocket more in front of you. Either way could be the answer depending on those other variables. If you want to look into it further, send me an email at email@example.com. Please include some additional information about your style and some equipment/layouts that you are currently using and we’ll dig a little deeper. Thanks again for reading the article.
What happens if you drill hole on the pin (ring finger) what would ball do
When you do that, drill a hole on or near the pin, you will be reducing the total flare potential of the ball which will produce a straighter ball path… it is a great option is you are looking to create more control and reduce hook potential.
This article explained how drilling layouts really changed the ball dynamics. It was even clearer when I bowled the Match Maker yesterday. And use the same ball with pin up vs pin down. I would really like to have the layouts you used for the Match Maker. Thanks for the info and the videos.
Thanks for taking the time to read the article! The “pin up” Matchmaker balls have the pin exactly 1″ over the bridge from the center of the top of the finger holes with the PSA kicked 2″ to the right of the center line for a right hander and 2″ left for a left hander. The “pin down” Matchmaker balls have the pin exactly 1/2″ below the bridge from the center of the bottom of the finger holes with the PSA kicked 1″ to the right of the center line for a right hander and 1″ to the left for a left hander. Glad you enjoyed the Matchmaker. Be sure to take a look at the upcoming events tab on the news section of the website to see when the next one will be in your area!
This is possibly the greatest article ever written on Pin-Up vs. Pin-Down in the modern bowling ball. Article should get some type of award.
Thanks the kind words. Appreciate you taking the time to read the article. Glad you enjoyed it!
The article seems to go back and fourth some on the results. In the end is pin up or pin down less relevant then pin to pap for determining ball reaction? When using other software to compare said ball reaction in a virtual world we see that a 5″ pin up and a 5″ pin down on the lanes nearly over lap each other for most bowlers. We even see videos of this on the lanes when being thrown by a robot. Not until the bowlers rev rate is decreased to 175 rpms or increased to 600 rpms do you seen a noticeable on lane difference in the ball reaction. My last questions are based off of some of the post and how we talk about the core. Pin up lowers the RG and raises the Diff creating a faster reving core. Why would a ball reving up faster (pin up) go longer or is thought to go longer then a slower reving core if all other things are equal? With the opposite being why would a slower reving core (pin down) be thought to read and hook sooner? Typically the larger the flare/wider the flare rings the slower the response to friction, while less flare/tighter flare rings responds quicker to friction. This seems to be the opposite of what is usually discussed in pin up vs pin down reactions.
Thanks for reading the article. Relevant is a very tricky word to use. The key with “pin up” and “pin down” is the Pin Buffer measurement. Longer pin buffers push the pin lower and shorter pin buffers will pull the pin higher in most cases. Shorter buffers will cause the ball to transition faster and longer buffers will cause the ball to transition slower because of the positioning of the holes in each scenario. Both can be good at certain times. It sounds like you’re talking about which drilling measurement has more influence on lateral motion in your question. That would be Pin-to-PAP distance. You’ll see more than double the amount of lateral movement out of extreme changes in Pin-to-PAP distance than you will with extreme Pin Buffer changes. Of course, there are many different styles, balls, lane surfaces, and patterns so there can always be exceptions. Keep in mind that just because the Pin Buffer doesn’t change lateral motion as much, doesn’t make it less important. Everything needs to be working together to create good ball motion. To answer your last question, a ball revving up faster will not go longer. That is the common misconception with “pin up” and “pin down” balls. The RG is slightly lower and the differential is higher in almost all cases for “pin up” balls. It won’t be way earlier, but it will be earlier, flare more overall, and get to roll faster. The opposite holds true for the “pin down” balls. If you want to talk further about this, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks again for reading the article.
What layout would you recommend for someone who loves bowling but will turn 78 next month and is much slower and less flexible now?
Thanks for reading the article. Without knowing all the specifics about what you are bowling on or how you throw the ball, I would say something with a longer Pin-to-PAP distance and longer Pin Buffer. If you’re choosing an asymmetrical ball, then you’ll want to have a longer PSA-to-PAP distance as well. Although I would not recommend an asymmetrical ball if you are beginning to struggle with ball speed and flexibility. When you begin losing speed, you must get the ball to tumble more through the front part of the lane to conserve energy for the pins. Maybe try 5 1/2 x 4 x 3 and see if that is comparable to anything you have had in the past that has been successful. Work with your local pro shop and they can fine-tune it to fit you perfectly since they can see you bowl and know what you are bowling on. Thanks again for reading the article.
Thanks for the info, I plan on having my fever pitch drilled pin down under my middle finger. I want it to get through the dry heads and still have a smooth finish on back end.
Thanks for taking the time to read the article. You will enjoy the Fever Pitch. Bowl up a Storm!
What does it mean when the weight pin is drilled on your ring finger
Thanks for checking out the article. Drilling the pin in one of your fingers is no different than it being anywhere else on the ball. What matters is where that pin is in relation to your positive axis point. In general, pins in the ring finger could be anywhere from 4-6″ Pin-to-PAP distances combined with medium to longer Pin Buffers (3 – 5″). The exact measurements will depend on your PAP. That just gives you a very general idea of the numbers that could go along with it. Generally, longer Pin-to-PAP distances combined with medium to longer Pin Buffers numbers will make the ball smooth and continuous. Remember there are many variables that influence ball motion so what I’m saying is very generalized, but it gives you a good starting point. Talk with your local pro shop and they will be able to give you more information since they can see your style and know the bowling center characteristics. Thanks again for reading the article.
I am sooooo very thankful I came across this article. I am a female bowler with a very slow (11 mph) ball speed and I have a very tough time moving with the transition. On a fresh oil pattern I clean house but once the lanes dry up I find myself moving left, getting confused and losing my mark. I have looked at my entire arsenal, of all of 5 bowling balls, and realized they are all pretty aggressive and drilled with the pin up. I recently bought the new Storm Fever Pitch, hoping to combat the transition and attempt to keep my ball straighter, for longer distances, down lane. I just wasn’t sure how I should drill the ball. Now, after this article, I am pretty certain that I will have my pro shop drill the pin down, to keep the RG high, and the ball might not want to react as quickly as the rest of my arsenal does!
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Thanks for reading the article! We really appreciate your support! I’m glad the article helped! I know you will find success with the Fever Pitch. Good luck and bowl up a Storm!
Awesome info.. carry 163 average.. with a old rhino 15lb ball.. drilled pin down.. my high game this year has been 245.. i want to try a pin up drilled balll.. thinking on a ebonite choice ball.. hope to improve average ?
Thanks for reading the article. There are a lot of factors that go into the layout you should choose on a new ball. Getting in touch with your local pro shop can be really helpful as they can watch you bowl and have knowledge of the center you bowl in. They will be able to point you in the right direction. I appreciate you taking the time to read the article! Bowl up a Storm!
Thanks for the Pin up/pin down article! So riddle me this please: if my axis tilt is 27 degrees, my axis rotation is 67 degrees, and I’m a “down and in” lefty, how would pin down and pin up layouts help hurt me? Which one would help and which would not?
Thanks for taking the time to read the article. Pin up balls are going to transition faster and force you farther right. They will be stronger front-to-back and will give you more overall shape. Pin down balls will transition slower and allow you to stay farther to the left. You’ll tend to like these more if there is more friction on the lane. Since you say you like to stay more “down and in” you’ll probably benefit more from the pin down balls. Thanks again for reading the article.
Great article. So important, in my opinion, for even amateur competitive bowlers to understand how layouts relate to ball motion. Look forward to more educational articles.
Thanks for taking the time to read the article. We appreciate your support!
what number is for the pin down and what does the top weight do on a bowling ball
Thanks for taking the time to read the article. Generally, the 3rd number in the Pin Buffer layout system will control whether the ball is “pin up” or “pin down”. The higher that number gets, the lower the pin will be in relation to the finger holes. We manufacture bowling balls with around 3oz of top weight to offset the extra weight taken out by drilling. The more top weight a ball has, it will generally get down the lane a bit farther and be more angular off the end of the pattern. The more bottom weight a ball has, it will generally roll a bit earlier and be more forward off the end of the pattern. Of course, the magnitude of this all depends on your style and the environment you are bowling in. Hopefully this helps. Thanks again for reading the article. Bowl up a Storm!
Thanks for your article. I am an experienced tournament bowler. I haven’t bowled in 7 years and now I am 68 years old but still in good physical condition. My ball speed has dropped
to 13 mph. I am a tweener. I have a The Real Deal pearl 15 lb 2.82 top weight with 3 in pin. I have a high track. What would be the most versatile drilling for me med to heavy oil condition?
Thanks for taking the time to read the article. There are so many more variables that need to be taken into account to give a really good recommendation. I would recommend checking with your local pro shop as they can watch you bowl and have knowledge of the center you are bowling in. To give you a very generalized recommendation, I would say start with 5 1/2 x 4 1/2 x 2 1/2. That is a good benchmark starting point that can be adjusted based on what the PSO sees. They can map it out on a ball and compare to other balls you’ve had success with in the past and make adjustments if needed. Thanks again for reading the article.
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