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A ball motion study conducted by the United States Bowling Congress clearly indicated that surface finish affects ball reaction significantly. Since the microscopic peaks and valleys play such an important role, certainly it is very important to keep your bowling gear clean and tuned.
At the very minimum, towel the oil off your ball regularly during competition. If you watch the professionals on tour, you'll notice that they wipe oil off their equipment before almost every shot. This helps to ensure consistent ball motion. We have various options for oil removal and cleaning on the MOTIV accessories page.
After competition, we highly recommend cleaning your ball with Power Gel Clean. You may also use it during competition as it is USBC Approved for that purpose. Power Gel is one of the most effective cleaners available today because it contains advanced degreasing technology to break down the oil and thoroughly remove it. This is not just a simple alcohol-based cleaner like so many other products available.
Toweling off your ball and cleaning it regularly will extend the performance life of your bowling arsenal and will also improve the consistency of your ball reaction.
Before we explain how to tune a ball, it is important to mention why tuning is necessary. Every ball has a specific factory finish or "box finish". A lower grit number equates to a more aggressive finish with deeper valleys and higher peaks. This surface creates more traction in the oil, but also wears down much faster than a finer finish, such as 5000 Grit. A dull sanded ball will actually develop a glossy track after many games because the peaks wear down. A ball with a highly polished box finish, however, gets nicks and scratches in the track area after many games are bowled, which can cause the ball to read the lane a little sooner than desired.
This is explained so that you realize using a ball cleaner alone will not keep your equipment completely tuned. When you begin to notice a difference in performance, or you can see that the track area looks quite different than the rest of the ball, it is time to tune the performance using either Power Gel Scuff or Power Gel Polish. Both products are USBC Approved.
Power Gel Polish is both a ball cleaner and polishing compound in one formulation. Use it on your polished bowling balls to help tune performance. You can also use it on sanded equipment to create more skid length if you feel the ball is reading the lane to early.
Power Gel Scuff is both a ball cleaner and scouring compound. Use it on your sanded bowling balls to tune performance when the track area gets glossed from friction on the lanes.
Every time a bowling ball goes down the lane it absorbs some oil due to the porosity of the cover stock. Eventually, this will cause a loss of performance. Power Gel Scuff can also be used to extract oil from the pores of the ball since the scouring compound has absorption properties. The Scuff formulation is actually based on industrial degreasing technology that lifts embedded oil stains from concrete. This patented technology is owned by another division of our company.
As a general rule, it is recommended that you have your bowling ball resurfaced by a pro shop professional after approximately 50 games. For reasons previously mentioned, polished bowling balls with a higher grit rating will need to be resurfaced less often because the profile wears better and lasts longer.