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Thread: Opinions on urethane?

  1. #11
    High Roller Phonetek's Avatar
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    I have to admit, after seeing all these posts I didn't realize there was such taboo around ball type. Back when I was a competitive bowler you just used whatever ball you thought worked best for you. Nobody really cared what it was. Nobody gave you the evil eye for using one ball versus the other.

    Based on the comments, now it seems there's quite a stigma around it and it appears it to point at your skill level as a bowler as well. As in using certain balls, in this case specifically urethane is basically a cop out. My how things have changed and bowling has really evolved in my lifetime.

    I do like my arsenal of reactive balls, I think I'm up to 8 at this time. They range from my very mild Hydra which reacts like a dulled plastic to my crazy Jackal legacy oil sucker that will hook off the lane. I like them both and all the ones in between, my Venom Shock is my benchmark. I've bowled some great games with each of them.

    That said, I do really like my purple Hammer. Throwing it reminds me of bowling in the old days where straighter is greater was the way to be. With that ball it holds true and it still works. It's not that I NEED to use it given my arsenal. However, I didn't realize that now if I whipped that out in competition that I'd be up for lynching in the parking lot afterward if I did well with it. LOL

    I guess it's a good thing I'm not on a league or in any tournaments this year. You gotta remember, I've worked at a center for the past few years where no league was certified and nobody cared about anything. Now I'm at a center where bowling is king and the competition is fierce.

    Given what's going on with my shoulder plus I have several issues with my approach to work out, I won't be doing any kind of serious bowling until next fall. Which it seems at that time I'll be finding a vacant ball cup on my shelf for the Purple Hammer before I start. I've learned a lot in this thread.

  2. #12
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    I bowled in a tournament over the weekend and saw a guy there using a purple hammer. He is in our league and has about a 215 average but doesn't usually use the urethane as far as I have noticed. We were on a house shot. I'm sure there were others of the 72 entries but that was the only one that I noticed.
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  3. #13
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    There are a few bowlers using urethane on our scratch league, but most bowlers are using reactives. There does tend to be "side eye" and random comments when the urethane balls come out but it doesn't bother me at all. People are free to use whatever kind of ball they want. The only time ball type really comes in to play is on casual leagues when you are bowling against a team of 4 people just there for fun using plastic house balls and spraying them all over the lanes all night. That has way more impact on the shot than 1 or 2 bowlers using urethane on a line that most other bowlers aren't using.

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    It all comes around.

    I remember when we were moving TO reactive and people complained bitterly about how reactives soaked up the oil and destroyed peoples' lines and what would we do???

    Now it's Urethane and pushing oil down the lane and how that's destroying peoples' lines.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phonetek View Post
    I have to admit, after seeing all these posts I didn't realize there was such taboo around ball type. Back when I was a competitive bowler you just used whatever ball you thought worked best for you. Nobody really cared what it was. Nobody gave you the evil eye for using one ball versus the other.

    Based on the comments, now it seems there's quite a stigma around it and it appears it to point at your skill level as a bowler as well. As in using certain balls, in this case specifically urethane is basically a cop out. My how things have changed and bowling has really evolved in my lifetime.
    point at your skill level
    Yes, Your not allowed to use it unless your qualified. It's only for the elite who know how to use it properly.

    Yes the reaction to "Joe" bowler using Urethane is basically the same as when "Joe" started using Resin balls.

    Note: it even happened when plastic balls came out, Don Johnson mentioned it in one of his books.



    When Resin balls first came out (I seen This on TV back in the day on Pro bowling), A guy with a Resin ball came out, told what it was and he said

    "This is the greatest innovation in bowling, it will give the "Pros" those one or two extra strikes that could make the difference in a tournament."
    (Just for sec. think about that. One or Two extra strikes, once all the pros started using resins then that advantage has disappeared.)

    He also said "Now "OONNLLYY" Pros and "MAYBE" high level amateurs would have these, Their too expensive for "Joe" bowler."

    Then for a little awhile after that, the Pros were all smiles, moonbeams and fairy dust. Then it happened, "Joe" started using resin.

    Then all you heard was "Hook in a Box!, Cheater balls, I can't compete, etc. etc. etc." and it still goes to day to a extent.

    Especially when someone loses or does bad. (Which I think is key)

    Then a few years back we had the resurgence of Urethane, The pros were using it and it was smiles, moonbeams and fairy dust again.

    Then guess what? It happened "Joe" bowler.

    "OMG!!! They're pushing oil everywhere, It's ruined my shot, they didn't leave me a good shot etc etc." "They don't know how or when to use it properly!!"

    Am I being hyperbolic? No. There was a 11th Frame article or a Mo podcast quite awhile back talking about Urethane and it had a outtake of a conversation between two "Pros" talking about how one guy using Urethane caused them not to do good in a tournament.

    What did they say "He ruined my shot", "He didn't leave me a good shot", " It changed the conditions!" "He didn't bowl any better with it, so he shouldn't use it"

    What I saw there was just two Pros whining because they did bad (Because they couldn't adjust to the condition and/or move out their comfort zone) and looking for something to blame IE: Urethane.

    In the majority of stuff I've read talking about Urethane, The main complaint is when someone else is using it "BESIDES ME"!.

    You know what if your in competition, It's not your job to leave the other guy a good shot. It's your and his job to adjust to the conditions at hand and not blame someone and/or their equipment choice for you not doing good.

    Urethane is like any other ball, it matches up or it doesn't. But If You or someone wants to use urethane, then use it. As long as it does what you want, Then it's the right choice.
    Last edited by bowl1820; 11-04-2021 at 06:20 PM.

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  6. #16
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    It is funny seeing the transitions in technology. As some of you know here I bowled in leagues starting around 1981 (7th grade) and bowled up until 2002 when I was forced to 'retire' due to an elbow injury. When I started I used a yellow dot then moved up to a Brunswick Cobalt Rhino (urethane) around 1991 and bought a Black Beauty as a 2nd ball. When I bought the Rhino most were already using some sort of urethane but it was the thing to have. If you didn't have urethane you were a 'rookie'. My best friend that was always my teammate continued bowling. When I 'retired' I had a 193 average and he was 191. Back then I was top 5 averages in all of my leagues with anything over 200 being phenomenal. When my friend told me 10 or so years later he was averaging 205 and his son was averaging close to 210 I was floored. I remember telling him his son should consider being a pro bowler. Imagine my surprise when I came back in 2018 and saw everyone over 200...lol. I'd imagine it would be like seeing a person that I see every day and this person gained or lost alot of weight. To me I don't see a big change cause I saw them every day but the person that hadn't seen them for a year sees a huge difference. I feel that may be what happened with bowling. I wasn't around to see the synthetic lane change and reactive resin come around (my center was still wood and everyone was still using urethane). Now it seems if you are below 200 you are a rookie (and yes I'm below 200).

    My son raced karts for about 8 years and was pretty competitive. He started at about 8 and raced until he was 16 or so. These weren't your fun park karts. A top level kart was about $10,000. He raced with and against a few current Indy car and NASCAR drivers. But it was the same there. A new engine package would come out and everyone was frustrated when the first 2 or 3 got them and were a tenth or two faster than everyone else. Or a new chassis came out and same thing. To the top guys it didn't matter cause they'd buy a new chassis every 4 or 5 races and have their engines rebuilt every 2 or 3 races. We'd run a chassis for 2 years and an engine for 10 races. A new chassis was $4000 and an engine rebuild was $1500. People with all the new stuff were kings while guys like us on a low budget were frustrated anytime some new technology came out.
    Because of my absence I think I have a slightly different perspective than most. Dunno. Got off topic but figured I'd throw it out there....lol
    Last edited by boatman37; 11-04-2021 at 07:20 PM.
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  7. #17
    High Roller Phonetek's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bowl1820 View Post
    In the majority of stuff I've read talking about Urethane, The main complaint is when someone else is using it "BESIDES ME"!.

    You know what if your in competition, It's not your job to leave the other guy a good shot. It's your and his job to adjust to the conditions at hand and not blame someone and/or their equipment choice for you not doing good.

    Urethane is like any other ball, it matches up or it doesn't. But If You or someone wants to use urethane, then use it. As long as it does what you want, Then it's the right choice.
    ^^ THIS! ^^

    After further consideration, reading the comments, discussing this at work and taking the time to think things through I have to agree with Bowl's last comment on his post. The name of the game is to throw strikes. If it's urethane, plastic, rubber, resin or wood then what should it matter? As long as it's USBC legal. If it gets you there then it gets you there. If you throw strikes with it then goal accomplished. Your skill level shouldn't be judged based on what ball you throw.

    If your intention is to merely screw up everyone else's line to be a jerk I can see some animosity about using it. That would be a very tough thing to prove though. You'd have to be someone that's already a known or suspected douche. However, if you whip it out and shoot 800 there really isn't anything anyone can say. It was obviously a good ball choice.

    I have never in all my years ever concerned myself about the shot others have as a result of me or how the moons gravitational pull on the Earth effects their shot for that matter. When and who even made this a thing? Itís completely ridiculous! Is Barney the dinosaur teaching bowling now to where we are all supposed to worry and be sympathetic about our competitors game? Pfft! I worry about my game and my game only which is how it should be. Bowling is a sport and it's random anyway. Adapt or quit is the bottom line.

    It's not hard to identify a urethane ball on the rack, they aren't posing as something else. If people see one on the rack then they should plan on making some adjustments that night. Better than seeing it, giving the stink eye and having their excuse for bowling bad in their back pocket. Better yet, hit the pro shop and get one for themselves, nobody is stopping them. Apparently that's what everyone did when reactive came out. It's not like I bought the very last one.

    The new generation of urethane balls from my little experience with it, it's amazing. Far superior to the originals. They have the added perk of not ripping up the pin setters, belts and lanes like the reactive physically do. I'm also guessing they don't crack becoming useless if someone let's out a healthy warm fart next to them.

    Honestly, when I get back into competitive bowling again and I throw my purple Hammer.... People are more than welcome to question my skills level based on my ball selection. They can tell me all about it after itís over. Iím sure Iíll be so concerned that Iíll lose at least 6 seconds of sleep over it.

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phonetek View Post

    I have never in all my years ever concerned myself about the shot others have as a result of me or how the moons gravitational pull on the Earth effects their shot for that matter. When and who even made this a thing? Itís completely ridiculous! Is Barney the dinosaur teaching bowling now to where we are all supposed to worry and be sympathetic about our competitors game? Pfft! I worry about my game and my game only which is how it should be. Bowling is a sport and it's random anyway. Adapt or quit is the bottom line.
    Bowling is an odd sport. On the professional level it is almost always played individually. On the scholastic/collegiate level it is primarily a team sport. Most non-professional bowlers who treat bowling as a sport compete as members of teams far more often than as individuals. The performance of a team is literally the sum of the scores of the individual team members. One might think that letting each member bowl whatever line they want with whatever ball they want should lead to the best scores. On a THS this might work. For something like the USBC Open Championships, the most successful teams go in with a strategy to all play in a similar manner in order to break the lane down in a controlled manner. These bowlers are very concerned with how their teammatesí line.

    Right now my only team is in an unsanctioned league and most of us are there to bowl and socialize. Although I am a USBC certified coach, I do not try and coach my teammate during games. I may at some point try and work with them but not during league. I do keep an eye on how others are playing on the pair but mostly I try to watch what my ball is doing.
    John

  9. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Phonetek View Post
    I have never in all my years ever concerned myself about the shot others have as a result of me or how the moons gravitational pull on the Earth effects their shot for that matter. When and who even made this a thing? Itís completely ridiculous! Is Barney the dinosaur teaching bowling now to where we are all supposed to worry and be sympathetic about our competitors game? Pfft! I worry about my game and my game only which is how it should be. Bowling is a sport and it's random anyway. Adapt or quit is the bottom line.
    Well - you do have to adapt to what your opponents are playing. Look at how Belmo can rip up the pattern for his opponent - I think it's one reason why he's so dominant (when he's not stuck in Australia). He's not only exceptional with HIS game, he knows how to make his game detrimental to his opponent.

    I've always had a hard time bowling against big crankers - two-handers, one-handers with big power, etc. I cross their line, they cross mine, and the friction at the apex makes it harder for me to adjust. Just means I have to work harder, change my line to something I'm not so comfortable with, etc. It's up to me.

    Now, with urethane, it's kind of the opposite problem - which is fine, just means I have to adjust. Put on me big boy pants and bowl. LOL

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by boomer View Post
    Well - you do have to adapt to what your opponents are playing. Look at how Belmo can rip up the pattern for his opponent - I think it's one reason why he's so dominant (when he's not stuck in Australia). He's not only exceptional with HIS game, he knows how to make his game detrimental to his opponent.

    I've always had a hard time bowling against big crankers - two-handers, one-handers with big power, etc. I cross their line, they cross mine, and the friction at the apex makes it harder for me to adjust. Just means I have to work harder, change my line to something I'm not so comfortable with, etc. It's up to me.

    Now, with urethane, it's kind of the opposite problem - which is fine, just means I have to adjust. Put on me big boy pants and bowl. LOL
    In the past few years particularly going back a couple decades it seems that here in the states there are so many things we used to do that were fine then but arenít now. Things we could say that we canít say now. All because people whine too much and get their way even though itís prosperous. Just ask Doctor Seuss.

    I prefer the whiners donít get their own way in bowling for every little thing. It made sense to discontinue balance holes and have the all hole used rule. Modern balls are good enough without them. Until the whiners get the USBC to go along with their whining Iím going to use whatever legal ball I want on whatever shot I want including THS if thatís what I want to do.

    The real bowlers will adjust and always bowl , the whiners will always whine. If itís not about that it will always be something else. Itís all because they want to bowl the bigger scores with the least effort. Unfortunately for too many years thatís been the case. As you said BoomerÖ time to put on the big boy pants.

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