Changing Grips can Change Your Grip


"I need to get new finger inserts, but I want to try the ones with the lifts." Everybody wants to try something new in their bowling grip occasionally. I even did myself just last week with a small span adjustment. But did you know that a change to your finger inserts can potentially change the pitch in your finger holes?

Pitch is the angle of the holes in your bowling ball. We fit pitches for your fingers and thumb based on several factors including your span, flexibility, and skin conditions. So it's crucial that your pitches match up properly. Otherwise, a mismatch could cause irritation, blistering, or even injury.

The grips you see in the picture to the left have different pitches built in to them during the manufacturing process. Change from one style to the another, and you will change the pitch or angle that your fingers go in to the ball. There are three different styles of grips in this picture. The red and yellow insert are generally referred to as ovals, or perfect ovals. They tend to "fit" the finger the best in shape, and have no pitch built in to them. The green and blue grips are usually called power ovals, or power 1/8" lifts. They have an 1/8" of forward pitch built in to the insert. That lift creates more drag as the finger exits the insert, and thereby applies for revolutions to the bowling ball. The red and purple grips at the top of the picture are called classic ovals, or classic 1/4" lifts. They have the most forward pitch built in to the insert, with 1/4" of forward pitch manufactured in to them.

Interestingly, I find the most common change is the customer using standard ovals, and wanting to try the classic flat lifts. By doing this, it changes the forward/reverse pitch in your finger holes by a full 1/4". That's a huge amount of change to the angle that your fingers are in the ball, and one that can potentially cause a lot of grip issues.

Make sure when you're getting new inserts installed that you're getting the same thing that came out. If you want to try something different, I'd recommend talking about the insert differences and how it could affect your hand and release. Nobody wants something as simple as a pair of finger inserts causing them to miss bowling time due to a grip issue or injury.

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