What are bowling lanes made of? Thing to know.

Bowling is considered a fantastic sport and recreational activity that a player rolls a ball to hit pins. All ages can take part in this sport.

The beginners will care about the ball and how to hit the pins, meanwhile, the professors need to know many elements from the ball, the pins, the lane to other factors that affected the good score. This article will give you general information about the Bowling lanes, what they are made of and how do they work.

Regarding Bowling lanes, you may wonder about the dimensions, the thickness, and the material that they are made of. To better understand what are bowling lanes made of? Today you can know about them well via this article.

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Bowling Lanes – General information

Bowling lanes are the long surface or the road lead the balls which players threw to hit the pins to get the scores. Smoothness and slipperiness are the factors that affected the direction and the power of the ball.

The number of bowling lanes for a bowling alley varies in each bowling center.

The Bowling Lane structure, how’s the dimension?

The first matter players care about bowling lanes is the lane structure. A lane includes different sections. A bowling lane dimension is 60 feet long which measured from the headpin to the foul line and 42 inches in width. This is a basic configuration and influences little on your bowling performance.

If you are a beginner, you should care about the foul line area to avoid running over it. You have to keep your front foot stopping in front of the foul line when you throw the ball. Two lines of dots in the bowling lane will help you to control it. There are approach dots, the first set is a located 12 feet and the second is 15 feet from the foul line, the player can consider where is suitable to start.

As you can see on the bowling panes, there are arrows. These arrows appear around 15 feet from the foul line, they help you to direct to the ball. Some players focus on the pins, the others put their eyes on the arrow with the aim of throwing the right direction to the pins.

Till here, you can know that all the symbols in the bowling lane have their own meaning, it is not the only beautiful drawing.

Types of Bowling lanes

The type of bowling lane influences the bowling performance a lot. The same conditions of bowling and oil patterns can have different scores if the bowling lane types vary.

Nowadays, there are two kinds of lanes, bowling lanes are made of wooden or synthetic material.

What are bowling lanes made of? Wooden Bowling lane 

Wooden bowling lanes are made of wood, normally softwood like pine or maple wood. Therefore it is not only expensive to install these bowling lanes but also not durable. This bowling lane will use for a more professional and premium level.

The softness of wooden bowling lanes leads to quick damage of wear and tear, you have to replace it soon.

Regarding the oil patterns, wooden bowling lanes absorb oil quicker than other types, which makes the ball movement change considerably from the start to the time it reach the area of the pin.

If you use a wooden bowling lane longer time, it will absorb the oil quicker and the bowling ball will hook initially faster. This time you may find it difficult to bowl a ball on the lane.

What are bowling lanes made of? – Synthetic Bowling Lane

Synthetic Bowling lane is made of artificial material, it becomes quite popular in Bowling sport.

This type is harder and more durable than wooden lanes. Therefore, they are not torn or worn after the balls hit for such a long period of time, we don’t need to take much effort to maintain it other than cleaning and applying oil. Moreover, the synthetic Bowling lanes have different oil patterns, they absorb oil slower, and players can make the overall hook movement better to get a higher score.

This oil absorption ability makes players bowl on easier.

What material is Synthetic Lane made of?

What are Bowling Lanes made of

We can know the Synthetic Lanes have more advantages for bowling performance, How about the materials to create synthetic lanes?

Each brand uses its own formula to produce synthetic bowling lanes. However, Normally producers use the combined materials of resistant aluminum oxide and a matrix of melamine resin that creates good layers.

Choose Synthetic bowling lane or wooden Bowling Lane

In the bowling world, there are two types of lanes, they will be used equivalently or in which condition any of them is preferable. This matter is still under discussion. Basically, which is better depends on the kind of ball you use, the oil pattern, and the expenses.

If you use a plastic ball that has slippery motion and no hooking potential, the wooden bowling lanes will be the suitable choice for you.

The wooden lane with good oil absorption will help the ball have a momentary hook naturally by balancing motion and direction towards the pins.

In case you use particle bowling ball or reactive resin one, the synthetic will do their rule better because of sliding motion from the early time.

Regarding the player, the synthetic bowling lanes are more suitable for beginners because they offer low hooking movement, and it’s easy to keep the ball straight, linear, and sliding motion.

Under the bowling center owners, it seems that installing and maintain synthetic lanes will be less expensive and easier. Therefore, synthetic bowling lanes are the number 1 choice of bowling center owners and managers around the world.

How’s the Bowling Lane’s thickness

Another concern is that the thickness of the Bowling lanes affects the bowling performance or not.

The average bowling lane thickness is 2 inches.

Although thicker lanes will bear the impact of hits better. If you use the lane for a long time you will have to reinstall it because of wear and tear. In fact, all kinds of bowling lanes apply the same measure either wooden lanes or synthetic lanes.

Oil Patterns

Have any players ever noticed the slippery stuff on the ball surface when it turns back? That’s the oil coated on the lanes.

What are Bowling Lanes coated with? As we mentioned above, both wooden and synthetic bowling lanes are coated with an oil layer. The length of oil varies, but it is mostly coated two-third of the bowling lane and the end of the lane will be dry.

The initial purpose to use oil coating is to protect the surface of a bowling lane. The oil layer helps the bowling lane less damage against the ball hit. Without an oil pattern, the ball will hit the lane, create sparkling and burn marks and break the gutters.

Another purpose is to increase the smoothness of the bowling lane. This smoothness affects the hook movement and spin result.

Oil patterns impact the balls’ reaction when players release them and touch the lane. Therefore oil pattern also takes an important role in the game.

So, how does the oil pattern influence your game? After you release the bowling ball to the middle of the lane, it has a harder period grabbling the lane when it goes through the oil and keeps straighter longer. Conversely, with a high concentration of oil in the middle, the ball can hook back toward the center.

Further Reading:

Types of Wood Used in Bowling Lanes

Ten-pin bowling – Wikipedia

In summary

Bowling is a funny sport, especially when you play with friends or family. Many people think that it’s a simple game, actually, if you want to be good at it or become professional, you have to learn a lot and understand well many factors. With the knowledge of the bowling lane, you can decide your way to play and get control of this game much better. Knowing the bowling lane is one of the first steps and you can utilize your knowledge and skills in your upcoming bowling matches.

Hopefully, the above article will help you understand the question: What are bowling lanes made of?

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