Pack for the Winter

Pack for the Winter

Many things in the game of bowling change – bowling balls, approaches, lane conditions, bowling centers – all of which are the environment in-and-around how the game is played. When you take a good look, the one thing constant in the game of bowling is change and to get better we have to be able to adapt to whatever comes our way. 

The colder climate of winter brings about a unique array of challenges and there are ways to be prepared. Let’s look at two specific areas, preparation and competition.



 Preparation and competition go hand-in-hand in any climate


Preparation is condition specific and depending on the environment there are specific things to do to be prepared. Let’s prepare ourselves and our equipment for the colder climates of winter and bowl where it snows, to get the full effect. 

First, prep our equipment by keeping bowling balls in warmer areas to avoid cracking or “phasing” (discoloration of the material in the coverstock – typically turning white). Next, pack extra tape and hand conditioners in your accessory bag. Colder weather shrinks the hands and dries them out, so use tape to get the right size finger and thumb holes and perhaps a tacky hand conditioner for the perfect feel. 

Have a towel and shoe covers to keep your shoes ready for the approaches. Use a towel to keep from tracking snow and slush into the bowling center and to keep water out of the bowler’s area. Keep shoe covers handy for walking out of the bowler’s area and avoiding any water, snow, or spills that could get on the bottom of your shoes. Colder climates can cause slippery approaches and you may need to adjust to a tackier combination of soles and heels on your bowling shoes to get the right footing for your approach.

The USBC Bowling Academy breaks down what a proper bowling warm up and cool down look like


Cold weather also means keeping your body warm so use dynamic stretches – jumping jacks, torso twists, arm circles, leg swings – to warm up the body’s core and get your blood flowing before bowling. Use static stretches – forearm extenders/flexors, neck/shoulder rotation, calf stretch, side stretches – after competition to increase flexibility and cool down.

Remember to do the simple things to keep in shape and prepare to compete – stay hydrated, keep the arms, legs and core warm, eat to stay fueled and be mentally prepared for quick decision making. 

Cold weather and cold competitors don’t have to make your performance suffer, so be prepared.