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How Long to Keep a Bowling Ball

20121229_122723For a lot of bowlers, especially new bowlers, the question of bowling ball life span is a very important consideration.  Bowling balls can be very expensive, and the bowler will like to know how long it will last before they need to get another one.  The answer to that is convoluted because there are many variables that affect the bowling ball life span.  One is the manufacturer and type of bowling ball purchase and the other important factor is how well the ball is maintained by the bowler.

For the most part, you can expect to have your bowling ball last five to ten years.  Although it is rare, sometimes the ball has a defect (such as a split core) that you may not be aware of right away.  If this is a manufacture problem or defect, then you should be able to return the ball in exchange for one without the defects.  Aside from that, there are certain maintenance and care programs you can use on your bowling ball to increase the bowling ball life span.

One of the easiest and also important maintenance procedures is to wipe off your bowling ball after each game to get rid of the oils and marks left from bowling.  While cleaning your bowling ball, look for any specific trails of oil left on the ball.  If there is a specific and noticeable trail of oil, then it would be a good idea to take it to the pro shop to get it resurfaced so that it will roll more smoothly and not have the grooves that will affect your game.

How you store your bowling ball when not in use is also very important.  To help increase the bowling ball life span, make sure you have a bowling ball bag and keep it in a dry and room temperature place where moisture and other contaminants cannot reach it.

Aside from the two listed above, there are some other routine maintenances that should be performed for both expanding the bowling ball life span as well as maintaining your game and the bowling ball’s performance such as the following:

  • After ten games of bowling it is a good idea to re-polish the ball as well as to use grit to scuff out any marks and residue oil.
  • After about sixty games of bowling, you should take the bowling ball to the pro shop and have a full resurface performed on it as well as getting the finger grips replaced.
  • After each game of bowling, clean the bowling ball.

These little maintenance tips will help increase the bowling ball life span as well as your game.  Letting a ball go without being cleaned, polished or resurfaced will result in low performance and will bring more wear and tear upon the bowling ball.  Making sure you have the finger grips and inserts replaced is important to keep them from cracking and causing damage to the ball or your fingers as well as your game.  Simple maintenance on your bowling ball is essential in improving your bowling ball’s life span.


  1. Thank you for the tips because im planning on buying a new bowling ball next year because mine is getting old and I’ve had it for over 10 years so do you think it’s time to get a new bowling ball because I have a 14 pounder so do think that I go to a lighter one or a heavier one for better pin action because mine won’t carry for me

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