How To Curve A Bowling Ball – Step by Step Guide

Straight shots have their own value but when you know how to curve a bowling ball then no one can stop you from consistent shots that knock all the pins in a single throw.

If you’re playing straight bowling for a long and now want to improve your skill to look Professional then obviously giving a curve on the lane delivers spectacular shots.

No doubt, learning a perfect hook needs a lot of practice with proper techniques. This guide contains all the ingredients for how to hook a bowling ball with appropriate steps from experts.

Let’s jump into the main guide.

Step By Step Guide On How To Curve A Bowling Ball

In the bowling journey, it will be your appreciable time in learning a hook. Before moving to the actual method of hooking a ball, first, we need to understand the pre-requisite of the technique.

Take a bowling ball properly optimized according to your hand with a conventional grip. Hooking a ball with a house ball could need a different methodology to meet the same level. These house balls are normally used for straight shots and can be available in inappropriate weights. 

While throwing straight shots, we normally hold the ball where the palm faces the pin and position a ball on the point where the thumb is above and fingers beneath the ball. In order to learn the hook shot, we will manipulate the straight shot with some customization.

1- Take Proper Steps By Following 4 Steps Approach

To throw a bowling ball on the lane, you need to away few steps from the foul line and it is recommended to take four steps which are also called 4 step approach in bowling

In this particular approach, you need to distance 4 steps from the foul line and after taking the fourth step, just release the bowling ball.

2- Aim On The Arrow Instead Of Pins

Most of the people asked questions about where to aim in bowling either playing a straight shot or giving a hook to the bowling ball. 

To play an accurate and on-the-tract shot, focus on arrow draw on the lane rather than pins. Targeting a specific arrow would depend on lane condition. Start from the left and find the perfect position for the angle of your ball to release.

Furthermore, release a bowling ball more rapidly if you just want to maximize the angle of the curve. After trying much practice, you will know the point where you are standing by throwing a satisfactory shot or not toward the arrow you’re targeting.

Somehow, your wrist and hand placement are perfect in their place but some other factors are involved. Try to change the step position, check the bowling ball, or customization of grip.

3- Hold A Bowling Ball Where Thumb Is Place Upward And Finger Beneath The Ball

There are different methods on how to hold bowling balls for a hook and one of them is to use a traditional way used for straight shots.

Pick a bowling ball either your custom one or house ball and hold them in your hand. Now, turn the ball until the position when the palm faces the pins and the thumb is close to the top of the ball and the fingers underneath them as shown in figure 1.

how to curve a bowling ball
Figure 1

While holding the ball in that position, try to keep your wrist strong because of most of the force is on your wrist.

4- Give A Curve To Ball With The Help Of Fingers And Wrist Support

Now, this is the actual part of the technique where you play with fingers, wrist, the amount of rev speed, and angle of the release involved.

There are two kinds of bowlers either they are left-handed or right-handed and holding a ball for both bowlers is the same, there is only difference of wrist and arm movement. 

 After holding the bowling ball according to the preferred way, swing the ball anti-clockwise if you’re left-handed or release it clockwise if right-handed. Keep a pendulum in your mind about how it works while releasing the bowling ball, it naturally comes down before you release it as shown in figure 2.

how to curve a bowling ball
Figure 2

However, the palm should release first before the fingers as these are the only things that provide swing to the ball after releasing. If you want more hooks then try to increase your rev more as the chances of hooking more if you rev up the ball.

The mastering of the hook technique obviously needs more practice and all the efforts will absolutely pay you a reward in the end. Keep practicing.

Essential Factors That Impact Bowling Balls’ Curve

The types of bowling balls also impact playing a perfect hook just like the techniques used. An appropriate bowling ball for hook helps you a lot in mastering the hooking techniques quickly. 

Pick A Right Bowling Ball

In the modern era of bowling, Choosing an ideal bowling ball for a specific type of reaction is widely used. 

The construction of bowling balls involves classified into two main parts: one is the coverstock which is the outer space of the bowling ball and the other is the core that specifies the rolling capability of the ball.

When it comes to coverstock, the urethane and reactive resin bomb in the specific field of hook however if we compare both of them then reactive resin has more hook potential compared to urethane but its a bit expensive.

 If we talk about the cores of the bowling ball, there are two most popular symmetrical and asymmetrical cores found in bowling balls. Asymmetric-based bowling balls deliver aggressive and more hook potential whereas symmetric core provides smoother motion and is used for straight shots.

Get It Drilled According To Your Hand Grip.

Whether you’re bowling with a house ball or your own, make sure the ball is optimized according to your hand grip. There are two types of grip on bowling balls either it conventional grip or a fingertip grip. 

The traditional fingertip grip that you will widely analyze around your bowling club and it’s more supportive to smooth and quick throw to hook a ball as compared to the conventional grip. 


Giving a curve to a bowling ball is one of the huge participation of any bowler and when it comes to understanding how to curve a bowling ball then obviously it demands a proper method and practice.

Keep in mind, whenever you start hook bowling, follow a proper method and if you face any difficulty or feel you’re hurting your hand or wrist then you’re trying something wrong with the method, and you needs to optimize it.

Related Questions:

Hold a bowling ball in such a position that your palm faces pins and the thumb near the top and fingers underneath. Now, move the ball with the help of the wrist and fingers anti-clockwise and make sure to thumb out first during the release of a bowling ball

  1. Get into your finish point
  2. Take some steps 
  3. Wrap hand under the ball
  4. Slight bend an elbow
  5. 30% normal ball speed

Pick a bowling ball and hold it just like for a straight shot and give a curve to the ball with the help of the wrist and fingers.

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