Buying a Bowling Ball, Advice for IKAN Bowler® Users

Many IKAN Bowler® users ask me about what they should look for in a bowling ball.

First off, 16 pounds is the maximum weight a ball can be (I believe) and that’s what IKAN Bowler® users need, because a heavier ball will impact the pins with more force than a lighter ball will (since the ball speed coming down the ramp will be about the same regardless of bowling ball weight).

I have used the same drilled 16 pound Columbia White Dot for almost every game for more than a dozen years (including all of my 200+ games). But I have learned that I should probably be using an undrilled 16 pound ball, probably more than one, to suit lane conditions.

You probably know that each ball has some kind of weight inside, which depending on its positioning, causes it to either curve or go straight. Also, bowling balls are generally made for different lane conditions, primarily oily or dry.

You might want to talk with your local Pro shop owner or manager, and see if they will let you try out some undrilled bowling balls.

You might already know this, but if not…

With the undrilled balls, the round dot on the ball, I am told that is called the pin, and its placement is key for the desired shot. If you think of the bowling ball sitting atop your IKAN Bowler® in front of you, think of that like you are looking at an analog clock. If so, you will want to test the ball by placing the pin at 3 o’clock (all the way on the right), 9 o’clock (all the way on the left) and 12 o’clock (with the pin straight up, on the very top of your ball). Then see how the ball breaks from those three positions.

That said, with a drilled ball (like a house ball you might use until getting your own) I recommend testing it in these positions, roughly, to see what they do:

Each ball is different, but that is how my ball breaks. Unfortunately, even an “identical ball” to mine does not necessarily break the exact same way (unless it was drilled the exact same way). That’s why I’m thinking an undrilled ball is probably a better way to go, now that I know the above about the pin. I tried an undrilled ball a long time ago, but could not keep it on the lane, because we had no idea about the pin and how to set the ball up in repeatable positions.

Does this all makes sense?

Getting your own ball – one that works well for you – is a big key to bowling well. Otherwise, you have to learn what a house ball does from the various set up positions every time you go. And again, every ball is different.

That said, if you find a house ball that works well for you, why not offer to buy it for $20? Since it’s used, they would probably go for it. Just get a receipt and/or get it marked some way so they know you own it in the future.

Good luck and God bless!

Bill Miller :-)
C1-2 Quadriplegic with a 255 High Bowling Game
Co-founder of Manufacturing Genuine Thrills Inc. d/b/a MGT
Business website:
Personal website:

About billgator97

I started this blog to highlight how wheelchair users, especially power wheelchair users, are being empowered through sport, in particular: dynamic wheelchair bowling. It's actually bowling that emulates the able-bodied bowling process, i.e. setup, then physically approach and release the ball upon stopping short of the foul line. I happen to be paralyzed from my neck down, and ventilator-dependent, yet I've actually bowled 24 legitimate games of 200 or better. I say that NOT to brag, but to show what is possible and make the point that ANY wheelchair user who can safely operate their chair, they can bowl (I helped invent a device that makes it possible). Please look around and feel free to ask any questions! Thanks and God bless!
This entry was posted in Disability, Enjoyment, Health and wellness, Hobbies, Recreation and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s