We've been going through the fitting process with Andrew, and if you've been watching, you've seen us assess what type of bowler he is, make precise measurements of his hand, choose a ball, finalize the fit and see how it all came together on the lanes.


In the latest episode of Hot Off the Press, we're fine-tuning his fit with tape. We considered this while going through the fitting process, knowing we'd want to be able to use tape on the lanes that Andrew can add or remove as needed. Today, let's get into the many possible ways to use tape to our advantage.

First, let's talk about the two types of tape. Years ago, we'd either use textured white tape to help us hold onto the ball or smooth black tape to ease the thumb out of the ball. As the game and technology evolved, so did the tape, with just about every major manufacturer in the industry making tape available to customers.

Not surprisingly, there are several types of tape available. Small, pre-cut tape is good for our finger holes to help adjust the total fit rather than just the thumb, and multiple pre-cut and trim-to-fit tapes are available as well.

With thumb tape, we've advanced into a number of different textures rather than just the rough white or smooth black of the past. This way, we can find a fit that's comfortable for us and helps in getting the desired amount of grip on the ball at any time.

Cotton-fitting tapes are fairly new to the industry and also come in different textures. Instead of applying this tape to the thumbhole, we apply it to the actual thumb, which helps encourage us to press the thumb into the ball rather than pinch the ball. The idea is to help control the speed of the ball coming off your hand.

Depending on the manufacturer, we can get tape in rolls, pre-cut sheets, multiple widths, colors and textures. The goal with all of it is to help us with grip pressure and allow us to alter it based on whatever conditions may be going on in the bowling center that day.

If it's warm, your thumb might be swollen, and you'll need less tape. If you're sweating or if it's humid outside, you might need a rougher texture than if it's chilly. Because our environment and our bodies change as we bowl, it's important to know how and when to use tape to help maintain consistent fit and grip pressure.

There are a lot of options on the market, and we owe it to ourselves to experiment while we can to find the best tape for our specific game.

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