What You Need to Know About Bowling Lane Oil

Bowling is truly unique in the way it is played because of the oil on the lane. Lane oil is a clear liquid that’s placed from the foul line to within a few feet of the pins.

This is what separates bowling from other sports, because it is the only sport that has an invisible playing field.

This is one of the most difficult concepts for beginning bowlers to grasp. Our coaches explain why oil is put down on the lane and what the difference is between the two lane surfaces (synthetic and wood) when it is applied.

You’ll watch how much oil goes on a lane, how far it is applied down lane and how it protects both the lane and the bowling ball.

Every beginner needs to see this clip to better understand what you are up against the next time you bowl.

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12 Comments on “What You Need to Know About Bowling Lane Oil”

  1. I’d like to see a video on the effects of lanes not cleaned properly or regularly. Either due to a poor maintenance schedule or faulty lane cleaning machine.

    Sometimes it’s like there is 60ft of oil. All skid. No hook at all at some centres.

    1. Byron Maddox I notice that Too. I think it’s because of house balls being used. They push oil. Not absorb like performance balls. My home alley oils heavy first shift so it lasts for second shift

    2. Hi Becky, appreciate your reply.
      Yes. House balls (plastic) do have a significant effect on “oil carry down”.
      My main concern is centres that leave it too long, (more than a day or two) between cleaning. Then the ability of the lane cleaning machine to strip the lane sufficiently before the new oil is applied. Especially if the machine is not performing properly or corners are being cut on quality or dilution rates of the cleaning solutions.
      Some centres I know of hardly any of the staff bowl or have bowled. So they don’t really understand the situation.
      As long as the fluids are topped up in the machine and it runs down and comes back they think everything is fine.

  2. I’m a 2 handed bowler and I want a ball that has more length then curve back to the pocket. What type of ball do you suggest I get and what coverstock

    1. Richard Caruso There is a green DV8 ball I don’t know the name of it but it hits hard and has a lot of length.

  3. I’m not sure but ,if anyone else wants to learn about how to improve your cricket game download try Jaffacter Cricket Player Coach (do a search on google ) ? Ive heard some pretty good things about it and my mate got great success with it.

  4. Not to be rude. But did you just say you would rather be standing near the gutter and throw towards the head pin? Are there more advanced videos on how to actually break down oil patterns. Length of patterns, volume of oil, flat patterns, cover stocks generally used for short vs long patterns, why pro bowlers move way inside sometimes. I have found 1 video of Chris Barnes telling us the rule of 31 and that’s about it.

    1. Hello Jacob,

      Great question! The ‘Ask an Expert’ section is currently for members of our online community. By becoming a member, you will have access to our expert’s knowledge in bowling . With your membership you will also receive discounts on products and hours of Premium video content.

      If you are interested in becoming a member, please click on the special offer below:https://go.nationalbowlingacademy.com/C22857


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