Which is the right bowl for me? This is a common question beginners have and even experienced players who fell the need to change.
What is not well understood that some bowls better suit some conditions. Having said that it then follows that bowlers should probably
play with more than one set of bowls, probably two but maybe even three. This is obviously only relevant to advanced players who can
use the subtle differences between bowls to their advantage. Beginners should get a set of bowls that turn quite alot and stick to
them for a few seasons.
It is a reasonably new phenomena that narrow bias bowls have become common and this raises some good questions..
is this? Surely this is cheating?
Why shouldn't all bowlers play with the same equipment to make it fair?
There is also an assumption
that bowls is played on a perfect surface this is rarely the case. In New Zealand greens can run at ridiculously fast pace and normal
classic bowls just go out too far and are virtually unplayable. Narrower bias bowls are necessary just to have a normal game. In the
U.K. & USA and many places in southern Australia greens are slow and bowls do not turn as much. In these conditions traditional
bowls are the most suitable. Subsequently there are many different manufacturers that have designed their own special bowl that will
make you a champion. To take that out of the game would certainly rob it of some of the mystery and intrigue.
I am generally not a
fan of really narrow bowls and now use Aero Optima Size 4.5 bowls. Recently a friend of mine changed to Redline bowls from Classic
II Henselite bowls. He was Group singles Champion with those bowls but has since struggled to get back to top form, particularly in
Pennant fours. He trialed the bowls up north during the winter and played like a champ. Waited for a while in Melbourne then brought
them out when the greens were still slow and rather dead. A couple of things happened that made his standard of play deteriorate.
Firstly he played too may narrow bowls with his new narrow bowls. This is bad and indicates lack of precision with his aiming line.
Secondly he would often be overweight on the narrow hand. What was happening is that he would not have the weight control as the bowl
would stay on it's running surface longer as the soft surface would not allow the bowl to fall naturally on its bias and the bowl
stayed more upright. This results in less turn and the bowl maintains more forward momentum that takes it 3 or 4 feet further than
A side wind can also holds the bowl up on its running surface an the same thing happens. Again when too much force
is applied at delivery, the bowl will travel straighter along it's line, not come into the head and miss merrily on the wide side.
The line initially looks good but the bowl will not turn not the head. A correction on the line and less weight can even mean missing
narrow with the next bowl!!
So this is an example of the wrong bowls for the conditions. Same player but poor results. Hard to convince
the play who has paid alot for the new bowls.
My revolution and quest currently is to play with bowls with a nice wide banana
turn. These are ideal on slower and uneven greens. Conversely not the best choice for fast true greens as they are too wide for accuracy.
So I bought a set of Aero Revolution 4.5H So far they are going well with one club singles and you surely need to concentrate on your