Not all towels are created equal

Posted by Ronald Hickland on

In my book The Tournament Mindset, one of the things I cover is using a towel.  Simply put, if you are not using a towel you are giving away pins.  Go read the book to see what else can help your average immediately - don’t worry it’s short in length. Click here to view/purchase the book. More importantly, if you are not using the right kind of towel, you may be doing yourself a disservice.  In this blog I will compare some common types of towels.   

Cotton material

Let’s start by talking about the common cotton towel.  If you take a closer look at this towel, you will notice that the strands are very smooth.  This doesn’t allow for the oil to stick to the towel. In fact, this spreads the oil around on the ball. To prove this point, Graph 1 is a performance graph of two bowling balls thrown on the same line.  Data was captured to show their performance.  The dark blue line (a brand new ball) and a light blue line (a ball wiped off with a cotton towel after three shots).  This difference in performance is equal to comparing a strike to a washout.  I wouldn’t recommend using this type of towel to wipe your ball off.

Graph 1


Leather material

When looking at leather material, you can see this towel has more texture for the oil to cling to.  The leather isn’t tacky to touch which makes it easy to handle. Plus, it’s compact enough to sit in your hand. One of the drawbacks of this type of towel is that there isn’t a lot of space between the strands to allow for dirt to accumulate. So while it is effective at cleaning the oil off of the ball, the dirt will remain on the surface and impede the towel’s ability to maintain effectiveness.  This picture shows a leather towel after being used for 10 games. You can see how the dirt sits on the surface and limits the effectiveness of the towel. This is noted by the light parts of the towel, you can see a the outline of a handprint as well.
Microfiber material
The final type of towel you’ll commonly see is microfiber.  When looking at a microfiber towel, you can see there is texture for the oil to cling to the towel. There are also places for the dirt to accumulate in the towel because of the space between the fibers.  This is good because it not only allows for oil to cling to the towel, but also for dirt to be trapped by the towel.  This increases its effectiveness.  One of the drawbacks to this towel is that it feels sticky and clings to everything.  Normally this towel has to be folded to fit in your hand.  However, Creating The Difference LLC has solved that issue by placing grip tight cloth on one side and made them the perfect size to keep it secure in your hand. You can buy one here.


In summary, most every bowling ball manufacturer makes all of the different types of towels we talked about so now you have a little more information to make sure you have the best towel for your game.  Education is #CreatingTheDifference.


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