CtD Launches the CtD Bowling Ball Surface Scanner v1

Posted by Ronald Hickland on


Creating the Difference is the leader in bowling ball surface technology. With its TruCut Product Line including the collaborative Turtle Wax Hand Applied Polish, CtD has continued to develop accessory products for bowling.  CtD pioneered the TruCut sanding pad; which is a sanding pad made for bowling balls that cuts the ball at the grit written on the pad. Now, CtD has added a new tool in measuring the surface of a bowling ball: the new CtD Bowling Ball Surface Scanner v1.

This surface scanner takes glossmeter technology and has adapted it to fit the specific needs of bowling ball surface measurement. A glossmeter is an instrument which is used to measure specular reflection gloss of a surface. Gloss is determined by projecting a beam of light at a fixed intensity and angle onto a surface and measuring the amount of reflected light at an equal but opposite angle. This creates a great estimate of the finish of the bowling ball extremely fast, without being destructive. There is no change to the surface of the bowling ball by using this device.  CtD partnered with a global leader in gloss meter technology to develop this new product. The CtD Bowling Ball Surface Scanner v1 works on nearly all bowling ball materials and surfaces. There are two exceptions to this rule: white colored bowling balls and clear bowling balls will not read properly in most cases.  White causes too much reflection for the device to "see" it clearly. Clear doesn't allow for the light to reflect back enough into the device. This product works exceptionally well for more than 98% of the balls on the market.  There are other technologies that would solve this problem but they are 4 times the price and not nearly as easy to use. 

The CtD Ball Surface Scanner v1 is a fast and easy solution to the difficult problem of knowing what surface is actually on your bowling ball. 

The hard truth is bowling balls change surface through use. Depending on the starting grit it can change very fast. Watch this video to learn more.

Sanded bowling balls go up in surface; while polished bowling balls go down.  A bowling ball will typically stop changing surface once it reaches 4700 grit. We call this grit STABLE on the scanner.  This change is commonly called lane shine. CLICK here if you want to learn more about the real reason your bowling ball changes.

Here are some examples of bowling balls that went from 1000 grit Trucut to Stable and how long it took for them to reach that point.

Bowling ball surface is the most important aspect to overall performance. This video teaches about the four performance factors in ball motion: CLICK HERE

Bowling Ball Surface is also the least measured and understood of these factors. This is primarily because there are only a few devices to measure surface. Most of the current options available are either expensive, require extra software and setup or they are made for pro shops and not consumers. The CtD Bowling Ball Surface Scanner v1 is designed to solve all of these issues. It can be used so quickly, that it works great for checking the surface of your ball in between frames, if needed. It also works well in a pro shop to help customers understand their equipment better. The best part is that it is less than half the price of other scanners. It sells for $450.

Frequently Asked Questions:

What about multiple colored bowling balls? 

The device works great on every color except white, like the Hammer Black Widow Ghost.

Does it read pearl balls?  

Yes, it will read the surface on pearl bowling balls. 

Why would a consumer need a Bowling Ball Surface Scanner?

Ever struggle with transition? What if you knew how quickly your bowling ball was changing and could have a game plan to address it before it started happening?

Here is a common situation:

Let's say you go to league and scan your bowling ball to know what the surface is. Let's say you used a 2000 grit TruCut sanding pad and it reads 2000 grit on the scanner. Now, every 5 frames you grab your ball and quickly scan the surface. If you strike, just wait and grab it from the ball return, take it back to your settee area, scan it and bring it back to the rack on your next turn.  You may notice the ball is still 2000 grit after 5 frames but 3000 grit at the end of game one. Maybe you bowled normal to above average in the first game. The second game, your ball may be at 4000 after 5 frames and 4500 or even Stable (4700) by the end of the game. Now this game, you may have bowled below average because of the "transition." This happens often. Of course, you adjust and in game 3, your ball is stable both at the 5th frame and end of the game. Because of the adjustment, you bowled well again.

Knowing that information, here is the game plan for next week:

You will take 2 balls that are similar. They don't have to be the exact same ball or even the same company. You just want the 2 balls you feel are closest in performance. You will sand them both to 2000 grit. This time you already know your surface is changing fast. So in the 10th frame of game 1, preferably the last ball (fill ball shot), you switch to the other ball that has 2000 grit on it. This will minimize the impact your bowling ball surface change has on game two and the transition. Now you will still have the lanes changing but you don't have the lanes and your bowling ball surface changing together. The two things changing together is what makes the transition hard to read.  Hopefully now, you bowl better game two and since your ball is already approaching stable, you should be fine for game three.

This strategy can work for any game once you know what your surface is. The goal is to minimize the variables that you cannot control. The scanner helps you understand more about surface and knowledge is power.

Ever go to a tournament with 6 balls and wonder why you don't have a good ball reaction with any ball?

Check the surfaces of each of them to make sure they are different. If they are the same then you really brought 6 of the same ball that are different colors, Lol.

The CtD Surface Scanner v1 will measure the following grits on all types of bowling ball coverstocks

<500 Less than 500 grit. 







Stable (4700) - The grit a ball will end up at; aka Lane Shined


>5500 Greater than 5500 grit

This range is wide enough to help the bowler understand the importance of knowing where their ball surface. Note: if you use non TruCut Sanding pads, the number you get from the scanner may shock you. The competition sanding pads tend to cut significantly higher than TruCut and do not reflect the grit number left on the bowling ball.

Here is a list of different sanding pads and the grits they left on the ball during our extensive testing over the past 4 years:


How do I use the CtD Bowling Ball Surface Scanner v1?

Here are the steps to begin checking your bowling ball

Step 1: Remove the surface scanner from the case.

Step 2: Remove the calibration plate from the scanner.

Step 3: Remove the white paper from the calibration plate.

Step 4: Place the scanner back on the calibration plate and click it in place. 

Step 5: Push the power button until the device turns on and let it calibrate.

Step 6: Pull it from the calibration plate. 

Step 7: Loosen the screws on the locking mechanism to allow the aluminum pieces to sit slightly recessed behind the blue plastic.

Step 8: Align the blue plate with the indentations on the scanner.

Step 9: Screw the aluminum bracket into the indentations on the scanner to make sure the hole in the bottom of the device matches up to the hole in the blue plate.

Step 10: Place the scanner on the ball and push the power button. 

You will hear a beep each time the device scans. A number will display at the top telling you the surface in the scanned area. As you continue to scan, the screen will show the last 3 scans at all times.  After three scans, any new scans will show up in yellow at the bottom of the screen.   If it says stable, that means that the surface is at a spot where it should not change through bowling.

You only need to calibrate every 100 scans. To calibrate, make sure the attachment plate is removed from the scanner and repeat steps 3-9. To power off, push and hold the power button.

How many scans should I take?

You can get a good idea of the surface from 3 quick scans.

What if the numbers are different?

If you get different numbers, scan 3 additional times and take the average. The scanner looks at a small part of the ball.  There can be a lot of variation in bowling balls from use.  You may also be surprised how many bowling balls you have that are Stable (4700). This is a reflection of not adjusting the surface of a bowling ball. 

Will the scanner work on urethane balls?

The CtD Surface Scanner v1 will work on any bowling ball coverstocks or material.

How often should I scan my ball?

We recommend scanning your ball every 5 frames or between 5 and 10 throws initially. This will allow you to begin to understand the time it takes for your surface to change. After you have a better idea on the actual change, you can begin scanning after every game as needed.  Remember not to disturb or slow down the process of bowling. People may wonder what you are doing to your bowling ball so it's best to let them know ahead of time. In doing so, you may make a new friend.


Do not use the CtD Surface Scanner v1 on anything other than a bowling ball.

Do not look into the hole on the bottom of the CtD Surface Scanner v1 while pressing the scan button. This can be harmful to your eyes.


The CtD Bowling Ball Surface Scanner v1 comes with a one year warranty for manufacturing materials and defects.  You can purchase an additional parts and labor warranty for $199.



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