Best lawn bowls for small hands. Here’s what I’ve found over the past few years which has helped my game massively.
When I started bowls I didn’t realise how much my hand size would affect my game. Surely all bowls act the same regardless of size? No. Bigger bowls have an advantage and us smaller handed bowlers need to find a way to compete.
Whilst I do miss my old set of bowls (which I affectionately called “my marbles”), my game has been helped by a larger set. Here’s what I’ve found over the past few years which has helped my game massively.
Why should you even bother considering larger bowls? It comes down to 4 key reasons
- You will need less effort to reach longer jacks. This helps you to maintain your technique and will improve your accuracy. This is especially true to the heavier greens
- Heavier bowls are harder to move once they’re in the head. If you get shot, you want to keep it! Heavier bowls will need more “umph” to move, making it harder for your opponent to beat you
- Heavier bowls will knock out smaller bowls further. The larger the bowl, the more energy it will carry. A larger bowl may only move an opponent’s bowl a couple of inches further compared to the smaller bowl you are currently using. However this can make a huge difference in the result of an end.
- Bigger bowls have a bigger “belly” – as into say they have a larger circumference. This means they will be slightly closer if shots go to a measure. This can be the difference between winning and losing an end
It’s not all doom and gloom for those of us with smaller bowls. They can have their advantages. These include:
- Smaller bowls can find gaps between other bowls in the head. The constant frustration as a bowler is seeing your bowl following a perfect line, only to crash into a short shot. I have lost count of the number of times my old, smaller bowls had snuck past these obstacles and produced a great result
- Smaller bowls are harder to hit as they make a smaller target. Similar to how a larger bowl is hard to move, smaller bowls are simply harder to hit!
- Bowls that are short can be easily knocked up. Simply put, a small bowl is never out of the game. A larger bowl will struggle to be knocked up anywhere near as far as a smaller one.
It is possible to improve your grip with different grip polishes, or by modifying your grip technique, however we wouldn’t recommend this.
The best way is to find a new set of bowls with specific grip patterns. Most brands produce models with modified grips that are set down into the bowl, making it deeper than a standard grip.
This produces the impression of having a smaller bowl.
Most manufacturers only have these grip styles available on certain models. However, they are usually put onto mid-biased bowls making them versatile enough for a bowler playing any position.
By using the specialist grips you should easily be able to move up 1 size, but it is possible to move up by up to 2 or 3 sizes depending on your situation.
Ideally you should look to get to a size 2 for then men or a size 1 for the ladies, as a minimum as this is what most competitive players start with.
However, this shouldn’t impact on your ability to hold the bowl. Ilany advantages gained by using the larger bowl will be lost if you aren’t able to control it properly.
Here are our selection of the best bowls and grips to consider if you are looking to move up a size or two.
The PRO-50 is based off of the Professional model with it’s “Mid biased” profile, sitting between the d-tec and XP models.
The difference from the Professional model is the “deep channel” grip. This channel has a standard dimple grip within it, which makes it ideal if you already have this.
Because if the bias used, the PRO-50 can be played equally on indoor and outdoor rinks. The bias will mean your line will be slightly narrow compared to other models in this price bracket, but will allow for a decent swing on indoor surfaces.
You can read our full review of the PRO-50 here.
Taylor offers there specialist grip, the “ProGrip” on two of its most popular models. The Ace (mainly for outdoor greens) and Vector VS (ideal for indoor play).
The ProGrip itself is a deep dimple grip, so will feel familiar to most players. The dimples themselves are also designed to help remove rain water to improve control in the wet.
The Ace will be perfectly playable outdoors from any team position. It has a clean “hook free” finish so it will help your draw shot as a lead, but also has a wide enough line to play skip.
The Vector VS is perfect for indoor surfaces. It has also been designed for versatility on its surface.
Aero are the only manufacturer to make their deep grip, the Z Scoop, available as an option for all their models. This allows you to select any model that suits your needs! Ideal.
The Z Scoop is named after the zig zag pattern that sits within the inset grip. This has been designed not only to aid your general grip, but to help water run off it to help give you confidence it wet conditions.
The Z Scoop outsells all other grip styles, mainly due to its availability on all models, but also due to its unique qualities.
These are the best grips available at the moment, and I would highly recommend getting your hands on any one of the models listed to see how it feels, and it might just work for you.