Henselite have been a top manufacturer in bowls for a number of decades. They have fantastic ranges of bowls for both Northern and Southern Hemisphere bowlers. Their UK range in particular covers just about every preference imaginable. In this guide I’ll be looking at one of their most popular models – the Tiger II.
- popular with professional players
- strong all-round bowl
- offers reliable play regardless of the situation
- Ideal for new bowlers
- Better price point
- Strong second hand value
- Hard to find sellers on popular online marketplaces (such as Amazon)
The Tiger II is one of the most popular bowls in the world. It is one of Henselite’s flag ship models for some time now, and you’ll be hard pushed to find a bowls club in the world without a set of these around.
As a duel purpose bowl it is ideal for those who play both indoors and outdoors, and as they have been around for so long there is a thriving second hand market, making them ideal for new bowlers.
In this guide I’ll go through everything you need to know about the Tiger II and whether or not they are a good fit for you and your game.
The Tiger II are a mid-biased bowl, suitable for both indoor and outdoor play.
Henselite currently produce 3 bowls that would be considered mid biased – the Tiger II, Tiger Pro and Tiger EVO. The Tiger II sits on the narrower side of the three, so it is ideal for those who like a weaker strength bias.
As you would expect from a weaker biased bowl, the Tiger II is ideal for those who play lead or those who prominently play singles. The bias suits those who prefer drawing to the jack, especially when there is little in the way in front of you.
During my time testing the Tiger II I found the draw arch to be very steady, with no hooked finish – hooked finishes are very rare these days, with only a couple of models doing so across the market.
Sizes and Weights
Henselite offers all their models in the full range of sizes (00 to 5), and is consistent with other brands in only selling their models in a “Heavy” weight.
I personally prefer a Heavy weight bowl, and it is rare to find a bowl that is sold new today that is anything different.
Grips and colours
The latest version of the Tiger II comes with Henselite’s Mega Grip as standard, and the Ergo Fit profile.
These two combined make the Tiger II feel very comfortable in the hand.
If you haven’t come across either of these before, let me run over them. The Mega Grip is Henselite’s embedded grip. This is a type of grip where the grip pattern sits slightly within the bowl – almost like a small channel has been taken out of the shoulder of the bowl.
As your fingers are not on the expected surface of the bowl, it will feel smaller in the hand. As if you are holding a slightly smaller bowl, but without losing any weight from the larger size.
Henselite design their bowls to be slightly narrower – this is called their Ergo Fit profile. Again, Henselite have done this to make the bowl feel smaller in the hand, to give you greater control.
Henselite offer their bowls in 5 colours – but they often add extra colour options for limited times, so you will always find something that takes your fancy!
The grip and profile options are great on the Tiger II, and there aren’t many other models that can match it for how it feels in the hand.
Overall the Tiger II is a great bowl. As a mid biased bowl it is a great all rounder, even though it may struggle on some of the heavier outdoor greens.
It is a bowl that is readily available second hand, at an affordable price – this paired with its forgiving bias and nice draw trajectory makes it a fantastic choice for those new to bowls.
If you want to buy the Tiger II new, then you’ll find a range of customisation options, as well as the ability to get them with Henselite’s new Mega Grip, which in my opinion is a huge improvement on a classic dimple grip.
Henselite is one of the most expensive brands on the market, however with the quality of the manufacturing, as well as the new features an options I think they are well worth the investment.