Finding the right model of bowl can be a tricky business. There are so many to choose from, and it can be hard to find the exact bias profile you want.
In recent times however, there has been a move towards straighter bowls, with the general aim of most club bowlers to find the straightest set that works for them.
The difference between the average bias from modern bowls compared to that of bowls 10-15 years ago is massive because of this trend.
All the major brands now offer straight bowls to satisfy the market, however players do have to be careful with how straight they choose to go. As whilst the rules of lawn bowls don’t say a bowl can be too narrow, it is certainly against the spirit of the game.
So with that in mind, in this guide I will go through the straightest lawn bowls available on the market.
Why choose straight lawn bowls
Firstly, it’s probably good to understand why so many bowlers look to get straight lawn bowls.
The 3 main reasons are:
- greater margin of error
- easier to judge length
- easier to play weighted shots
Greater margin of error
When playing with bowls that swing more, your margin of error goes down. If you play a shot too narrow with a swinging set, then it is likely going to cut across the centre line and end up several feet the other side.
This is less likely to happen with a straighter set, as the bias isn’t strong enough to take you too far away.
Its important to note that you can still get your line wrong, and end up in a bad spot on the rink, but it is less likely to happen with a straighter set.
Easier to judge length
It’s easier to judge length with straighter bowls. There are 2 reasons for this.
- You can still see the jack in your vision when you look at your aiming point. Your aiming point will be much closer to the jack, so you’ll get a good reference in your vision when playing your shot
- The bowl travels a shorter distance. Bowls that swing more have to travel further, as it has to cover the ground back in from it’s furthest point. This is much less for straighter bowls, so the bowl travels a shorter distance, which is easier to judge.
Easier to play weighted shots
The trick with weighted shots is judging the line.
A bowl played with weight will not bend as much as a bowl played at drawing weight, because it has less time slowing down – which is when the bias takes effect.
This difference in bend is what makes these types of shot so hard – however if you have straighter bowls, there is less adjustment needed. In fact, playing high weight with a very straight bowl will likely lead to no bias movement at all, and you can just aim directly at your target.
Which is the straightest lawn bowl?
There is no definitive answer as to “what is the straightest lawn bowls”. This is because the main brands don’t offer comparisons between models from their competitors.
There are also many other factors, such as the action of the bowler, and the condition of the rink – so it isn’t simply a case of trying out each one as they will behave differently depending on how and where they are used.
For the purposes of this guide I will list out the straightest models for each geographical region. Please note that these are the straight models, and they may not be suitable for slower outdoor greens.
Straightest lawn bowls (UK)
|Biased Bowls||Racing Line|
Straightest lawn bowls (Australia/ROW)
Straight lawn bowls offer an advantage in play, so there is good reason why many bowlers seek them out.
It s hard to define which are “the straightest” due to factors outside of the bowl itself, so your best bet is to review the models listed in this article and pick one based on your personal preference of brand.