Indoors, Outdoors, Short Mat – Which Bowl Should You Use?
There are now so many different bias bowls on the market let alone the different weights, sizes and colours! Which is the right Bowl for you? Fear Not!
You will all see the various bias charts on the internet for the large range of bowls that are now on the market, but all they do is show you which model has a wider bias than the others in the range and description to help you decide.
Some describe standard bias bowls as suitable for indoor and outdoor play, but are they?
When you are looking to buy a set of bowls you will get plenty of advice from all angles especially if you are new to the game. They all mean well, but remember “What is good for the goose isn’t necessarily good for the gander”. So with over 33 years of experience in the trade Whitehead bowls are providing you with their view of which bowls is better suited to which surface.
A Process of Elimination
We have used the same bias charts that the bowls companies provide but to help you make the right decision we have installed a line to show you where we think the edge of an INDOOR rink would be.
By doing this it will rule out certain models and make your decision a bit easier. So now what?
Now it comes down to the speed of you Indoor green. Obviously some Indoor greens are faster than others and if you are a player who plays on a variety of indoor surfaces it will probably suit you to select a Bowl that is neither the tightest line or the widest.
This will rule out certain models and make your decision a bit easier.
If you are a one green player (ie: You player at your own Club and nowhere else) You will know how fast your green is and so it comes down to how much green you would like to take and this will depend on whether you are a front or back end player.
- If you regularly play “lead” “singles” or “pairs” then a slightly tighter drawing Bowl maybe preferable as there are not a lot of bowls to navigate around.
- If you play at “three “ or “skip” then there will already be more bowls in the head when it comes to your go therefore you will need to draw around bowls as well as play inside them so a slightly wider drawing bowls may be more suitable.
I play indoors and out and I don’t want to buy two sets of bowls
Bowls is a game designed to test a player’s skill in drawing a bowls with a bias to a jack.
However in our climate especially at the start of the season when the outdoor greens are so often wet and heavy and therefore play slowly you will need a Bowl with a larger draw, (these will not be suited to the indoor greens as they are permanently much faster) however it is often the case especially at the start of the outdoor season the greens are so heavy all models will bowl virtually straight regardless of what bias Bowl you play with.
So in our opinion there is no Bowl on the market that is universally spot on to suit all speeds of surface therefore if you play in and outdoors and you do not want to buy two sets of bowls for obvious reasons then you must buy a set that will suit the indoor surface first and then use them to the best of your ability outdoors. A larger bias Bowl that would be more suited to the outdoor surface in this County will be to wide to play indoors with.
I have no problem with people using the tighter line bowls indoors as the greens are much faster but those players are also using them outdoors, it’s not what the game was designed for as it is more like playing skittles than bowls. Now what?
There are currently no rules as to what bias Bowl can or cannot be used so until that changes the tighter line bowls will continue to be used outdoors as well as in and therefore will be an issue for debate. (see our on-line pole)
So What Weight and Size Bowl Should I Look For?
Unless you suffer from an injury or medical restriction using the largest Bowl you can comfortably handle is the general recommendation for the size of Bowl you should you use. Practising with different sizes to decide which is the most comfortable for you is the best way, you can also use a hand gauge to help guide you as to which is the best size suited to you.
The weight of the Bowl you should use is again open to debate. Does a couple of ounces between a medium and heavy weight Bowl actually make a huge difference? Will you significantly see the difference and will actually improve your game that much? Or would having just one weight of Bowl on the market make things a lot easier?
In our opinion it is easier bowling with a heavier Bowl than a lighter one as it carries a little more momentum therefore technically you use less effort and so theoretically you should be more accurate and consistent, So we recommend one weight, heavy weight.
I Play Short Mat bowls Does the Same Theory Apply?
It seems that more and more Clubs, County’s tournaments and league games are being played on faster carpets than medium paced ones. However if your club are currently playing on medium paced carpets there is a good chance your next carpets will be quicker so if you are looking fro a new set of bowls it may be advisable to look a little further into the future and purchase a set with a slightly tighter draw rather than a set for the surface you have now. Remember the faster the playing surface the more the Bowl will swing, so it is advisable to use a slightly tighter drawing Bowl on the faster carpets. This does not take into account the levelness of the flooring.
There will be no doubt some will disagree with our opinions and will offer alternative advice. However for the past 33 years we have built up a good reputation for successfully advising Bowlers old and new on what bowls would best suit them.
At the end of the day it’s your money – It’s your choice!