Essentials To Bring When Bowling

If it is your first time going to a bowling alley, it is understandable that you do not know the items you need to bring. Fortunately, most bowling essentials you will need are already in your closet or available at a bowling alley. 

Essential items to bring bowling are a

  • bowling ball
  • towel
  • wrist guard
  • bowling powder
  • finger tape

These items can help you improve your performance.

If you are wondering what bowling essentials you should bring and how they can improve your game, this article is for you, so make sure to read until the end and get your notepad out.  You may just have to go shopping!

What Should I Bring To Go Bowling?

  • Bowling shoes
  • Bowling ball
  • Towel
  • Wrist guards, bowling powder, and finger tapes

Preparation when bowling does not only involve practicing your skills. You also need to know what essential things to bring when bowling in order to be on your best game. 

Bowling Shoes

When you go to a bowling alley, the staff will require you to rent and wear a pair of bowling shoes. However, it is worth noting that the rental shoes in bowling alleys will not always fit you perfectly. And while bowling alleys sanitize rental shoes, some still find them unhygienic. For this reason, it is better to bring your bowling shoes. 

Wearing bowling shoes helps your performance by gliding on the bowling lane, allowing you to gain momentum. The sole of bowling shoes also helps bowlers make a quick stop. (source)

Bowling Ball

If you are a serious bowler, bringing your own bowling ball to your game is ideal. This way, you can have the finger holes of your bowling ball customized to fit your grip nicely. And since you are using your own bowling ball, you can develop consistency in delivering the ball. 

Meanwhile, using house balls will give you a different feel from one ball to another, making it difficult to perform a consistent stroke. Needless to say, bringing your bowling ball will help you perform better.

A Towel

Bowling lanes have a layer of oil on top of them. So, some of the oil will stick to the ball whenever you deliver it. When built up, this oil can make your ball more slippery, thus changing how you play. 

For that reason, you need to bring a microfiber cloth or towel that you can use to wipe your bowling ball. If you do not have a microfiber towel, you can use an absorbent towel that can quickly pick up the oil buildup on the surface of your bowling ball. 

Wrist Guards, Bowling Powder, And Finger Tapes

These may be considered as optional, but they can also make a difference in your game. You can use a wrist guard for support if you have trouble with consistent throws. A wrist guard will prevent your hand from tilting once you throw your bowling ball. 

Another helpful piece of equipment a bowler can use is finger tape. You can use this to cover your fingers if you feel like the bowling balls’ grips are hurting them. If the house ball’s finger holes are a bit loose, you can use finger tapes to tighten them, which results in a better grip. 

Finally, bowling powder is essential if you constantly need to reduce the moisture of your hands. This way, you can improve your grip and make it easy to release the ball. (source)

What Should You Not Wear While Bowling?

  • Regular shoes
  • Restrictive or overly sized clothing
  • A pair of shorts
  • Jewelry

If there are bowling essentials that you always need to have, there are also items that you should not wear when you go bowling.

Regular Shoes

Regular shoes have dirt and debris stuck in their soles. This debris can scratch bowling lanes, which is difficult for owners to repair.

Additionally, your everyday shoes usually have rubber soles, which have a high level of traction. So, wearing them while bowling will prevent you from building momentum due to their soles sticking to the bowling lane. Wearing regular shoes when bowling can also lead to injuries as their high-friction soles can cut your momentum suddenly, thus causing a fall. (source)

Restrictive Or Overly Sized Clothing

You need to be in your most comfortable clothing when bowling. Walking, bending over, and swinging your arms can be challenging if you wear restrictive clothing. Similarly, oversized clothes can get your arms caught when delivering the ball. It can result in failing to get a score, so ensure that you wear clothes that make it easy for you to move. 

A Pair Of Shorts

Shorts are not a restriction when bowling. A pair of mid-length shorts can help you move comfortably. However, you should never wear shorts that are too short. 

Bowling involves bending over and moving your lower body part. If you wear short shorts, you will need to worry about exposing yourself instead of focusing on the ball. It can negatively affect both your comfort and performance.

Moreover, you also need to avoid wearing clothes with trailing pieces, strings, and many zippers. 


Bowling alleys do not prohibit bowlers from wearing jewelry. However, watches, bracelets, and rings can get caught on your clothing once you swing your arm, preventing you from performing a good strike. Your jewelry can fall or fly off the bowling lane as you deliver the ball. (source)

In Summary

One of the most common questions beginner bowlers have is, “what should I bring to go bowling?” If you want to make bowling a long-term hobby, a good pair of bowling shoes, your own ball, and a towel are three essential items you need to have. In addition, do not forget to wear non-binding and comfortable clothing. 

Once you have the bowling essentials, you can work on improving your game and have fun doing so. These essentials will also serve as an aid to developing your bowling skills, along with some serious practice. 

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