View Full Version : bowling and fingernails

07-23-2006, 07:19 AM
ok, so i am posting this in the technique section but technique is what i need. i am a director of some programs in chicago which has about 20 employees--i.e., i am the boss of these folks. i suggested that we get together for an employee appreciation evening--the tab is on me--and the overwhelming desire by my staff is to go bowling. when i lived in boston bowling was not an issue--they use these tiny balls (no holes) and skinny pins. here in chicago bowling is bowling--balls with holes in them. so here is the rub: how does one bowl with fingernails? i have this horrible fear that an hour of bowling will result in 2-3 weeks of waiting for: a. nails to grow out due to filing them down way low or b. nails to grow out due to chipping and/or breakage.

so, the big question is: can one bowl and not break nails? if so, how. if not, i guess i am going to have to feign an injury to my hand to get out of it. somehow telling my staff that i cannot bowl in fear of breaking a nail will not go over well.

thanks for any ideas or tips.

07-23-2006, 08:17 AM
Use a ball with holes much bigger than you might normally use,

and don't get drunk. Carelessness will get you faster and more thoroughly than anything else

07-23-2006, 08:26 AM
Do not bowl!! It will rip your nails off. I avoid it as much as possible, but when its a must, I use my left hand. Sure, it makes me bowl like crap (not that I'm that much better with my right hand) but then I come home to my guitar and she makes it all better. :wink:

07-23-2006, 08:28 AM
Become Left-Handed.......OR .........Right-Handed fer you Lefties.... :lol:

07-23-2006, 08:46 AM
these are all good advice so far, but to go further in a much more difficult manner, you could learn to 'bowl with nails'. Start with a bigger holed ball and go very slow as you release the ball and pay a lot of attention to the sensation of the tips of your fingers, feel if they are hitting and how hard, slowly start to increase speed as you learn to reduce the nails hitting.

Also what I do, so I can play most sports is to learn to play guitar with 'shorter' nails, that way I get the sound I want, less breakage, be active in other sports. You know best, decide.

07-23-2006, 11:09 AM
I've bowled and had no problem with my nails. You might want to make sure they are filed to their minimum uselful length, as Section_10 posted above.
While I've had no nail problems, I HAVE had other problems, most notable, blisters. I get one right at the base of the thumb and it's quite painful - not at all conducive to guitar playing.
One other note - blisters and other injuries are more probable if you are using a ball with the wrong size holes. A ball with holes too large will cause you to have to grip the ball unnaturally tightly, and that's going to cause the blister.
How about shooting pool instead?

07-23-2006, 01:01 PM

If you dwell on it you're going to have a mishap of some kind. First, if you don't already have a ball fitted properly (which you probably don't), you should select a house ball with a full finger grip. Insert the thumb first and then the fingers. If the span of the hole permits you to insert your middle and ring fingers so the first knuckle bends at the hole; you're off to the races. Next, make sure, as Marc pointed out, that the holes are neither too big or too small. Obviously too small is easy to detect. If they're too big, you will squeeze the ball. The blister won't show up on your fingers though. You'll develop a nasty blister on the inside of your thumb. Using a full finger grip means the nails will NOT be in danger. If you stretch the grip, where the fingers insert at the second (outer) joint...look out!

My BEST friend owns a balling pro shop. My wife and I have bowled for years. She has nails that would be the envy of every CG-ist and has NEVER broken or chipped a nail while bowling. Me...well let's just say the ball hangs on the tips of my fingers and I throw a gutter to gutter hook. Mucho horsepower!!! Yet another reason I went Tarrega!!!!

07-23-2006, 07:07 PM
I tore off my thumbnail the last time I bowled.....which is why that was the last time! :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil: :evil:

Go lefty.... and make sure you wear that wrist brace, without it your arm will hurt like a mofo after all the fun.

07-24-2006, 05:48 AM
perf: it is the thumbnail i am concerned about--the nails on the fingers can be filed close and growing time would be in days whereas growing out the thumb nail would be measured in weeks. thanks for the info...i feel a sprained wrist coming on about the time of the bowling event.....damn bad luck i would say.... :lol: :lol:

07-27-2006, 12:33 PM
I suck at bowling, and I spent no time in adequately measuring a ball to my hand (I wouldn't have known how, anyway), I just grabbed one that felt good.

After 30 minutes my thumbnail was gone! It was a little too long, but I used to keep it longer back then, it was such a precious slow-growing commodity!

I bowl and do most other things (like reaching for a door handle) left handed now.

Your Mileage May Vary.[/b]

07-27-2006, 02:36 PM
I started to play left handed guitar when I was 4 years old, but my teacher at the time convinced my mother that I should get a right handed guitar. I do everything left handed, except for the guitar, so I have no bowling problems :D

In your case, I would say that you probably shouldn't bowl if you cherish your fingernails.

Maybe there is some type of thin glove you can wear?

Maybe cover the tips of your fingers in masking tape?

07-27-2006, 03:40 PM
me too-cglover,
with the exception of guitar and hockey goalie,
i do everything lefty.

07-27-2006, 04:00 PM
me too-cglover,
with the exception of guitar and hockey goalie,
i do everything lefty.

:shock: Everything? :wink: :lol: :lol:

07-27-2006, 04:03 PM
well now that i think of it...i drive righty :lol:

07-27-2006, 04:23 PM
So, um, not trying to be clever here but, um, tell everyone that you play guitar and don't want to risk damage to fingernails because of that. You can still go, but not bowl. Yeah, probably not the happy answer but it's what I would do. Who was it, Chet Atkins?, who used to wear thin cotton gloves everywhere and that reminded him to take special care of his hands [with which he made his living], and gave him an excuse to be careful about shaking hands, etc. A bit of a hassle for most of us, but whatever works. I'm a hobbyist, but I am not shy about matter-of-factly protecting my fingers. [Of course, I must admit I use a chainsaw now and then, so....] Priorities.

07-27-2006, 05:37 PM
I used to bowl quite a bit, and never broke a nail, however I recently went and chipped the nail on my ring finger and part of my thumb most likely because they were not completely smooth beforehand. I think to be absolutely certain, wear a thin glove perhaps, or if you don't want to do that, just make sure your nails are perfect before you bowl. Also, if your nails are longer, they is a much great chance of them breaking. The reason my ring finger and thumb nail broker is probably because they were too long. My middle finger and index were both approximately 1.5-2 mm, so there was nothing to worry about. If yours are not too long right now, I wouldn't worry about anything.

07-28-2006, 04:16 AM
Here's a thought-could you put tape on the ends of your fingers?
You could tell everybody you get awful blisters or that it gives you more
control or something.
The question I have is just how much longer than your fingertips
are your nails exactly?
When looking at my open palm the nails are just barely visible over the
tips but they look fairly long from the top of the hand.I submit that if
you tape them properly that no bowling ball will rip them at all.And I would
put some sort of epoxy hardener polish on them prior to the taping as well.

07-28-2006, 09:17 AM
I agree that you should trim your nails just below the tips of your fingers. The longer they are then the greater chance of them breaking. Also a clear coat of nail polish will help protect them.

Great Googly Moogly
07-28-2006, 09:41 AM
I use silk and super glue (basically a "silk wrap") for extra strengthening if I need it and a ping pong ball for my thumb (to replace my crappy thumb nail and create the desired shape.) You all have heard of the ping-pong ball thing right?

07-28-2006, 10:02 AM
in a back room behind the kitchen
of a bar, i saw something involving a ping pong ball,
a wine glass, and a woman of talent. (i couldn't think of what to play
to compliment the entertainment)

07-28-2006, 12:08 PM
:shock: :shock: :lol: :lol: :mrgreen: