Bowling has evolved little since it was first created back in 1840. The material and technology used have improved drastically, but the same equipment remains standard: shoes and a ball. Although, there are other accessories and equipment you can use to play a better game. Here is a comprehensive list of all of the equipment available to bowl:


The main reason every bowling alley insists that you wear specially made bowling shoes is for safety and performance. Bowling alley surfaces are flat and slick while the lanes are oiled. Regular shoes may stick to the floor, which can cause injuries as you build momentum to your throw. This can cause sprained ankles and other injuries.

There are also special soles on bowling shoes that allow you to slide or brake. The sliding sole enables the bowler to slide during their execution, while the braking sole provides traction to stop quickly. People who bowl frequently usually have custom shoes for hygiene and comfort purposes, but rental shoes are adequate for occasional bowlers.


Most bowling alleys provide balls to their patrons and are called house balls. Professionals will choose their own balls based on mass distribution, porosity, and surface friction, which all affect how the ball rolls once it is thrown. Casual bowlers have the option to choose a house ball of different weights depending on what feels comfortable to them.

Wrist guards

This added support for your wrist helps prevent the back of the hand throwing the bowling ball from collapsing or tilting before the roll. It limits the tilting motion of the rest allowing the bowler to achieve more consistent throws.

Finger tape

The friction resulting from releasing the ball from your fingers can sometimes cause scars or injuries. That is why some bowlers cover their fingers with tape. The tape also allows them to grip the ball better.


This helps reduce the moisture players have in their hands, improving the surface grip of the ball. The grip is an essential component of holding, swinging, and delivering the ball. The most commonly used powders are talcum or baby powder.

Elbow, wrist, ankle band

Bowling is a game with many repetitive motions, which wear down your joints over time. Some bowlers use gentle shock absorbers to reduce the chance of strain in their elbows, wrists, and ankles.

Microfibre cloth or towel

You may notice many veteran players wiping their balls after every throw. Most of the reasoning behind this move is psychological. It helps them build a routine in their throw, but there are some other minor benefits as well. Each time a ball is thrown, some of the oil from the lane collects on it. Wiping after every use helps remove some of this oil that has accumulated from the bowling lane. Collected oil on a ball could gradually decrease the friction between the bowling ball and the lane, which can cause the ball to slide rather than spin.

This list is just a compilation of the most effective equipment used by bowlers. Each bowler has their own unique tricks and equipment they pick up the more they bowl. The most important thing to keep in mind is safety when you launch the ball. Bowl BC has the pieces of equipment that are essential for bowling, which are the shoes and balls – everything else are just add-ons that you may or may not find useful. Feel free to stop by for a game, and we will make sure you have everything you need for a fun time.