Unscented Bowling Ball?

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Sandtrap
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Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by Sandtrap »

Consumer item: shopping for a bowling ball. :D :D

DW and I are taking up bowling in retirement.
She just got her first custom drilled new ball and setup. Thrilled!

I used to bowled varsity team for 4 years plus leagues, back when.

I currently have a GB12 2.0 ball that does not smell and has no “fragrance” which is very important to me, but the ball is not as reactive as I would like.

I’m looking for a high level highly reactive ball that is completely “unscented”.
Price doesn’t matter.

Have bought and returned several balls from Storm and they all smell nasty.

Have on order the Hammer in Pearl and the 2.0 to check for smell.

Does anyone know of a high end or performance, or reactive bowling ball that does not have any fragrance or smell?

brand and model?
what did it smell like when new? now?

Huge thanks.J🌴
Last edited by Sandtrap on Mon Jun 20, 2022 10:18 am, edited 2 times in total.
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InvestSlow
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by InvestSlow »

This is sort of an unusual question. I used to bowl quite a bit and even worked in a pro shop, but I never heard anyone ask about bowling ball scents!

Rubber balls smelled the worst, BTW. :)

Maybe ask at your pro shop to see if they'd let you smell recently drilled balls they've prepared for other customers. You might find some that are better than others.
Chardo
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by Chardo »

Decades of bowling, dozens of newly drilled balls, I've never heard of this problem.
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vitaflo
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by vitaflo »

My Storm ball had a scent but to be honest after a month of bowling it will just smell like lane oil like any other reactive ball that soaks up oil.

With that in mind you could always look for a used ball that no longer has the original scent and get it redrilled.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by TJat »

Can you wipe down with rubbing alcohol to remove odor?
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by Sandtrap »

InvestSlow wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 9:04 pm This is sort of an unusual question. I used to bowl quite a bit and even worked in a pro shop, but I never heard anyone ask about bowling ball scents!

Rubber balls smelled the worst, BTW. :)

Maybe ask at your pro shop to see if they'd let you smell recently drilled balls they've prepared for other customers. You might find some that are better than others.
Increasingly, over the past 20 years, bowling balls with fragrance is a big marketing tool.

The fragrance is cast into the outer core.

The Storm company has patented over 40 fragrances from “Root Beer” to “Strawberry Cake” to Bubble Gum.

j🌺
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by Sandtrap »

TJat wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 9:30 pm Can you wipe down with rubbing alcohol to remove odor?
Modern ball fragrances are mixed into the outer core from 1 inches thick or more. The companies claim longer fragrance life.

j🌺
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quietseas
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by quietseas »

I never knew bowling balls had scents, but now I read it stared back in the days of smoke filled bowling alleys to counteract the smell of tobacco? Learned something new today I guess.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by whodidntante »

I used to bowl at least once a week and this is the first I've heard of scented balls. It's an unfortunate innovation.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by White Coat Investor »

This one might rank up there with the $5,000 watch thread.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by Sandtrap »

whodidntante wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 9:57 pm I used to bowl at least once a week and this is the first I've heard of scented balls. It's an unfortunate innovation.
Apparently heavy marketing. Not as heavily advertised as "Axe Cologne Body Spray". . but . . yes, within the sport.

I have chemical and fragrance allergies, and want my new car to say smelling mew, thus, avoiding these heavy cloying smells that seem to pervade many modern products.

I "googled" and searched but have yet to find website and manufacturer's listings where product descriptions include the "fragrance", but they are listed on the box that the ball comes in.

There are various discussions of ball fragrances on the "bowling forums" but nothing data filled.
j :D
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andypanda
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by andypanda »

I had no idea. I used to love duckpins. Grew up in Baltimore and there were duckpin houses in Richmond when I moved here in '72.

www.stormbowling.com/storm-balls

Click on a ball and you can see the fragrance.

The top row, left to right:

Fragrance: Mystery Scent
Fragrance: Cherry Apple Slush
Fragrance: Cherry Delight
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by 66jazzbass »

This is why I visit Bogleheads
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by dodgerblioux »

Sandtrap wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 10:31 pm
whodidntante wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 9:57 pm I used to bowl at least once a week and this is the first I've heard of scented balls. It's an unfortunate innovation.
Apparently heavy marketing. Not as heavily advertised as "Axe Cologne Body Spray". . but . . yes, within the sport.

I have chemical and fragrance allergies, and want my new car to say smelling mew, thus, avoiding these heavy cloying smells that seem to pervade many modern products.

I "googled" and searched but have yet to find website and manufacturer's listings where product descriptions include the "fragrance", but they are listed on the box that the ball comes in.

There are various discussions of ball fragrances on the "bowling forums" but nothing data filled.
j :D
My parents met in a bowling alley. My dad proposed in a bowling alley. I had bowled my whole life up to about 13 years ago. Met my wife, lost interest. :happy . I had never heard of a scented ball. IMO, one of dumbest things ever for the bowling industry. Have you looked at https://www.bowlerx.com/bowling-balls I am not affiliated with this website, but it does have a category for fragrance under the Storm balls. I would assume if it had a fragrance this website would tell you.

Jeff
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by valleyrock »

What's next, scented golf balls?

Putting on my chemist's hat, if a ball were smelly, I'd say put it out in the sun so it heats up. The scent should eventually volatilize and be gone.

I wonder if hand sweat is a problem with bowling and scented bowling balls are supposed to fix that. Hand tissues at the lanes? Signs in the bathroom at the bowling alley saying "wash hands before bowling"? Bowling Ball Fabreeze?
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by bob60014 »

Interesting thread, I never knew scented balls were even a thing.

I'm glad I still have my old Brunswick Black Beauty around. I sniffed in the bag and it smells like a bowling ball should! :)
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by open_circuit »

Competitive bowler here. Storm is the only manufacturer that puts scents in the cover of their bowling balls as far as I know. Storm owns several other brands -- Roto Grip and 900 Global, but those balls do not have scents in the cover. You will find that bowling lane oil, also called conditioner, has a particular scent and your ball will smell like that after it has been used because reactive bowling balls are porous and absorb oil.

To directly answer your question, any reactive bowling ball from the following brands should be free of artificial fragrances when new:

storm brands:
900 global
rotogrip

EBI brands:
hammer
columbia
track
ebonite

others:
motiv
radical

There are a few smaller brands also. The brands above are the ones you'll most commonly find.

specific recommendations and comments:

A highly reactive ball may appear to be "not reactive" if you are on lane conditions with too little oil. I can recommend a high performance ball but if you use it on very dry lane conditions you'll find it doesn't appear to hook a lot or hooks far too early. Bowling balls have changed a ton since the initial urethane and reactive balls were introduced. Sport conditions use much more oil than 20-30 years ago and therefore ball covers have become much stronger to react in these conditions. As the oil is removed from the lane (porous ball absorbing oil), the lanes become less oily and the balls react differently. People will often carry 6 or more balls to a competition to be able to "match up" to oil changes throughout the event.

Strong popular reactive ball - 900 Global Zen
Medium popular reactive ball (better for medium/light oil) - roto grip hustle camo
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retiredjg
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by retiredjg »

Bowling ball scents. Lane oil.

Who knew? The things I learn here never cease to amaze me. :happy
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by Stinky »

open_circuit wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 9:29 am People will often carry 6 or more balls to a competition to be able to "match up" to oil changes throughout the event.
Amazing!

I was good enough to be on my university’s bowling team decades ago, but pretty much dropped the sport after college. I would never have imagined either “scented” bowling balls or carrying 100+ pounds of bowling balls to an event.
Former life insurance company financial officer who sincerely believes that ”It’s a GREAT day to be alive!”
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by andypanda »

"...carrying 100+ pounds of bowling balls to an event."

Maybe if you had a Storm 6-Ball Rolling Thunder Bowling Bag Charcoal Plaid/Grey/Black

https://gebhardtsbowling.com/storm-6-ba ... grey-black

Only $399.95, but on backorder.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by open_circuit »

andypanda wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 1:05 pm Maybe if you had a Storm 6-Ball Rolling Thunder Bowling Bag Charcoal Plaid/Grey/Black

https://gebhardtsbowling.com/storm-6-ba ... grey-black

Only $399.95, but on backorder.
Yeah, people do use those and other expensive bags as well as buy too many bowling balls. For perspective, the top prize for the amateur tournaments around here is between $2000 and $3000 every weekend though. It's not uncommon for the winner to pocket $4k in a weekend with the various sweepers / brackets / place money.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by lthenderson »

According to one website I was reading, the scent will last up to ten years if properly maintained. So one might look for a used bowling ball that is older than 10 years.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by Sandtrap »

open_circuit wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 9:29 am Competitive bowler here. Storm is the only manufacturer that puts scents in the cover of their bowling balls as far as I know. Storm owns several other brands -- Roto Grip and 900 Global, but those balls do not have scents in the cover. You will find that bowling lane oil, also called conditioner, has a particular scent and your ball will smell like that after it has been used because reactive bowling balls are porous and absorb oil.

To directly answer your question, any reactive bowling ball from the following brands should be free of artificial fragrances when new:

storm brands:
900 global
rotogrip

EBI brands:
hammer
columbia
track
ebonite

others:
motiv
radical

There are a few smaller brands also. The brands above are the ones you'll most commonly find.

specific recommendations and comments:

A highly reactive ball may appear to be "not reactive" if you are on lane conditions with too little oil. I can recommend a high performance ball but if you use it on very dry lane conditions you'll find it doesn't appear to hook a lot or hooks far too early. Bowling balls have changed a ton since the initial urethane and reactive balls were introduced. Sport conditions use much more oil than 20-30 years ago and therefore ball covers have become much stronger to react in these conditions. As the oil is removed from the lane (porous ball absorbing oil), the lanes become less oily and the balls react differently. People will often carry 6 or more balls to a competition to be able to "match up" to oil changes throughout the event.

Strong popular reactive ball - 900 Global Zen
Medium popular reactive ball (better for medium/light oil) - roto grip hustle camo
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OnTrack2020
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by OnTrack2020 »

Bowling balls have a scent? Who knew.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by firebirdparts »

66jazzbass wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:15 am This is why I visit Bogleheads
You just can't get this kind of information anywhere else.

I am kind of shocked that anybody thinks this would have been able to fight off the smell of cigarette smoke before they outlawed it. Holy cow. I bowled in a league one year. I think bowling season must be 51 weeks. I think my clothes stunk for a further 51 weeks after it ended.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by vitaflo »

lthenderson wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 2:16 pm According to one website I was reading, the scent will last up to ten years if properly maintained. So one might look for a used bowling ball that is older than 10 years.
It does not last nearly that long. I have a scented Storm ball and it quickly just smells like lane oil because it soaks up so much of it. After the first year I couldn't smell the original scent any longer.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by mptfan »

I prefer unscented balls.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by lazydavid »

lthenderson wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 2:16 pm According to one website I was reading, the scent will last up to ten years if properly maintained. So one might look for a used bowling ball that is older than 10 years.
You'd have to find one that just happens to have your ideal hole configuration (exceedingly unlikely) or have it filled and re-drilled.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by fuj »

As open_circuit states, only Storm Bowling balls are purposely scented. But Storm and SPI bowling balls are arguably the most popular balls (in the US, at least) available today, pro shops may carry a disproportionate number of those products versus other ball brands.

Bowling today has become more like golf in that there is a different tool - coverstock/core design/drilling layout - for nearly any given situation. So it's practically impossible to reasonably recommend a ball without knowing a number of factors. And even then, it's still pretty much a guess that the ball selected will truly be "the one". In fact, given that bowling these days is far from static, it has become more common to drag in 3-6 balls to a league session than just one or two balls in an old Don Johnson tote. At least if you're trying your best to be as competitive as you can. If you're just out for a good time and don't care too much about score, almost any relatively recent reactive ball will suffice on the THS.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by biscuit5 »

Sandtrap wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 9:32 pm Increasingly, over the past 20 years, bowling balls with fragrance is a big marketing tool.

The fragrance is cast into the outer core.

The Storm company has patented over 40 fragrances from “Root Beer” to “Strawberry Cake” to Bubble Gum.

j🌺
:confused definitely....strange.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by Little_Carmine »

TJat wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 9:30 pm Can you wipe down with rubbing alcohol to remove odor?
I would not recommend wiping down the balls with alcohol, it just doesn’t work for the smell.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by coalcracker »

mptfan wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 4:22 pm I prefer unscented balls.
Agreed, and among name brands I hear Schweddy balls can become too slick.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by tesuzuki2002 »

66jazzbass wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:15 am This is why I visit Bogleheads
+1
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by tesuzuki2002 »

coalcracker wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 12:37 am
mptfan wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 4:22 pm I prefer unscented balls.
Agreed, and among name brands I hear Schweddy balls can become too slick.
:D :oops: :sharebeer
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by tesuzuki2002 »

I watched a couple of lengthy segments recently on the bowling industry and all of the fake/counterfeit balls that have been sold into the market from cheap foreign manufacturing.. maybe this is why the scenting... to cover something else up.. ?
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by Pete12 »

What a cool thread! You really can ask anything around here!
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by Broken Man 1999 »

bob60014 wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:55 am Interesting thread, I never knew scented balls were even a thing.

I'm glad I still have my old Brunswick Black Beauty around. I sniffed in the bag and it smells like a bowling ball should! :)
Color me clueless, who knew?

Had the first post been penned by anyone other than Sandtrap, I would have sworn the readers were being sent on an electronic snipe hunt!

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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by dak »

Couldn't you just store them next to your bowling shoes? That should take care of at least one of the scents.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by JPH »

Pete12 wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 10:47 am What a cool thread! You really can ask anything around here!
+1
But now I need to know if I can get scented tires on my bike.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by Hockey10 »

I spent a lot of time at bowling alleys in the 70s and 80s. There were plenty of unusual smells there, especially in the rental shoes and the worn out carpeting in the lobby.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by makeitcount »

"Mark it 8, Dude."
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by Sandtrap »

Broken Man 1999 wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 2:05 pm
bob60014 wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:55 am Interesting thread, I never knew scented balls were even a thing.

I'm glad I still have my old Brunswick Black Beauty around. I sniffed in the bag and it smells like a bowling ball should! :)
Color me clueless, who knew?

Had the first post been penned by anyone other than Sandtrap, I would have sworn the readers were being sent on an electronic snipe hunt!

Broken Man 1999
Thanks for the support.

Here's one of the few bowling ball vendors that include the "fragrance" of the bowling ball in the database.
This one is a scent called "GrapeVine" and supposedly, the Storm company says the scent should last for many years.
https://www.bowlerx.com/storm-phaze-iii ... tphazeiii/

Another one from "Bowler's Mart" from the Storm company that is scented in "Fruit Trifle".
https://www.bowlersmart.com/product/sto ... ling-ball/

All new to me.

Like trying to now find "Ceramic Coated Car Friendly" but "unscented car wash soap. Doesn't exist I think. But, as far as I know, there's no car wash soap that smells like Axe Body Spray and its many reeky cousins.

All this started when I bought my new car and am taking great efforts to keep that "new car (toxic plastics I know) smell". As well as having chemical and smell allergies. (lung thing).

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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by MJS »

Baseball players are more ... direct.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by iamlucky13 »

firebirdparts wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 4:00 pm
66jazzbass wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:15 am This is why I visit Bogleheads
You just can't get this kind of information anywhere else.
I assume there is a bowlingballheads.org forum somewhere...
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by Bigj5t4n »

iamlucky13 wrote: Wed Jun 22, 2022 7:00 pm
firebirdparts wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 4:00 pm
66jazzbass wrote: Mon Jun 20, 2022 8:15 am This is why I visit Bogleheads
You just can't get this kind of information anywhere else.
I assume there is a bowlingballheads.org forum somewhere...
Ballreviews.com might be the closest equivalent. Many threads on ratio of US to International balls one should bring to a tournament.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by SmileyFace »

Little_Carmine wrote: Tue Jun 21, 2022 12:16 am
TJat wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 9:30 pm Can you wipe down with rubbing alcohol to remove odor?
I would not recommend wiping down the balls with alcohol, it just doesn’t work for the smell.
:shock:
And it might sting for days as well! Ouch!
8-) :twisted:
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by MDfan »

I grew up bowling duckpins. But there are very few of those left.
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by Random Musings »

Ooooh that smell
Can't you smell that smell

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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by Dregob »

InvestSlow wrote: Sun Jun 19, 2022 9:04 pm This is sort of an unusual question. I used to bowl quite a bit and even worked in a pro shop, but I never heard anyone ask about bowling ball scents!

Rubber balls smelled the worst, BTW. :)

Maybe ask at your pro shop to see if they'd let you smell recently drilled balls they've prepared for other customers. You might find some that are better than others.
There is NO way I am going into a pro shop and ask "Can I smell your balls!" :shock:
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Re: Unscented Bowling Ball?

Post by sureshoe »

Didn't know they had scented balls - interesting. Haven't bowled in a league for a while. My "Black Widow" was cracked in the garage from the cold last time I checked :(

I prefer my bowling experience to be pure-scented, with diabetes, despair, and second-hand smoke.
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