Question #1: How do pin lengths affect the layout choice? Mike Seabrook Sr. Maricopa, AZ.
Josh Blanchard -pin length can determine if we are going to drill a bowling ball pin up or pin down. If you want to drill a bowling ball pin up a longer pin between three and 5 inches is best. If you want to drill a ball pin down, pins between one and 3 inches are best suited for those lay outs. You'll find that most bowling balls come with a 3 to 4 pin, so if you know what layout you want make sure and tell your Pro Shop operator what pin length you desire.
Craig Spencer - Pin length determines if the layout needs to be pin up or pin down. The second marking from the pin is the center of gravity (CG), and is where the majority of the weight is at when determining if the ball has too much side, finger, thumb, top or bottom weight. Since the pin distance is the distance from the pin to the CG, then shorter pins, drilled with the pin above the fingers for example, would put the CG near the fingers creating too much finger weight in many cases.
Question #2: How important is attending a Matchmaker/Demo day? Lee Upp Las Vegas, NV>
Josh Blanchard - matchmaker or demos are really important for a customer to find what ball is perfect for them. When a customer spends $200 or more on a bowling ball, they want to make sure that they are getting the right bowling ball for their style and bowling center they Bowl in.
Just like going into a department store, you want to try on the outfit or shoes you're going to buy before you purchase them.
Craig Spencer - The matchmaker or demo day is the most important and valuable resource a bowler has. Explaining bowling ball reaction is basically speaking another language. Terms like strong, weak, skid flip, snap, arc, hook early, pick up faster, slow down, keep going, continuous and the list goes on. Because of this, it's very easy for bowler's to not be on the same page with what equipment is doing. At many demo's I ask participants what they think of a certain ball and bowlers will describe the same exact ball with different characteristics. This means that the pro shop guy has to do more then just be knowledgeable. He has to decipher the way you speak bowling ball motion, and then translate that into what he thinks you are looking for. Testing the ball out yourself takes out all of those variables.