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How to Bowl With Nails and Ways to Protect Your Nails

Girl holding purple colored bowling ball with acrylic nails at a local bowling alley. You can bowl with both short acrylic nails and long acrylic nails.

Bowling and cute nails usually don’t go together, and that’s because most people don’t know how to manage both. But with the right information and preparation, you can certainly bowl with nails.

In this article, learn how to bowl with nails as you roll a few. Let’s get into it! 

Why Bowling with Nails Is Problematic

Lady's hand with acrylic nails. The middle finger nail is crack or chipped.

Although you can bowl with acrylic (fake nails) or manicured natural nails, it’s not without risks. Here are some negative consequences you may face if you bowl with nails without taking precautions.

  • You won’t bowl as well – Bowling with nails can affect how well you play the game. Since you’ll have to focus your attention on your nails, your form and playing ability may take a hit. You might score lower, which is a massive disadvantage if you play competitively or as part of a league.
  • You can rip off your nail – If your finger gets caught in the hole during your throw, there’s a chance your nail will go down the lane with the ball. Not taking preventative measures can put your artificial and natural nails at risk. In addition to pain, this can lead to infections, higher manicure costs, and even permanent nail loss. 
  • You might ruin your manicure – Nothing is worse than spending time and money on your nails, only to have them ruined after one night of bowling. Bowling balls are heavy and can scrape at your nail bed as you handle them. As a result, you might end the game with chipped or tarnished nail polish.
  • You can chip or break your nail – Cracked and broken nails are extremely common in bowling. Although they will eventually grow back, broken nails are painful, ugly, and inconvenient.

How to Bowl with Nails

Now that you know the risks of bowling with long or artificial nails, you’re ready to learn how to mitigate them. Below, we’ll give you some practical tips you can use for how to bowl with long nails safely by using a ball with larger holes, rolling with two hands, using protective nail coverings, and a few more.

Use a Ball with Larger Holes

Generally, the larger a bowling ball is, the wider the holes are. Larger holes give your fingers more space and make it less likely that your natural or acrylic nail will get stuck or break during your roll. Instead, the ball will effortlessly slide off your fingers when you release it. 

Unfortunately, this method won’t work for everyone. Some people might have trouble controlling the ball due to its looser fit. Large balls are also heavier, so you may struggle to lift the ball.

But, depending on how dedicated you are, you can start building up your upper body strength to compensate for the weight difference. You’ll also have to adjust your form, as rolling a heavier ball will take some time to get used to. 

Roll With Two Hands (Granny Roll)

The best way to protect your nails from bowling ball holes is to avoid using your fingertips. If your natural nails are important to you, consider switching to a two-handed bowling technique.

Instead of using the holes, you’ll cradle the bowling ball with both palms and roll it down the lane. Your hands will have to be large enough to hold the ball comfortably, which may prevent some people from successfully using this method.

220 Average Bowler bowls GRANNY STYLE!!?

Use a Protective Covering 

Protective coverings, like finger cots, create a physical barrier between your nails and the ball. They are rubber or silicone/gel sleeves that cover the tops of your fingertips.

Although snug, most finger cots are designed to give your fingers plenty of room to breathe. They are also straightforward and convenient to use! Just slide them onto your fingers before you roll.

Need a little more security? Wrap a small rubber band around the cot’s base to ensure it doesn’t budge during your game. 

Bowling tape is another excellent way to keep your nails safe as you play. It prevents many bowling-related risks like calluses, cuts, blisters, and broken nails. 

Eat a Balanced Diet

Food for a balanced diet in the form of circle. Although not pictured, stay hydrated so drink plenty of water.

Strong, healthy nails are significantly less likely to break or get chipped while you bowl. Healthy nails start with ensuring your body has all the raw materials needed to keep them growing long and strong. Compared to organs like your heart and brain, nails aren’t a priority for your body. 

As a result, they are often one of the first parts of your body to show signs of a nutritional deficiency. Are you looking to get more nail-boosting nutrients? Here are some vitamins and minerals that will help you grow thicker, longer nails:

  • Biotin
  • Iron
  • Vitamin B12
  • Vitamin B7
  • Collagen

Play With Bowling Ramps

Though they’re usually reserved for children and the disabled, a bowling ramp is an excellent option for anyone who prioritizes the health and appearance of their nails.

Bowling ramps are a type of metal frame with a steep incline. Simply line your ramp up, put your ball at the top, and give it a push. A ramp will guide your ball down the lane without risking your fingers and nails. 

Ask For Bumpers 

During a trip to a bowling alley, you may have seen someone playing with bowling bumpers. Bumpers are rubber guards that prevent your ball from rolling into the gutter.

They ensure your ball stays in the lane at all times and help make it easier to bowl without risking your nails. With the bumpers up, you won’t have to worry about rolling the ball with force, and instead, you can focus on just having fun!

Bowling without breaking your nails

Wear a Bowling Glove 

Bowling gloves are specially designed to give your wrist, forearm, and fingers plenty of support while you play. They help you keep your wrist in the proper position, reducing the likelihood of you chipping or breaking your nails.

Bowling gloves also improve your form, prevent injury, and give you more control over your ball! 

Top 3 Protective Products for Bowling with Nails

There’s no doubt that bowling with nails will make things harder for you. Luckily, there are products on the market that can take the guesswork out of things and make protecting your nails a breeze.

Here are three products you can use to protect your nails as you bowl. 

ProAdvantage Sterile Butterfly Closure Bandages

ProAdvantage’s butterfly bandages can stay on your fingers for hours due to their flexible shape and sweat-proof adhesive. They are made of a breathable, stretchy material, which gives you a comfortable fit that allows you to focus on your game. 

Lauwell Disposable Finger Cots

These disposable finger cots by Lauwell are thin, smooth, and protective. They work well if you want to avoid chipped nail polish, but they won’t protect against nail injury. All you need to do is slip one over each of your fingers and you’re ready to bowl. 

You get 150 pieces, so you can use them as you please. Keep in mind, though, that these are made of latex. So, if you have a latex allergy, silicone or cloth finger cots are a better choice. Protecting Tape Roll

This bowling tape is specifically designed to protect against nail injury while bowling. Just wrap the tips of your fingers in a few layers of tape to keep them intact throughout your bowling session. 

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Whether you have stiletto acrylics or a fresh gel set, you can enjoy a game of bowling just like everybody else. Just be sure to use the nail-saving measures mentioned in this article to ward off nail damage. We hope this article has helped you do just that and wish you luck with your nails and your game!