What Does Skid/Flip in Bowling Balls Mean?

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Some players want skid/flip to occur, while others do not like the results it produces for them. Skid/flip can occur because of lane conditions and different properties of the ball.


  • A ball is said to be skidding if it doesn't roll down the lane but rather slides.


  • If the ball flips from one side to the other while heading toward the pins, the ball is flipping.


  • If the ball slides down the lane and rolls from one side to the other when done sliding, the ball is performing a skid/flip.

Ball As a Cause

  • The higher the radius of gyration (RG) of the ball, the more likely it will skid/flip, because it is a higher differential ball. When a ball uses less energy in the front of the lane and more power in the back end, you could cause skid/flip. If you drill the ball to cause flare, you can also cause skid/flip, although this is the least likely of the causes related to the ball.

Lane As a Cause

  • If you play on wet or very dry lane, you are more likely to have a skid/flip occur. If the lane conditions change from wet to dry or vice versa, it can also cause the ball to skid/flip.


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  • Photo Credit vintage bowling image by de_martin from Fotolia.com

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