Close this search box.

How To Apply Bowling Thumb Tape?

How To Apply Bowling Thumb Tape - Bowlingview

Bowling, with its precise and intricate techniques, requires not only skill but also the right gear to optimize performance. One such essential piece of equipment is bowling thumb tape.

This article delves into the crucial role thumb tape plays in enhancing your bowling performance, offering a comprehensive guide on its application and maintenance.

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a budding enthusiast, understanding the nuances of using and caring for your thumb tape can significantly elevate your game. Read on to unravel the impact of thumb tape on your bowling experience and learn how to extend its lifespan.

Essential Materials for Proper Application of Bowling Thumb Tape

To apply thumb tape effectively in your bowling ball, you’ll need to gather a few vital items:

  1. Bowling Thumb Tape: This is the essential item you will need. Bowling thumb tape is specially designed to protect your thumb and enhance your grip on the bowling ball. It comes in different textures and thicknesses, so choose one that suits your preference.
  2. Scissors: A good pair of scissors is necessary for cutting the tape to the correct size and shape as per your thumb hole and personal comfort.
  3. Cleaning Cloth: A dry, clean cloth is needed to wipe the thumb hole of any dust or dirt before applying the tape.
  4. Alcohol Wipes: Alcohol wipes are useful for further cleaning the thumb hole for better adhesion of the tape.

Remember, having the right materials on hand will make the process of applying the tape much smoother and more effective.

Step-by-Step Guide to Applying Bowling Thumb Tape

In this step-by-step guide, we will walk you through the process of applying bowling thumb tape, helping you achieve a perfect fit that can improve your control and increase your comfort during play. Get ready to upgrade your bowling game with these expert tips and tricks.

Step 1: Cleaning the thumb hole

Step 1 in applying bowling thumb tape involves meticulously cleaning the thumb hole. The purpose of this step is to ensure that the hole is free from any dust, dirt, or oil that might interfere with the adhesion of the tape.

Start by using a clean, dry cloth to wipe away any visible dirt or dust. Next, use an alcohol wipe to further enhance the level of cleanliness. The alcohol wipe serves to remove any residual oil or grime and also disinfects the surface.

This not only allows the tape to adhere better but also promotes a healthier and cleaner playing environment. Care must be taken to allow the alcohol to dry completely before proceeding to the next step.

Step 2: Getting the right size of tape

The second step in applying bowling thumb tape is to procure the correct size of tape. It’s essential to select the right width and length that best fits the dimensions of the thumb hole and the size of your thumb. Ideally, the tape should not overlap within the hole or extend beyond its edges.

To achieve this, you may need to cut the tape to the appropriate size. Using a ruler can be helpful in this process to provide precise measurements. Remember, the goal is to enhance your grip and control without causing discomfort or restricting movement.

Step 3: Positioning the tape

In the third step, you’ll need to position the tape accurately. Proper tape positioning is crucial for optimal comfort and efficacy.

The tape should be placed smoothly along the contour of the thumb hole, ensuring it matches the angle at which your thumb naturally enters and leaves the hole during your bowling motion.

Avoid any wrinkles or air bubbles, as these can cause discomfort and undermine the tape’s performance. Always remember, the tape’s purpose is to improve your grip and consistency, so it should be positioned in a manner that complements your unique bowling style.

Step 4: Applying the tape

Step 4 involves the actual application of the tape. Start by peeling back a small portion of the tape’s backing and carefully align the tape with the predetermined position in the thumb hole.

Gradually peel off the remaining backing as you press the tape into place, taking care to maintain proper alignment.

It’s best to apply the tape from one end to the other, rather than attempting to apply it all at once. This methodical approach helps to prevent the formation of wrinkles and air bubbles. After the tape is in position, apply firm pressure to ensure it adheres securely to the surface of the thumb hole.

Step 5: Smoothing out the tape

Step 5 is all about smoothing out the tape. Once you’ve ensured that your tape is perfectly aligned and firmly stuck in place, it’s time to smooth it out. Starting from one end, press down on the tape and slide your thumb along its length, applying even pressure throughout.

The goal is to eliminate any potential wrinkles or air bubbles that could disrupt your bowling grip. This step is crucial as a smooth, wrinkle-free tape not only ensures a comfortable fit but also contributes to consistent performance during your game.

Remember, the effectiveness of the tape lies in its seamless integration into your thumb hole, so taking the time to smooth it out is well worthwhile.

I highly recommend watching this video>

Tips and Tricks for Perfect Tape Application

To achieve the best fit and optimal comfort with your thumb tape, consider the following suggestions:

  1. Choose the right tape: Not all tapes are created equal. Some are thicker, offering more cushioning; others are smoother or rougher, depending on your preference. Ensure the tape you choose suits your comfort level and bowling style.
  2. Test the fit: Before applying the tape, test the fit. Insert your thumb into the hole to see how it feels. If it’s too tight, you may need to adjust the size or position of the tape.
  3. Clean the hole: Before applying the tape, make sure the thumb hole is clean. Any dust or debris can interfere with the adhesive, reducing the tape’s effectiveness.
  4. Apply slowly: When applying the tape, do so slowly and methodically to prevent air bubbles or wrinkles. Start from one end and gradually peel off the backing as you go.
  5. Replace often: Finally, remember to replace the tape regularly. Over time, the adhesive can wear down, which can affect your grip and throwing consistency. It’s better to replace the tape more often for best performance.

Remember, the key to a perfect fit and optimal comfort is patience and precision. Take the time to apply the tape correctly, and your bowling game will thank you.

Maintaining Your Bowling Thumb Tape

Maintaining your bowling thumb tape is essential to ensure its longevity and sustained effectiveness. Follow these steps to take care of your thumb tape:

  1. Clean Regularly: Clean the surface of the tape frequently to remove any accumulated oils or dirt. You can use mild soap and warm water. Do not scrub too hard, as it may damage the tape’s texture.
  2. Dry Properly: After cleaning, let the tape dry naturally. Avoid exposing it to direct sunlight or heat, as it may cause the tape to shrink or the adhesive to deteriorate.
  3. Store Correctly: Store the tape in a cool, dry place. Extreme temperatures or moisture can affect the adhesive quality.
  4. Check for Wear: Regularly inspect the tape for signs of wear and tear. If the tape is fraying or the adhesive is losing its grip, it’s time to replace it.

Remember, proper care and maintenance can significantly extend the life of your thumb tape, ensuring a consistent and comfortable grip.


In conclusion, the application and maintenance of bowling thumb tape play a crucial role in optimizing your bowling performance. When correctly used, thumb tape can vastly improve grip, enhance throwing consistency, and increase comfort during play.

Regular cleaning and inspection of your thumb tape not only prolong its lifespan but also ensure its sustained effectiveness. Venturing into the world of bowling tape might seem daunting at first, but with patience and precision, the benefits can be remarkably rewarding.

So, why not give it a try? Embark on this journey and experience the difference that thumb tape can make in your bowling game.


Below are some of the frequently asked questions about thumb tape in bowling.

These questions and their answers aim to provide additional information, helping you make an informed decision about the use, maintenance, and purchase of thumb tape.

To apply bowling thumb tape, start by cleaning the inside of your thumbhole with a bowling ball cleaner or rubbing alcohol.

Then, take a piece of tape and remove the backing to expose the adhesive side. Place the tape on the side of your thumb that you want to add extra grip or protection to. Repeat this process until you have applied the desired amount of tape.

Thumb tape is used in bowling to provide extra grip and protection for the thumb. It can help bowlers maintain a consistent release and prevent the thumb from swelling or blistering during play.

Thumb tape can improve your bowling game by providing added grip and control. It can help you achieve a more consistent release, resulting in better accuracy and increased pin carry.

It is not recommended to use regular tape, such as masking tape or duct tape, in your thumbhole. Bowling thumb tape is specifically designed for the purpose and provides better grip and protection.

The size of thumb tape to use depends on personal preference and the fit of your thumbhole.

You can start with a pre-cut tape of medium thickness and adjust accordingly. Consult with a pro shop professional for expert guidance.

Yes, you can combine different types of thumb tape to achieve the desired grip and feel. Some bowlers prefer using a combination of smooth and textured tape for added control.

Thumb tape should be replaced whenever it starts to lose its adhesive properties or becomes damaged. It is recommended to inspect and replace the tape regularly to ensure optimal performance.

To remove thumb tape, gently peel it off from the thumbhole. If there is any residue left, you can use a bowling ball cleaner or rubbing alcohol to clean it off.

Thumb tape is specifically designed for the thumbhole and may not provide the same level of grip and protection when used in other finger holes. It is recommended to use finger tapes for the finger holes.

Thumb tape can be purchased at bowling pro shops, sporting goods stores, or online bowling retailers.

Some popular brands include BowlerX, Roto Grip, and the National Bowling Academy.