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Stroker, Cranker, and Tweener in Bowling Styles

Stroker Cranker and Tweener in Bowling Styles - Bowlingview

Dive into the dynamic world of ten-pin bowling to discover the contrasting styles of stroker, cranker, and tweener bowlers. As you perfect your bowling form, understanding these different styles can improve your game, adding power and finesse to your delivery.

This article takes an in-depth look at these styles, demystifying the terms and providing practical tips to enhance your performance.

The World of Ten-Pin Bowling

The unique and diverse style of bowlers in ten-pin bowling is one of the sport’s most captivating aspects. From strokers, crankers, to tweeners, each style has its unique form of bowling, and understanding these variations is critical to elevate your bowling game.

What is a Stroker in Bowling?

Strokers are known for their finesse and accuracy. A stroker bowler utilizes a smooth, pendulum-like arm swing and a low backswing.

They usually have a lower rev rate, less than 300 RPM, and rely on their strategic ball placement and hook control rather than sheer speed and power. Famous strokers like Norm Duke and Walter Ray Williams have successfully used the stroker style to their advantage.

The Style of a Cranker Bowler

In contrast, crankers are known as power players. A cranker in bowling employs a high backswing and a deeply cupped wrist position to impart a high rev rate, typically over 370 RPM, on the bowling ball.

This high rev rate results in a significant hook, which allows the ball to travel down the side of the lane before hooking back toward the pocket. Notable cranker bowlers include Pete Weber and Jason Belmonte.

Introduction to Tweener Bowling Style

Then, we have the tweeners, who, as their name suggests, are somewhere in between a cranker and a stroker. A tweener bowler employs a medium to high backswing and a semi-cupped wrist, producing rev rates between 300 and 370 RPM.

This style combines the power of crankers with the finesse of strokers, making it an adaptable and balanced bowling form.

What Makes Tweeners Unique?

The tweener style is a blend of the controlled delivery of a stroker and the power and speed of a cranker. This unique style enables tweeners to adjust their delivery style depending on the bowling conditions and their competition.

For many bowlers, the tweener delivery provides an appealing middle ground between power and precision.

Power Strokers: The Best of Both Worlds?

Now, if a bowler exhibits characteristics of a stroker but with a higher rev rate, they are usually called a “power stroker.” These bowlers, like David Ozio, possess the finesse of strokers but can impart more revs on their ball, approaching the 300 to 370 RPM range, bringing a dynamic edge to their game.

The Battle of the Styles: Stroker vs. Cranker vs. Tweener

Each of these styles has its strengths and weaknesses. Strokers’ accuracy makes them consistent, while crankers’ power makes them high scorers and tweeners’ adaptability gives them flexibility. The choice between a stroker, cranker, and tweener style in bowling often comes down to a bowler’s physical attributes and preferred style of play.

How to Choose Your Bowling Style

Choosing the right style is a matter of comfort, natural ability, and personal preference. Some bowlers prefer the power and high ball revs associated with the cranker style, while others might prefer the finesse and control of the stroker technique. Others may find the versatility of the tweener style most suitable.

Recognizing Your Bowling Form: Stroker, Cranker, or Tweener?

Identifying your style is crucial in enhancing your performance. You might find that you lean towards the stroker style if you have a smooth, controlled swing and like to place the ball accurately with a modest axis rotation.

If you prefer hooking the ball with a high back swing and producing a lot of revs, then you may align more with the cranker style. If you find yourself somewhere in between, then you might be a tweener.

Impact on Bowling Ball Selection

Your bowling style plays a significant role in selecting the right bowling ball. Strokers might opt for balls that offer control and consistency, while crankers often favor balls designed for maximum hook and power. Tweeners, with their versatile style, might choose a ball that provides a balance of control and hook potential.

In Summary

  • Bowling styles, including strokers, crankers, and tweeners, significantly impact a bowler’s performance.
  • Strokers emphasize control and precision, with a low rev rate and smooth delivery.
  • Crankers utilize a high backswing and a deeply cupped wrist to produce a high rev rate and significant hook.
  • Tweeners blend the characteristics of strokers and crankers, offering flexibility and adaptability.
  • Your bowling style should influence the choice of bowling ball, optimizing performance for your unique style.


As you continue your journey in the world of bowling, understanding these styles can offer valuable insights to enhance your game and elevate your performance on the lane.

Whether you’re a stroker, cranker, or tweener, mastering your style and adapting to the conditions can lead you to consistent, high-scoring games.


This FAQ section provides information about the different types of bowling styles and how they can influence the best ball choice for bowlers.

A: The essential difference between the stroker and cranker styles lies in the ball speed, the rotation, and the overall approach to the throw.

Stroker-style bowlers approach the foul line with closed shoulders and release the ball smoothly while maintaining balance.

They generally produce less hook than other styles. On the other hand, cranker-style bowlers have high ball speed with a high rev rate, often above 300rpm.

Crankers use a style that involves opening their shoulders to the foul line and exerting more power, thus producing more hook.

A: One of the most famous power strokers is Dick Weber. He was known for his smooth conventional bowling form and accuracy. Another notable power stroker is Pete Weber, son of Dick Weber, who is considered a stroker at times but is more accurately usually called a “power stroker”.

A: In the cranker style, bowlers usually have a higher backswing and a more aggressive release. The objective for a cranker is to get the ball spinning at a high revolution rate, usually between 300 and 600 rpm.

They frequently use the entire approach, generating momentum to obtain the ball speed and the strong hook of a cranker.

A: Indeed, the term “tweener” comes from “in-between” and applies to bowlers whose style is somewhere between a cranker and a stroker, hence the name. Tweeners possess the higher ball speeds of the cranker with a more moderate hook like a stroker.

They’re essentially similar to crankers but with their approach, release, and rev rates more moderate, almost like a mix of stroker and cranker styles.

A: Deciding on a style of bowling often comes down to physical strength, flexibility, and personal comfort. The stroker style usually suits those with controlled, smooth movements seeking accuracy.

Cranker style suits players able to generate high ball speed and maintain open shoulders, despite the physical demands. The tweener style is for those who fall in between, with characteristics of both stroker or cranker styles.


A: While fundamentally, bowlers can try to use any style, it takes time to master the techniques of each type of bowling style.

Bowling style isn’t just about looking different from another; it’s about suitability, comfort, and maximizing performance. So, a bowler’s style generally becomes a defining characteristic of their game.


A: Conventional bowling form refers to the traditional approach and delivery of the bowling ball, where the bowler keeps their swing inline with their target line. It’s the form often used by stroker-style bowlers due to its emphasis on accuracy over raw power.

It is less commonly seen among cranker style bowlers, who use more exuberant techniques to generate power and revs.

A: The tweener style is basically a hybrid of the stroker and cranker styles. Tweeners have the hand behind the ball just like a stroker, but at the point of release, they rip through, producing more revs, similar to crankers.

They also usually have a somewhat higher backswing, like crankers, and a release that is less flamboyant than that of a cranker but more dynamic than a stroker.

A: The type of bowling style directly impacts the choice of a bowling ball. For example, crankers, who have a high rev rate, usually prefer balls with lower differential and lower hook potential to manage the excessive hook.

Strokers, who generate few revs, would favor high differential balls to help hook the ball back to the pocket. Tweeners usually choose somewhere in-between, depending on their specific style leaning more towards a stroker or cranker.

A: A spinner, often seen in Asian countries, is a type of bowler who imparts a lot of revolutions onto the ball but in a way that causes it to spin like a top.

Though its purpose is quite different from the other conventional styles, it’s considered by many a separate style due to its unique approach. The spinning motion often helps to minimize the impact of lane conditions, hence why it’s popular in heavily-oiled bowling lanes.