Carla’s Corner – Edition 12

by Bowls Australia

Dual Commonwealth Games gold medallist and world champion Carla Krizanic continues to share her insights in her 12th column for, as she eagerly awaits the arrival of her second child.

The most common saying on the green is, ‘it’s not the bowl it’s the bowler’.

However, I think it helps to have a bowl that suits you and the conditions you are playing in, meaning it actually is the bowl sometimes.

I wanted to talk about what I think is important when considering the purchase of a new set of bowls.

I’ve seen lots of coaches talk about being able to put two hands around the running surface with thumbs and middle fingers meeting to determine appropriate size, which would mean I’m suited to a size zero bowl, to me that feels like I’m bowling down a ping pong ball.

In my opinion, measuring the size of your hand is really irrelevant, what’s important is that it feels comfortable when you hold it and you feel confident that you can grip the bowl securely.

There are a few things that can influence the comfort of a bowl in your hand; all bowls are slightly different shapes and we all have slightly different ways of gripping or holding onto it, while other factors such as arthritis or injuries can influence the comfort as well.

It is important that before you purchase a new set that you hold the bowl and have a few practice swings to make sure the fit is right, you may have always used a size three but a change in type of bowl may mean a two or four is more comfortable.

The same as when you buy a pair of shoes, you try them on and walk up and down the shop to make sure the fit is right before you fork out the dollars.

All bowls can get close, from double zeros to the big boulders, so don’t feel you have to have a particular size because the club champion has that size, pick what’s best suited to your hand and your specific grip on the bowl.

Grips or no grips? I really don’t think there is a right or wrong to this one.

When I look at the Australian Jackaroos it’s 50-50 with what everyone chooses.

I generally think it’s a personal preference and comes down to what you are familiar with and most importantly what feels comfortable in the hand.

Wide, narrow or in between? Once again there is not right or wrong here and we are spoilt for choice with the number of bowls out there on the market.

Many of the elite bowlers will swap bowls based on the surface they are playing on. Personally, I stick to the same set unless I’m travelling to an extremely different type of green such as what we are trialing on for the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games.

I find my set of bowls are a happy medium and suit all conditions in Australia. I’m one of those superstitious players who feels like I’ve spent all that time at practice teaching my bowls what they are supposed to do so if I change sets I’ll have to teach them all over again.

What I do recommend is trying to borrow a set of the bowls you are interested in buying and get on the green with them to experiment with the draw and different weighted shots to see if you are comfortable with the arc of the bowl.

Happy Bowling.

Carla Krizanic