Bowls

There are literally thousands of options for a bowler to choose from.

Different:

  • Manufacturers

  • Models

  • Sizes

  • Weights

  • Grips

  • Colours

  • Emblems

Just from the combinations above it is quite possible for every bowler in the world to own a unique set of bowls; however the unique identity of a set of bowls is actually provided by a serial number stamped onto every bowl.

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Current Manufacturers

Defunct Manufacturers

Aero – Australia, Sydney

Almark – Australia, Melbourne – used to be in Scotland, Cumbernauld

Drakes Pride – England, Liverpool

Greenmaster – Australia

Henselite – Australia, Melbourne

Thomas Taylor – Scotland, Glasgow

Ayres – London

Boardman - Bolton

Bussey – London

CBBS

Cotswold – Stroud; made by Drakes Pride for Mike Newman

Dunlop – Birmingham; first manufacturers of compound bowls in 1918

Grays - Cambridge

Jacques – London

Lawrie - Glasgow

Lindop - Manchester

Mackay - Edinburgh

Riley – Manchester; bought out by Thomas Taylor in 1999

Slazenger – bought out by Dunlop in 1959

Taylor Rolph - London

Models

Current Popular UK Models

Aero

Defiance, Groove, Maxim, Profile, Quantum, Sonic, Space

Almark

Arrow, Sterling Gold, Sterling Slimline

Drakes Pride

d-tec, Professional, Pro-50, XP,

Henselite

Classic II, Classic II TRL, Tiger, Tiger EVO, Tiger Pro, Tiger TX, Tiger II

Thomas Taylor

Ace, Blaze, International, Lazer, Legacy SL, Lignoid, Vector VS

Non-Current but Recent UK Models

Aero

Revolution

Almark

Clubmaster, Commander, Crusader, Edge, Sterling, Sterling King

Cotswold

Crescent, Goldline, Silverline

Drakes Pride

Advantage, Fineline, Fineline Xtra, Jazz, Professional Plus, Pro-50, Willie Wood

Henselite

ABT-2000, Dreamline, Emerald, Melbourne, Sapphire,

Thomas Taylor

Drakelite, Elite, Solitaire, Spectrum, Vector

Sizes

World Bowls Legal Sizes are 0000 to 7

Sizes 0000, 000, 6, and 7 are hardly ever made in the UK.

Aero will also make a half size to special order.

Size Chart

Weights

The maximum weight of a bowl is 3lbs 8 ozs or 1585 grams. Manufacturers however will only state on the bowl whether it is medium, heavy or extra heavy weight (M,H,or X). Weights of bowl vary by model and size

Weight Chart in Grams

Grips

Essentially two options, gripped or non-gripped. Gripped options vary by manufacturer and model. Current UK trend is for the scooped out grips which are  becoming available by all manufacturers.

Aero Bowls

Aero currently have three options of grips for the UK market. From the left is a Z scooped grip, the middle is a Z grip, and the right hand example is a dimple grip.

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Almark Bowls

Almark keep it simple with either round dimples (on the left) or rectangle dimples.

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Drakes Pride Grip Options
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Or the scooped grip, known as the Channel Grip by Drakes Pride

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Henselite Grips

Henselite also keep it simple with either round dimples (on the left) or spaced round dimples.

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Thomas Taylor Grips

Thomas Taylor offer a rectangular dimple or the scooped grip defined as the Extreme Grip

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Colours

Numerous options available.

Black – which are much cheaper than coloured.

Single Colour – slightly cheaper than multi-coloured.

Multi-coloured – usually a single colour base layer with different coloured spots speckles and streaks. Avoid duo or tri coloured bowls which are arranged across the running surface.

Emblems

Choose from standard list of emblems or

Send your own emblem for copying onto bowls (£30-£50 extra).

Henselite even offer specific wording on a set of bowls (i.e. Club Champion 2022)

Emblems

Bias

The following tparagraphs highlight the differences in bias between the various models.

Tight, Narrow running bowl with little bias.

Aero Defiance, Almark Arrow, Drakes Pride Advantage, Thomas Taylor Lazer and Vector VS

Medium Running Bowl

Aero Profile and Quantum, Almark Sterling Slimline, Drakes Pride d-Tec and Professional and Pro50, Henselite Classic 2 and Tiger 2 and Tiger Pro, Thomas Taylor Ace and Blaze

Wider Drawing Bowl

Aero Groove and Maxim and Sonic, Almark Sterling Gold, Drakes Pride XP, Henselite Classic and Tiger and Tiger Evo, Thomas Taylor International and Legacy and Lignoid.

Date Stamp

All bowls have one or more stamp marks on them denoting the last time that the bowl was tested for compliance with the rules.

Stamps after 2013 are oval shaped whereas those before that may be of a different shape – mainly hexagonal. The information within them is the same though. The WB, BB, IBB stamp at the top or bottom denotes the regulatory authority (World Bowls) and the R denotes a registered trade mark. The number is a year date. Anything from 1985 (85) is legal to be used apart from in National Championships and Internationals when the stamp must be current year or greater. The letter to the left of the stamp indicates who the Tester was:

A – Thomas Taylor

K – Almark UK

N – Henselite

P – Pershore Testing Centre

X – Drakes Pride

Z – Aero Bowls

Over the years 24 letters have been used (I and O excluded).

It is advisable to get bowls checked every ten years at least. Through normal usage individual bowls in a set can adopt different patterns of play. When viewed on a testing table it is quite common for several bowls in a set to finish in different positions on the testing table – if you think your playing performance is erratic maybe it is the bowl.

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