Bowling is a high-impact sport that places quite a lot of strain on your hand, wrist, and fingers.
Depending on your ability as a bowler, the balls you use each weigh between 6-16 pounds. And after hours of daily practice with different techniques to showcase your sport, your joints could suffer from the ball weight, throwing the ball, and other techniques you need to employ. If you’re a lefty, the best left handed bowling wrist brace helps you look after your joint health and bowl better.
With so many options available, how do you know what is the best wrist brace for bowling, and are there even options for left handed people?
We’ve got you. We dive deep into why you need a wrist guard, the different kinds of braces, and what considerations to keep in mind when you buy a bowling wrist guard. Plus, we’ve done the research and testing for you, so here are our bowling wrist support reviews!
Table of Contents
- 1 In a Hurry? Here Are Our Picks for Left Hand Bowling Wrist Support…
- 2 Why Do I Need A Bowling Wrist Brace Or Guard?
- 3 What Are The Different Types Of Bowling Wrist Support?
- 4 Best Left Hand Bowling Wrist Support
- 5 Best Bowling Wrist Support Buying Guide
- 6 FAQs
In a Hurry? Here Are Our Picks for Left Hand Bowling Wrist Support…
Mongoose Optimum Bowling Wrist Band Support Brace
- Forms to your hand and wrist
- An optimum combination of a lifter and equalizer
- Wedge kit included
Storm Xtra-Hook Wrist Support
- Extended index finger support to increase axis rotation
- Wrist and hand positioning for added lift
BEST BUDGET PICK
Bowlingball.com Kool Kontrol Bowling Wrist Positioner
- 3 good Velcro straps
- Breathable fabric
- Bendable and removable metal supports
Why Do I Need A Bowling Wrist Brace Or Guard?
If you think you are too young for a wrist brace, think again. It’s a common aid among all bowlers, even seasoned pros.
Since bowling is high-impact on your hands and wrists, it affects your joints. The purpose of a bowling wrist brace or guard is to support your wrist. The brace helps prevent injuries and it helps you manage old injuries. The wrist guard can even just improve your confidence, knowing your wrist is supported during practice or competition.
Another reason bowlers opt for a wrist brace is to ensure their wrist is in the right position when they need to release the ball. At the release point (the moment you release the ball), the brace keeps your wrist firm when you are at the bottom of the swing. This improves your form and your throw will be consistent, and who doesn’t want that?
So if you are wondering whether you need a bowling wrist support, it is essential if you have weak wrists, are currently experiencing pain in your wrist (especially when bowling), or recovering from an injury to your hand, forearm, or wrist.
What Are Common Bowling Wrist Injuries?
There are a few wrist injuries bowlers can suffer from. They are:
- Wrist Tendonitis
Wrist tendonitis is a common injury among bowlers. It is characterized by inflammation of the tendons and occurs when bowlers practice a lot. With repeatedly picking up, carrying, throwing, releasing, and more, pressure and stress are placed on the wrist, as well as other body parts like the shoulder, elbow, knee, back, and hip.
Those most at risk for wrist tendonitis are people over 50 and those with health issues, like rheumatoid arthritis.
- Wrist Sprain
Spraining your wrist is another common injury when bowling. You can easily sprain your wrist if you move your wrist in the wrong direction. A wrist sprain can also happen if you are not exercising proper form while bowling, or you flex or bend your wrist strangely.
If you have sprained your wrist, ice it immediately and repeatedly for the next few days to reduce swelling. Also, elevate your wrist and take anti-inflammatory medication to help you deal with the pain and to help with the swelling. Consult with your medical care professional to make sure the injury is simply a sprain and not more serious.
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome
While this isn’t a medical issue common for bowlers, it is possible to develop carpal tunnel syndrome if you bowl intensely or for a long time.
Carpal tunnel syndrome develops when the muscles in your forearms are severely strained, so they start tingling and burning whenever you use the muscles. There will be a tight pull in your fingers and forearms, and you’ll feel this not just when bowling but also when doing routine activities like picking up your cup of tea. Your middle and index fingers and the thumb of your bowling hand can also become numb.
Placing ice to relieve the inflammation helps, but this is a short-term solution. Treatment from a medical professional is strongly recommended.
How is a Bowling Wrist Brace Different from a Brace for General Wrist Injuries?
A bowling wrist brace keeps your wrist in the right position and eliminates the chances of it awkwardly bending or flexing. If you have a good bowling guard, then your wrist is held in position at the bottom of your swing. This enables you to correctly release the bowling ball, and you can rotate the ball with more torque and efficiency.
Bowling wrist supports feature metal support inserts to keep your wrist in place throughout the throw and release point. These braces are heavy-duty, made specifically for bowling, and aren’t padded.
In comparison, a general wrist brace is recommended for people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, someone who is recovering from surgery, or a person who sustained a mild injury to their wrist. A general brace keeps your wrist in a neutral position.
They generally have padded side splints or memory foam padding for support and comfort, and these braces limit moving your wrist outside your range of motion. Some general braces also feature a metal spoon to stabilize your wrist.
Do I Need A Different Bowling Wrist Brace For Left Handers?
What bowling wrist brace you buy depends on the kind of brace. Some manufacturers make interchangeable wrist braces for bowling that fit a right handed and a left handed person equally well. Others make wrist supports specifically for the hand you bowl with.
What Are The Different Types Of Bowling Wrist Support?
There are 4 different kinds of bowling wrist supports:
Bowling Wrist Brace
The main purpose of the bowling wrist brace is to ensure your wrist doesn’t move in an awkward position or hinge backward before the release point. It also prevents your fingers from exiting the ball holes simultaneously or before the thumb.
Bowling Wrist Guard
A bowling wrist guard typically has an aluminum or other metal support. The purpose of this is to improve your form and reduce pain.
Bowling Wrist Positioner
Meant to improve your bowling technique, a bowling wrist positioner consistently guides your wrist to be in the right position, which is at a lower position at the release point. The advantage of a positioner is that your technique is better, as is the accuracy of your aim.
Bowling Thumb and Finger Brace
A bowling thumb and finger brace protects your joints and alleviates pain to help you bowl better. These braces are intended for those suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, joint injuries, tendinitis, or arthritis.
Best Left Hand Bowling Wrist Support
Bowlingball.com Kool Kontrol Bowling Wrist Positioner
The Bowlingball.com Kool Kontrol Bowling Wrist Positioner is available in 4 sizes (small to x-large) and you can choose the orientation, depending on whether you bowl with your left or right hand. The wrist positioner even has a sizing guide, so can you choose the right size for the most comfortable fit.
Kool Kontrol is made from a unique blend of breathable material, so any sweat will evaporate, and thus, your game won’t be compromised. The positioner also offers great support so your wrist will stay in the proper position as you release the bowling ball. Comfort is also ensured with the semi-bendable metal frame, so you can bend the frame to find the best position.
What’s great about the wrist positioner is that the metal supports are removable, so you can start out with the supports and remove them the more you practice and keep your wrist in the right position. For a secure fit, the positioner makes use of three hook and loop Velcro straps.
If you want an adjustable, breathable, durable bowling wrist positioner, then the Kool Kontrol is ideal.
Helps you to consistently bowl better with an effective release.
Good Velcro straps.
Semi-bendable metal frame so you can find the position that works for you.
Breathable and durable.
Some customers say the metal frame bends out of the pre-shaped position fairly easily, and they need to readjust it every time.
The sizing may be a bit off as some reviewers had to order 1-2 sizes bigger.
No finger support.
Brunswick Bionic Wrist Positioner
The Brunswick Bionic Wrist Positioner is only available in 4 sizes: small to x-large; however, not all sizes are currently available. The wrist positioner is made from aluminum, so it’s durable and lightweight.
The extended version provides sufficient support right from your fingers to your wrist and helps you develop more power in your ball roll while reducing impact. You can also adjust the wrist positioner to suit your game without taking the brace off, as there are various wrist cup and lateral positions to choose from.
If you play often and need great wrist support for bowling, then this durable wrist positioner can help you increase your average by 10 pins or more.
Great wrist support.
Adjustable with the wrist cup and lateral positions.
Ideal for serious bowlers.
Comes in blue only.
Reviewers say it takes a while to get used to the wrist positioner while others couldn’t figure out how to use it.
A pricey option but worth it.
Storm Xtra-Hook Wrist Support
Available in medium and large sizes, the Storm Xtra-Hook Wrist Support comes in two hand orientations. So if you bowl with your left hand, choose the left hand orientation, and choose right if you bowl with your right hand.
The wrist support features an extended index finger support. The purpose of this is to increase your axis rotation for hooks and spins. The support stabilizes your wrist and hand and keeps them in the right position.
With Velcro straps, the wrist support can be easily adjusted so you can find a comfortable fit, which makes it good for beginners and intermediate players. It’s also lightweight and doesn’t cover too much of your hand, so the ventilation is good too.
If you want the best bowling wrist support for beginners that has an extended index finger support and is durable and adjustable, then Storm Xtra Hook is a great buy.
Keeps your wrist in the same position, so your throw and follow-through are consistent.
Index finger support helps with holding the ball and increasing axis rotation.
Easy to adjust.
Doesn’t work for reverse bowlers.
Palm strap gets in the way if you are a no-thumbs bowler.
The Velcro doesn’t work well.
Brunswick Shot Repeater X Positioner
The Brunswick Shot Repeater X Positioner features front and back metal supports; this ensures your wrist stays locked in place throughout your game of bowling. This wrist positioner is designed to improve the repeatability of your shots but it is lightweight, so it won’t feel uncomfortable for extended periods of play.
The lightweight fabric of the positioner is moisture-absorbing so you don’t need to worry about sweating and how this will negatively impact your game. The three-strap design ensures you can find a comfortable fit, and the extended version provides more support.
The Brunswick Shot Repeater is great for a lightweight wrist support that promotes throwing consistency while also helping to prevent minor pains that come from repetitive action.
Improves your shot repeating ability.
Keeps your wrist in the right position, especially with the metal inserts.
Lightweight fabric absorbs moisture.
Easy to take off.
Only available in a small size.
A defective piece may have the metal supports poking into the hand.
Mongoose Optimum Bowling Wrist Band Support Brace
The Mongoose Optimum Bowling Wrist Band Support Brace is made in the USA and comes in 3 color options: black, camo (army camouflage green), and light pink. It is also available in 3 sizes, from small to large. The small fits a wrist circumference of 6.5 inches and smaller, the medium is for a wrist circumference of 6.5-7 inches, while the large is ideal for a wrist with a circumference of 7.25-8.25 inches.
In this Optimum style, the Lifter and Equalizer wrist support braces from Mongoose have been combined to give you the best of both worlds. This brace supports your wrist and fingers, ensuring more stability. However, you can choose to not use the strap that goes under the fingers if you want your fingers to do most of the work.
The material the wrist support is made from is breathable and lightweight. While it covers a part of your forearm, you won’t notice this since the wrist brace is designed to be comfortable and form to your hand after a short break in period. The Velcro straps help you achieve the right fit.
For great support that helps your fingers work as you bowl, the Mongoose Optimum is a good choice, even though it is on the pricier side.
Durable and easy to use.
Great support for your wrist while encouraging your fingers to work.
Helps you achieve a better roll and lift.
Comes with a wedge kit.
It covers most of your hand and part of your forearm.
Velcro wears out easily.
Robby’s Cool Max Black Wrist Positioner
Really an orthopedic wrist brace, Robby’s Cool Max Black Wrist Positioner comes in left and right hand orientations, as well as 4 sizes (small to x-large), although this is only a medium. Here’s a petite one.
The Cool Max is made from fast-drying material, so sweat shouldn’t be on your worry-about list while you practice and bowl.
There is a space for your thumb; however, this won’t prohibit thumb movement while you practice your bowling techniques. The metal inserts on the palm side provide adequate wrist support and keep your wrist in the right position.
If sweaty hands are your main concern during your bowling game or you’re looking for a bowling brace for carpal tunnel, then Robby’s Cool Max will keep your hands dry so you can focus on bowling.
Wicks moisture away.
Provides good wrist support while the thumb has full maneuverability.
Comfortable fit with the adjustable Velcro attachments.
No sizing guide.
Best Bowling Wrist Support Buying Guide
To buy the best left handed bowling wrist brace or support for your bowling needs, keep these aspects in mind:
Comfort and Breathability
Your bowling wrist support should be comfortable. After all, you don’t want to wear something that hurts or pinches or just feels yucky on your wrist while you are practicing or worse, in the midst of a bowling competition. An uncomfortable brace will throw you off your game.
What’s more, if you are suffering from an injury, a brace that isn’t comfortable can make your injury worse. So in terms of comfort, the brace should fit you “like a glove” – it should just feel natural.
You want to ensure the material your wrist brace is made of is a comfortable material that is also breathable or has an opening for air to ventilate. As you play, and especially on a hot day, your wrist and hand will sweat, and this can cause you to lose grip on your bowling ball. It can also compromise your throw and overall performance. As such, the material should be sweat-absorbing.
The materials most bowling wrist supports are made from are leather, neoprene, and nylon. Neoprene and nylon will be more flexible.
Size and Orientation
Part of the comfort factor is the size of the bowling wrist brace. Many wrist braces come in varying sizes: small, medium, and large.
Others have adjustable straps to ensure the brace fits well. There is also sometimes a one-size-fits-all brace; however, there may be additional fabric that needs to be tucked away. This could chafe your skin, so beware.
A quick guide to choosing the right size for your bowling wrist brace:
- Get a tape measure and place the metal tab ending at the crease of your wrist.
- Make a mark when you count 4 inches up your forearm.
- Now, measure the circumference of your forearm at this 4-inch mark.
- Next, measure the circumference of the widest part of your palm.
- With 2 measurements – one for your forearm and one for your hand – you can find the right size of bowling wrist support.
Choose a size small if your forearm measures 8 inches or fewer, and your hand circumference is 7.5 inches or fewer. Opt for a size medium if your hand circumference is bigger than 7.5 inches with a forearm measurement of around 8 inches. Go for a large size if your forearm and hand measurements are in the 9 inch and 8.5 inch category, respectively. However, the size you choose should work for you.
In terms of orientation, some braces are generic, meaning they fit both your left and right hand. Others are specifically designed for the one hand, and this is usually more comfortable.
A bowling wrist support should keep your hand and wrist stable as it will improve your game. Thus, the brace needs to be stable and rigid, or properly aligned.
If you are a newbie to the sport and still learning about the best position for your wrist to be in, then you should opt for a brace that has metal supports down the sides. The metal support provides the best stability.
No one wants to buy a wrist brace, only to have to replace it after a short while. Thus, your bowling wrist support should be durable, withstanding all your practice time and when you compete.
In terms of durability, you need to look at the material the brace is made from as well as the quality of the material. Braces that are aluminum-supported are longer-lasting compared to those that are fabric only. Some adjustment straps made of Velcro also tend to weaken over time.
The higher the durability of the brace, the more expensive it will be, so weigh up your needs.
Mobility and Adjustability
While the wrist support should keep your wrist in alignment, it should also be malleable so you can move your hand and do what you need to while bowling. A good brace offers a balance between mobility and stability.
Adjustable braces ensure that you can exit your thumb from the ball before your other fingers at the point of release. This increases your revs, as it allows for a ball axis rotation.
Other braces are designed so your thumb and fingers exit at the same time, but this results in a longer skidding motion.
A high-quality bowling wrist brace that is mobile, stable, and durable will be more expensive compared to those that don’t offer all of these. However, there are great bowling wrist support options that are budget-friendly and can meet most of your needs.
Why Does My Wrist Hurt From Bowling?
Your wrist may hurt from bowling because you are consistently repeating the same motions over and over again. This puts a lot of pressure on your wrist, hand, and forearm. You can also hurt or sprain your wrist if it moves unnaturally.
What Is The Purpose Of A Bowling Glove?
The purpose of a bowling glove is to support your hand and wrist if you suffer from carpal tunnel syndrome or another injury. A bowling glove is also beneficial to give you a better grip on the ball throughout your shot. If you want to prevent calluses because of the friction between the ball and your hand, a bowling glove’s padding helps with this too.