The weight of lawn bowls range from about 1kg per bowl right up to 1.6kg. That might seem like a wide weight-range.
But, in practice, there is a simpler way to think about bowls weights: small, medium and large.
Lawn bowls’ weights relate to lawn bowls size. Lightweight bowls are sizes 00,0 and 1. Medium-weight lawn bowls are Sizes 2 and 3. Heavyweight bowls are Sizes 3 and upward.
How to Find the Right Size Lawn Bowls
Before worrying about the weight of the bowl, find the right size for your hand.
Once you have found the bowl that lies comfortably in your hand, it is likely that the weight will be right for you as well.
Find the right size lawn bowl for your hand by doing the following:
- Wrap both hands around the widest point of the bowl. Your middle fingers should touch each other without undue stretching.
- Hold the bowl in your playing hand with your middle finger roughly on the middle of running edge. Your thumb should be able to rest on the dimples or the thumb line.
- Hold the bowl upside down with your playing hand. It if feels as though it is about to fall out of your hand, it is too large for you.
- Roll the bowls on the green without trying to reach a particular target, such as the jack. If the bowls feel comfortable to roll, then the size and weight is right for.
As always, there are exceptions to the rule. Top players, particularly who bowl indoors at international level, can discern a 100g difference either way in the weight of their bowls. They most likely order bowls to particular specifications from the manufacturer.
What Is the Most Popular Size of Lawn Bowls?
Most players select sizes between Size 1 and Size 3. A good player at social and inter-district level will most likely play with a Size 3 bowl.
But, more and more, a large number of club bowlers are looking for Size 00, Size 0 or Size 1 bowls. The general explanation is: “I am getting older and my bowls are too heavy for me”.
And yet fifty years ago everyone played with enormous bowls. It seems that people’s hands are becoming weaker as manual labour becomes less of a factor in our daily lives. That is why people want to play with lightweight bowls rather than the heavier numbers from 4 upward.
What Lawn Bowls Should I Buy?
Your set of lawn bowls should fit you and should give you years of happy bowling. If resale value is a consideration, then look at buying the most popular makes and sizes.
In South Africa, Drakes Pride and Henselite bowls are the most popular makes. Certain models of Taylors are growing in popularity.
If the set of bowls is in good condition and a popular size (Size 1, 2 or 3) then the resale value should be good. Your set of secondhand bowls will quickly find a buyer.