There are two types of bowling lanes used in all kinds of bowling alleys according to the material used in them. They are either created with wood or synthetic material.
The wood used for the construction of bowling lanes coated with plastic film or urethane which makes their surface softest especially when plastic coated. Conversely, synthetic lanes are harder than wood lanes.
The difference between both the lanes along with many other discrepancies may alter the game of bowling of a bowling player.
Evolution of Bowling Lanes from Wooden to Synthetic
American Bowling Congress was founded in 1895. Before its advent, there was little regularity about bowling lanes dimension and material. After 1895, most of the lanes were manufactured with wood.
Initially, these lanes were coated with shellac. But, later on, lacquer took the place of Shellac because of some safety issues, especially after the 1930s.
In the coming decades, manufacturers started to use urethane to enhance the durability. In the last decade of the twentieth century, usage of synthetic lanes had become a popular trend due to their durable surfaces which required the least maintenance.
Friction of Wooden and Synthetic Bowling Lanes and their Ball Reactions
Traveling off the ball on the bowling lanes depends upon the smoothness and softness of the lanes. The wooden lanes are softer than Synthetic lanes so there is more friction on it as compared to other.
The balls bowled down synthetic lanes engender a snappy ball reaction.
Wooden lanes are less smooth than their Synthetic counterpart which affects the oil utilized on the lanes causing it to remain longer. When the oil becomes dry, synthetic lanes creates more opportunities for the bowler to hook.
Roughness of Wooden and Synthetic Bowling Lanes
The surfaces of the bowling lanes vary according to the material used for its creation. Generally, wooden lanes have more proclivities to be rougher than synthetic lanes.
The bowling lane is worn in visible places significantly, affecting rolling of the bowling ball and its trajectory.
Wear and Tear of Both Bowling Lanes
Wooden lanes require more overhauling and reconditioning. They need more general maintenance than synthetic lanes due to their softness.
The life of synthetic lanes is manifold in terms of wear and tear. A research of United States Bowling Congress (USBC) shows that some synthetic lanes perform better just after installation.