Cranker, Tweener or Stroker – Bowling Form Differences

cranker, tweener or stroker styleBowling is an amazing game. It brings out a talent in us, which we did not even know existed before! This amazing game can be played just to kill time, or for various competitive reasons between friends and family members. 

Whatever your case may be, we are sure you have your very own style of bowling. Maybe you like to go all hard when you play, or maybe you like to start off slow and then speed your way up the rounds. 

Like we mentioned before, not only does bowling bring out our hidden talents, but it also makes us discover various skills buried deep inside of us. This also includes specific styles for bowling. 

Different people prefer playing with different bowling forms. Some of the most common bowing styles used for bowling are known as the cranker, the tweener and the stroker. Full roller style is also seen but it is not so common. These are quite easy to implement, but can seriously change the entire outlook of a bowling game if implemented correctly. 

These different styles also affect the rev rates and speeds of a bowling ball. In turn, it also affects a player’s game-play. 

We know all these terminologies can be quite confusing to a lot of people. That is why we are going to briefly discuss these three specific bowling styles and what makes them so great. 

By the end of this article, we hope you will have profound knowledge regarding bowling and that the knowledge gained will help you hone your already evident bowling style(s) and skills. 

What is a Cranker Style?

The cranker style is used mostly by players who seek a competitive or aggressive bowling setting. This style works to generate a lot of power in the bowling ball. Hence, you will notice the most power, speed, and rotation when implementing this bowling style. 

In order to implement the cranker style when bowling,  stand to the very left of the lane. Afterward, hook your bowling ball to the pins with as much power and speed that you can muster. 

The cranker style provides an amazing amount of revolutions when played out right. The hook potential gained with the cranker style is impressive as heck! Be sure to get the entry angle right, though, as this style leaves very little room for tweaking the measurements when played out. 

On some occasions, the cranker style proves to be so powerful that it actually splits and creates a massive width in between. It can be seriously hard to convert the style back to what it was at the very beginning of the round.

What is Tweener Style?

Tweener style actually implements techniques taken from the cranker style and the stroker style. Tweener style can actually be the most versatile style when it comes to bowling. The tweener style allows a player to adjust their wrist positioning as much as they want, as they can go for a high backswing or even a low backswing. This allows a bowler to choose whichever style they want to go with, and finally create a blast at the end of the line!

Due to its versatility, a lot of people actually opt for the tweener style as their main game-play. This is because it can be really hard to predict which technique a tweener might use next. You could easily bluff your opponent with a cranker method but quickly change it up to a stroker technique right before you make that shot. But many bowlers with tweener style are confused about which kind of versatile balls fit them. I have reviewed the best bowling ball reviews for them. 

What is a Stroker Style?

 Stroker style is known to be full of finesse and grace. The stroker is an expert when it comes to exhibiting flamboyancy. Strokers do not really cup their wrists at all while showing low to medium arm swing when playing. Strokers also have a low rev rate when playing. The game-play of the stroker style almost looks surreal and effortless. 

This style is widely used for casual hangouts in order to exhibit coolness and expertise. However, some players also prefer implementing this style on competitive grounds. If you are stroker choose the bowling ball reviewed for you.

What is called Power Stroker?

Can you guess anything? Yes, the name itself express everything. Power stroking is the act of putting a lot of force into the bowling ball that often causes it to flare out when it reaches the pins. Power players that bowl this way are often known as power players simply because they have a lot of power in their arms when they throw.

When a player has a rev rate between 300 and 370 but has more control and more power they are usually called a “power stroker”. Tweeners, on the other hand, are players that don’t always have great form or control. They’re talented, but not powerful enough to consistently control the ball.

Difference between cranker, tweener and stroker

The differences between the cranker, tweener, and stroker styles are not too hard to notice at all. In fact, the specific set of gestures and arm swings make the differences completely obvious even to a first-timer. 

A cranker makes use of a lot of wrist cupping when playing. The cranker style also implements a high rev rate when throwing the bowling ball, as the style needs to generate a lot of power and hook potential. This type of style is mainly played out on a heavy oiled lane as the slipperiness of the lane will allow the bowler to achieve a high hook potential and speed, as well as enhanced revolutions per mile. 

On the other hand, tweener style is known to be a combination of the cranker style and the stroker style. Hence, a lot of people assume this style does not have its very own techniques. But that is completely wrong. Sure it does imitate these other two styles a lot, but you can still distinguish a tweener from a stroker or cranker judging by its own set of unique gestures. 

For starters, the tweener style does make use of the cranker wrist cupping, but with a low to medium movement. Hence, the rev rate of a tweener is not as high as a cranker, but it is not as slow as a stroker. You can say it quite in-between those two styles. However, the ball speed is very high for this style.

The stroker style is the easiest one to decipher, as it is full of grace and finesse. A lot of players have gone out to state that this amazing style requires almost zero effort when playing. And we truly believe them, as the style really does exhibit features that prove that statement!

With almost zero wrist cupping and an average rev rate when playing, the stroker style is perfect for bowling casually with friends and family. One of the easiest ways to spot a stroker is through its unique stance. A stroker will always have their shoulders squared and around the foul line. They will be standing straight as well. The result is smooth and graceful.

Bowling Ball Layout

It is necessary to implement the right bowling ball layout whenever playing, as it will allow you to get the best result out of your shot. 

However, different bowling styles come with different bowling ball layouts. A lot of people (especially first-timers) do not really know of this as it is something you learn while you gain more experience regarding the game. 

But if you stuck around all this time wanting to get a head-start into the game, then this is the right place to be! Let us take a quick look at some of the specific bowling ball layouts for each bowling style. 

However, let us note down some basic guidelines regarding bowling ball layouts at first. 

The difference of the PAP (which is the positive access point) to the pin of your bowling ball will always measure the flare potential that a specific bowling ball comes with. 

It is always a good idea to remember that the closer the pin of the bowling ball is to the VAL (vertical access line), the quicker the transition to the breakpoint is going to be.

 Similarly, if the pin is further away from the vertical access line, you can expect the transition to the breakpoint of the bowling ball to be slower. 

Up next, we will have a mass bias, also known as the PSA. The transition from the PSA to the PAP will determine the migration path of the bowling ball. Alongside that, the distance of the PAP from the pin of the bowling ball will also control the ball’s flare potential. 

Cranker’s bowling ball layout

The PAP rate of a bowling ball can vary depending on the bowling style. For the cranker, the PAP is around 5 to 6 inches. Hence, the ball can generate a lot of power. Once you do the measurements right, you can easily deduce that the best layout for a cranker style is around 4 by ½ inches. 

Tweener’s bowling ball layout

On the other hand, the PAP for tweener style is around 4 inches, which is neither too aggressive nor too soft. Hence, the bowling ball layout for tweener style is approximately 3 by 3/8 inches.

Stroker’s bowling ball layout

Lastly, the PAP for stroker style is around 3 inches, hence it is quite average. The bowling layout for this style is approximately 4 inches only. 


Lane conditions also affect your bowling style. If you still haven’t discovered your own bowling style yet, don’t lose hope. There’s plenty of time to find out more about this amazing game and how you can twist it to your advantage. If you find out your style, you can easily cope up with every bowling ball. Till then, practice as much as you can and have a great time playing!


I’m an aspiring bowler with an immense love for bowling. I started playing the game at a very early age and it’s been an integral part of my life ever since.

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