How to Play on Highway to Hell Oil Pattern?

highway to hell oil pattern“I’m on the highway to hell, on the highway to hell, highway to hell….”. I HAD to start with this song by AC/DC. As terrifying as the name of the pattern sounds, Highway to Hell is actually a pretty fun Sports pattern. But the challenges you are going to face might make you feel overwhelmed. What is the solution to that? Learning the lane, scrutinizing it, and using the right method and the right bowling ball are the ultimate hacks to win on this pattern. That’s why just looking at the pattern sheet isn’t enough. Let me tell you everything one must know about this beautiful bowling oil pattern.

What is the Highway to Hell oil pattern?

The Highway to Hell is one of the oil patterns from the Kegel Navigation Sports Series. This 40 feet oil pattern is pretty challenging. You can’t get on it that easily without breaking a sweat. The Highway to Hell is one of the most controversial oil patterns known by bowlers. On top of that, there are 3 different official versions of this pattern are offered by Kegel.

Highway to Hell V2 (2240), where the Total Volume Oil is 26.45 mL (Forward Oil Total is 12.75 mL and Reverse Oil Total is 13.7 mL). Oil per board on High to Hell V2 pattern is 50 uL. The Total Boards Crossed in this sports pattern are 529 Boards, where the Forward Boards Crossed are 255 boards and Reverse Boards Crossed are 274 boards.

Then, there are are the Highway to Hell (2340) version that which two subcategories. One is the 40 uL version and another is the 50 uL version. The Highway to Hell (40 uL) has 40 uL of oil on each board. Total Volume Oil is 24.72 (Forward Oil Total is 10.76 mL and Reverse Oil Total is 13.96 mL).

The Highway to Hell (50 uL) has 50 uL of oil per board. Total Volume Oil is 25.3 (Forward Oil Total is 10.75 mL and Reverse Oil Total is 14.55 mL). This version is most commonly used in competitions. If you have a game coming, you should know which version they are going to apply on the lanes. However, your playing method shouldn’t be too different as you can see the numbers are very close to each other. So you won’t notice too many differences.

How to Attack the Highway to Hell oil pattern?

I know, we all throw different and experience different ball rolls. But you can always get an estimation of your ball’s exit point using the Kegel accredited Rule of 31. Pattern Length – 31 = number of boards where your ball will exit the oil part. So 40-31= 9. This means you’re going to see the breakpoint somewhere around the 9 board, so set your target board accordingly.

With a nice upper mid-performance bowling ball, you can get full control of the lane. But what you need the most is consistency. You always need to make adjustments to survive on this oil pattern. One of the best ways to do that is to move a little inside as the lane starts to break down. When moving inside, you still gotta maintain the consistency or you will struggle with this oil pattern.

When I played on the Highway to Hell pattern, I found my best line around the 12-14 boards. With the right bowling ball, I had maintained a firm ball speed and a minimal side rotation at the start. What you should always remember when playing on this pattern— stay behind the ball. What it does is it helps minimize the jump off at the end of the oil. This is where most problems arise and forces bowlers to use too much outer angle through the heads. When too much out angle is used, it brings the carry-down into play.

As you can see, the pattern heavily relies on the ball motion. If you use the right tactics you will get lucky on this pattern. So to dominate the fire of hell, use the right piece of bowling equipment. Let’s talk more about that, shall we?

Which bowling ball is best for this pattern?

Do you want to get a decent score on the Highway to Hell oil pattern? Then her me out, you need a bowling ball that suits you best. From a straight to an aggressive ball, you can use anything as long as it fits with your playing strategies. You just gotta adjust your bowling balls like a pro.

Let’s talk about the weight of the balls first. If you’re someone who generally uses a lighter bowling ball, even though you have a high rev rate, you will have to switch to a more aggressive shiny bowling ball with solid covers. The Motiv Rip Cord Velocity is a nice ball to start with. On freshly applied oil you can go for balls that are similar to the Motiv Iron Forge.

I have seen my friend play with the Motiv Cruel C51 bowling ball and she played with that throughout the game and game adjustments whenever needed. However, the ball is now retired, so a similar kind of ball would be the Motiv Pride bowling ball. You can open up the lane nicely with this ball and don’t forget to add a little side rotation with such mid-range balls.

Another standard bowling ball to use on the lane is the Storm Alpha Crux. With this, you gotta keep the axis rotation down and keep the ball in front of you throughout the game. The Brunswick Brute Strength ball will do you good on the Highway to Hell oil pattern. When the lane breaks down, you can go for something like the Ebonite Warrior. The Motiv Revolt Havoc and the Storm Fight are also great to use on this lane. As long as the ball is around the 9-12 boards at the breakpoint, you will do just fine.

Here is some of my favorite bowling balls for the Highway to Hell oil pattern—Storm Phaze II, Storm Idol, Storm Gravity Evolve. Balls with asymmetric core and solid cover will cut through the oil nicely, will not jump off the spot, and move back up before running into the pocket. So what if you just have a plastic or urethane ball? Employing some manipulations will help you out. One thing you can do is throw some shots down the 15 board with a heavy plastic with the intent of playing straight and developing some holding area.


So this is how you rock the Kegel Highway to Hell oil pattern! The pattern will be kind to you as long as you’re paying full concentration on your adjustments. So when you’re practicing, pay some extra attention to that. Good luck!


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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