What You need to Know About PBA Carmen Salvino Oil Pattern?

Understanding Carmen Salvino Oil Pattern

Known as the “PBA’s Original Showman”, Carmen Salvino has 17 PBA Tour titles. Besides his career in professional bowling, Carmen Salvino is also an author, an inventor, a ball scientist, and one of the founding members of the Professional Bowlers Association (PBA). To honor him, PBA has an oil pattern named after him. Have you heard of that before? Have you ever played on it? Many PBA bowlers love the Carmen Salvino oil pattern for its uniqueness. So what are the possible challenges you may face when you play this pattern? Let’s find out, shall we?

What is the PBA Carmen Salvino oil pattern?

The PBA Hall of Fame patterns really do elevate your bowling and throw in some challenges you have never experienced before. The Carmen Salvino oil pattern is no exception. The pattern is known for its premium qualities to perfect execution and repetition. This 44 feet pattern will expand your experience in bowling as it has a medium to high difficulty. So you can guess, you’re gonna break a sweat to play this pattern.

The official version of the 44 feet PBA Carmen Salvino oil pattern has 50 uL of oil per board with an oil ratio of 2.2:1. So you can imagine, the pattern is going to be pretty flat. The Forward Oil total is noted as 18.2 mL and the Reverse Oil Total is 11.2 mL. So there is a total of 29.4 mL of Oil Volume on this bowling pattern.

The Total Boards Crossed in the Carmen Salvino oil pattern are 588 Boards, where the Forward Boards Crossed are 364 boards and Reverse Boards Crossed are 224 boards. The lane conditioner type and the oil application system are customizable which is, of course, approved by the PBA Lane Maintenance Program (LMP).

How to attack the PBA Carmen Salvino oil pattern?

This PBA Experience oil pattern is actually quite hard to play because of how the oil is applied. This 44 feet pattern has a side-to-side crowned shape that has a gradual narrowing taper from the foul line of the lane toward the end of the pattern. So naturally, this pattern allows a wide variety of bowling tactics, styles, and numerous angles of attack. Unlike most patterns, the front part of the lane has a high concentration of oil on the outside. I’d like you to picture a typical house pattern. The Carmen Salvino oil pattern is a trickier and heavier version of that THS.

As a wise bowler, now is the time to do a basic and quick calculation to figure out your ball’s expected breakpoint. For that, I would recommend you to use the ‘Rule of 31’. So if we subtract 31 from the pattern length, we get 44 – 31= 13. Hence, your bowling ball is likely to exit the oil and make a move to the pocket around the 13 board. Fear not, the breakpoint can be anywhere as far right as board 9.

In my opinion, you will see a better result if you play a bit outside instead of inside. If you love your bowling ball to hook with angularity, you should start somewhere around the 15-16 board. Yes, that’s pretty inside. If you’re not comfortable with playing from the inside, you can move a bit to the right, but this time you gotta throw your ball straighter. When you roll your ball straight make sure your bowling ball has enough recovery as the pattern seems to have dry backends.

To play this PBA oil pattern, you need a ball that will immediately react to the lanes and give you early and consistent rolls throughout the game. I would say, playing from the right will be safer as it can minimize the complexity of your ball grabbing and skidding too much. On the bright side, playing from the outside will eventually widen up your entry angles and you can start anywhere around the 2nd arrow. However, don’t be too close to the 1st arrow.

Most PBA bowlers who have bowled the Carmen Salvino oil pattern have identified that a ‘down-and-in’ attack around the 2nd arrow yielded the best scores. To make that happen the bowlers have used a moderately strong/aggressive bowling ball. When the PBA bowlers have decided to play deep inside they have used a natural bump that occurred somewhere between the 6-8 board and managed to hit the pockets hard enough.

A moderately aggressive bowling ball will provide you with enough length from start to end. A proper piece of equipment will also take turns with enough force at the end of the pattern. When I played this pattern, I discovered that the pattern becomes dry in the middle as the oil moves to the outside after a few games, in other words, you will see the pattern reverse blocking itself the longer you play on it. So in that case, if you change your ball as the lane transitions, your chances of securing a high score will increase.

Which bowling ball is best for this pattern?

To enjoy the best and most solid performance you will be needing a strong bowling ball with great backends for the PBA Carmen Salvino oil pattern. On the hook spectrum, get yourself a ball that has recovery power down lane. However, on your 1st game, or when you’re practicing, you can start with a sanded bowling ball to break down the oil pattern.

To play this oil pattern, you can start with something like the Roto Grip Hustle or Storm Axiom Pearl. Some of the other alternatives for this PBA oil pattern are— HAmmer Obsession Tour Pearl, Motiv Iron Forge, Motiv Trident Odyssey, Storm Phaze III, Storm Incite, Roto Grip Halo Pearl, Motiv Ripcord Velocity, Motiv Blue Coral Venom, and Motiv Supra Enzo.


I know how discouraging it can be to play on a tough pattern. But you will never know if you never try. So even if you don’t have a tournament coming, I’d recommend you practice on the PBA Carmen Salvino oil pattern. Good luck and see ya later, my friends!


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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