What are Bowling Pins made of and How?

What are bowling pins made of

It’s hard to find people who don’t love bowling. There is just something about it. That strange but addictive sensation you get when you hit all those bowling pins at once is so astounding. And you want to have that sensation over and over again.

If you love bowling, then you definitely know that it requires bowling pins for 10 pin bowling,  9 pin bowling or duckpin bowling game.

But what are bowling pins made of?

For that matter, How do they make bowling pins?

If you have these questions on your mind, then stick to us because we have all the answers.

Materials of Bowling Pins

First of all, we’ll need to talk about the primary and the most crucial material of the pins.

If you ask a large number of people about the main material that is used to construct the modern bowling pins, most of them may not have a solid and accurate idea. Instead, they will pick from a wide array of hard materials.

So let’s just make a list and see what kind of material most people would think of. Well, here is the list-

  • Plastics
  • Stones
  • Aluminum
  • Metals
  • Wood

So these are some of the random materials that most people would think of. If you are one of those people who picked wood, then you are among the correct ones.

So what type of wood are we talking about?

You probably know that bowling pins need to endure a lot of impact in their lifetime and it’s not surprising by any means. Just think about how many people go to a bowling alley on a regular basis. The game is extremely popular and people of all ages love it. So the pins do take a lot of hits and there is no doubt about that.

At this point, you can pretty much guess that the wood you need to make these pins have to be very sturdy. This is why hard rock maple wood is a popular choice.

Hard rock maple will indeed be the best choice if you are thinking about making bowling pins that will last longer.

Now that we are done with the material part, there is one single question to answer.

How can you make durable bowling pins from maple wood?

What is the process here?

Let’s talk about how the manufacturing process begins. Basically, at first, you’ll need to have blocks of wood that are layered together. Then they are cut in order to form a rough outline.

Then it is sawed to make that smoother contours that everyone sees on the finished product and then comes the coating. This coating is usually done with plastic material.

And there you have it. You are done and you’ll have sturdy and strong bowling pins that are all set to take some nasty hits from your bowling balls over and over again.

Sound pretty simple, right? But then again, the shape of these bowling pins is kind of unique and it’s not necessarily simple to create that particular shape. However there is  one disadvantage of coating. It increases the pin weight and affect bowling score. 

Frequently asked questions

1. How long does a bowling pin last?

Well, it’s a bit difficult to tell because, in the end, it all comes down to the quality of the pins. If you have a good set of bowling pins, then it will last longer. If the quality isn’t there, then, unfortunately, it won’t last for a long time. Usually,  a good set of bowling pins will last three seasons of league bowling(if consistently rotated)

2. How often should bowling pins be replaced?

In the past, bowling alleys had to replace pins more frequently. But that has not been the case in modern times. Even though bowling has become more popular, the pins have become strong enough to last longer. On average, bowling alleys replace bowling pins in every one to two years.

3. How tall is a bowling pin?

Well, it kind of varies. Eventually, it all depends on the types of bowling pins. United states bowling congress (USBC) has set bowling pin standard which is adopted by World Bowling.
A standard and typical tenpin bowling pin are 15 inches tall. At its widest point, the bowling pin is 4.75 inches wide. On the other hand, Duckpins are a bit smaller and the Candlepins are the tallest(15-3/4 inches tall). Basically, that’s the overall bowling pin size.

4. Are bowling pins made of wood?

Yes, absolutely. Bowling pins are made of wood. They are made of hard rock maple wood and we have already discussed it. We have been using wooden bowling pins forever. Having said that, plastic bowling pins are also available. But more often than not, they are for kids. That’s why they are called kids bowling pins.

5. Why do bowling pins have a hole in the bottom?

At the bottom of the bowling pin, you’ll see a hole. The hole is drilled to be used to center the pin when the coating process begins.

6. Are bowling pins called Skittles?

The game of bowling actually came from skittles. So it’s really the modern version of the game Skittles. But if you are wondering whether bowling pins are called Skittles or not, then the answer will be no. They may look similar but they are different in terms of size and shape.

7. How many bowling pins are there?

Answer: In a ten-pin bowling(which is the most popular), you’ll have to deal with 10 pins. And in a nine-pin bowling game, you’ll have to deal with 9 pins.

8. Are bowling pins hollow?

Answer: Nope, it’s full of wood(maple wood to be more specific).

9. What is the weight of Bowling Pin?

The weight of the pin is originally based on the idea that a single pin should be around 24 percent the heaviest bowling ball within regulation which is around 16 lb 0 oz (7.3 kg).

Final Words

So folks, there you have it. That’s pretty much all you need to know about bowling pins. There is one last thing we would like to tell you. If you don’t like the bowling pins you just have bought, you can get your own custom bowling pins where you can paint the pins the way you want.

With all said and done, make sure to have fun while bowling.


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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