How To Bowl With Long Nails – 5 Tips To Follow

There’s no question long nails can get in the way of everyday activities, but what if you want to hit the bowling alley? How do you bowl with long nails?

Beautiful woman's nails with beautiful french manicure ombre peach and white

To successfully bowl with long nails, you want to use a ball with wider holes, bowl granny-style, use a bowling ramp, wear wrist support, and ensure you have smooth, filed nails. In addition, you can wear nail protectors like finger cots, finger bandages, and performance tape.

This article will go over the problems you may have bowling with long nails and the best ways to do so without ruining your manicure. In addition, we’ll cover whether you can bowl with gel nails, acrylics, and press on nails. 

Problems You May Have Bowling With Long Nails 

Unfortunately, there are several problems you may have bowling with long nails. First, you must understand the risks before considering your next bowling game. 

Your Nails Could Break 

Undoubtedly, the number one problem you may have bowling with long nails is breakage. In addition, you can get your nails stuck inside the finger holes of your bowling bowl.

If you’ve ever been bowling, you know your finger can get stuck in the holes if they aren’t big enough. Well, it can cause damage if your nails are long. 

Chipping or Cracking Your Nails 

You’ll likely chip any polish while bowling, even if your nails don’t break. However, you can chip your polish with or without acrylics. If you chip your nails, you can quickly fix them when you get home.

So, don’t let it distract from your game too much. 

In addition, you may crack your nail down the center, which is much harder to fix than chipping. For example, if you crack your nails while bowling, you should stop bowling immediately before causing further damage. 

Finger Injuries 

Unfortunately, if your nails break inside the bowling ball, you can scratch or tear your skin. In addition, your finger can get stuck when you release the ball, causing extreme pain. 

Your nail bed, the soft tissue under your nail plate, is especially vulnerable to injury. So, incorrect bowling techniques can cause you to rip your skin. Instead, you’ll go from the bowling alley to the emergency room in no time. 

You Might Not Bowl Well 

You won’t mind bowling with acrylics if scoring high isn’t on your to-do list. However, if you are a serious bowler, you’ll likely be disappointed with your possibly low score.

Long nails can prevent you from correctly holding the ball, and the ball may not end up where you want it.

How To Bowl With Long Nails – 5 Tips to Follow 

Beautiful pink and blue manicure with crystals on female hand. Close-up. Picture taken in the studio

Now that you know the risks of bowling with long nails let’s get into what tips to follow so you can still bowl. The more tips you follow, the greater the chance you can keep your long nails looking fantastic. 

1. Find A Ball With Wider Holes 

A ball with wider holes will give more space for your fingers to fit. Before your game starts, test out various bowling balls to find ones that don’t get your fingers stuck. Keep in mind that the wider the holes, the heavier the ball. 

2. Bowl Granny Style 

There’s nothing wrong with bowling granny-style if it means protecting your nails. Granny style doesn’t require putting your fingers in the holes on the bowl, meaning your nails will be much safer. 

To nail the granny-style of bowling, follow these steps:

  • Hold the ball with both hands, with your hands almost cupping the ball. 
  • Spread your legs and slowly lower the ball and ensure you have a steady grip.
  • Finally, swing the ball gently behind you before releasing it forward onto the alley.

While you may not make the local bowling league with your granny bowling style, you might be surprised at how many strikes you can still get. 

Finally, opt for a lighter ball if you choose to bowl granny-style. Since you won’t be utilizing the finger holes, it won’t matter the size of the ball, and a lighter ball will be easier to toss down the lane. 

3. Use A Bowling Ramp

Bowling ramps are used mostly for kids, but it doesn’t mean you can’t utilize one to help protect your nails.

Instead, you’ll have to ask the attendant on duty to set it up for you, but it will allow you to place the ball on a ramp and push it down the alley. 

While your friends may laugh at you, it’s an excellent way to have a fun afternoon of bowling while preserving your long nails. Plus, they probably will ask to test it out in no time. 

4. Wear Wrist Support 

Wearing wrist support can help give you better control while bowling and prevent accidents while bowling with long nails. 

While it’s not guaranteed you won’t chip a nail; you’ll get better coverage than not wearing wrist support.

Also, while it may seem logical, don’t wear rubber gloves while bowling. You’ll probably cause more damage than good. 

5. Bowl With Smooth Nails 

You don’t want to go bowling if it’s been months since your last manicure. If you have smooth, filed nails, you can help ensure you don’t cause any damage during your game. 

Also, ensure your nails are even to help prevent cracking or breaking. For example, if you are a regular bowler, you’ll want to check your nails every time you go bowling. 

Can You Bowl With Acrylic Nails?

You can bowl with acrylic nails, but the shorter your acrylics, the better. For example, if you decide to bowl with acrylic nails, you’ll want to follow the same tips for bowling with long nails.

Unfortunately, acrylics are more likely to break off than natural nails, so you must be careful. 

You also don’t want to stick your fingers in the hole and try balancing the ball on your hand, which can cause your nails to break instantly.

In addition, even if your nails don’t break, you risk them chipping while bowling. 

Can You Bowl With Gel Nails?

You can bowl with gel nails if you are careful. Gel nails are relatively tough, but they can break if you don’t take caution. Acrylic nails are sturdier than gel nails, so if you are an avid bowler, it’s better to opt for acrylics. 

Can You Bowl With Press-On Nails?

Press-on nails aren’t nearly as sturdy as acrylics or gel nails, so they aren’t your best bet for bowling.

If you can’t resist the urge to go bowling, following the steps above will allow you to bowl safely without ruining your press-ons. 

In addition, before bowling, ensure your press-ons are securely attached to your natural nails. You shouldn’t go bowling if artificial nails start to come off. 

Tips For Keeping Your Manicure Beautiful While Bowling

female hand color manicure, fur

1. Ensure You Have Strong Nails 

The stronger your nails, the more likely they can stay beautiful while bowling. Ensure you regularly apply a nail strengthener and always drink plenty of water. Also, don’t forget to take your vitamins! 

The best vitamins to keep your nails looking their best are biotin, iron, and vitamin C.

You can also get a healthy dose of biotin in foods like:

  • Sweet potatoes
  • Egg yolks
  • Peanuts
  • Olive oil
  • Salmon

2. Wear Nail Protectors 

Protecting your nails while bowling can help prevent damage while hitting the pins.

There are various products you can use as nail protectors, including:

  • Fingertip bandages
  • Protective tape
  • Performance tape
  • Finger cots

Tape around your fingers may not be the most attractive look; however, it can significantly reduce your chances of breaking your long nails or injuring your fingers. 

3. Don’t Over File Your Nails 

It would be best if you remembered to put down the nail file. When you over-file your nails, you can weaken them and put them at greater risk of breaking while bowling.

Also, always remind your nail tech to buff your nails lightly. 

Having over-filed nails also puts you at a greater risk of infection and can cause your nail to separate. Also, according to Scratch Magazine, the ideal grit for filing natural nails is 180 – 240. 

Frequently Asked Questions  (FAQ)

Do bowling leagues allow acrylic nails?

It will depend on the level of competitiveness in the bowling league. For example, if you are bowling on an uber-competitive team, other participants may not want you to participate because the acrylic nails may affect your performance. You should contact the bowling league directly to see what their restrictions are. 

Can you play sports with long nails?

While it would depend on the sport, most sports would not do well with long nails. Unfortunately, any contact sport can mean big trouble for your long nails. Keeping the long nails for the off-season is best if you play sports. 

Can you cheer with long nails?

Cheerleading is an intense sport and can cause damage to long nails. Most teams don’t allow long nails and require your fingernails not to pass the top of your finger. While you can wear acrylics, they must be short.