Best Bowling Shots & Tricks

Ask any bowling enthusiast what his guilty pleasure is—he would tell you it is watching bowling shots and tricks. 

Executed only by the supremely gifted and persistent bowlers, bowling shots and tricks are eye candies. They are an art form meant to be applauded and cherished. 

How do you get that good to perform these tricks? Well, I can’t help you with that. 

It would probably take me years before I could execute even one trick shot perfectly on a whim. 

However, I do know that if you want to wow the crowd with your extravagant trick shots, you will need plenty of practice. 

You will also need to ask permission to try these tricks on the bowling arena. Get your wallet ready too as you might need to pay for damaged resources. 

Lastly, may the odds be ever in your favor.  

More often than not, basic bowling shots such as straight ball, back up ball, curve ball, and hook ball are used to perform trick shots. The difficulty levels though are through the roof with trick shots because of numerous external factors. 

Fancy trying some tricks yourself? Here are some of the best bowling shots and tricks ever performed.  


9 Best Bowling Shots & Tricks — Try the Easy Ones!

1. Backward Approach Shot

Anyone can try the Backward Approach Shot. In fact, you might even be able to execute the trick perfectly on your first attempt. 

As its name suggests, this bowling trick requires you to face away before releasing the ball between your legs towards the pin deck. You can’t look at the pin deck when doing this trick. 

An attempt can only be deemed successful if all the pins are knocked down. 

2. Marked Shots

This is a trick shot that won’t have the bowling alley manager cringing on his seat. 

To execute this trick, you’d have to put a mark on the lane. Many use a piece of tape for convenience. 

Then, all you have to do is ensure that your bowling ball crosses over the mark before striking the pins. 

3. Through the Legs

Easier than some of the other tricks in here, you can easily try the through-the-legs shot. 

All you need to do is to have a few volunteers (friends) lined up on the lane and have them spread their legs a foot apart. Then, attempt to release the ball through their legs and have it knock down the pins. 

With a few tries, you should be able to execute this trick shot. 

4. Spinning Ball Spare Conversion

Made popular by the legendary bowler, Norm Duke, the Spinning Ball Spare Conversion requires the bowler to release his spare ball first. Then, the bowler uses his strike ball to knock down nine pins, intentionally leaving out one pin for the spare ball to hit afterward. 

Personally, I can’t rate the difficultly level of this trick as all trick shots are equally difficult in my eyes. 

5. Towel Shot

The Towel Shot is another trick shot made famous by Norm Duke. 

It looks relatively easy and simple; it simply requires the bowler to release a towel-wrapped bowling ball in a slingshot-action. 

However, when you consider things like how the bowler controls the movement and spin of the ball without a proper grip and a standard swing, you start acknowledging the difficulty of this trick. Plus, the ball needs to strike all the pins as well. 

6. The Flying Eagle Shot

This splendid-looking trick is a tough one to execute. 

When done immaculately, the bowler strikes a solitary pin so perfectly that it travels over to the next lane and knocks down the pins that are placed in that lane too.  

7. Prop Shots

When trying trick shots, many bowlers often use props to serve as barriers and add to the difficulty of the shots. 

Most bowlers use chairs or people for such purposes. Then, they attempt to strike down the pins by either bowling over the obstacles or through them. 

The Bar Stool Strike is a famous example of a prop shot. Popularized by Osku Palermaa, the shot requires a bowler to loft the bowling ball over the bar stool to hit the pins. 

How spectacular is it to throw a ball halfway down the lane and have it knock down all 10 pins? I would say freaking spectacular! 

Be advised—you might not want to try this trick when the owner of the bowling center is around. 

8. The Skate Ramp Shot

Only someone as ridiculously awesome as Jason Belmonte would even think of this trick. Belmonte visited a skate park specifically to perform this shot. 

First, he lined up some pins at one end of the skate ramp. Then, he moved to the other end and released the ball. 

The bowling ball traveled down a curvy skate ramp; it went upwards, rolled forward towards the surface of the other ramp, and then knocked all the pins placed at the other end.

Well, I guess when you are as gifted as Belmonte, performing tricks at the bowling alley just doesn’t cut it for you anymore. 

9. The Life-or-Death Hook Shot

You will need some daring volunteers to help you with this trick. 

If you are lucky enough to get a few willing participants, have them lie down perpendicularly on the bowling lane. To perform the trick, you need to curve the ball past the shoulders of the volunteers and knock down the pins.

If you’re not confident enough to try this shot with people, you can consider using pins as an alternative. Line up the pins similarly to how you’d have the people lie down and then aim for the pin deck at the other end without knocking down the lined-up pins.  


If performing bowling trick shots were easy, anyone would be able to do them. You will need plenty of practice at home and on the bowling alley to execute the trick shots discussed above. 

Persistence is key to whether you succeed or fail. Good luck with your efforts!