Bowling Powder And Sacks

Bowling Powder Grip Sack

One piece of equipment used by bowlers to get a better grip on the ball is bowling powder. Used in other sports as well, powder sacks are used by many bowlers. However, some forms of bowling powder can be illegal in a professional bowling setting. There is a lot to learn about the different types of bowling powders.

What is bowling powder used for?

Most bowlers that use bowling powder apply it to their hands. Especially useful for people with sweaty or moist hands, bowling powder can absorb some of the moisture producing a stronger grip. This type of powder is very similar to powder used in other sports such as baseball, gymnastics, and tennis

Another common use for bowling powder is on the sole of bowling shoes. Bowling shoes and alleys can be very sticky, and it is essential to have the right amount of traction when throwing. If your shoes are too sticky, powder can help create a smooth slide during one’s approach. However, using powder on bowling shoes is considered illegal by professional bowling associations and should only be used for recreation or practice.

Things To Consider

When looking for bowling powder, you'll want to consider the following:

  • What level of bowling are you competing at?
  • How much do you want to spend on bowling powder?
  • Are you using the bowling powder on your shoes or thumb?
  • Does your league allow bowling powder?


The three main types of bowling powders are shoe powder, thumb powder, and rosin bags.

Shoe Powder

Bowling Shoe Powder

Shoe powder is a type of bowling powder that is meant to be applied to the sole or heel of a bowling shoe. While it sometimes can also be used for fingers, the main purpose of shoe powder is to give the bowler a better slide when throwing.

Thumb Powder

Thumb powder is typically very similar to shoe powder except that it is used primarily for fingers, mainly the thumb. This is best used for people whose thumbs get stuck when releasing the ball. It is very common for brands to create powder that can be used for thumbs and shoes simultaneously.

Rosin Bag

Rosin bags are cloth or other fabric bags that contain rosin powder. This type of bowling powder is the one that is also used universally between multiple different sports. The rosin within the bag will absorb moisture on one’s hands creating a better grip.


The most common materials found in bowling powder are canvas and rosin powder.

  • Canvas: Canvas is the material that most rosin bags and powder bags are made out of. This material is lightweight and porous, allowing for a small amount of powder to escape when being used.
  • Rosin Powder: Rosin powder is magnesium carbonate powder mixed with pine resin. This is the type of powder that has been used by many people in different sports to absorb moisture and enhance grip.


The most popular brands that produce bowling powder are Ebonite, Storm, and Vulcan.

  • Ebonite: Ebonite is a brand that makes high quality bowling equipment and has been acquired by Brunswick. They produce rosin bags as well as multi-purpose shoe and thumb powder.
  • Storm: Storm is another major bowling equipment brand that produces bowling powder. They mainly sell disc shaped rosin bags that can either be scented or feature a different facial expression on the cover.
  • Vulcan: Vulcan makes sporting equipment and accessories for a few different sports. They only produce rosin powder and sell it in containers rather than bags.


When deciding which bowling powder to buy, you should always consider the durability, cost, and sizes of the powders.


The durability of bowling powder will mainly depend on how often it is used. Powder bags can last around 1-2 months with regular use but can sometimes last much shorter or longer. Powder that comes in containers will likely last the least amount of time as the user tends to use more powder with every use.


A single pack or container of rosin powder will usually cost around $5-$8. There is not much variation from brand to brand about price, but rosin in containers can sometimes cost more as it contains more powder. Buying powder bags in bulk will likely make them cheaper as well.


Bowling powder does not generally come in sizes. Most powder bags, however, will usually be able to be held in the palm of a person’s hand. The relative size of a container or bag of powder will depend on how much powder you are buying.


How much does bowling powder cost?

Most bowling powders can be had for under $8. More concentrated powders that come in containers may sometimes cost more. Buying bags in bulk will help reduce the per unit cost.

What are the different kinds of bowling powder?

There are three different types of bowling powder. The first two, shoe powder and thumb powder can often be used interchangeably. These types of powder are meant to reduce moisture and stickiness. This allows thumbs to slide out easier and for shoes to slide smoother. The third type, rosin bags, are pouches filled with rosin powder. This is solely used as a grip enhancer for sweaty or moist hands.

What are the benefits of using bowling powder?

Bowling powder can boost the mechanics of a throw. It prevents shoes from sticking to the ground when sliding. It also allows the bowlers to get a much better grip on the ball if their hand is wet or sweaty. It can even help the fingers inside if the holed slide out easier.