Sport Rulebook

Mastering the Game: Understanding Bowling Pins and Their Materials

Bowling is one of America’s favorite pastimes. The game can be played by individuals or in teams, and the objective is to roll a ball down a lane towards a set of pins.

The ultimate goal is to knock down as many pins as possible, with the maximum being ten pins per frame. In this article, we will be discussing bowling pins, the different types of pins, and the materials used to make them, as well as the brands that manufacture bowling pins.

Purpose of Bowling Pins

The primary purpose of bowling pins is to serve as a target for the bowler to aim at. Each pin has a specific value assigned to it, and the scoring is based on how many pins the bowler knocks down in each frame.

The ten-pin variety is the most common in the United States, but there are also variations of the game that use different types of pins such as duckpins and candlepins.

Types of Bowling Pins

1. Tenpins – These are the standard pins used in traditional bowling.

They are 15 inches tall, 5 inches wide, and weigh approximately 3.6 pounds. Tenpins have red stripes that wrap around the top of the pin, and they are made of rock maple wood.

2. Duckpins – These pins are most commonly used in the Northeast region of the United States.

They are shorter and squatter than tenpins, measuring 9.5 inches tall, with a similar weight to the standard tenpin. The red stripe on the duckpin goes all the way around the middle of the pin, and it is also made from rock maple wood.

3. Candlepins – This type of pin is mostly found in the Northeast as well.

They are longer and narrower than tenpins, and they are slightly taller than the standard tenpin. Candlepins only have a single stripe on the top of the pin and are made from hardwood maple.

Materials for Bowling Pins

1. Rock Maple Wood – This type of wood is used to make pins in all three variations of the game.

It is a high-quality wood that is durable and resists wear and tear. 2.

Nylon – Nylon is a synthetic material that is often used in the construction of duckpins. It is a tough, lightweight material that can withstand a lot of abuse.

3. Plastic – Some brands use plastic to make their bowling pins.

Plastic pins are cheaper to produce and can be more durable than wooden pins. 4.

Surlyn – This is a synthetic material that is commonly used in the manufacturing of candlepins. It is a very tough, durable material that is also very resistant to wear and tear.

Brands that Make Bowling Pins

1. Brunswick – This company has been in the business of manufacturing bowling pins for over 100 years.

They are known for producing high-quality pins that are used in bowling alleys across the world. 2.

AMF – AMF is another well-known brand in the bowling community. They manufacture a wide range of products for the sport, including bowling pins.

3. Champion – Champion is a newer brand that has been making waves in the industry.

They produce bowling pins made from high-quality materials that are designed to last longer and perform better than other brands.


Bowling pins are an essential part of the game of bowling. They serve as the target for the bowler and provide a scoring system that determines the outcome of the game.

There are three main types of bowling pins used in various parts of the United States – tenpins, duckpins, and candlepins – each with specific characteristics and materials used in their construction. Whether you’re a professional bowler or just enjoy the sport for fun, understanding the different types of pins and materials used will enhance your appreciation of the game.

Bowling has been a popular sport since the early 1900s. It is enjoyed by people of all ages and skill levels.

The game involves rolling a ball down a lane towards a set of ten pins. Bowling pins are an essential component of the sport, and they are available in various materials produced by different brands.

In this article, we will discuss the materials used to make bowling pins and the brands that manufacture them.


Bowling pins are primarily made from rock maple wood, which is known for its durability and strength. It is a hardwood that is dense and resistant to wear and tear.

The rock maple wood is used for the core of the pin, which gives it its weight and stability. The surface of the pin is then coated with a material that provides a smooth texture, making it easy for the ball to slide off the surface.

There are three common coating materials used for this purpose – nylon, plastic, and Surlyn. Nylon is a synthetic material that is often used for the coating of duckpins.

It is a lightweight material that is forgiving and reduces the risk of bounce-outs. Nylon coating also reduces the damage caused by the bowling ball to the pins.

The material is cheaper compared to the other coating materials used in the production of bowling pins. Plastic is another coating material used for bowling pins.

Plastic pins are cheaper to produce than wooden pins, and they are less common than their wooden counterparts. They are not used for professional games as they tend to bounce more and offer less stability compared to wooden pins.

Surlyn is a synthetic material that is very durable and resistant to wear and tear. It is a coating material that was introduced by DuPont in the 1960s.

It is used extensively in tenpin bowling and can also be found on some duckpins. Surlyn-coated pins are preferred for their consistent performance and longevity.


There are several brands that manufacture bowling pins, each with their unique style and quality. Here are the top brands in the industry:

Brunswick – Brunswick is one of the most popular and respected brands in the bowling industry.

They make a wide range of bowling equipment, including pins for all three variations of the game. Brunswick’s pins are made from rock maple wood, which provides excellent strength and durability.

They also coat their pins with Surlyn, which is why their pins last longer than others in the market. AMF – AMF is another well-known brand in the industry.

They produce a wide variety of equipment for bowling alleys, including bowling pins. AMF uses a mix of Surlyn and nylon coating materials for their pins, depending on the type of pin being produced.

This blend allows for a more forgiving pin, reducing the risk of bounce-outs. Champion – Champion is a brand that has become popular in recent years.

They produce various sports equipment, including plastic bowling pin sets for recreational use. Their plastic pins are cheaper compared to other brands, and they offer a more versatile option for those who enjoy the sport outside of bowling alleys.


Bowling pins are an essential part of the game of bowling, and they play a crucial role in the scoring system. They come in various materials and coatings, such as rock maple wood, nylon, plastic, and Surlyn.

Each coating material offers unique benefits such as durability, forgiveness, and affordability. The top brands in the market, including Brunswick, AMF, and Champion, produce high-quality bowling equipment, including pins, that are used in both recreational and professional settings.

Bowling is a popular sport that can be enjoyed in bowling alleys around the world. Bowling pins are a key part of the game and come in various materials, coatings, and sizes.

When selecting the right set of pins, it’s essential to consider several factors, such as durability, cost, and size and weight. In this article, we’ll delve into these considerations and provide you with valuable information to help you make an informed decision.


Durability is an essential consideration when purchasing bowling pins. The durability of the pin depends largely on the protective coating used on its surface.

Surlyn-coated pins are known for their durability. Surlyn is a thermoplastic resin that is tough and can withstand a lot of use.

Surlyn-coated pins can last up to a year without needing to be replaced. Plastic-coated pins are also durable, but they are not as long-lasting as Surlyn.

Nylon-coated pins are less durable as they are prone to wear and tear and can dent or break more easily.


Cost is another important factor to consider when purchasing bowling pins. The cost of a set of pins can vary depending on the brand, the size, and the material used in its construction.

Surlyn-coated pins are more expensive than nylon or plastic-coated pins. Wooden pins are also pricier than plastic pins.

The cost of a set of pins can range from $50 to $150 per set. However, there are cheaper options available for recreational bowlers who don’t require professional-grade pins.

Plastic bowling pin sets, for example, are much less expensive and can be a great option for beginners.

Size and Weight

Size and weight are essential considerations when selecting bowling pins. The size of bowling pins is generally standardized across brands, and there are three common sizes: tenpins, duckpins, and candlepins.

Tenpins are the most common and measure 15 inches in height and 5 inches in width, weighing approximately 3.5 pounds each. Duckpins and candlepins are shorter and narrower than tenpins; duckpins measure 9.5 inches in height and have a circumference of 4.75 inches, while candlepins measure 15.75 inches in height and have a circumference of 2.93 inches.

The weight of bowling pins is also standardized, with tenpins weighing 3.5 pounds each, and duckpins and candlepins weighing the same as the tenpin. The weight of the pin influences its stability, and heavier pins provide more stability.

Bowlers who are new to the sport may prefer lighter pins as they are easier to handle and knock down.


Bowling pins are an essential part of the game of bowling, and choosing the right set of pins can significantly impact one’s performance in the sport. When purchasing bowling pins, it’s crucial to consider factors such as durability, cost, size, and weight.

Surlyn-coated pins are known for their durability, but they can be more expensive than pins with other coatings. Plastic bowling pin sets are cheaper and are great for beginners.

The size and weight of the pin are also important considerations, with tenpins, duckpins, and candlepins being the most common sizes and weighing around 3.5 pounds each. With this information, you can make an informed decision and find the right set of bowling pins for you, wherever you may be engaging in the sport.

Bowling pins are vital components in the game of bowling, and the material, coating, size, and weight of the pins can significantly impact the performance of bowlers. It’s essential to prioritize durability, cost, and size and weight when selecting the right set of pins.

Surlyn and plastic coatings are the most durable options, while cheaper options like plastic pins are best for beginners. The sizes of pins, including tenpins, duckpins, and candlepins, are also standardized across brands.

Bowling enthusiasts should consider these essential aspects to find the perfect bowling pins that fit their budget and skill level. FAQs:


What are the most common materials used to make bowling pins? Wooden pins made from rock maple are the most common, followed by nylon, plastic, and Surlyn for the coating of the pins.

2. What’s the difference in size between tenpins, duckpins, and candlepins?

Tenpins are the most common measuring 15 inches tall and 5 inches wide, while duckpins are shorter and squatter, measuring 9.5 inches tall and having a circumference of 4.75 inches. Candlepins are the tallest and narrowest, standing at 15.75 inches tall with an almost 3-inch circumference.

3. Are Surlyn-coated pins more durable?

Yes, Surlyn-coated pins are known for their durability and can last as long as a year. 4.

How much do bowling pins cost? The cost of bowling pins can vary depending mainly on the type of coating used but can range from $50 to $150 per set.

5. What weight are bowling pins?

Tenpins, duckpins, and candlepins are all standardized to weigh approximately 3.5 pounds each.

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