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Karabin has grip on his bowling game

Karabin has grip on his bowling game

Are two hands better than one?
Karabin has grip on his bowling game

Maybe the old adage should have been “two hands are better than one,” at least in bowling.

Just ask Ryan Karabin, who operates the control desk at Boulevard Bowl.

Following the success of such pro bowlers as Jason Belmonte, Anthony Simonsen, Osku Palermaa and Jesper Svensson on the PBA Tour, Karabin, a 21-year-old Scotia-Glenville High School and Schenectady County Community College product, is enjoying his best season on the lanes using the two-hand release.

Most of us bowling fans are accustomed to watching some youngsters just starting out in the sport use a two-hand ball release because they were too small or weak to effectively toss the ball down the lane with just one hand.

But the fairly recent trend of serious adult keglers employing the two-hand release to create more revs, hook and subsequently much more power, is beginning to catch on. Karabin is a true believer. He recorded a perfect game en route to a career-best 847 triple recently in the Galaxy league at Boulevard Bowl. It was his third 800 triple of the season. He is currently averaging 245 in the Galaxy league on Friday nights, 236 in the Frank DePalma Boulevard Classic on Tuesday nights and 234 in the Vitalo Classic league Saturday nights at Sportsman’s Bowl.

His other two 800 triples this season were registered while subbing in the Reis Kim Julien Brown City League at Towne Bowling Academy.

“I think I’m bowling so well recently because my timing has gotten better,” Karabin said. “I worked on it a little before the season.”

All bowlers encounter timing issues occasionally, but the coordination between feet and hands is even more challenging when using the two-handed release. “It’s a little trickier at the end of your approach, because the last three steps are quicker. You’ve got to make sure everything stays together,” Karabin said.

Although Karabin received his early bowling instruction from Schenectady Bowling Association manager Lloyd Denny and Boulevard junior bowling coordinator Sharon Sager, he picked up more information the last couple of seasons from SCCC assistant bowling coach Will Coons and SCCC head bowling coach Ray Ross.

“I liked watching Belmont and Palermaa on the pro tour, and I talked to Will Coons about trying the two-handed release about three years ago,” Karabin said. “I tried it, and I liked it. Will, even though he doesn’t throw two-handed himself, helped me make the transition. He helped me stay behind the ball and release it the same way every time. I found it to be a little tricky to make spares, because sometimes the ball hooks away from the 10-pin. I still use the two-hand release to make spares, but I use a plastic ball. Sometimes, I’ve got to flatten out my right hand to cut the hook.”

Karabin always wanted to throw his ball with more authority to improve his strike percentage. “Even before I switched to a two-handed approach, I tried to speed up my feet in order to get more power behind my shots,” he said. “It was a lot more fun. It still is.”

With his recent hot streak, Karabin now owns nine 800 triples and seven perfect games over his short career. The part-time photographer had only dabbled in local tournaments like the Huck Finn “Capital Region Bowling Show,” but he would eventually like to try bowling with the pros in PBA Regional events.

While some two-handed bowlers have difficulty using the more advanced modern equipment like reactive resin balls, because they simply hook too much, Karabin isn’t concerned. “Personally, I have enough equipment to bowl on any conditions,” he said. “Sometimes, I don’t carry as much as I do on other days. Sometimes I leave 10 or more 10-pins, and other days I don’t leave any. I like using Storm and Roto Grip bowling balls, but I can’t use their strongest stuff. I prefer using their medium-strength equipment.”


Caitlyn Kelly rolled a 300 game and a 756 triple in the Division I Majors junior program at Town ‘N Country Lanes last week.

Boulevard Bowl will host the Capital District Women’s 600 Club Tournament Jan. 15 at 1 p.m. Entry deadline is 

Jan. 6. Applications are available at Boulevard Bowl, Sportsman’s Bowl and Towne Bowling Academy. Call Marianne Hogle at 393-8907 for more information.

A 14-week doubles league begins Monday night at 7 p.m. at Rolling Greens Lanes. Call Mike at 533-8795 for more information.

Hunter Kempton shot a 949 four-game series to win his sixth overall title and third of the season in the Capital District Youth Scholarship Tour’s Holiday Open at Towne Bowling Academy. Forty-nine youth bowlers combined for a record 100 entries in the sixth annual event. Three-time defending champion Jonathan Bowman (890) finished second, and Adam Glickman (876) was third in the boys’ division. Jenna Lemke (805) won the girls’ division for the third consecutive year, followed by Amanda Chrzanowski and Haley Youker, who each shot 801. In doubles, Kempton and Bowman won the boys’ title with a 1,825, while Lemke combined with Elizabeth Ross for a 1,572 to take the girls’ crown. The next tournament will be Jan. 7 at Uncle Sam Lanes in Troy.

Qualifying for the Huck Finn “Capital Region Bowling Show” Joe Donato Seniors Scratch Classic will be Jan. 8 at 9:30 and 11:30 a.m. at Uncle Sam Lanes. Same-day taping will be 6:30 p.m. at Boulevard Bowl. That show will air Jan. 15 at 10 a.m. on MY4.

The next New Era Senior Tournament event is scheduled for Jan. 7 at Spare Time Latham.

Boulevard Bowl will host the Ambrose Electric Mixed Doubles tournament Jan. 8 at 10 a.m. Entry fee is $70 per team. First place for doubles will be $400, based on 20 teams, and first place for singles will be $60, based on 20 entries. Handicap will be 70 percent of 240 for both men and women, with a maximum of 63 added pins. Contact Amanda Szczepkowski at 421-8734 for more information.

There are still squads available for Towne Bowling Academy’s seventh annual Handicap Team Tournament, which offers a top prize of $4,000 per team. Call 355-3939 for reservations.

First place will be worth $1,500 guaranteed for the third annual New Year’s Day Tournament at Kingpin’s Alley Family Fun Center on Saratoga Ave. in South Glens Falls. Entry fee is $100, with a $75 re-entry fee. There will be five games of qualifying on either the 9:30 a.m. or 1:30 p.m. squads, followed by two-game head-to-head matches beginning at 4:30 p.m. Call 793-9606 for reservations.

Town ‘n Country’s 5-Man Baker Tournament is set for Jan. 15 at 10:30 a.m. Entry fee is $125 per team. Team handicap is 80 percent of 1,150. There will be 12 games of qualifying, and the top four teams advance to best-of-three match play to determine the winner. Top prize is $500. Call 456-1113 for more information.


Reach Bob Weiner at [email protected] or @Bob Weiner58 on Twitter.

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