Bowling Is Not What It Used To Be
Posted September 2, 1998 7:00 a.m. EDT
FAYETTEVILLE — It's a sport that Laverne and Shirley made popular, but it's different than you may remember. Going for a strike or spare has now taken on a whole new meaning, and bowling is drawing an "extremely" younger crowd.
It provides a discotheque feeling without the cover charge. People go to dance and enjoy loud music, but it's probably not what you think it is. It's called extreme bowling, and extreme it is.
"This is my first time ever doing this. It's kind of exciting I like it. It's different, and it's kind of hard bowling in the fog. But once you get used to it, it's alright. It's enjoyable," explained Monica Cowan.
The experience has brought a whole new generation into one Fort Bragg bowling alley.
"Once they brought the extreme bowling in, you'd see the lanes would be filled up. You'd be on a reserve list. They started bringing in lists where you've got to sign up and wait, but it's definitely affected it," said Matt Raynor.
"It's different for me. I'm used to bowling on lanes that were kind of boring and drab. This is something different that I enjoy, because it has like a disco type flavor to it. Because I'm from the city and I'm used to these lights and everything, I kind of enjoy it," said Ray Hibbitt.
It's gotten so popular they have even come up with extreme bowling balls and bowlers who use them swear they work better.
They don't react as much on the lanes," explained one extreme bowler. "They go more straight than another ball would."
Managers say extreme bowling has become so popular they may soon provide more of this kind of bowling than the conventional type.
Most bowling alleys now provide extreme bowling. It costs about an average of $15 an hour to rent a lane.