What brought us here
Wylie writing... I first picked up a bowling ball in 1956 and fell in love with the sport because I didn't have to be 7 feet tall or weigh 300 pounds! I met my wife Mona at Timber Lanes, here in Vancouver, and we currently bowl several leagues a week.
In 2010 I was describing to her the porosity of bowling balls, and how they pick up oil and dirt, clogging the pores. I described the "Rejuvenator" in use in pro shops, and how it heats balls to clear the pores. I also described some of the attempts people had made at doing the job themselves, in order to avoid the cost and hassle of taking their bowling balls to a pro shop. I had heard horror stories of people destroying their bowling balls in kitchen ovens, because most kitchen ovens do not bake at a temperature cool enough to be safe for them. I know some people leave their bowling balls in the trunk of their car on a hot, sunny day, but we live in Washington state, and "hot, sunny days" are a fairy tale in this area. In nearly all climates, this wouldn't work in winter.
After we talked for a while, she remembered a device used in a geology lab where she had worked. It was used to get the moisture out of rocks, and it operated at a temperature range that would work for bowling balls. We immediately set to work obtaining a similar device, and then modifying it so that it would work for bowling balls. The result was a machine that was clumsy to use, and anything but pretty, but did an amazing job of getting the oil out. Over the next year we "baked" our bowling balls many, many times, and did the same for a number of friends. We got rave reviews from all of them about the improved performance of the balls. One friend said, "It hooked so much I couldn't use it!"
In May of 2011 Mona's son Eric INSISTED we read the book "The 4-Hour Work Week", by Timothy Ferris. We got the book on tape and listened to it in the car on our vacation. The light came on in our heads at virtually the same moment, inspired by something he said. We could market our bowling ball oven!! Nearly 2 years and many, many improvements later, we introduced NuBall.
We are located in Vancouver, Washington. Vancouver is just across the bridge from Portland Oregon, and is part of the Portland metro area. Vancouver is a bit of a bowling mecca. There are 116 lanes in four centers in Vancouver - a city of about 150,000 residents - and a few smaller centers in towns nearby. Several current and former PBA stars live here, most of them involved in pro shops, bowling centers, coaching, etc.
- Wylie Ott - CEO
- Mona Ott - CFO
- Eric DePangher - CTO