Bowlus was an expert at soaring flight and at building gliders, established numerous records, trained many of America's earliest glider pilots, and gave gliding lessons to both Charles and Anne Morrow Lindbergh. In 1930 he and Lindbergh glided at various locations in California. Most notably Point Loma in San Diego California where Bowlus conducted many of his flights and tests.
Charles Lindbergh established a regional distance record for gliders by flying in a Bowlus sailplane from Mount Soledad in La Jolla to Del Mar, making use of the lift at the Torrey Pines Gliderport. Anne Morrow Lindbergh also flew in a Bowlus sailplane from Mount Soledad and became the first woman in the United States to receive a "first class" glider license (Maxine Dunlap had preceded her in becoming the first woman in the United States to receive a glider license of any kind (a "third class" glider license). Bowlus was also the first American to break Orville Wright's 1911 soaring duration record in an American designed and built sailplane.