Performing in the bowling alley as a bowler sounds like a lot of fun. Bowling is definitely a sport that seems easier than actually done. There is a lot of technique involved that works only when you have the right set of understanding and the right bowling equipment at hand. If you are a bowler, choosing this equipment i.e. the right Bowling Ball requires that you look into several factors that eventually determine the performance delivered by the bowling ball. The quality of the bowling ball can make or break your shots.
The bowling ball works in a manner that it interacts with every element in the game of bowling. These elements such as the player, the oil pattern, the lanes, and the pins together determine how awesome a bowling game is going to turn out. Hence, as a bowler, users need to understand the bowling ball technology before they go out and buy the best ball to win on the lanes.
Read our latest guide about the best medicine balls.
Importance of the right Bowling Ball
If you are still wondering as to why what the fuss with the right bowling is all about, allow us to enlighten you. If you are a new bowling player and really want to improve your bowling consistency and scores, bowling with the right ball is crucial. If you think that your bowling lanes are simple surfaces, you are super wrong. The right bowling ball is designed to perform on various types of surfaces and they supercharge the style and strength of an individual bowler. However, if you are a regular fun bowler, the house balls will suffice.
There are just so many types and sizes of balls available in the market that without proper research and guidance, you might end up investing in a bowling ball that isn’t the right match for you.
The Bowling Ball basics
Understanding the basics of the structure of a bowling ball is a must, especially if you are a beginner. This hard-spherical sporting equipment that hits the pins in the bowling sport has three holes drilled in them for the bowler to insert the middle finger, the ring finger, and the thumb, in order to get that grip. With the modern bowling ball getting so high tech and individualized, new players need to acknowledge the fact that different balls have extremely different levels of performance and the differences are often highly technical. The conclusion is that, as an individual player, you need to have a individualized bowling ball for scoring that shot.
Governed by bodies such as the United States Bowling Congress (USBC), the design and properties of bowling balls are regulated in terms of the size, number of holes, and hardness. They also maintain a list of bowling balls to make sure that everything is uniform.
On every bowling ball that meets the USBC standards, you will find the a USBC logo, a unique serial number, the manufacturer’s brand name, the name of the ball, center of gravity before hole drilling, and core orientation.
Bowling Ball Specifications
With several bodies governing the regulations of the sports, there are certain rules that bowling ball manufacturers need to abide by. For example, the weight of a bowling ball should not exceed 16 pounds. It can only be made from uniform solid materials with a 3.80 g/mL density or lower. For the hardness and the circumference of the ball, the figure should be at least 72 and between 26.704 and 27.002 inches, respectively.
There are two main parts of a bowling ball: the coverstock and the core or the weight block. The coverstock is the visible part of the bowling ball that determines the impact and the hook potential. The coverstock is there to see that it comes to contact with the lane surface.
The key features that affect the motion of your bowling ball are porosity, friction, and mass distribution. For the mass distribution of the ball, factors like the shape and the size of the core and the inner part of the ball come into play. The holes in a bowling ball are crucial determinants as well. The USBC standards permit up to five holes drilled per ball.
How to choose the ideal Bowling Ball?
Now, that you have an over the surface understanding about how a bowling ball and its specifications impact your bowling performance, it’s time to address the elephant in the room. What are the parameters that need to be considered while finding your ideal bowling ball?
Let’s explore them.
Begin with the Ideal Ball Weight
Well, there are a lot of opinions about this one. As per the standards, you bowling ball should not weigh more than 16 pounds. Alternatively, it has been mentioned that a bowling ball should be approximately 10 percent of your body weight. However, a lot of bowling enthusiasts prefer 15-pounds bowling balls.
So, before you buy your choice of bowling ball, just simply visit a local bowling alley and test out a couple of the bowling balls to determine your ideal weight choice. Just make sure that you don’t end up with a ball too heavy because that will not only impact your throw, but might also end up in an injury.
Choose the right Cover Stock
Your bowling ball reaction to the lane is determined by the Cover stock of your bowling ball. This material on the outer surface is mainly of four types: polyester/plastic, Urethane, Reactive resin, and Proactive.
If you are out there getting your first bowling ball, we recommend that you ahead with a reactive-resin coverstock as it will give your shots greater hook potential. They are also meant for advanced bowlers due to the least amount of friction they produce. Definitely expensive than the others, they are also great for oiled lanes. The solid resin coverstocks have the greater ability of roll and speeding up. Hence, if you prefer high-intensity, power shots, they must be your coverstock material. However, they also require a lot of power for the best throw.
The Plastic and polyester coverstocks produce the least amount of friction. Since they are easy to produce, they make up for cheaper bowling balls. A straight throw comes easy with them. These are the most ideal for stubborn splits or stray pins.
The Urethane are definitely more durable than the plastic coverstocks. Offering a high hook potential, they also offer more friction between the lane surface and the ball. Hence, the ball deflects less, and the pin action jis great pin action.
If you are an intermediate or an advanced bowler, the Proactive coverstock is your thing. A bumpy surface makes up for the Proactive coverstock. This material creates a lot of friction, probably the most and hence it lets the ball dig into the surface of the lane. This coverstock is a great choice for heavily oiled lanes.
What really impacts your Coverstock Performance are factors like Surface roughness, the Oil absorption rate, and the hardness. So, focus on them as well.
The Core Types
In a bowling ball, you will find three types of cores: Pancake core, Symmetrical Core, and Asymmetrical core.
The pancake core is the most common and is generally found in most bowling balls on the racks at the club. This is a core for beginners who need to work on their ball control first before refining hooks and other techniques.
The symmetrical core is meant for bowlers who are looking for a functional bowling ball that does not require too much skill to use. They offer higher hook potentials with the right coverstock material. The ones offering medium hooks are great for drier lanes and for the players who prefer slow throw balls.
The Asymmetrical cores tend are all about unexpected ball movements. They make up for great strike balls. They have higher skid lengths before hooking aggressively into the break point. If you have a matching coverstock, they also great for heavily oiled lanes.
You also need to consider factors like the Finger Hole Positions or drilling, the Lanes, the hook potential, and the pricing before confirming a bowling ball purchase.
Choosing the right hook potential can be a bit of overwhelming task for many. It refers to the amount a given ball will hook once it leaves the skid phase of ball motion. If a bowling ball is with high Differential of RG numbers, it will generally hook more than than bowling balls with low Differential.
For the holes part of a bowling ball, you can find a lot of pre-drilled bowling balls in the market. However, a ball that is a custom fit for your hand is strongly recommended. It also works to decrease the risk of injuries on the alley because you have a better finger grip and control on the said bowling ball. So, it is fair to say that you can buy a ball with no holes and get them drilled as per your custom measurements.
One must never underestimate the main elements of a bowler’s grip. These elements are the Spans, the pitches, the hole size, and the inserts. The distance between a finger hole and the thumbhole makes for the span. The orientation of a hole relative to the center of the ball is termed as the Pitch. Talking of the hole size, it is about typically the size of the thumbhole. Inserts are the use of finger inserts as gripping accessories by the players.
It is also crucial to consider the lane conditions that you will be bowling upon before making a final choice. Bowling alleys coat their lanes with oil in order to protect them by not letting the bowling balls make large dents on the surface. With most of the synthetic lanes in function today, alleys now use oil to make the game more challenging.
If you consider the ball hooking ability and the coverstock material before making a confirmed purchase of your new bowling ball, you will be better able to match your new ball to all the lane conditions: dry, medium- dry, or oily.
Now, let’s check out the top 15 bowling balls that you can choose from in order to complete your purchase.
TOP 15 BEST BOWLING BALLS IN 2021
|1. Hammer Black Widow Legend Bowling Ball|
500/2000 Abralon Finish
|2. Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball||Coverstock: Polyester||$$||4.8|
|3. Hammer Black Widow Black/Gold Bowling Ball|
layout of dual angle
|4. Pyramid Path Rising Pearl Bowling Ball||Ideal for medium-dy lanes||$$||4.6|
|5. Ebonite Maxim Bowling Ball||Core: 3 Piece Core||$$||4.6|
|6. Hammer Dark Legend Solid Bowling Ball||For all types of bowling lanes||$$$||4.5|
|7. Motiv Venom Cobra Bowling Ball||Finish: 5500 Grit LSP||$$$||4.5|
|8. Pyramid Antidote Bowling Ball||2-Year Warranty||$$||4.5|
|9. KR Clear Red Rose Bowling Ball||For both striking and straight rolling||$$$||4.4|
|10. Pyramid cruise Bowling Ball||Ideal for Medium-Heavy Oil Conditions||$$$||4.3|
|11. Brunswick Spiral Viz A Ball Bowling Ball||No curve gaming||$$||4.2|
|12. Columbia 300 Nitrous Bowling Ball||Finish: 500/2000 Abralon Polished||$$||4.1|
|13. Brunswick TZone Patriot blaze bowling ball||High-gloss polish||$$||4.0|
|14. Columbia Nitrous Red/Gold|
Finished with 2000 Abralon
|15. Sportime UltraFoam Bowling Ball|
Lesser weight, thus handy
The hammer Black Widow Legend Bowling Ball is truly a legend. It takes your game up a notch and is the first ball in this line to use a hybrid coverstock.
The ball is sized at 15lbs and it is available in the colors Black/Red Pearl. The reaction of this bowling ball is strong to mid-lane with a massive backend. The Coverstock of the ball is NBT Hybrid . The Core Type of the ball is Gas Mask which includes Flex-Resin additive, Ceramix surface process, and Carbon-Fiber outer core. It is a standard 2 piece core.
The ball is a factory finish: 500, 500, 500, 1000 Abralon with Power House Factory Finish at 300 RPM Speed Radius of Gyration, (RG): 2.50 Differential (Diff): .058 RG and Diff are based off of 15 lb.
The Ball Hook Potential is High and the length is Medium. It’s recommended lane conditions are from Medium to Heavy Oil. The ball comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty.
The first ball in this line to use a hybrid coverstock, the Black Widow Legend is a ball that is aggressive with its polished cover and then combined it with popular Gas Mask core to provide awesome movement on the backend that carries through the pins.
Especially designed for medium to heavily oiled lanes, this bowling ball has the ability to change your weak curve into something wicked. You can throw from all the way of the right side of the alley and it will hook like you are a pro, even right after they oil the lanes.
The ball is a high performer with various drilling patterns for the bowling style and lane type you often bowl. The best thing about this ball is that it is suitable for all lane conditions.
- Works great on Oil Lanes unlike other balls
- Increased number of strikes with the ball’s grip
- Has a good spin
- Tight grab
- Great flow
- Need to maintain speed otherwise might hook out of control
The Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball is reliable to blast the competition. This good-looking spare or plastic ball is ideal for both straight bowlers and for beginners in the lanes.
The weight of the ball is 16.8 lbs. As it has no holes, it can be drilled separately. The Coverstock of the ball is made up of polyester. It has a bullet core. The ball glows at night and hence it is great to use during any low-light theme in the lanes.
It is available in a wide range of colors- silver, aqua, blue, and pink. It is recommended to use in dry lanes. It provides a greater hook to the bowlers who have low REV rates.
It provides great fun to the beginners in the bowling alley. It offers great performance in the straight balls. With the help of this ball, 14 pins can be achieved easily in the straight rolls. The recreational bowlers can have a great fun time at the bowling alley with this plastic ball. The hooks can be increased with this ball in the oily lanes.
- Can be used for oily lanes
- Can change direction
- Smooth and flawless performance
- Enhanced with Brunswick’s advanced technology
- Made up of Polyesters
- The ball is not so durable
The Hammer Black Widow Black/Gold Bowling Ball dominates the lanes with improved rolling out. This bowling ball is proved to be best and become the first choice to use it over Aggression Hybrid Coverstock.
The ball can be availed in varied weights of 16 lbs, 15 lbs, 14 lbs, 13 lbs, and 12 lbs. With the association of the angular cone, Gas Mask it provides a powerful backend motion. It is reliable to use from medium and heavy oily lanes.
The ball has been infused with the Carbon Fiber, which is recognized as the toughest material on earth.
As the inner core has been made up of this material it has increased its strength. The durability of the ball has been increased too with a long-term warranty for three years.
It can be used swiftly on any lanes range from heavy to medium oily. This ball is best for the professional bowlers to overcome the great challenges in the toughest bowling alley. You have to match the speed according to the box finish- slow, medium and fast.
- Can be used on any mediums
- Available in varied weights
- Specifically designed for advanced bowling tournaments
- Can be used on the layout of dual angle
- Best for rolling out
- The durability is controversial
The Pyramid Path Rising Pearl Bowling Ball is meticulously designed with the advanced pyramid technology for optimizing its performance ability. It is reliable to use both by the beginners and the professional bowlers by its first-ever changing variables.
The first even changing variables of REV rate, ball speed, and lane conditions make the bowling sport interesting! This versatile ball can be used on any lane condition and can be point gaining.
A number of options available for the drilling of it, so that, it can be strong enough both for rolling and backend. OOB is finely touched by the 1500-grit polish to retain its new look. The factory polished ball is available only in two colors- Silver and Black.
The motion of the ball is also exceptional for the Path Reactive Pearl Coverstock. 1500-grit polish is there to provide the smooth performance on the down lane too. The changing variables of the ball offer the bowlers of any types- professional or beginner to obtain peak performance from the beginning of the game.
- Approved by USBC
- Can be used for the angular reaction
- Can be used by all types of bowlers
- Best to use in medium lanes
- Unpredictable spin
- The dents and weird wobble on its surface can create problems
The Ebonite Maxim Bowling Ball is specially manufactured for the recreational bowlers to have fun at the bowling alley. With the help of this ball, the game can be taken to another level of excitement.
The weight of the ball is 10 lbs. It has been improved with the three pieces of the core which make the game of straight rolling unbelievable. The Coverstock is made up of either plastic or polyester for maintaining the light-weight of the ball.
This ball is generally made for the performers of entry-level and the recreational bowlers who love to bowl occasionally. The design of the ball is thoughtfully done by prioritizing the various style of bowling in the bowling alley. It is available in 3 colors- Gold, Purple, and Black
It is the most famous polyester ball across the globe and is widely preferred by the recreational bowlers who are passionate about bowling. The entry league can be enjoyed with this ball. The shine and lustrous look of the ball make it perfect to use in any low-light theme tournament.
- Best for occasional use
- It is light-weighted
- Can be used by both child and adults
- It has no curve
- Widely preferred for straight rolls
- Promotes smooth performance
- The ball is not so durable
The Hammer Dark Legend Solid Bowling Ball is amplified by the power of the Semtex Coverstock. The challenging game has been turned into an exciting one with this ball as it can manage any level of oil in the lanes.
This ball is available in two different weights- 16 lbs and 15 lbs. It has been finished with the Abralon Finish of 500/2000 for making it enable to use in all types of bowling lanes. The core of this ball is made up of Weight Block of Gas Mask.
Thus, the durability of this ball is comparatively high among the others. The Coverstock is enhanced with the Hammer Semtex Solid for making it outstanding at the bowling lanes. It is available in Black and Blue.
This ball is dangerous! Therefore, the performance in the bowling alley can be predicted with this ball. The Abralon Finish of 500/2000 is impeccable in enhancing the performance during any challenging lanes and games. Due to the presence of Semtex Coverstock, it can control any oily lanes at the bowling alley.
- Most predictable performance
- Best for challenging tournaments
- Both for professional and occasional bowlers
- It has high durability
- Can be used on all types of bowling lanes
- Can create extra strain at the elbow
The Motiv Venom Cobra Bowling Ball performs fast as a moving snake! The Sabotage Hybrid Reactive along with the dual-density core of the Top Gear is there for outstanding performance.
The ball has been specially designed to perform it flawlessly and efficiently on the light and medium oily lanes. The Venom Shock predecessor is provided in this ball for making it perform effectively for a long time.
The weight of the ball is 16.8 lbs. Only two types of color can be found for this type of ball- Silver NeoMark Graphics, Bronze Pearl in Gold, and Black.
The performance of the ball is enhanced by the predecessor of the Venom Shock. It enables the ball to make a fast reaction at the bowling alley. The design of ball is specifically done for the medium oily lanes and light oily lanes.
The deadly combination of the Sabotage Hybrid Reactive along with the dual-density core of the Top Gear makes it perform within a few seconds.
- Offers fast reaction
- Especially for medium lanes and light lanes
- Can be used by both professional and recreational bowlers
- Smooth and flawless performance
- Doesn’t need much strength to throw the ball
- Cannot perform efficiently on the dry lanes
The Pyramid Antidote Bowling Ball has been improved with the core of New Era 149 Symmetric. The technology of the core is amazing and offers the bowlers to enjoy the optimum flare potentiality for the continuation of the exciting game of bowling.
The weight of the ball is varied and can be found in 16 lbs, 15 lbs, 14 lbs, 13 lbs, and 12 lbs. For improving its performance on the heavy oily lanes and medium oily lanes it has been wrapped with the Coverstock of the GPS Navigation Solid.
The core technology of the High RG makes this ball outstanding and reliable for long time performance. The factory finish of the ball with the 2000 Grit Abralon has improved its strength.
The Coverstock of the ball with proved GPS Navigation Solid enhances the performance of the ball in both heavy oily lanes and medium oily lanes. The core has been made up of New Era 149 Symmetric so that both professional and recreational bowlers can use this easily. The core technology is built by High RG for providing optimum flare potential to the bowlers.
- It is symmetrical
- Can be used both for hooks and league
- Strengthens the backend
- 2-years warranty
- Different techniques can be learned with it
- Can skid on heavy oily lanes
The KR Clear Red Rose Bowling Ball is specifically designed to take the game of bowling to another level of excitement. The features are unique and differ from the other balls of the bowling alley. This ball has been used in Kingpin movie, by Bill Murray.
The weight of the ball is only 14 lbs. A different and unique look is offered to the ball. The color of it is clear with a transparent Red Rose in its middle. A few pit holes which are tiny can be found at the Coverstock. This denotes that this ball is normal and can be used by both professional; and recreational bowlers.
Moreover, this ball can be kept on display at the same time. A few bubbles can be found inside the ball which enhances its beauty. The Coverstock of the ball is made up of Polyester.
Rather than using it for playing, it has gained a lot of attention and buzz for its appearance. The polyester Coverstock makes this ball reliable to use in the dry and medium oily lanes.
- It can be kept for display
- It has an encased rose in it
- Used by both professional bowlers and beginners
- It is improved with Acrylic
- Best for both striking and straight rolling
- Not for heavy oily lanes
The Pyramid Cruise Bowling Ball is the beginner’s best friend. It is the leading hooker ball which can easily be the first ball to start the game of bowling with.
The dimension of the ball is 9x9x9 inches. It has got the weight 15.7 pounds. It is available in the black color. It comes with the 2 years warranty from the manufacturer. The pyramid ball is easier to use because of its weight. It has got the ATX cover stroke.
This bowling ball has the SG equinox symmetric core. It is outstanding to use in the medium to heavy oil condition of the lane.
This ball makes exceptional hooking in the game so is named as a hooker ball.
The performance of the Pyramid Cruise Bowling Ball is outstanding because it can be controlled by the gamer easily. As a hooker ball it rolls slowly on the lane to ensure outstanding results in the game. It is ideal to play in the medium oily to heavy oily lanes.
It gives the player to experiment with the curve. You can improve your bowling career with this ball up to a high extent.
- Beginner’s Ball
- Works great on medium to high oily lanes
- Roll-slow spin
- Outstanding hooker
- Less warranty period
The Brunswick Spiral Viz A Ball Bowling Ball is a great spare ball. It is best for the beginners to start their career in bowling.
The Brunswick Spiral Viz A Ball Bowling Ball is a great spare ball that has the weight of 16 pounds. It is exceptionally good for the beginners who are new in the game. It has a 360 degree graphics is of the limited edition.
Made with the outstanding quality of polyester material it gives the opportunity to the experience bowlers to directly throw the ball at the spars. It comprises of a reasonable price so is affordable by everyone.
As per the performance of this ball, you can be assured of its accuracy. As it gives the chances to the experienced to throw directly to the spares it can be termed as a good ball. It gives the recreational blowers to get back to the game early and manageably.
The high quality polyester keeps the ball in the durable condition. You can play a ‘no curve’ game easily.
- Beginners’ ball
- Good Spare ball
- Low in cost
- Outstanding graphics
- No curve gaming
- Pattern not the same in both the sides
- No other design is available
The Columbia 300 Nitrous Bowling Ball is your pick if you are a design freak who also concentrates upon the design of the ball. This ball has both excellent design and accuracy.
The Columbia 300 Nitrous Bowling Ball comes in three colors, black/bronze and blue. It has an interesting design.
This ball has the nitrous core and the coverstock of Boost/R. It has got a fantastic powerhouse factory finish of 500/2000. The weight of the ball is 15 pounds. It has a good hitting power for which it outstands.
This ball is for the professionals and hooking is a bit tricky. If you start making a perfect hooking with this ball it will be exceptional. This bowling ball acts a good reactive ball.
In terms of the performance this ball is for the professionals. One you learn the perfect hooking with this ball it will turn into the best hooker. This ball can help you increase the number of pins while in the game.
You can improve your pin stats playing bowling with this ball up to a great level.
- Nitrous ball
- Heavy hitting capacity
- Easy experimentation is possible
- Increases the pin points
- Hard hitter
- Might get out of focus sometimes
The Brunswick TZone Patriot Blaze Bowling ball is one of the highly credible one. It comes without the holes which you have to drill.
This ball acts as a good spare. It has much affordability too. The total weight of this bowling ball is 12 pounds. It can act as a beginners’ ball to improve the strength of the hand. It is made of plastic which helps the armatures to practice the game. The ball consists of the glossy finish. The cover stock is made with polyester.
The maximum, minimum and the differential RG is 2.715/2.696 and .038 respectively.
As per the performance it is efficient to play the role of a spare ball. For the beginners it helps in improving the strength of the hands. It is highly resistant towards the lane smoothness and can deliver good playing experience in case of the lanes.
It is overall a good ball to improve the condition of a beginner player or to recreate the player.
- Ball is affordable
- Works as an awesome beginners ball
- Can increase the pin points if practiced regularly
- Many colors available for this ball
- Comes with no holes
- Extra charges needed for making holes
- No hooking is possible
The Columbia nitrous is an outstanding ball for the medium and light oil lane bowling. It is outstanding in accordance to its lookout.
The Columbia Nitrous gives you a nitrous core. It is asymmetric in nature which gives the ball outstanding accuracy.
The weight of the ball is 15 pounds and the shipping weight is 16 pounds. The coverstock of the ball has got reactive resin and it is a well-efficient as a strike ball. For the above speculations it can be used by the any professional bowler.
For the above mentioned specifications, the ball is high in terms of performance. It acts as one of the greatest hook potential balls. The ball can be played in the various lanes like medium, oily, and less oily lanes. You can use this as the first ball of your bowling career, the pin points for you can increase.
You can be rest assured that using the Columbia Nitrous Red/Gold your career for bowling will fly high.
- Nitrous core present for extended accuracy
- Outstanding outlook
- Durable polish
- Great hooker ball
- Easy to use in any lane conditions
- The finger holes are absent for this bowl
- Might cost you extra to drill the finger holes
The Sportime UltraFoam Bowling Ball is one of the best bowling balls for the middle school level. The design made of foam helps to reduce the injuries.
It is one of the outstanding bowling balls which are designed fully by foam. The fingers holes are present on it make it convenient to be played instantly. It just weighs 1 pound and the shipping weight is 1.6 pounds.
It is 8 inches in dynamometer which makes it only 2/3 the size of a real ball. The children amateur can learn about the arm swing and the ways to play.
In terms of performance it is accurate and gives the kinesthetic feedback. No injuries can happen with this bowling ball and thus the school students can easily play with it.
You can be assured about the safety while using the Sportime Ultrafoam Bowling ball. In terms of prices, this ball is well affordable. It can be played in any kind of lane as the foam is totally sensitive to the bowling lane.
- Junior Bowling Ball ideal for children
- Available in many colors
- Super comfort is guaranteed
- Lesser weight, thus handy
- Good for autistic players
- Only 2/3 the size of a real bowling ball