How Do I Choose The Best Bowling Ball For Me?

So Many Bowling Balls On The Market, How Do You Choose One?

There are a couple factors to look at to help you make this decision.

Ball weight, ball speed, first ball, adding to your current arsenal, rotation of your hand around the ball, looking for more hook, less hook, for league, or for tournament play, can all determine which bowling ball is best for you.

What Bowling Ball Weight Is Should I Be Using?

If this is your first ball, the correct ball weight can usually be determined by just a couple things. First, if you go to the bowling center, pick up a couple different weight balls. If you can easily pick the ball up with two hands and bounce it around, it’s too light. If you pick it up with two hands and you have to cradle it with the help of your back, or your knees buckle, it’s probably too heavy. One rule of thumb is whatever weight house ball you can use comfortably, you can usually go up one pound in getting your own personal ball. The reason is house balls don’t fit you. When properly drilled by a pro shop for your hand, it will make the ball much easier to hold on to thereby making it easier to go up one pound from the house ball.

What Surface Bowling Ball Should I Buy?

Ball speed- If you have a tendency to throw the ball very hard, you would probably be better served with a bowling ball that has a dull or matte finish surface. If you throw the ball very slow, a better choice would be a shiny surface bowling ball.

How To Know What Bowling Ball Is Needed In My Arsenal?

If you are looking to add a ball to your current arsenal, you first have to determine what’s missing with your current bowling ball. Does your current ball hook too much? Not enough? If your current bowling ball hooks too much, look for a shiny ball or symmetric core ball. If your ball hooks too little, look for a duller matte finish ball, an asymmetric or high differential core bowling ball.

For league play, unless your ball speed is very low or rev rate is very high, an asymmetrical core with a medium surface would be best.

For tournament play, if you must select one type of bowling ball to give you a consistent ball reaction on most sport pattern conditions, your best choice would be a symmetric ball with a shiny reactive surface. If bowling on a longer, heavy oil sport pattern, an aggressive matte finish surface will react best.

A Plastic Bowling Ball Could Help Make Spares Easier

If you have trouble converting spares, a plastic ball can be your best ball option. A plastic ball will not hook very much if at all. This is good because it takes any lane condition out of play. Your ball does not need to hook to knock down a single pin. The ball just needs to hit the pin and it will go down.

A Checklist For Picking The Bowling Ball You Need

Correct ball weight and fit are the most important factor in determining the correct bowling ball for you

The surface of the bowling ball is your second consideration in the ball selection process.

Next, match the surface with the type of core design to give you the overall ball motion you seek.

No one bowling ball works on every lane condition. If you expect your game to get better and become competitive on league or tournament lane conditions, then you will need to develop your arsenal around the next ball for your game.

Consult your pro shop professional and your bowling instructor to discuss specific brands and models of bowling balls when you are considering purchasing your next ball.

If you have any other questions about how to select the best ball for your game, or if you have any other topics you would like me to cover, please email me at [email protected]

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7 thoughts on “How Do I Choose The Best Bowling Ball For Me?

  1. Stuart says:

    I currently use a Hammer Bad Ass but I’m looking for much more hook. I average about 185-188. I don’t have a lot of revs and about medium speed. I have a plastic ball for my spares. Please give me some suggestions. Thanks

  2. Steven says:

    Hi John,

    I am a low rev (160 rpm) Full Roller with a 90 degree axis rotation with zero tilt.
    I have slow ball speed, about 10.5 to 11.5 mph as measured at the pin deck.

    On light volume house shots I have been using a 1970’s Vintage rubber ball finished to 1000 grit with a high flare pancake core layout, similar to the PBA High flare Plastic Ball layout used in the Plastic ball competitions, only for Full Roller.

    On lighter volume house shots with a well defined dry area right of second arrow I will play up 9 and fade out to 7 or 6 and the rubber ball will make a nice predictable turn to the pocket. It never overreacts if I hit my mark correctly and I can play this line all night with little transition problems.

    Next week I start bowling in a league with much heavier volume on the Brunswick Anvilane surface which is real slick. I will need something much stronger to get the ball to react at all.

    What type of reactive ball, surface grit and core will give me the same consistency, accuracy and easy move to the pocket that I am getting with my rubber ball on dryer conditions?

    With the rubber ball and its layout I am getting 4 inches of flare.

    Thank you.

    • Zach says:

      I am also only a 2 finger bowler i throw between 13.5-14.5mph i currently throw a rotogrip hustle it is pretty good as long as lanes are not dry but on dry lanes it snaps too early

  3. Dave says:

    John,
    I’m (80) years old and I bowl 2 or 3 times a week.
    (30) years ago I had a average of 165 to 170 in a league.
    I am right handed and I want to buy a new ball, but I’m not familiar with what’s available now.
    I want to have a hooking ball from the 3rd arrow that gets within 4″ of the right gutter.
    I’m interested in your opinion of a Urethane ball with a Matte finish
    1. Symmetrical or soft surface ball
    2. Solid reactive cover
    3.A (13 or 14) lb ball
    4. A RG of 2,54
    5. A differential of 0.33 or 0.38
    6. I use a 5 step approach aim at the and release at center of lane and would like a hook that goes within 4 ” of gutter in to the pocket.
    7. My delivery is a moderate hook.
    8. My ball speed and rev’s are medium.
    The (3) Balls I’m considering are :
    A.. Pyramid Pathogen with a hook rating of (2.54), a 200 grit finish / factory finish (13 or 14 lbs.)
    B. Pyramid Path Rising with a Pearl reactive and a symmetrical core.
    C. Raw Hammer (14) lbs, RG 2.587 with a juices solid core and a reactive cover.
    Will you recommend any of these or your personal choice given my circumstances.
    You have helped my son, his wife with advice as well as my brother in-law in the past.
    Dave C.

  4. Carol says:

    I’m left handed and currently have a plain plastic ball. I want to put a little hook into it. I’ve only been bowling for 3 years.

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