The Best Bowling Ball To Use – And Why?

The best bowling ball to use depends on many different factors. Are you a beginner or a more accomplished bowler. Chances are if you are more accomplished and participate in league bowling, you are already familiar with different bowling balls. Many people are not up to date on the latest equipment and some need help. If you are one who doesn’t quite understand the different types of bowling balls, then this article will help you. Let me help you find the best bowling ball to use.

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The Best Bowling Ball For Beginners

If you are just starting out in bowling most people will advise you to just use a house ball. That is fine if you only bowl once in awhile. But, if you find you enjoy the game enough to join a league, then you need a ball fitted for you.

If you are throwing a simple straight ball to the pocket, a plastic or urethane ball will do nicely. In fact if you think you are considering learning hook ball bowling eventually, then the urethane ball makes a good easy to control starter ball. You can read my article The release in hook ball bowling for some pointers on learning how to hook a bowling ball.

For younger kids and pre-teens who like the ball to look pretty and aren’t concerned with the performance quite yet, then the colorful plastic balls are great. Sometimes these balls can be real bargains around the Christmas holidays and year end sales.

The Bowling Ball Performance Rating Scale

To help determine the proper bowling level of the different bowling balls, has developed a helpful “Performance scale”

The Performance scale runs from 0 to 10 with low performance (0) to high performance (10)

  • (0) Polyester/Plastic: – Perfect for spare shooting or for someone looking for their first bowling ball.
  • (2) Entry Performance: – For the beginning bowler looking to start hooking the ball or for more advanced bowlers looking for an option on drier lane conditions.
  • (4) Performance: – A step up in coverstock and core technology. This category will provide you with more hook and reaction.
  • (6) Advanced Performance: – The best bang for your buck. Many times these balls will feature the best technology from recent years in different combinations.
  • (8) High Performance: – This category will provide you with a wider variety of ball reactions for use on more challenging lane conditions.
  • (10) Pro Performance: – Designed for very advanced bowlers. These balls are the newest in bowling technology.

Plastic Balls At The Basic Level Have Very Limited Core Blocks

The plastic and polyester balls (level 0) usually don’t have much of a core block because they aren’t used for a hook ball. They are made for going straight. Advanced bowlers use these for a spare ball in addition to a hook ball. There are some high performance plastic balls with a core to generate some hook for experienced hook bowlers who may want another ball to use for drier lane conditions.


The Best Bowling Ball At Level (0) Plastic

Pyramid Bowling BallsImagePrice
Pink/Blue/Teal HOLIDAY DEALS 2020Pyramid Path Pink Blue TealCURRENT PRICE
Blue/Black/White Pyramid Path Blue Black and White Bowling BallCURRENT PRICE
Blue/Light Blue/Lime Green Pyramid-Path-Blue-Light-Blue-Lime-Green-Bowling-BallCURRENT PRICE
Aqua/Silver Pyramid-Path-Aqua-Silver-Bowling-BallCURRENT PRICE


Glow In The Dark Balls For Cosmic Black Light Bowling  Level (0)

These are great for all ages and come with a 2 year warranty! They are for a straight ball type of bowler who does not hook bowl. Cosmic bowling is a blast. If you have never tried it, give it a try! These balls look great under the black light.

Shark GlowViz-A-Ball-Shark-Glow Bowling BallCURRENT PRICE
Butterflies Glow Viz-A-Ball-Butterflies-Glow-Bowling-BallCURRENT PRICE

Best Bowling Ball For Level (2) Entry Performance

The entry level ball is the best ball for beginning league bowlers who might be learning to hook the ball. And these balls work for more advanced bowlers as well on extremely dry lanes where a strong hooking ball is too hard to control.

The coverstock on lower performance balls, contains less particles of resin that make the ball hook more. The more expensive balls are much higher technology and result in a variety of performance levels. These are more economical versions.

Storm MixImageDescriptionPrice
Storm Mix Red/Gold/SilverStorm Mix Red/Gold and SilverUrethane Symmetrical mild controlled hook Medium-dry lanes.CURRENT PRICE
Storm Mix Blue/SilverStorm-Mix-Blue-Silver-Bowling-BallUrethane Symmetrical mild controlled hook Medium- dry lanes.CURRENT PRICE
Storm Tropical SurgeImageDescriptionPrice
Storm Tropical Surge Black/Cherry HybridStorm-Tropical-Surge-Black-Cherry-Hybrid-Bowling-BallHybrid Reactive  2-4″ of angular hook – Medium-dry lanes.CURRENT PRICE

The Best Bowling Ball For Medium Oil Conditions

The Best Bowling Balls for medium oil to heavy oil conditions fall into 5 categories. Urethane, Resin Reactive, Hybrid Reactive, Pearl Reactive, and Solid Reactive. This is where the bowling balls contain a core block that adds to the control and hooking ability of the ball.

There are two types of core blocks in bowling balls, Symmetrical and Asymmetrical. As a general rule, Symmetric cores deliver a smooth more continuous hook. Where as Asymmetrical core blocks deliver a more angular flip on the backend.

I personally like the symmetrical cores because I find them easier to deal with when the lanes change and for making spares. The flip on the Asymmetrical core can also make picking up some spares more difficult for the beginner and experienced bowler alike. You can read more about the core differences in my article  Asymmetrical vs Symmetrical Bowling Balls.

Different Coverstocks Make A Difference In Hooking Ability

Urethane Cover

A Urethane coverstock is again a milder hooking ball making it more forgiving and controllable. It does not react or hook as hard as the Hybrid Reactive and Pearl Reactive. But for normal bowling, it hooks less and it will not hook as well in heavy oil conditions. The exception is two-handed bowlers, or a high revving league pro style bowler.

Reactive Resin Cover

The Reactive Resin coverstock has resin particles infused into the bowling ball cover. This is one of the earliest reactive covers used that started the reactive coverstock family. Now there are several different reactive covers.

Pearl Reactive Cover

The Pearl Reactive cover contains harder pearl particles that help the ball skid some through the oil and store it’s energy. This helps delay the ball hook until it hits the dry part of the lane, just beyond the oil pattern. The pearl reactive is stronger than the urethane but not quite as strong as most hybrids. It will help someone who throws the ball slower and needs to keep the ball from hooking as quickly. These are general rules, and there are exceptions. Some High Performance balls use different covers and are very strong hooking balls. But these are more expensive, higher tech balls.

Hybrid Reactive Cover

The Hybrid Reactive cover is a cross between the Pearl Reactive and a Solid Reactive Bowling ball. It has less pearl so it has more grip in the oil . It will start to hook sooner and use it’s energy sooner, creating a smoother backend finish. In general Hybrid Reactive would be a better choice for someone who bowls with more speed, and revs and needs a little more grip to get the ball hooking sooner.

Solid Reactive Cover

The Solid Reactive bowling ball is simply the pure cover stock material. It is not combined with any harder substances like the pearl finish. It is a smooth stronger hook that starts hooking sooner and delivers a continuous hooking ball to the pocket.

The Best Bowling Ball For level (4) Performance

These are bowlers learning to hook the ball or bowling in leagues for the first time or advanced bowlers. The best recommendations for bowling on medium oil patterns. The Storm Axiom and Storm Super Soniq would be recommended for advanced bowlers.

Storm ImageDescriptionPrice
Storm Pitch BlackStorm Pitch Black bowling Ball For The Best Bowling Ball To UseUrethane, 2″flare  Smooth Controllable.  Good choice for two handed bowlers. Dry/ Short Oil Conditions.CURRENT PRICE
Storm IQ Tour Nano PearlStorm-IQ-Tour-Nano-Pearl-Bowling-BallPearl Reactive Symmetrical – 3-5″ High Flare Controllable – Medium Heavy OilCURRENT PRICE
Storm Axiom HOLIDAY DEALS 2020Storm-Axiom-Pearl-Bowling-Ball-For-The-Best-Bowling-Ball-To-UseSolid Reactive Symmetric – High Flare 5-6″ – Strong Midlane – Medium Heavy OilCURRENT PRICE
Storm Super Soniq HOLIDAY DEALS 2020Storm-Super-Soniq-Bowling-BallHybrid Reactive Symmetrical – High Flare 5-6″- Strong Continuous Hook – Medium Heavy OilCURRENT PRICE
Roto GripImageDescriptionPrice
Roto Grip Hustle INK SolidRoto-Grip-Hustle-Ink-Solid-Bowling-BallSolid Reactive – Stable Reaction – Biggest Bang for the buck.
#1 Recommendation For everyone bowling on Medium Oil
Ebonite ImageDescriptionPrice
Ebonite Destiny Pearl Black/Red/BlueEbonite-Destiny-Pearl-Black-Red-Pearl-Bowling-Ball-For-Best-Bowling-Ball Pearl Reactive – Skid/Flip – Gives a backend reaction – All hook bowlers- Medium OilCURRENT PRICE

The Best Bowling Ball Deals Level (8) High Performance

Pyramid Curse HOLIDAY DEALS 2020Pyramid-Curse-Bowling-BallSolid Reactive Symmetrical – High Flare – Devastating Backend – Medium Heavy OilCURRENT PRICE
PBS Forbidden Magic HOLIDAY DEALS 2020PBS-Forbidden-Magic-Bowling-BallSolid Reactive Symmetrical – High Flare – Strong Continuous – Medium Heavy oilCURRENT PRICE

The Best Bowling Ball Deals Level (10) Pro Performance

End Of Year Savings On Pro Performance Balls

Hammer Rip’d Pearl HOLIDAY DEALS 2020Hammer-Ripd-Pearl-Bowling-BallPearl Reactive Asymmetrical – High Flare – Length With Strong Midlane and Backend – Medium Heavy OilCURRENT PRICE
PBS Mercenary HOLIDAY DEALS 2020PBS-Mercenary-Bowling-BallSolid Reactive Asymmetric – High Flare – Length With Smooth Backend – Medium Heavy OilCURRENT PRICE
Pyramid Chosen Path Pearl Black/Lime Green Ltd Ed w/ FREE Monster Tac 4oz and Microfiber TowelPyramid-Chosen-Path-Pearl-Black-Lime-GreenReactive Resin Asymmetrical, 6’+ High Flare – Strong Backend – Medium Heavy OilCURRENT PRICE
Storm Gravity Evolve HOLIDAY DEALS 2020Storm Gravity Evolve Gunmetal Fire Crimson Bowling BallSolid Reactive Asymmetrical – 6″+ High Flare – Strong Backend – Heavy oilCURRENT PRICE
Storm Phaze III HOLIDAY DEALS 2020Storm-Phaze-3-Bowling-Ball-Colors-Obsidian-Jade-OrchidHybrid Reactive Symmetrical – 4-6″ High Flare – Strong Continuous – Medium Heavy OilCURRENT PRICE
Storm TrendStorm-Trend-Bowling-Ball-Colors-Aqua-Sapphire-TealPearl Reactive Symmetrical – 5-6″” High Flare – Length with Strong Backend – Medium Heavy oilCURRENT PRICE

Choosing The Best Bowling Ball Depends On Four Things

When you try to find the Best Bowling Ball To Use, it depends on four things.

  • Cost – How much the bowler wants to spend.
  • Bowlers Style – Two Handed or Conventional, Hook or Straight Bowler.
  • Experience – Beginner, Advanced or League Pro.
  • Lane conditions to be bowled on. Dry lanes, Medium or Heavy Oil.

If all these factors are considered carefully, you will be much more satisfied with your investment and the performance you get. The game is a lot more enjoyable when you are using a ball you can control, not one that is too challenging for you.

I hope I gave you some good information and suggestions for you to make your decision and pick your best bowling ball. You can find more information to help you select a ball here How To Buy a Bowling Ball Made Easy.

If you have any experiences you would like to share or questions, please leave them below.


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2 thoughts on “The Best Bowling Ball To Use – And Why?”

  1. I am 80 and have been bowling for over 60 years. Bowled in colledge, army and semi pro league and maintained 190 to 200 in my early years. I currently bowl in a senior mixedleague 3 games a week with little to no practice. For the last 5 years my average in the mid 180’s. Last year they installed synthetic lanes while many of the bowlers had trouble hooking the ball my problem was getting the ball going long with a strong finish. I use a “Strom – Trypical Breeze” finger tip about 14+ weight. With a speed of 9. I would like to play a line right of center over 1st or second board. Using my straight spair ball I can hit the pockect but with little finish. I now have to line up 10 boards to left of center. Looking to drop to a 13lb ball that goes straight with a strong finish. Recomendations?

    • HI Ken,
      Congrats for still bowling at 80! It is hard to say because I don’t know the conditions you bowl on. if they changed the oil pattern, bowlers may have a problem with the ball they used before hooking. And these newer balls need replaced often because the pores get clogged up and they won’t perform right. You could try deep cleaning you ball using some hot water at home. Or get the pro shop to do it for you. try that and see how it works. If you still need more hook you can ask the pro shop to sand your ball and give you a more aggressive coverstock.

      If you want the ball to go longer down the lane and have a stronger finish, I would suggest you buy a newer pearl reactive ball, or even a newer urethane ball with a stronger coverstock. Your ball speed is quite low and that may be the problem with not being able to get the ball to go longer. A pearl coverstock (Tropical Surge) will allow the ball to go longer and save it’s energy for hooking and hitting the pins. Talk to the pro shop and ask them to fit you with a new ball. But, I would try just giving it a good cleaning first, sometimes that is all people need.

      Just know this. I would clean my ball often and not allow more than about ten or twelve games until I cleaned it again. It’s a chore, and best to let the ball sit overnight with the holes down to let any water run out. I cover all the holes with Gorilla tape and most times they stay pretty dry!
      Hope that helps? Good luck and good bowling!


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