Bowling is a complex sport with a lot of technique involved. It is not so much about luck as it is about skill and with the right bowling equipment, you could see a major increase in your game and the skills you have. However, choosing your equipment is not always as easy as it might seem and you will need to have the right knowledge when approaching the best bowling ball.
We have decided to look a little deeper at bowling balls and how they work. We have also consulted a couple of experts to find out exactly what they think is the right features that you will need to consider. In this article, you will also find our selection of the top 10 bowling balls that you will be able to use in 2018. We had the opportunity of testing them and even though I am no pro, with some guidance, I found my game improving significantly.
Read on to find out which of the bowling balls are the best and how you could go about choosing one for yourself:
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 10 Bowling Balls – Our Choices for 2018
- 1.1 1. Pyramid Path Bowling Ball
- 1.2 2. Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball
- 1.3 3. Storm Timeless Bowling Ball
- 1.4 4. Ebonite Maxim Bowling Ball
- 1.5 5. Pyramid Path Rising Pearl Bowling Ball
- 1.6 6. Brunswick Rhino Bowling Ball
- 1.7 7. Ebonite Cyclone Bowling Ball
- 1.8 8. Columbia 300 Nitrous Bowling Ball
- 1.9 9. Hammer Black Widow Legend Bowling Ball
- 1.10 10. Ebonite Maxim Bowling Ball – Purple/Royal/Silver
- 2 Key Features to Consider When Selecting the Best Bowling Ball
- 3 Which Brands You Should Consider?
- 4 How to Keep Your Bowling Ball in Top Shape?
- 5 A Couple Of Tips For Bowling The Best Game You Possibly Could:
- 6 Frequently Asked Questions:
- 7 Final Verdict:
Top 10 Bowling Balls – Our Choices for 2018
Before we dive into the top features and the complex design of the bowling balls, we have had the opportunity of testing out a couple of the top bowling balls in real competition. With the guidance of experts, we managed to find the best ones that will work for virtually anyone and these should definitely offer you the best possible value for your money:
Starting off, our list is the Pyramid Path Bowling Ball and this bowling ball is one of the best for beginners looking to enter the game. With a pancake core, the bowling ball works best for straight bowling purposes and the polyester coverstock should be perfect for beginners just entering the game and learning some of the fundamentals.
The bowling ball is undrilled and this means that you will need to take it to your local bowling club to have the holes drilled in and to enable you to get the best possible placement of these holes for the game. The ball features pyramid technology and can also be found in multiple different colors that could meet your needs.
Whilst playing with this bowling ball, I found it to have limited reactivity and this could be bad for playing on an extremely oily surface. The ball tends to skid and the line might fade off the lane and this could cost you somewhat in your game. Nevertheless, under the lights at the club, the colors did look absolutely amazing.
Looking at the price of this bowling ball, it is actually quite affordable and should be a great investment to anyone who is looking to break into the sport. The bowling ball also comes with a decent 2-year warranty and this shows some confidence, but we all know the quality of the Path range bowling balls and how well they hold up.
- Great for straight shots
- Perfect for beginners
- Really affordable
- Includes a 2-year warranty
- Available in multiple colors
- Not very reactive
2. Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball
Brunswick is one of the leading brands when it comes to bowling and creating of bowling balls. The Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball is another top quality bowling ball with a pancake core that is designed to simplify life for you as a beginner or newcomer to the game. It also features polyester coverstock, making it best for straight shots.
The one thing that I found to be quite intriguing about this bowling ball is the hook potential it offers. With this added hook potential, the ball also becomes effective for playing on oily surfaces and should give you that late hook that can be seen in many of the professional games on the TV or in the Wolrd Series games.
One problem I did encounter with this ball is the inconsistency of the weight and you will need to ensure that you do find the right weight that meets your needs. Often times, it can be hard to directly pinpoint the weight and get it correct, this also means the ball is not the best for professional players and should be ideal for the beginners.
It is also a really affordable ball, making it ideal for children of all ages to get the best possible results and value for money. It has also become a great ball for the female users and with so many different sharp colors, your ball will stand out and also be easier to find on the rack. We would definitely recommend it as an ideal beginner’s ball.
- Extremely durable and stylish
- Really affordable
- Great for beginners
- Perfect for children and women
- The weight lacks some consistency
3. Storm Timeless Bowling Ball
Jason Belmonte is a multi PBA champion and this bowling ball has been designed under his watchful eye and with his guidance. The core is so unique that it increases the overall speed of the ball down the lane and this will be perfect for the hard players.
It tends to hit heavy on the pins and could allow you to bowl a match-winning round with minimal effort. Since I am no professional player myself, I found the ball a little tougher to control and this will be the same problem many beginners need to deal with. The reactivity of the ball is also quite immense and without the right compensation, you will not be bowling the best shots. You will also need to adjust your bowling approach.
The price is quite expensive, but that is what you will expect from a professional bowling ball. It comes with a decent warranty and the durability also seems to be top quality. We would highly recommend this ball to the professional players looking to up their game or intermediate players making the swift jump to the bigger leagues.
- Stylish and durable design
- Made for the professional player
- Massive hook potential
- Offers excellent speed
- Quite expensive
4. Ebonite Maxim Bowling Ball
Next, we have the Ebonite Maxim Bowling Ball and this is another bowling ball designed for the beginner player or intermediate player looking to advance. The ball features a 3-piece core that is designed for adding a great balance when it comes to the weight of the ball.
The polyester coverstock is also perfect for those straight bowls, making it perfect for a beginner. The thing that makes this ball unique is the different colors and this is quite effective and stylish.
It features a high-gloss finish that makes the ball stand out from the rest and it also features great speed on the lane. The ball will be perfect for beginner lanes looking to learn all the basics of the game and improve slowly.
The only downside to this ball is the fact that it is only available in a lighter weight. The ball is designed specifically for smaller players or beginners and whilst being at the bowling club, I noticed it is the ideal ball for the female players and it will be great for the club as well. However, you will need to have holes drilled in the ball after purchasing it.
The ball is also quite affordable in terms of the price and it should be the perfect option for anyone looking to start their game at the club. The bowling ball also seems to be quite durable and even though it does not come with a warranty, you need not worry about this. We would highly recommend this for beginners.
- Stylish design
- Really affordable
- Great for beginners
- The entire series is too light for the heavy players
5. Pyramid Path Rising Pearl Bowling Ball
A little bit better than the original Path bowling ball, the Pyramid Path Rising Pearl Bowling Ball is a little more reactive and it is designed for the avid intermediate player. The ball features a symmetric core that makes the drilling of the holes a little more versatile and you will be able to have the holes in the exact spot that you feel comfortable with them.
The Pearl coverstock is extremely reactive and perfect for medium oil lanes. It offers decent hook potential and this also means that you will need to adjust your game somewhat if you are looking for the best results.
The polished factory finish not only makes the ball look amazing, but it also makes it react a little bit better.
The functionality of this bowling ball is one of the main features we like. It is designed for both the technical players and those playing with two hands to have those high-powered shots that could make all the difference on the lanes. The ball does have somewhat of a hook that needs to be compensated for if you are a beginner.
In terms of the price, this ball is a little more expensive than the average ball that you will buy as a beginner, but it will definitely improve the overall quality of your game. This ball is more for beginner entering the intermediate level but should be ideal for intermediate players looking to move up to the pros as well.
- Great for beginners and intermediate players
- Stylish and durable design
- Good hook potential
- Offers functionality when it comes to the finger holes
- Reasonably priced
- Beginners will need to adjust their game and compensate
6. Brunswick Rhino Bowling Ball
The Brunswick Rhino Bowling Ball is designed for the more advanced players. It features a symmetrical core designed for making the holes easier to drill and this will also ensure a better balance of the ball as you are bowling. The R-16 Reactive coverstock is perfect for light to medium oil lanes and it has a slight hook that will make a major difference.
With a smooth finish and a stylish design, the ball is quite unique in itself. It stands out from the rest of the balls you will find on the rack and this could be a way to show your quality. Whilst using the ball, I also found it to be extremely durable. The durability helps the longevity of the ball and could save you a couple of bucks as well.
Unfortunately, this ball is not the best when it comes to beginners. It is designed to make you compensate and adjust your game or the ball will simply just skid off the surface and miss all the targets. Most professional and intermediate bowlers will use this ball as part of their kit or for hitting those elusive strikes in the game.
The price on this bowling ball is rather expensive, but Brunswick is one of the leading brands on the bowling scene and you will need to be willing to pay for the best quality. This bowling ball is certainly one of the best on the list and we would definitely recommend it to the more advanced player or intermediate players.
- Extremely durable and stylish
- Very reactive on medium oiled lanes
- Symmetric core
- Reasonably priced
- Not ideal for beginners
7. Ebonite Cyclone Bowling Ball
Next, we have the Ebonite Cyclone Bowling Ball and this bowling ball is also more expensive and a little better than the average ball you would play with as a beginner. With a reactive resin coverstock, the bowling ball is designed for oily lanes and should function best when used on these lanes. The ball is also quite effective at providing that much-needed hook.
I had the opportunity to test this bowling ball and even though it might not seem as spectacular when looking at the stale design, the performance is great and with the help and training of the club pro, this ball enhanced my game quite significantly.
However, it does take some practice once you first receive the ball to get used to it.
The same thing I found in most of the other top bowling balls also seemed to be a problem with this one. The ball is so reactive; it makes you feel like a bad bowler if you do not compensate for this reactivity. You will need to take some time and compensate for the reactivity and this could take some additional time and training.
Since it is one of the more expensive bowling balls on the market, you will need to dole out a couple of bucks if you are looking for quality. We would not recommend this bowling ball to the average beginner and it will be much better for intermediate players or anyone moving up into the pro levels. Personally, I feel this bowling ball is a great investment.
- Great design with the symmetrical core
- Extremely reactive
- Great for intermediate players and advanced beginners
- Quite expensive
- You will need additional practice
8. Columbia 300 Nitrous Bowling Ball
The Columbia 300 Nitrous Bowling Ball is perfectly in the middle when it comes to value for your money as a beginner player. The bowling ball features a 2-piece core designed symmetrically to make the ball a little better in terms of balance. The coverstock is quite reactive and this should be perfect when it comes to taking your game to the next level.
However, getting my hands on one of these bowling balls turned out to be quite the challenge and you will need to understand a little more than the average casual bowler does before using it. The ball features a glossy finish and this also adds some additional speed to the ball.
Of course, the heavier it is, the faster it will travel as well.
One thing about this bowling ball that makes it perfect is the fact that it can be used by virtually any type of bowler. It is perfect for the average beginner and should enhance their game quite significantly, while the pros will still be able to score near perfect once they have made the adjustments for the hook potential.
The bowling ball is somewhat more expensive than your average beginners’ ball and it will be much cheaper when compared to some of the balls used by the experts. We would definitely recommend this bowling ball to your beginners, but it makes the perfect casual bowling ball to be used among multiple friends.
- Stylish and durable design
- Effective reaction for players of all levels
- Reasonably priced
- Needs only a little adjustment
- The ball is more of a jack of all traits
9. Hammer Black Widow Legend Bowling Ball
The Hammer Black Widow Legend Bowling Ball is designed to be used by the professional bowlers. The ball is made with a gas mask core and this provides you with excellent movement on the lanes.
It features a hybrid coverstock, giving you the ability to control the hooking potential. This bowling ball works best on medium to heavy oil lanes for the movement.
Testing this bowling ball was quite an experience and this is considered one of the ultimate bowling balls used by the elite players in the PBA Championships.
The bowling ball does not react well on dry lanes and will not be the best for casual playing. I needed to make a ton of adjustments to have this ball work the way I needed it to work as well.
On the upside, once you feel you need this bowling ball, you can be considered as one of the top players in the game. The ball is really effective when it comes to hooking and with multiple different weight, anyone should be able to find a ball that matches their needs. However, we would not really recommend this bowling ball for children.
Comparing it to some of the other bowling balls on the list, it is quite expensive and this could dissuade many players from making the investment. The bowling ball will be perfect for professional players on any level and we would highly recommend it for the quality and the design if you are moving up in the ranks.
- Stylish and extremely durable
- Extremely reactive on the right surface
- Will help you enhance your game significantly
- Available in all weights
- Really expensive
- Only for professionals
10. Ebonite Maxim Bowling Ball – Purple/Royal/Silver
Last but certainly not least, we have the Ebonite Maxim Bowling Ball and this once again a great bowling ball for the beginner player. The bowling ball is stylish with a pancake core, making it ideal for straight shots when combined with the polyester coverstock. This bowling ball will be perfect on the average dry surfaces.
Testing this bowling ball after all the other was actually quite a relief after bowling with so many of the advanced bowling balls. This one does not require as much compensation and concentration and it is still possible to bowl a decent game on your average lanes with friends or simply recreational players in the club.
Unfortunately, you will need to check out the lane before starting your game. With too much oil, the ball will simply skid into different directions and this could make you look quite bad in the process. This ball is not the best when playing against some of the professional players on the professional lanes. In terms of price, this ball is also really affordable and should be great for beginners and recreational players.
- Decent durability
- Really affordable
- Great for beginners
- No reactivity
Key Features to Consider When Selecting the Best Bowling Ball
As with anything in life, you simply cannot just walk into a shop and purchase something without doing the necessary research. We did the same thing when selecting these products to ensure that we do get the best possible products that will offer you the most value for your money. With that being said, here are the features we used as the criterion for selecting the top bowling balls of 2018:
You might have seen us talk about the coverstocks quite a lot in the review section and this is one of the main components of the bowling ball that you will need to keep in mind. Plastic and polyester are the two main materials used for the coverstocks and they are the easiest to produce and also offer the least amount of friction.
Plastic and polyester are generally used for the cheaper bowling balls and they offer the ability to bowl straight. Professional bowlers also use this as it is the ideal coverstock to use for splits or stray pins that might be a little stubborn to hit.
Reactive resin compounds like pearl and hybrid coverstocks are designed for the more advanced bowlers and they offer a little more friction that you will need to deal with. These coverstocks are somewhat more expensive and they react better to the oil used in some lanes. It also increases the hook potential for bowlers playing a tactical game.
Finally, the solid resin coverstocks will offer more speed and roll, they are used for high-intensity shots that could be used by the stronger players. One of the downsides to the solid resin bowling balls is the amount of power you need to put behind it to get the best possible effect.
2. Core Types
The core is another part of the bowling ball you need to focus on and since it will make a major difference in the bigger leagues; you will need to keep this in mind. As a beginner, you will be using the standard pancake core and these cores will give you a standard bowling experience. The pancake core is generally found in most bowling balls on the racks at the club.
As you become a better player, you will be looking for the symmetrical or asymmetrical cores and these are related to the drilling of the finger holes and the skill and style you play with, the symmetrical core is the best option as it allows you to have more versatility when it comes to drilling the holes. If you are looking for a functional bowling ball that does not require too much skill to use, the symmetrical core will be the best option.
If the ball is too heavy, you will not be able to use its full potential and if the ball is too light, it might swerve off, leaving you with an embarrassing bowl. The weight is something you will need to consider and finding the right weight will come with time.
By simply visiting your local bowling club, you will be able to test out a couple of the bowling balls and find the ideal weight that meets your needs. This will make it much easier to purchase the right ball that could improve your game or have a significant influence 0n your game.
4. The Look and Style
While this might be a cliché, it is something to keep in mind as well; the bowling ball should also look the part. The finish and colors of the bowling ball are something you need to look at, but fortunately, most bowling balls are available in multiple colors that should be perfect for anyone that needs a specific style of ball.
High-gloss is the preferred finish as it does not come off and the ball will remain shiny and stylish as well. The durability will also depend on the outer coating and the better quality the outer layer is, the less likely your ball is to chip and break when using it frequently. We recommend paying a little extra to ensure durability.
5. Finger Hole Positions
After you have made the purchase, you will need to have the finger holes drilled in. The finger holes will dictate the amount of curve and your technique you need to bowl the ball with. To determine the placement of your finger holes, you should visit your local bowling club as the experts should be able to help you with the drilling of the holes and the placement.
This is also where the symmetrical core comes handy since it allows you more versatility in drilling then holes and this could potentially lead to a better bowling experience all around. The finger holes are custom and they should be perfect for your hands and fingers only. If the ball is too loose, you might lose control when bowling.
Last but certainly not least, you will need to look at the price and your budget. Buying a bowling ball out of your price range will most likely mean the bowling ball is not for you. When it comes to price, the price will also dictate the skill level required to use it. However, you will notice that certain bowling ball brands are a little better in terms of quality and the value you receive for your money.
Which Brands You Should Consider?
Now with a better understanding of the features and the best bowling balls, you might have noticed a few brands pop up consistently when it comes to these bowling balls. Researching them might take an awful lot of time and this is where we come in. Here are the top bowling brands that have been around for a long time that you should choose from:
Brunswick is one of the oldest bowling companies in the world. The company was originally found in 1845 and they started out in billiards. As a billiards brand, they eventually moved on to bowling and the first bowling balls they released were in the 1880’s. The company has had a long history of providing top quality bowling equipment.
However, recently, Brunswick has sold this part of the company to BlueArc Capital Management and this has been a massive change. The main speculation is that the company has had a major drop in ball quality and performance, whilst other top brands have excelled with the new technology that can be used in bowling balls today.
While not as old as some of the other bowling companies, Storm is a brand that started out in 1985. The first product they released was a ball cleaner designed for cleaning urethane balls. However, after doing some research and taking the risk, they eventually released their very first bowling ball in the 1990’s. This series proved to be extremely effective and the company name was changed to Storm.
The brand has been a dominating force in the industry ever since and their sales have been improving every year. Storm is also one of our favorite brands and it is used by many of the professional bowlers today. Nevertheless, you should keep in mind that their prices are quite expensive as well.
Ebonite is probably the most recognized brand in the sport of bowling and they have a long-standing reputation of great quality bowling balls. Ebonite balls are designed for virtually every kind of player and they cater for professional players as well as beginners. Ebonite bowling balls are also used by some of the more advanced players in the world.
One of the things that have made Ebonite so successful is the fact that they have a few other brands they sell as well. Hammer is one of the most popular bowling ball brands and this is also produced by Ebonite International. Another top brand owned by Ebonite is the Columbia, which they purchased in 2007 to extend their global domination in the world of bowling.
Looking at Ebonite, one could easily consider them the best or most famous brand in the world of bowling and we would certainly recommend any of their bowling balls to those looking for great value for their money. No matter your skill level, you will definitely find a great bowling ball if you are considering Ebonite or any of their smaller brands.
4. 900 Global
Not much is really known about this brand except for the fact that they are headquartered in San Antonio Texas. The brand is quite new on the scene and even though most people are still testing them out for the quality of their bowling balls, they have excelled and many people are trusting them with their bowling experience.
Motiv is also a new brand and only dates back to the 1990’s. They do have a great reputation for providing top quality bowling balls, but most people are drawn to the graphics on the balls and the fact that it does actually improve the quality of their games. The biggest upside for the Motiv brand is their graphics and since this has become a major part of the sport, it has brought a lot of attention to the company.
Motiv is a great brand if you are looking for something stylish or even a custom designed bowling ball that could potentially increase the quality of your game as well. When it comes to Motiv, we would recommend them highly, but the prices might be a little expensive for beginners.
How to Keep Your Bowling Ball in Top Shape?
What is the use of paying an excessive amount of money for a bowling ball if you are not maintaining it or keeping it in tiptop shape? Bowling might be seen as a great recreational activity, but you also have a commitment to your bowling ball. Fortunately, we have done the digging to find the ideal way you could use to keep your bowling ball in shape.
Regularly clean your ball:
The bowling ball will eventually become dirty and this could lead to a couple of inconsistencies in your game. Once you have played on an oily lane, you will need to wipe down the ball to get rid of this oil. If the oil is left on the ball, you might attract dust and other particles. Even though these cannot always be seen, it will have a severe effect on your game.
We recommend keeping a cleaning schedule and cleaning the ball after every bowling event. You could easily find the spray cleaner or any other cleaner to remove some of the oil that might be stuck to the ball. Often times, you might be playing on dry lanes and this could potentially be an opportunity for you to skip the cleaning once in a while.
Know when extra cleaning is needed:
Extra cleaning might be needed from time to time and this is considered a deep clean. The first method of deep cleaning is to take the bowling ball to your local pro shop. At the pro shop, they will have the experience to clean the ball thoroughly and to enhance some of the performance as well. It might be a little more expensive, but your bowling ball should be as good as new once they are done.
The second method is a little more cost-effective, but might not be as effective in general. If you have a decent ball cleaner, you could tape the finger holes to ensure that no water can get inside. Then ball cleaner can then be applied to ensure that the dirt and all of the oil is removed. This method is ideal if you are not a serious player or you are strapped to a budget, but it might damage the integrity of the bowling ball.
Keep It Protected:
This might not really be seen as advice, but rather common sense, but we should still mention it. Since bowling balls are extremely expensive, especially if you are playing in the bigger leagues, you will need to keep the ball protected as well.
With things like bowling ball bags, you could keep the ball safe and out of harm’s way. This could be the ideal way to ensure that the ball remains usable for as long a period as needed and it will also ensure that ball does perform the way it should on game day. We would like to recommend taking care of the ball and protecting your investment as this is much cheaper than buying a new ball.
A Couple Of Tips For Bowling The Best Game You Possibly Could:
Bowling is not a game for the faint of heart and you will need to have some advice if you are looking to improve your game or move up the ranks. Here you will find a couple of tips that we picked up during our time testing these balls and hanging around in some of the bowling clubs. These tips could help you improve your game:
The 10% guideline:
When selecting your bowling ball, you should stick to what the professional call the 10% guideline. This means that the weight of the bowling ball should be 10% of your bodyweight and this is easy to determine. The ball should also be a comfortable weight for you to carry. As we have mentioned, the weight will have a major impact on your game.
Keep your hand straight:
One of the biggest problems we have found with many bowlers is the fact that they do not keep their wrist straight. If the wrist is weak and not straight, you will have a bad bowling experience and it has the same effect as correcting your swing in a game of golf. You should focus on keeping your hand straight as you pull back and go forward.
Rotate your wrist before releasing:
As you approach the end of your run up, you will need to turn your writs to the inside to get some hook on the ball. This should only be done one the ball is straight and not while it is in the air. By doing it in the air, you will lose some control over the bowling ball and this could cause a bad bowl or excessive hook depending on your ball.
Release the ball near your ankles:
The bowling ball should be released near your ankles. Once this is done, you are more likely to have a straight shot and be more accurate. The follow through is also quite important and you should end with your hand in the standard handshake position. This also means that your thumb should be upright to ensure the ultimate amount of accuracy.
* Note: Throwing the ball in different ways will require different techniques and if you plan to become a professional player, you will need to familiarize yourself with all of these techniques. We are by no means professional bowlers, but these tips did significantly increase the overall quality of our games.
Frequently Asked Questions:
By now, you should have all the information related to bowling and this will be extremely useful when it comes to improving your overall game. However, after scoring the web and talking to a couple of recreational players, we have found a few commonly asked questions that should be addressed. Here are a few frequently asked questions you need to know:
Which coverstock should I use as a beginner?
Beginners have it the hardest as they are forced into buying these expensive bowling balls when they should be fine with just about any normal bowling ball that you find at the club. When it comes to your coverstock, beginners will focus mostly on straight shots and having the right technique. The plastic and polyester coverstocks are the cheapest and they are also easily found for any beginner.
What is a handicap?
The handicap is the average score that is used to determine your level. A handicap is only assigned to a player once they have reached an advanced level. The handicap is also a way used to determine the level of the team and your team will generally be using the handicap when it comes to determining the league that you will be playing in.
Why is bowling shoes necessary?
Bowling is a great sport, but you will still need the right equipment. The shoes are designed to make life easier for you on the slippery court and since you might get some oil underneath the shoes, you will need to have something with some friction to keep you going and keep you protected. The best bowling shoes are designed to simplify life and to help you play at your best level.
Bowling is fun, but it could be quite an expensive hobby to get into. When it comes to bowling, you will need to have the right equipment and a good bowling balls will help you reach the top levels in much less time. Choosing the best bowling ball can always be quite a daunting prospect, but we have decided to choose the Ebonite brand as one of the best for any user.
We would like to thank you for reading this article and we would also like to encourage you to share some of your thoughts on which of the bowling balls you would choose. Please also let us know in the comment section below if you think we might have missed any of your favorites and which one you would choose if you had the opportunity.