How To Choose the Right Bowling Ball in 2023

Last updated on March 15th, 2021

When it comes to bowling, choosing the right bowling ball is extremely important, and you need to ensure that you have a bowling ball that meets your needs and fits your style before you set out to play the game.

However, choosing the right bowling ball is not always that easy, and a lot of people still find it difficult to find one that is ideal for them.

Fortunately, I also found myself a beginner and needed to understand some of bowling balls basics.

This gave e the opportunity to consult a couple of experts, find out what they have to say about a bowling ball, and select the right one for your needs.

In this article, you will learn a little more about how to choose the right bowling ball for your needs:

How to Choose the Right Bowling Ball in 7 Simple Steps

While you might think that you can walk into any shop and select the best-looking bowl for your game, you will no0t be further wrong.

When it comes to bowling balls, there are a few things about yourself that you also need to understand, and after finding the right bowling ball through trial and error, I came up with the right steps:

1. Weight

One of the most important aspects of the ball is the weight. If the ball is too heavy, you will be struggling with your game, while a lighter ball might not be balanced enough or give you enough power to play your natural game.

The right weight will make all the difference in the alley, and it could potentially help you win or lose a game.

One of the top methods of selecting the weight is to go by the rule that you need 1 pound for every 10 pounds of body weight.

If you are around 120-pounds, you will be looking at something in the range of 12-13 pounds for your bowling ball. This means that you could control the ball much better, and it will not tire you out as fast.

You can also choose to have someone give you the bowling ball when stretching out your arm. This will enable you to see if the bowling ball is too heavy.

Once the ball has been placed in your hands, you should note that it should not pull you off balance, as this will be considered too heavy for you to control.

When bowling, balance is fundamentally important, and you need to have a great balance between delivering great strikes.

After using a lighter ball for a while, I have found that it could be beneficial in certain game situations, but you should look for something that is the right weight in most cases.

A lighter ball might be harder to control or bowl straight, and you could have it fall down the lane, resulting in a bad bowl that will cost you in the end.

2. Coverstock

A lot of people will forget the coverstock, and they think about something that looks good.

You could keep in mind that having additional logos and brands on your bowling ball will spike the price without you even having any real benefits.

The coverstock is important, and it relates to the amount of hook you will be getting.

The most common coverstock is plastic, and when you think of the coverstock, you should have a tire in mind. Different tires have a different thread, which will lead to different amounts of friction created on the lane.

The plastic bowling ball can be seen as a bald tire and without any friction; it will be straight as an arrow. The benefit of this is hitting the pins that might be set in a split.

The other coverstock is urethane, which is certainly a little more expensive but offers more friction.

Urethane tends to cause the bowling ball to hook, either late or early in the lane.

The urethane is perfect for bowlers who try to hit the pins from an angle, and it does help with more strikes the more you play.

The downside to the urethane will control that it is relinquished, and with more friction, you will be trading off some of the control.

In lanes with a lot of oil, this is problematic as the ball could be all over the place.

Generally, you will find professional bowlers with more than one bowling ball, as this will compensate for different lane conditions.

3. Reactive resin

Once you understand the bowling ball weight and the coverstock that you will need, you should look at how reactive the bowling ball is. This is also related to the design of the bowling ball.

You will need to understand the reactive resin coverstock as well. Generally, you will have to choose between solid, pearl, and hybrid reactive resin coverstocks.

The solid option is ideal for creating an even rolling experience, and they tend to create a little more friction on oily lanes.

However, as we have mentioned, you will be trading off some of the control as they will react quite actively on the oily lanes, and this could cause problems for the beginners.

The pearl reactive resin coverstock is not as reactive on oily lanes, and they do offer you some leverage because oily lanes cause not as much friction.

This means that the ball will still hook but a little more subtle, and this will also take a lot of practice to master using these bowling balls to the fullest potential.

Finally, you will see the hybrid reactive resin coverstock, and it should come as no surprise that this is the combination of the pearl and the solid reactive resin coverstocks.

The hybrid option is quite literally 2 different pieces placed on both sides, and you might often find them to be different colors.

Depending on your game’s quality and how often you play, you will need to decide on the right coverstock for you.

For beginners, the solid reactive resin coverstock might be ideal, and this will still give them some ability to have movement down the lane, even with a cheaper plastic bowling ball.

4. Cores

Next, you will need to understand the different types of cores found on bowling balls, and each of these cores will have a different impact on your game and the area where you can drill the holes for your bowling experience.

Here is a small breakdown of the different cores to help you select the right one.

a) Pancake cores: Generally found in beginner bowling balls, the pancake cores tend to have a couple of features that will make them ideal for beginners.

These bowling balls are much easier to control down the lanes, and they should not need too much adjustment to your technique.

The bowling ball also tends to stay much straighter with a pancake core, giving you a smooth rolling experience.

b) Symmetrical cores: The symmetrical core is a little more advanced, and this will generally be seen in the classic light bulb cores found in most bowling balls.

The symmetrical core does not make too much of a difference while bowling, but since it is balanced, you might have more even rolled as well.

The core also plays a massive impact in the available area you will have for drilling your holes when bowling, which will impact your game.

c) Asymmetrical core: Most people prefer to play with a symmetrical core for the ability to have a little more control over the bowling ball.

However, the asymmetrical core is also available for you to play with, but this can be beneficial in certain conditions.

One of the main benefits of the asymmetrical core is creating a little more motion that is angular, and if you need an angle to hit the pins, this might be the ideal core to help you achieve this with ease.

5. USBC Approved

Most modern bowling balls are USBC approved, which means that you could use them for professional competitions.

These individuals’ main aspects will be the weight and balance, and the bowling ball should be perfectly balanced to ensure that you could use it. The weight should also be accurate, but it could negatively affect your general game if not.

To see if your bowling ball is USBC approved, you could take it to your local bowling shop, and they will certainly check to see if everything is in order.

Since these pros also have a lot of experience in bowling balls and bowling in general, they will certainly be able to fix the bowling ball and help you prepare for the game day.

6. Have the holes drilled

When you have the bowling ball, and every aspect has been checked out, you will need to have the holes drilled to meet your hands’ needs and give you the best possible comfort for playing the game.

When it comes to drilling the holes, it is important to have this done by a professional as this will help you have it done perfectly.

Personally, I have found that taking the bowling ball to your local bowling shop will be the best way to have the holes drilled in perfectly, and they will also understand the core and the geometry of the bowling ball to ensure that everything does go perfectly as you would expect it to be.

If you have no experience doing this, we would strongly advise you to stay away from doing this yourself at home.

7.  Practice and be patient

If everything is selected and ready to start playing, you should consider having all the additional add-ons.

Things like the bag and the cleaning products will help give the ball a longer life and polish some of the problems you might find in the bowling ball. Since these additions are expensive, we would recommend that you do this over time.

The next and most important step will be practicing and be spending more and more time in the alley.

The only real way you will be able to improve is with practice, and if you have the funds, you could have the pro help you as well.

Nothing will be better than having someone with professional advice to understand bowling and the different conditions you could be facing.


Bowling is fun, and it is one of the best ways to get out of the house and spend some time doing something that could light up your mood.

Selecting a bowling ball might seem like a daunting experience, but once you have the right one, you will see how much fun it is to play with a tailor-made ball to your specific needs.

We want to thank you for reading this article, and we would also like you to share some of your opinions on these tips.

Please let us know in the comment section if we have covered everything that you needed to know and if you have some additional questions.

We look forward to reading your comments and how you go about choosing the right bowling ball.

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