Urethane Vs Reactive Resin Bowling Balls: Compared and Explained

Last updated on August 23rd, 2021

If you consider yourself to be a bowling enthusiast or wish to become one, a thorough understanding of the game is essential to start. It holds regardless of whether you are a seasoned professional or a beginner looking for your niche. 

Bowling balls are undeniably the most crucial component of the bowling game, and they are typically from reactive resin or urethane. 

If you are a beginner, urethane bowling balls will suit you better. But if you are a seasoned player, reactive resin balls would help you improve your gameplay.

However, many people tend to be confused about which bowling ball would be the best for them and choose among urethane bowling balls vs. reactive resin balls. Therefore, we dug deep into this topic to assist our readers in overcoming their confusion, so read on to find out!

Polyurethane Or Urethane Bowling Balls

A significant advancement to have taken place in the field of bowling balls is the advent of polyurethane. These balls, commonly referred to as urethane, are made of a material that is not the same as solid urethane.

When they first used urethane balls, they proved to be a complete game-changer. Once you release these balls on the lane, they generate more friction than rubber or plastic balls in comparison.

This feature also allows the urethane balls to hit pockets with a much greater entry angle than a strike is likely to produce. As a result, urethane balls are now widely used by competitive or professional bowlers for all of these reasons.

Aside from that, they are frequently used as spare balls or strike balls too.

When it comes to broken down or dry conditions, urethane can be especially useful when used as a spare ball. Compared to other high-end balls, urethane does not collect nearly as much hook, making them a complete winner.

Reactive Resin Balls

Many people believe that reactive resin is supposedly the best thing that has ever happened to bowling balls. 

When the reactive resin bowling balls entered the bowling scene, they generously provided bowlers with the ability to get high strikes and an incredible amount of hook potential. 

The liquid resin incorporates a cover stock substance after being transformed into a hard material by a solidifying process. When we talk about reactive resin, we do not mean how the resin reacts when pushing the ball down the lane. 

Instead, it refers to the reaction process during the manufacturing process as the additives are mixed. This process helps produce the high-friction and porous surface used to make these bowling balls and one which everyone has come to prefer these days.

The best thing about balls made of reactive resin is that they can have a quick and aggressive appearance on the outside while remaining relatively smooth to the touch while being spun.

Difference Between Urethane Resin Balls Vs. Reactive Resin Balls

The main distinction between urethane bowling balls and reactive resin balls is that of the outer cover stock. Cover stock is the outer covering of a bowling ball that you usually see which makes contact with the lane.

Urethane bowling balls are therefore composed of urethane cover stock. But reactive resin cover stock is an upgraded version of the polyurethane cover stock. It creates a lot more friction when it comes to contact with the surface of the lane.

The former provides improved predictability and control in the debate between urethane bowling balls vs. reactive resin balls. The latter is known for its high hook control.

Let us now discuss the distinctions between these two in greater detail.

The Cover Stock Building Material 

There is quite a lot that the bowling ball’s material does in terms of affecting the bowler’s style. Not every bowling ball will be able to suit your style of play. 

Some of them will feel more compatible with your niche, while others may make you feel as if you will never be able to improve. 

Only the cover stock came from these materials, not the entire bowling ball. Being the outer layer that has contact with the pins and the lane’s surface, it is the most crucial component of the ball. 

To better understand which one between the urethane bowling balls vs. reactive resin ones will win for you, let us first understand their individual properties.

Urethane Bowling Balls Properties

The properties of urethane bowling balls are what distinguishes them. The significant advantage of it is that you can easily control them on the lane than other bowling balls. 

Due to this reason, urethane balls are said to be beginner’s level bowling balls.

They have a shallow hook on the back end, and on the front end, there is a readily controllable skid distance. When it comes to hooking ability, they are a lot faster than plastic-made bowling balls.

The better performance is attributed to having an increased number of pores on their body. The pores, in turn, cause increased friction which increases the bowling ball’s hooking ability.

The higher the friction it appears, the less the ball deflects. As a result, you will have more leeway even if you end up making a bad shot. Regardless of the quality of your performance, urethane bowling balls tend to move in your desired path after the release.

Reactive Resin Bowling Ball Properties

Reactive resin balls have a more significant number of pores than urethane balls. It results in increased friction when the ball comes in contact with the lane. As a result, the increased friction causes the ball to be more sensitive to lane conditions.

If there are 100 moves with the urethane ball, there will be another 1000 moves that you can do with reactive resin balls on the same lane. You will be able to use each point and movement of that lane to achieve a different result.

If there is oil ahead, it will cause the ball to move forward in one direction. On the other hand, if there is oil in the back, it will cause it to move in the opposite direction. It lets you gain more control. 

At the same time, it is also a control that can be difficult to obtain. The reactive resin bowling ball is not going to deflect easily. But maintaining an unchanged level of motion and speed throughout the whole lane will be difficult. 

Therefore, to bowl better with reactive resin bowling balls, you will need to practice and enhance your skills.

The Better One For Beginners: Urethane Bowling Balls Vs. Reactive Resin Bowling Balls?

When it comes to which one is better between urethane bowling balls vs. reactive resin, the simple answer is that it depends on individual playing styles. Beginners, on the other hand, should start with urethane bowling balls.

Urethane balls can make the game relatively easy for you sometimes. But if you wish to improve your skills, you cannot play if you find it too difficult.

The best part about urethane bowling balls is that they strike a proper balance between being too complex and too easy to play. They provide plenty of flexibility while also providing the bowler with just the right level of control. 

As a result, beginners are motivated to play as they will see that nothing is impossible.

Another consideration is the cost. Urethane bowling balls tend to be a lot less expensive than reactive resin bowling balls. Hence, for a beginner who might be unsure about playing, this option being cheaper can be beneficial. 

However, reactive resin bowling balls turn out more appropriate as individuals progress and improve through various subsequent stages of the bowling game. 

With time, they need to master greater control of the ball. They will most likely fail at first with reactive resin bowling balls, but they get better acquainted with it with practice.

Final Thoughts On Urethane Bowling Balls Vs. Reactive Resin Bowling Balls

A variety of materials can make a bowling ball’s cover stock, and it is easy to see how the materials can affect how a ball behaves on the lane’s surface. They make a significant impact in any game. 

Bowling balls have come a long way since the first rubber or hardwood spheres and their basic composition structures. Materials are being structurally and chemically tweaked to maximize their effectiveness and efficiency due to technological advancements. 

Therefore, if you are a beginner, we recommend you begin with a urethane bowling ball. Once you feel more confident, you can always start practicing with a reactive resin one to help you improve your skills even more.

We hope that this article has helped you learn a great deal and that you will want to expand your knowledge further. Happy bowling!