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Simple Differences Between Solid, Pearl, and Hybrid Bowling Balls, Originally Posted: 8/16/2013; Updated: 3/24/2023

Keeping things as simple as possible when choosing a new ball makes your job easier than bogging down with too much technical information. The coverstock is the real key for any bowler.

The simple differences between solid reactive, pearl reactive, and hybrid coverstocks can help you select your next bowling ball.

The core design and symmetry of a given ball are also points for consideration, but the coverstock is the real key in getting a desirable ball reaction.

Solid reactive coverstocks have a great amount of microscopic reactive pores on the ball surface.

The solid coverstock comes in a polished finish, sanded finishes, and with a rubbing compound buffed finish. So the degree of surface friction can be controlled within the sub-category of solid reactive bowling balls.

Solid reactive coverstocks are typically matte finishes from the factory and are good choices for heavy or medium-heavy oil lane conditions.

Pearl reactive coverstocks have the addition of mica material blended into the reactive coverstock material.

The inclusion of mica roughens the microscopic pores causing the ball reaction on dry lanes to be extended in length.

Reactive pearl balls have the ability to react quickly to high friction portions of the lane and produce a long skid motion in the front end of the lane which helps when the lane oil conditions breakdown.

The mica in pearl reactive bowling balls adds some sparkle to the ball's surface appearance.

Hybrid reactive coverstocks are a combination of solid and pearl reactive coverstocks with the purpose of taking advantage of the benefits of both types.

Hybrid coverstocks offer the mid-lane reaction of a solid coverstock and the back end reaction of a pearl coverstock.

Hybrid balls will give you the front end glide you seek on Medium oil conditions and respond at the break point to the pocket similarly to pearl reactive ball coverstocks.

Hybrid coverstocks are also now available in polished or matte finishes.

As with all reactive coverstocks, the hybrid coverstocks allow for altering the surface textures to tweak your ball reaction slightly.

Make your decision in selecting your next ball based on the type of coverstock you need to match with the local lane conditions you frequently encounter. Your pro shop professional can help guide you in the decision making process.



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