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What’s With All the New Urethane Bowling Balls? Could They Be Making a Comeback? – October 2009 – No Holes Barred

WHAT DO VINYL RECORDS, black horn-rimmed glasses and urethane bowling balls have in common? They have all made comebacks... of sorts. Urethane was introduced by AMF in 1981. It offered bowlers increased traction in oil compared to its predecessors, plastic and rubber. It also displayed increased durability.
In 1993, a company called Nu Line introduced the reactive urethane. This ball gave bowlers more back-end than before. Just ask Marc McDowell, who won the PBA Tour’s first 1992 stop with his Nu Line Excalibur.
Well, it’s now 2009, and reactives have securely planted themselves as the performance balls of choice. So why are there now five different manufacturers offering some type of urethane in their lines? My best guess: Urethane offers more control and better hitting power on drier lanes compared to plastic or reactive resin, as proven in the PBA World Series events in which top PBA players successfully used urethane on the drier shots at Thunderbowl Lanes. Word is that many staffers whose companies didn’t offer urethane were at a distinct disadvantage on some of the drier patterns. Maybe this is why urethane, like vinyl records, is here to stay. Again.

Joe Cerar Jr.

*Posted with permission from Luby Publishing Inc.