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Choosing A New Bowling Ball

If you are trying to raise your average or just round out your equipment, choosing a new bowling ball can be tricky if you do not understand a few important options available to you on today’s market.

Depending on your average range, there are options in ball selection which can advance the strength of your arsenal. It is very important to avoid duplicating what you already own unless that is your choice.

If you average 170 or less, then there are simplified options to consider. It is always the best idea to consult with your favorite pro shop professional who can watch you bowl and examine your present equipment in order to help you choose a new ball which will help you the most.

Polyester balls, more commonly known as plastic balls, are in a category as entry level balls and are primarily used by high average players for spare shooting or by beginner bowler just trying to learn the game and want to spend the minimum for a new bowling ball.

Plastic balls are the least expensive of any sold in today’s market. Plastic balls have a non-aggressive coverstock (ball cover) with low surface friction and provide the least amount of traction on the lane surface.

The next level up in technology is the regular urethane ball which provides slightly more hook potential and friction on the lane surface than plastic balls for those of you who hook the ball or are seeking a ball matching best on dry or medium-dry lanes.

Urethane balls can also be useful in spare shooting because they typically will not hook uncontrollably for most players unless the player has an extremely high rev rate.

In the most popular of the performance categories, the pearl and solid reactive balls provide varying amounts of surface friction but do have a more aggressive coverstock than do the urethane and plastic balls.

Pearl reactive balls will provide very good skid distance in the front end and in the mid-lane and conserve energy for the back end of the lane.

Solid reactive coverstocks are designed to provide traction in the front end and a more pronounced reaction than pearl reactive balls in the mid-lane and on heavy concentrations of lane oil.

These are the most popular choices of all balls in the market today and are recommended types of coverstocks to consider when choosing a new ball.

The coverstock type is the number one consideration any bowler must choose when examining new ball options.

There are other keys in selecting a ball and those most typically examined are the ball core shape and mass density and the drilling layout your pro shop professional and yourself choose when mapping out your new ball.

If you are in the market for a new ball, think first about the amount of hook or traction you visualize will best match to your local lane conditions and then discuss these considerations with the pro shop professional.


The coverstock must be your first line of offense when choosing a new bowling ball.

Do not think that a lesser expensive ball is of lesser quality than a more expensive ball. The more technology used in core designs and coverstock aggressiveness drives up manufacturing expenses.

Many top flight bowlers today use lesser expensive equipment to help control the ball reaction and hit the pocket consistently.

If you have questions or concerns about which brand or type of coverstock to choose, then, once again, consult with your pro shop personnel to help you choose the right ball for your needs.