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How To Choose Your Next Bowling Ball

Learning how to choose your next bowling ball is related to three important factors:

  • Desired Ball Reaction

  • Lane Oil Conditions

  • Coverstock & Core Selections

The first step in determining how to choose your next bowling ball is to identify existing ball reactions for every ball you presently own. Next, visualize the reaction you are missing and would most prefer to have before you purchase a new ball. It is important to match a ball to the lane conditions you will encounter in important competitions such as tournament play or scratch league play. Since no one ball is perfect for all lane conditions, your next must be one which works very well on conditions where your exiting equipment does not yield the desired ball motion you seek.

In recent years the leading manufacturers such as Storm, Hammer, Ebonite, Roto Grip, Hammer, Columbia, AMF 300, 900 Global and Brunswick, just to name a few, have placed great emphasis on developing well balanced lines of top performance bowling balls including versatility in design and ball reaction capabilities. It is your responsibility to carefully evaluate length potential and hook potential ratings and choose a coverstock which generates the greatest opportunity of matching to the conditions for which your next ball is intended.

Some research and consultation with area professionals or experienced pro shop operators may be required before making your selection. The ball videos provided at our site allow you to watch the latest equipment being rolled down our private test facility lanes and indicate the layout and oiling patterns used for testing purposes. The videos are a great way of visualizing if the given ball being tested matches to your needs.

For dry lane conditions, choose a pearl or stiff coverstock and a high length potential rating so the ball will slide easily in the front end of the lane and conserve energy for the back-end of the lane. Examples of bowling balls which are proven to work well on dry lanes can be found here at

If the lane conditions where you wish to find a good matching ball have medium to medium-heavy oil, choose a ball with a solid, pliable cover and medium flare potential such as these examples here, also available at our site. A 4-5" flare potential rating coupled with a modestly aggressive coverstock rating will provide a controllable back-end overall ball reaction. Some experimentation with surface preparation strategies will be necessary and will reveal how you need to keep the surface readied for use on the condition for which your new ball is targeted.

For heavy oil on the front end, choose a solid, pliable, and aggressive coverstock to increase gripping action and with a low RG rating and a medium to high flare potential rating. Examples of such balls are found here, all of which provide strong ball reactions for challenging oily lane conditions. Of course, the surface preparation you choose will augment the overall reaction your next ball will yield.

The core design of any given bowling ball is a key element in the selection process. The specific length potential and hook potential ratings which are factors in determining the overall skid-length of your bowling ball how sharply your ball reacts on the back end of the lane. Length and hook potential ratings should be the primary focal point in choosing a new ball.

"Length potential" is a combination of how aggressive of a coverstock you choose coupled with the RG (Radius of Gyration) rating which determines when a given ball picks up its strongest rolling pattern. A low RG ball rolls quickly in the front end of the lane, as example, while medium RG reacts in the mid-lane and high RG rolls strong on the back end providing good skid distance.

"Hook Potential" is categorized by the flare potential rating which is how sharply a given bowling ball will hook on the back end of the lane coupled with a high RG rating (radius of gyration). If you wish to see the strongest possible back end reaction, find a ball with a 6 inch flare potential rating or higher.

Layout patterns offer choices in ball motion control and should be selected based upon your rev-rate and the angle of entry you seek from the break point to the pocket. Matching the layout pattern to the length and hook potential ratings of a given ball will help influence the overall ball reaction you seek. If you have a favorite ball company and are familiar with that line of equipment, then choosing a ball from that brand with a layout pattern you presently do not use in your existing equipment might be a smart choice. Again, it helps to consult a local professional and share ideas in selecting your next bowling ball.

Our “Perfect Scale®” rating feature is also useful and provides comparisons of the latest bowling balls in today’s market against our sophisticated rating scale system. The “Perfect Scale®” can be easily accessed from our home page by clicking on the button and then browsing the information provided at the “Perfect Scale®.” has created our own hook rating system using a method for indicating a ball’s hook potential and a way for consumer’s to compare bowling balls made by the leading manufacturers. Our goal is to simply make it easier for you to compare products and feel confident in your purchase selection process. has become the No. 1 “e-tailer” of choice for bowling equipment by the consumers of America. Ordering is an easy process by following simple online instructions or merely by calling (888) 265-2695 and one of our sales associates will be available to assist you! Thanks for visiting!

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