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Modern Bowling Ball Coverstocks

Learning about modern bowling ball coverstocks will help you choose the best bowling ball option when you are ready to make a purchase. Modern bowling ball coverstocks match with the various lane conditions you likely encounter during competition and it is important to be aware what these various coverstocks provide in ball motion capabilities. A little knowledge about your options in coverstocks can go a long way in choosing the right bowling ball.

Over the past several decades, a number of coverstocks have been developed by manufacturers ranging from rubber material, to plastic or polyester material, to the first urethane materials, to reactive resin, to sub-categories of reactive resin, to particle materials, and even a brief introduction of epoxy material coverstocks. Let's discuss only the relevant coverstocks in today's market to simplify the selection process.

Plastic - more properly, polyester coverstock bowling balls, replaced the rubber ball in the 1970's and was the dominant ball during the decade. Polyester balls are the least aggressive of all modern day coverstocks available in the market in oil and and match best with dry lane conditions. Plastic balls are good when a bowler needs the ball to go straight up-the boards of the lane, for spare shooting, particularly the corner pin spares, or perhaps even for extremely dry lane conditions. Some examples of the latest plastic coverstock bowling ball choices are:

Path Orange/Black 2024 DEAL

Path Blue/Black/White 2024 DEAL

Path Pink/Purple/Silver 2024 DEAL

Urethane coverstock bowling balls were first introduced in the market circa 1980. The urethane ball has greater angle of entry into the pocket and covers more boards on a given lane condition than does a plastic ball. Urethane is the base material used for other classifications of coverstocks such as reactive resin, hybrid, and particle coverstocks.

Urethane balls match well on dry lanes or on medium/dry lanes if you are looking to control the ball reaction in the mid-lane. Urethane balls also have a controllable reaction from the break point to the pocket. Recent releases of successful urethane bowling balls are:

Polar Ice Blue/Green

Natural Pearl


Reactive resin bowling balls triggered the movement to highly aggressive coverstocks. Reactive coverstocks are composed of similar materials used in regular urethane formations, however, they are blended with different additives. The net effect is that some reactive coverstocks provide the "tacky" feeling which translates into additional traction and usually a strong back end reaction on the lane. Sub-categories of reactive coverstocks are the solid coverstock, the pearl coverstock, and the hybrid coverstock, all of which are reactive coverstock bowling balls. Reactive coverstocks provide the widest range of ball motion capabilities and are the most frequently opted coverstocks by consumers.

Solid reactive coverstocks have the greatest amount of microscopic reactive pores on the ball surface compared to other reactive coverstocks. 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 coupled with symmetric core designs are normally the choice for heavy or medium-heavy oil lane conditions and are also very controllable balls in the mid-lane and from the break point to the pocket. Examples of some late model solid reactive coverstock balls are:

Nexxus f(P+R)

Flavor Flav


Pearl reactive coverstocks have the addition of mica material blended into the reactive coverstock material. The inclusion of mica roughens out 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 matched with asymmetric core designs produce the long skid motion in the front ends of the lanes and strong and angular reactions from the break to the pocket. The mica adds some sparkle to the bowling ball's surface appearance. Examples of pearl reactive bowling balls are:

Slingshot Purple Pearl

Virtual Gravity NANO Pearl

Marvel Pearl

Hybrid reactive coverstocks are a combination of solid and pearl reactive covers with the purpose of taking advantage of the benefits of both type coverstocks. Hybrid coverstocks offer the mid-lane reaction of a solid coverstock and the back end reaction of a pearl coverstock. Hybrid coverstocks offer the versatility of friction match-ups on the lane surface. New releases of hybrid coverstock bowling balls are:



Rising Star

Particle coverstocks are another successful classification which is similar to the makeup of reactive resin balls with the big difference being an addition of microscopic pieces of material in the coverstock blended to reach through the oily lane conditioner and make responsive contact with the lane surface. Unless there is a fairly heavy volume of oil on the front end of the lane, particle coverstocks will create too much surface friction causing the ball to use energy early and conserve too little on the back end and for impact with the pins. Particle coverstocks display noticeable silica particles reflecting from a bright light, as in the case of a camera flash. Recent particle balls are:

Time Bomb Black Fire

Global Shift Pro Pin

Maxxx Curve

Manufacturers have spent endless resources for many years time in developing sophisticated coverstocks producing a variety of classifications which combine to offer bowler's choices in versatility. Modern coverstocks can be altered or modified to control length and hook potential on a variety of oil conditions. highly recommends you familiarize yourself with our Perfect Scale® rating feature at our site which is useful in providing 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®. Our goal is to simply make it easier for you to compare products and feel confident in your purchase selection process.

While you are visiting our site today, please check out the vast menu of bowling consumer products we offer at great prices, with no shipping charges, with free insurance, with no hidden handling fees and with delivery right to your doorstep! Ordering is an easy process by following simple online instructions. Thanks for visiting

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