How to Purchase the Perfect Bowling Ball

For those people who participate in bowling due to a highly competitive nature, having the best bowling equipment is a must. While some are content to choose a bowling ball that feels comfortable in their hand, others demand perfection in order to have the greatest opportunity to get the highest score. If you are going to invest in your own ball, knowing what to look for will help you make the most of your purchase. The cost of bowling alley equipment is only one of the factors that you should consider. Others are the coverstock and hook potential. The way the ball responds to you and to the lanes you are bowling on will play a role in the selection process.

Find Your Ideal Bowling Ball Weight

Bowling balls are found in a variety of weights, with the largest allowed being 16 pounds. The most popular weight for adult bowlers is 15 pounds, while some women or other bowlers with smaller frames may prefer one that is 14 lbs. Although 16 pound balls are considered “pro-weight,” many pros use 15 pound bowling balls.

Coverstock for Various Lane Conditions

The choice in bowling equipment will be determined by the lane conditions in the bowling alley where you frequently bowl. The outer covering of the ball will determine how it reacts under specific lane conditions. The four types of coverstocks found are urethane, polyester or plastic, particle, and reactive resin. For bowling on dry lanes, a pearl or stiff coverstock will allow you to slide the ball in the lane at the front end with ease. For medium and heavy oil conditions at the front end of the lanes, a solid coverstock will increase gripping potential.

The coverstock will affect your ability to throw the ball in the way you normally do. A plastic coverstock is the simplest, least expensive option that will accommodate you if you usually throw straight. For throwing a hook, a reactive resin or urethane coverstock improves the ball’s grip on the lane. In heavy lane conditions, those made with reactive resin will cut through the oil more effectively than those made from urethane. The resin coverstock will also hook aggressively at the far end of the lane to increase your potential for getting a strike!

Particle coverstocks, on the other hand, are a combination of resins and urethane, bringing the qualities of both materials to the bowling ball. These are usually reserved for experienced bowlers with a lot of practice bowling under a variety of conditions.

Make It Fit

Once you find the perfect ball, get it drilled to fit your hand. Without the custom fit, you will lose many of the benefits of finding the perfect ball. For more information on bowling equipment, call 800-421-1022.

Goodger, Jef. “How to Choose the Right Bowling Ball.” About.Com. Accessed: 24 Jul. 2014.

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