Guide to Bowling Balls

Bowling Ball : What is it?

Bowling Balls

Bowling balls are usually made of plastic, urethane, rubber, or reactive resin materials. They may or may not have holes, depending on the bowling game being played. Ten-pin bowling balls have holes which are meant for the thumb, middle, and ring finger. They weigh around six to 16 pounds. Five-pin bowling balls are smaller than ten-pin bowling balls. They weigh no more than four pounds and have no finger holes.

Some bowling balls come in solid colors while others are marbled, iridescent, or transparent. Professional bowlers normally opt for a customized bowling ball, the one that weighs proportionate to their height and weight. To be more effective in playing the game, some bowlers even customize the fit and spaces of finger holes of their bowling balls.

see recommended products

Types of Bowling Balls

Bowling BallsBowling Balls

Kinds of Bowling Balls include the following:

Ten-pin bowling balls

Ten-pin bowling balls are 8.5 inches in diameter and weigh about 6 to 16 pounds.
They are normally made of molded plastic, urethane, or reactive resin materials that may be light enough to float in water.
Some bowling balls are hollow but have a solid outer shell that is crack and split-resistant.
They come with three finger holes usually inserted with the  thumb, ring finger, and middle finger.

Five-pin bowling balls

Five-bowling balls have a standard diameter of five inches and weigh around 3.5 pounds.
They are made of reactive resin, urethane, or molded plastic that is light enough to be held in the palms.
They do not have finger holes unlike ten-pin bowling balls, but are small  and light to be held in the palms.

Plastic bowling balls

Plastic bowling balls are made of polyester coverstock and are the most common types of bowling balls.
They are inexpensive but are more durable than particle, urethane, and reactive resin bowling balls.
Plastic bowling balls are ideal for beginner bowlers because they are inexpensive. However, they are  difficult to control and do not have much friction.

Urethane bowling balls

Urethane bowling (made of durable urethane coverstock) are softer than most bowling ball materials.
Urethane also offers more friction and less deflection when rolled into the lanes.
They have a high hook potential depending on how well they are sanded or buffed.
Urethane bowling balls are ideal for intermediate bowlers and come in different colors and designs.

Reactive resin bowling balls

Reactive resin bowling balls are made of resin particles that are stickier than other bowling ball materials.
They have high hook potential and better lane grip.
However, they will roll fast on oiled lanes.

Particle bowling balls

Particle bowling balls are made of reactive resin particles with ground pieces of glass.
Glass pieces add grit to these balls, and make them grip the lane better.
They are ideal for intermediate and pro bowlers who want to control their ball’s spin and hook.


see recommended products

Choosing Bowling Balls (Buying tips)

Materials used: Avoid balls that have cracks or fractures on the surface. These can affect how your ball rolls on the lane and can affect your bowling game.

Weight: Choose bowling balls that are proportionate to your arm and upper body strength. Average adult bowlers should consider 10 to 14-pound bowling balls. They are heavy enough to knock pins without straining your arm too much. For children's use, choose balls that are between six to 10 pounds, depending on their strength and age.


Sponsored Products and Services

recommended bowling balls

Page copy protected against web site content infringement by Copyscape

Bowling Bags
Bowling Pins
Bowling Shirts
Bowling Shoes

Search for more Pickyguides: