Have you ever had the intention of buying a bowling ball and been baffled by the many choices? Bowling is a fun pastime for some, a passionate hobby for others, and a career for a few, and the variety of bowling balls reflects this wide range of interest levels. Differing weights and cover stock compositions can make the purchase seem more difficult than it needs to be. Anyone can find the most appropriate ball with the help a little foreknowledge.

Finding a Ball of the Right Weight

A few prevalent misconceptions surround the choice of bowling balls when it comes to weight. Many bowlers believe that using a heavier ball than necessary adds extra power to the roll. Other amateurs ignore weight as irrelevant. The reality is that using a ball of the optimal weight will result in the right balance between accuracy and power.

A general rule of thumb in choosing the right bowling ball for a healthy adult is that a ball should weigh approximately ten percent of the bowler’s body weight. Adult male bowlers generally choose balls that weigh fifteen or sixteen pounds, while the common choice for adult females is a ball of thirteen to fifteen pounds. Children and seniors require extra thought; from the ages of six to fourteen, a child can typically handle a ball whose weight matches the child’s age. Seniors or those who are physically impaired should test out a variety to find a ball that allows repetitive rolls without discomfort.

Understanding Cover Materials

A bowling ball is comprised of two parts: the cover stock and the core. Differing materials in covers behave uniquely in different lane conditions; this interaction between cover and lane surface has a significant impact on a bowling game. Plastic is the least expensive option and is common on house balls; it does not provide much traction. Bowlers who can typically roll the ball straight will find that plastic or polyester will allow them to continue to do so.

Reactive resin and urethane cover stocks are ideal for bowlers who either can already roll a hook or wish to begin. This composition allows the balls a better grip on the lane to hook into the pins. Balls with urethane covers tend toward gradual paths, with hooks that last across the lane. Reactive resin is preferred by most bowlers because the surface allows the ball to cut through the lane’s oil without too much hook; when the hook comes, with friction picked up at the end of the lane, it is aggressive and creates more potential for strikes. So if you are a stroker this type of ball is perfect for you. But in order to find the best bowling ball for a stroker you need to do a bit of research first.

The final main option in cover stock compositions, particle covers are basically hybrids of resin and urethane. Experienced bowlers who have a selection of ball types at hand prefer particle balls for oily lanes. This option is most effective for bowlers who are skilled in ball control and judging lane conditions. In experienced hands, particles allow a smoother hook at the end of the lane.

Top Brand Options

Hook ratings are a better judge of a ball than a brand name, but a few brands tend to stand out. Given identical hook ratings, the differences in brand come down to cover materials, core types, color, and price. The most popular brands are Storm, Columbia, Ebonite, Track, Brunswick, and AMF. Each has a wide range of weights and covers to choose from, with options for amateurs and experts. The pricing varies accordingly, as covers that are more technologically advanced are more expensive to produce. Plastic balls can be fifty dollars or less, while resin-reactive begin at one hundred dollars and can be as much as several hundred, like many particle balls.

More advanced options in bowling balls can be considered after these initial choices are made. More casual bowlers may decide to use house balls, but those more into the sport prefer to choose specific balls and then have the holes drilled to an individual fit. To bowl the best game with the least likelihood of injury or strain, shopping goes far beyond appealing colors and brand names. Following these steps will let anyone know how to buy a bowling ball.