Bowling is a complex sport and it has grown significantly over the last couple of years. It involves a lot of technique and bowlers at a professional level also take a lot of pride in the equipment they choose for the sport. Bowling balls might seem like simple balls that you simply throw down a lane. However, there is a lot more that goes into making a bowling ball react the way it does.
In this article, we take a deeper look at the best bowling ball and some of the components that set them apart from one another. With expert help, we managed to push a few balls down the lanes and enjoy a couple of games while also learning some of the basics. Additionally, we have included a buyer’s guide that will enable you to find the right bowling balls for your game.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best Bowling Balls On The Market Today
- 1. Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball
- 2. Pyramid Path Bowling Ball
- 3. Brunswick Rhino Bowling Ball
- 4. Ebonite Cyclone Bowling Ball
- 5. Columbia 300 Nitrous Bowling Ball
- 6. Pyramid Antidote Bowling Ball
- 7. Brunswick Lizard Eye Glow Viz-a-Ball
- 8. Ebonite Maxim Bowling Ball
- 9. Storm Tropical Breeze Bowling Ball
- 10. Hammer Black Widow Legend Bowling Ball
- Key Features To Consider When Choosing A Bowling Ball
- Top 5 Bowling Ball Brands
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Let’s Wrap It Up:
10 Best Bowling Balls On The Market Today
Before we dive into some of the mechanics and the advanced features, you might be interested in looking at a couple of the top bowling balls. As we have mentioned, they have all been tested by experts and now we have the insights to ensure the ball that you choose is considered the best bowling ball for your game:
1. Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball
- Really affordable
- Available in numerous sharp colors
- Perfectly suited for Women and Children
- Pancake core for beginners
- Inconsistent weight distribution
Currently rated as one of the top bowling balls on the market today, the Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball is designed for the newcomer. It features a pancake core that makes it much easier to get accuracy and ensure that you hit your target. As a beginner, you won’t need such an advanced technique to make the ball work for you.
Polyester has been used for the coverstock, giving you more leniencies and offering you some straight shot potential. The bowling ball includes a decent hook potential that will even assist a few of the intermediate players. If you like playing on heavy-oil surfaces, the added hook potential could significantly improve your game.
While it has a few great aspects, the bowling ball is a little inconsistent when it comes to the overall weight. You might find it hard to find the right weight for your game and this has led many players to choose something else. The sharp colors are something that will immediately capture your attention and makes it ideal for the female players.
The Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball might not be the number one option you are going to choose if you are a professional player and you might want to find something with a little more consistency. However, it is a really affordable option and definitely gives you some great value for your money.
2. Pyramid Path Bowling Ball
- Perfect scale rating
- Reasonably priced
- Gives you a good straight shot
- Available in eye-catching colors
- Limited 2-year warranty included
- It lacks reactiveness on heavy-oil surfaces
Ebonite is definitely a brand you have heard off if you are in the bowling game. They are responsible for some of the top bowling balls and the Pyramid Path Bowling Ball is no different. However, it is much better suited for beginners breaking into the sport.
Featuring a pancake core, the bowling ball is made for straight shots, but might have some issues when it comes to reactiveness on oily surfaces. The polyester coverstock gives you a little bit of a hook, adding some real finesse to your game if you are playing at a more advanced level. My experience of extremely oily surfaces did seem a little inconsistent.
Ebonite has stamped the bowling ball as part of their Pyramid Quality selection and having played with it a couple of times, I have seen the durability shine through. Being consistent on lightly-oiled surfaces tend to make life a little easier as a beginner. I should mention that it has a perfect scale rating of 5.0 as well.
As with most pancake bowling balls, the downfall comes with heavy-oil lanes. It lacks a little bit when you need the reactive component to actually kick in. However, multiple colors are available for it and this works well for children and female players.
Knowing the quality of the Path range bowling balls, this one is really affordable for all the advanced features that have been added. It is protected by a state of the art 2-year warranty, but you need to have some holes drilled in by a professional. I would certainly buy it as a beginner player looking to move up in the ranks of bowling.
3. Brunswick Rhino Bowling Ball
- Durable construction
- Symmetrical core offers versatility
- A little bit of a hook on medium-oil lanes
- Price seems reasonable
- Beginners might have a hard time with it
Moving back to Brunswick, we have the Rhino bowling ball and it comes with a better coverstock that has been designed for the more advanced players. Instead of relying on the standard pancake core, I found the symmetrical core a little better when you need versatility, Now I had the opportunity to drill holes anywhere I please.
With an R-16 Reactive coverstock, the bowling ball gave me a little more hook on medium-oil lanes. This helps players progressing with their games to an intermediate level. The difference can definitely be felt with the added hook; given you have the right technique to back it up for your game.
As for the design, it is amazing to the eye and the stylish finish is backed up by a durable design that really makes it durable when taking bumps and shots on your lanes. The Rhino is available in 5 high-contrast colors and these increase the possibility of you looking like a professional. However, I would recommend a decent bowling ball bag to protect the outer surface.
Unfortunately, it does not work well for every type of player and many beginners find it a little daunting to start out with it. The bowling ball does require a little bit of technique if you want to unlock the full potential. However, training will ensure that you figure out the correct position to maximize the hook and bowl more efficiently.
While professional players generally have a multitude of bowling balls that are apart of their kit, this one will certainly be in there. It is a little more expensive, but you shouldn’t let that deter you if you are on an intermediate level. We highly recommend it for the value it offers and some of the key features that will improve your game.
4. Ebonite Cyclone Bowling Ball
- Extreme hook potential
- Versatile symmetrical core
- Designed for professional players
- Not ideal for beginners
Much like Brunswick, Ebonite is one of those reliable brands that you commonly see in the bowling market. The Cyclone bowling ball is also part of the selection that is mostly designed for the advanced players. However, many intermediates also find it comfortable and reliable to use when looking for a progressive bowling ball.
The most prominent oily lanes are generally used for bowling at a professional level and this bowling ball comes with a reactive resin coverstock. Your hook will drastically improve and you certainly see how it swerves to hit the pins when you have made a bad throw. However, the technique needed for playing with it is not as simple.
Many people think of the design as a little stale, but once you get used to it, it does stand out from the rest. The only downside is the reactiveness that could discourage beginners and even a couple of the intermediate players. You might need to spend a little more time at the bowling alley to get a full grip on the potential of this bowling ball.
As we have mentioned, the bowling ball does not really suffice for beginners and it could be a little discouraging. It is also a little too expensive for beginners only playing the game as part of a hobby. If you are on the high-end of bowling competitions, this should ideally be the bowling ball to elevate you to the next level.
5. Columbia 300 Nitrous Bowling Ball
- Reasonable price
- Helps you out of any situation
- Features a medium hook
- Looks great
- Lacks some features for professional players
With a 2-piece center, the Columbia 300 Nitrous Bowling Ball is one of the bowling balls on this list that has been specifically designed for intermediates. The core is also symmetrical, allowing the player to drill holes anywhere in the bowling ball as they desire. I found this helpful to protect the style and coverstock of the bowling ball.
While the coverstock might not match the Cyclone when it comes to reactiveness on oily lanes, it still offers a little more reactiveness that we find in the beginner bowling balls. With a medium hook, I found it easy to actually learn the technique and this played an enormous role in most of the strikes that I managed to get on the trot.
The finish is something that many people sometimes skip over. However, the glossy finish seems to be a real treat and it definitely increases the speed that the ball travels down the lane. Having this additional speed can translate to more hitting power, allowing you to make the best of potentially bad throws and improving your score.
The fact that this ball does not really specialize in one particular area of the sport can be a little frustrating. Beginners and advanced players can have it in their kit, but most professionals stick to having it as a training ball. It is great to have in your arsenal and should help you out of virtually any position.
With it being a “jack of all trades” bowling ball as many people would coin it, the priced is rather reasonable and you definitely get what you are paying for. If I could choose one reliable bowling ball that will last me a long time in my career, this will be the one to go with. It includes everything you might need as a player.
6. Pyramid Antidote Bowling Ball
- New and revolutionary design
- Highly reactive
- Eye-catching design
- Hefty price tag
As you simply look at the Pyramid Antidote Bowling Ball, the stylish design will immediately capture your eyes and draw you in to have a second look. It is one of the latest Pyramid bowling balls to be designed and features some advanced features that make it ideal for your advanced and professional players to hit consecutive strikes.
The bowling ball is designed with a New Era 149 Symmetrical Core and as we have seen, the symmetrical core definitely enhances the versatility. This bowling ball will allow you to drill holes where you find them to be the most comfortable. It was my first time playing with a GPS Navigational coverstock and it is highly reactive, especially on heavily oiled lanes.
Comparing it to some of the other Pyramid Bowling Balls, the hook and reaction happen a little sooner than one would expect. You as a player might need to compensate for this and spend some time at the bowling alley to ensure you completely understand all of the features. However, it did improve my game and many of my fellow companions after giving it a go.
As for the price, you can expect to pay a little more for something with all these features. The coverstock definitely commands a hefty price tag, but the performance will eventually justify it in your competitions. The bowling ball is definitely not the best for beginners and you should stick to using it if you have some experience.
7. Brunswick Lizard Eye Glow Viz-a-Ball
- Unique design
- Ideal for beginners
- Perfect for kids of all ages
- Works well in lightly oiled lanes
- A little overpriced
If you want an intimidating bowling ball, the Brunswick Lizard Eye Glow Viz-a-Ball is one of the best ways to strike some fear into the hearts of your competition. The main attraction is definitely the eye of a lizard that has been put on the ball. However, this also means the coverstock is made from basic plastic materials.
While the manufacturer does recommend that the bowling ball can be used in any lane conditions, I did find it to work best in lanes that have been lightly oiled. The coverstock is not as reactive as many of the others and this can have an impact on the overall quality of your game. You should note that it does an excellent job when it comes to delivering straight shots.
If you hold the bowling ball in a blacklight, the eye of the lizard will start shining. Hopefully, you are a good bowler or the attention might on you leading to some additional pressure when bowling. I have seen that kids are mainly drawn to the design and they do like to have this unique coverstock that stands out from the rest of the bowling balls.
Since this is a unique bowling ball, it also commands a hefty price tag. However, I feel that the bowling ball might be slightly overpriced and it is mostly designed for beginners. As an advanced player, you might like to have it in your arsenal for the fun of it, but it will mostly be downgraded to a training bowling ball.
8. Ebonite Maxim Bowling Ball
- Jack of all trades ball
- Really affordable
- Offers incredible balance
- Perfect for children
- All the bowling balls are lightweight
Moving back to the beginners, we have the Ebonite Maxim Bowling Ball with all the features that you have so far seen in the bowling balls we have recommended to beginners. It is designed with a 3-piece core, making life easier for beginners and adding a little more balance to the bowling ball. This will also add some give to it.
The coverstock is not really designed for your advanced players as polyester has been used for the most part. Using polyester quite often, I did note that it does lack a little when it comes to giving you a decent hook. This means the ball works best when used on lightly oiled lanes for more precision and a straight shot.
If you are one of the stronger players of the game, it is worth noting that this ball is not the perfect option for you. It lacks a little when it comes to the heavier weights. Players who don’t possess a lot of strength will find it comfortable to play with, but the hitting power also takes a little bit of a fall when you play with it.
Since it is mostly designed for beginners and intermediates, the bowling ball tends to be a little more affordable than some of the others we have seen. It might not be the best ball in the world or the most unique, but it is perfectly ideal for beginners. To be honest, I had loads of fun using it against some of the pro players.
9. Storm Tropical Breeze Bowling Ball
- Reasonably priced
- Used by Professional players
- Massive hooking potential
- Hard hitting design
- You need a lot of practice using it
Storm is not a brand you would associate with the top bowling balls, but they are slowly making inroads to compete for the crown. The Storm Tropical Breeze Bowling Ball is one of their best attempts so far and with a perfectly balanced camber core, it makes sense that players with limited bowling skills find it comfortable to play with.
Much like the predecessor, this bowling ball is synonymous with elite players like Jason Belmonte and while his ball has been specifically customized, you can also find some of the same success. Playing with it, I have found that the hits on the pins are much harder than many of the other balls. This has allowed me to hit many accidental strikes.
While the core has been sufficiently balanced for the straight shots, the ball has a reactive resin that gives you a potential hook to bring the ball across the lane. As a beginner, the control takes a little time to master and even a few of the professionals have a hard time with it off the bat. However, a little training has helped us out.
With all the technology going into this bowling ball, you might think that it will break the bank. However, this is not the case and compared to some of the other bowling balls, the price is reasonable for what you get. I would not personally use it with my skill level, but would definitely encourage the pros to give it a try.
10. Hammer Black Widow Legend Bowling Ball
- Extremely reactive
- Versatile hybrid coverstock
- Absolutely unique
- Really durable
- A little expensive
- Not ideal for beginners
No bowling ball list or comparison will ever be completed if you don’t include the Hammer Black Widow Legend Bowling Ball. As the name states, it is a legendary bowling ball and one of the favorites that we commonly find in bowling alleys. However, professional players are the ones that commonly choose to play with them.
The coverstock itself is quite unique and since it is a hybrid coverstock it works well on most bowling lanes. The conditions are merely secondary and you need to compensate for them. I found it hard to actually hit the spot but watching the PBA Championships, you get an idea of how well the ball can perform in the right hands.
Dry lanes tend to be a bit of an issue for this bowling ball and since you will be eliminating one of the key features in the hook, you will not get the best results. Players who are forced to play on dry lanes need to make a lot of adjustments, but this is all part of the game to ensure you get the best possible result and adapt to conditions.
Unfortunately, the price seems to be a little too expensive for my pocket and I did not see any use in actually using the bowling ball. As a beginner, it is a little too expensive and you won’t have the skills or the technique to actually use it. However, I would recommend it to the professionals, especially if you are aiming for a spot in the PBA Championships.
Key Features To Consider When Choosing A Bowling Ball
Simply selecting the best bowling ball is not as easy as picking the one that looks the best on the shelf. If you are a beginner and you don’t understand much about all the internal specifications, this section should be perfect for you. With some expert help, we have dissected the bowling ball to find out what is going on inside
Bowling balls have different cores and while you might think they are all the same, the core that you choose can drastically impact your game. A 3-piece core is generally ideal for beginners and since it offers a lot of balance, the ball tends to go more straight. The pancake core is also an excellent option to have, but these cores are common and you find them in most of your bowling alleys for the walk-ins to play with.
As you grow a little more in confidence, the symmetrical and asymmetrical cores also work well for all players. While the asymmetrical core takes a little more practice to play with and understand, top players love the versatility of the symmetrical cores. It is mostly due to the fact that you have more functionality when it comes to drilling your finger holes.
You might have seen us go on and on about the coverstock, but as a beginner, you might be asking yourself what it really is. The coverstock type will have a huge impact on the way the ball behaves on different types of lanes. However, the amount of oil on the lane also plays a huge part in the hook that you have.
Plastic and polyester are commonly chosen for their affordability. These coverstocks are some of the cheapest to produce, but they lack a little when it comes to giving you a decent hook. As a beginner, you might find the plastic or polyester coverstock perfect for your game and it certainly allows you to produce more straight shots.
Solid resin coverstocks are also a common choice for intermediates and they can be seen as the best of both worlds. These coverstocks will give you decent hooking potential, but they lack when it comes to consistency. To get the best use out of a solid resin coverstock, you need some power behind every throw.
Whilst playing with the professionals, I did notice that they liked the hybrid and reactive resin coverstocks. With the technology behind it, there are various types of them and you can basically find one with every brand. However, they work well on oily lanes and tend to hook a little more. They also require some more technique to utilize.
Your bowling ball is available in different weight classes and depending on your game, it is important to find the weight that is suited the best for your game and strength. By taking 10% of your body weight, you should ideally find the right weight for your ball and this also gives you some more reliability to work with.
If you are fortunate enough to have a bowling alley situated near your home, you can simply pop in to have them assist you in finding the right ball that will meet all your needs. They can also focus on improving your style with each specific bowling ball and this will have a decent effect on the quality of your game.
Most bowling balls have a unique design that set them apart from one another and you need to tap into this design structure to ensure you find the bowling ball that works for your style. The colors and the look does have a huge effect on the game and someone with a basic bowling ball does not seem to be as professional as someone with a more modern bowling ball.
Fortunately, the options we have selected are available in a wide variety of colors and simply by checking them out, you will notice that the top bowling balls are also suited for children. You can find one with the graphic design that suits your needs and potentially turns the heads of everyone around you.
Remember The Finger Holes:
If you buy a new bowling ball, you will notice that the finger holes are generally not included. You need to spend some time figuring out exactly where you would want them and where they would make the most sense. Having a symmetrical core allows you to choose any place on the bowling ball that is comfortable for you.
However, they need to be drilled by a professional and this will once again force you to visit your local bowling alley. Having a professional assist you will ensure that the holes are the correct size and work well for your technique. They also understand the procedure of drilling the holes on different bowling ball cores for the best effect.
Price And Skill level:
The price and skill level of the bowling ball is something that goes hand in hand and you need to make an effort to find the ball that meets your skill level. The better the ball, the more expensive they do become. However, most of the beginner bowling balls are reasonably priced and they allow you to improve your game.
Top 5 Bowling Ball Brands
The list of bowling ball brands will go on and on, but we have focused mainly on the top 5 brands that will make a difference and have a proven track record for the value and the quality they offer. If you have limited experience, these brands will be the ideal place to start and make your way into the world of Ten Pin Bowling:
Starting out as a billiard brand, Brunswick has been in the market for a long time. In 1845, the company was founded and made a name for itself in the world of billiards. However, they have since turned their attention to bowling and the company started design bowling balls since the 1880’, which has proven to be a success.
Even thought BlueArch Capital Marketing has since acquired the bowling ball side of Brunswick, they have surpassed all expectations. With many people believing the bowling ball quality will drop, they have proven to make a stand and allow people to sit back and see them flourish as one of the most recognized brands today.
In the world of bowling, Ebonite is synonymous with the sport and while they also own brands like Hammer and Columbia, Ebonite has been the real deal in the industry for a significant amount of time now. With such a long time at the top of the mountain, it is not surprising to see them turn in the best sales for bowling balls across the board.
One of the main reasons for the success of Ebonite is the idea of making a bowling ball for every type of player. If you are a beginner or an advanced player, you might be able to find the right kind of bowling ball for all your needs here. Ebonite also serves as a top sponsor for some of the biggest bowling competitions in the world.
Storm has been designing bowling balls for the professional players and while they are more like new kids on the block, the brand has taken a massive market share since the 1990s. Starting out with bowling ball cleaning products, the company has quickly seen the gap in the market and they had to take the risk.
Thanks to some careful planning and a few masterminds backing the brand, these risks eventually paid off and the brand has been turning over massive sales. As a beginner, you might not find the ideal bowling ball to get started here. However, you might want to keep them in mind when you start progressing up the ranks.
A brand that is also quite new on the market with a presence that only dates back to the 1990s, you won’t find them in every bowling alley. However, Motiv is not a brand to forget and they are slowly making inroads when it comes to the top bowling balls, especially for children and some of the female players.
Motiv has been specializing in graphics and they have a tendency to put some extreme graphics on many of their bowling balls. These bowling balls stand out from the rest of the competition and are one of the reasons children love them. Choose Motive if you are looking for a custom graphic or something unique.
Based in San Antonio, Texas, 900 Global is probably the least recognized brand on this list. We don’t have much information about the brand, but many people claim that they are designing bowling balls that have excellent quality features. However, you need to do some research to find out if this is the brand for you and test some of their bowling balls.
Frequently Asked Questions
By now, you should have a better knowledge of bowling balls and how they work. However, many people are left with a few questions and while we can’t answer every question, we have tried to find the most common. Even f you are an expert, you might want to give this section a quick look to see if we have something that you might be wondering about:
What Is Your Handicap?
Once you start in the world of bowling, you won’t have any handicap. However, you will soon start having a handicap assigned to you the more you play, especially if you are entering competitions on a regular basis and performing at a top level.
The handicap has a direct correlation with your skill level and if you have a better handicap, you will find that you get paired with better players. Before entering numerous competitions, you are also required to have a handicap. You can start playing at your local bowling alley to start building your very own handicap.
What Is The Purpose Of A Bowling Ball Cleaner?
If you play as a beginner, the bowling ball cleaner is not something you need to give too much attention to. However, in professional competitions, the lanes tend to have a lot more oil on them and this will eventually start accumulating on your bowling ball. The more oil accumulated, the more debris will also be on the ball.
A bowling ball cleaner helps to remove some of this oil from the ball. After the oil has been reduced, you can use a simple cloth to wipe off the debris and the ball will be as good as new. Bowling ball cleaners are generally inexpensive and this means you can buy them as part of your kit without breaking the bank.
Do I Really Need Bowling Ball Shoes?
Bowling ball shoes are not mandatory and many bowling alleys have their own shoes that you can use. You can also choose to go bowling on your socks, but professional bowling balls shoes is a way of respecting the game and the alley. The outer soles on these shoes are generally softer, but still, offer you some grip for your game.
Your normal shoes might seem like a good thing to use. However, they tend to do a lot of damage to the alley and you could end up paying a hefty fine without the right apparel
What Is The Deal With Bowling Apparel?
Bowling shirts have become quite a trend nowadays and people believe that you should only be wearing them if you play Ten Pin Bowling. However, the modern era has to lead us into a new fashion scene and now bowling shirts are not associated with bowling as much as it used to be. Nowadays, you can use any clothing apparel for bowling.
Let’s Wrap It Up:
Having seen all the top bowling balls and all the features needs, you should now be able to find the best bowling ball for your needs and for your game. We recommend all of these bowling balls and while Ebonite is one of the top brands, Brunswick is making a comeback with some of the most advanced bowling balls on the market today.
We would like to thank you for reading this article and encourage you to share some of your thoughts. Let us know which bowling balls are the best for you and if we might have missed any of your favorites. We like to read all the comments.