Bowling is a sport with a lot of things that need to go right for you to play the perfect game. Most of the times it is up to skill for you to improve your game. However, lane conditions also play a massive role, which means you need to be prepared. The best spare bowling ball can give you an alternative approach or option to use in certain lanes.
Now spare bowling balls are commonly not as expensive as the primary one that you are using. However, they can bring a different dimension to your game and help you improve in various aspects. In this article, we will be breaking down some of the best bowling balls that are affordable. These can be used for spares or for your primary bowling ball.
Table of Contents
- Best Spare Bowling Balls On The Market 2019 – UPDATED
- Storm Clear White/Navy Bowling Ball
- Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball
- Hammer Black Widow Spare Blue/Orange/Smoke Bowling Ball
- Brunswick Lizard Eye Glow Viz-a-Ball
- Ebonite Maxim Captain Galaxy Bowling Ball
- Motiv Midnight Sniper
- DV8 Zombie Spare Bowling Ball
- Pyramid Path Rising Pearl Bowling Ball
- Brunswick T-Zone Patriot Blaze Bowling Ball
- Motiv Hyper Sniper Bowling Ball
- Key Features To Consider When Choosing The Best Spare Bowling Ball:
- Brands Compete For A Reason:
- Frequently Asked Questions:
Best Spare Bowling Balls On The Market 2019 – UPDATED
Whether you are just starting out, or you have a lot of experience, you need to understand bowling balls and what features are important when selecting one. Before we dive deeper into the top features, we are going to have a look at the selected bowling balls. As mentioned, these can be used as your primary bowling ball as well:
As an entry-level player, some of the bowling concepts might be a little tough for you to understand. However, the Storm Clear White/Navy Bowling Ball is one of the easiest to use and only has a couple of basic features. The bowling ball has been designed with a standard three-piece pancake core that will allow it to go straight.
Since it has a symmetrical core, you don’t need to adjust your game in any way if you are playing in the higher leagues. The standard core is easy to navigate and use. The ball will not have holes already drilled. However, it gives you the opportunity to select where you would want them. Custom holes should be more comfortable.
It does not have an advanced coverstock either, but rather a standard polyester coverstock that makes the bowling ball perform best on dry lanes. You will be slightly limited with hook potential, but since it will be a backup bowling ball, your primary option is the one with the best possible hooking potential on oily lanes.
One of the reasons we have included it for spares is the ability to go much straighter with less technique needed. However, it also works sufficiently when you have a beginner joining you to get into bowling. The bowling ball has a basic design and limited color combination, which makes it ideal for someone looking for something basic.
It can be a little expensive for the features that you get. However, it has some excellent durability that one cannot overlook. The downsides are the lack of hook potential that you need to be aware of. Additionally, we noticed that dirt and scuffs can easily be visible on it too. It is a great spare bowling ball for beginners.
- Basic symmetric core
- Versatile for drilling finger holes
- Reasonably priced
- Ideal for dry lane conditions
- Limited hook potential
- Dirt marks show quickly
Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball
The Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball is still one of the bowling balls that has not aged a bit. The ball has been used through the ages and while predominantly a beginner option, it is near perfect for spares. Additionally, it is also available in a whole host of different colors that can be found for anyone with the desired style.
Polyester is also used for the coverstock, adding more leniencies. It offering you an advanced straight shot for spares. It does not have the best hook potential for those playing at an elite level, but will still give you something to work with on medium oil lanes. Due to the straight shot capabilities, it does not have a steep learning curve.
The TZone Bullet core that has been added is also considered asymmetrical core. It is one of the modern versions of the symmetrical core that does not require you to make too many changes to your game. With some professional help, you can also have perfect holes drilled in the bowling ball wherever you need them.
Most of the features are great. However, it is a little inconsistent if the overall weight is something you need precision. If you fall in between different weights, you might find it to be much better when you need a bowling ball. Female players and those that love specific colors can definitely be drawn to the color options that are available.
Affordability is one of the main reasons why the bowling ball has been around for so long and why many people still love it. It is no secret that you won’t achieve professional results immediately, but as a backup bowling ball, you could see great results. It is mostly recommended for dry lanes with little to no oil.
- Stunning sharp colors
- Really affordable
- Symmetrical pancake core for beginners
- Ideal for spares
- Weight distribution seems to be an issue
Hammer Black Widow Spare Blue/Orange/Smoke Bowling Ball
If you have been following some of the articles we posted, you might have noticed a trend that we always mention Hammer as being one of the most expensive brands. While that is true, the Hammer Black Widow Spare Bowling Ball is not one that fits the criterion of being overly expensive like some of their others.
The coverstock is one of the best polyester coverstocks that we have played or tested in years. Compared to something like the Legend bowling ball from Hammer, this one might not really on the same level. However, it features excellent stability for straighter shots that you need to take when you do have to compensate for a spare.
Dry lanes tend to be the best area to use this bowling ball. This is due to the fact that you will not have to contend with extensive hook potential. However, it can also offer you some decent results on medium-oil lanes and the gas mask symmetric core is one of the main reasons for this excellent performance.
One of the best features is the versatility you have when drilling holes for this bowling ball. Since it has a symmetrical core, we have found that the holes make a massive difference. I have also been using it as a primary bowling ball when the lanes are not stacked with oil. It can build up a lot of momentum for backend impact.
As mentioned, the bowling ball does not follow the standard trend from the Hammer brand. You won’t need to sell an arm or a leg to buy it. Since it can be used by beginners and most people would recommend it to beginners, I believe it is one of the best backup bowling balls that you can ever own for your game.
- Perfect for beginners
- Versatile design for different lanes
- Durable 2000 Abralon grit finish
- We did not find cons if used as a spare
Brunswick Lizard Eye Glow Viz-a-Ball
The Brunswick Lizard Eye Glow Viz-a-Ball is one way to intimidate some of your friends and your competition. It might feature a polyester coverstock, but the large eye of the lizard on the front is the attraction that many of us might have been looking for. It can certainly be an intimidating thing to look into every day.
One thing that the manufacturer recommends, is using the bowling ball in all possible lane conditions. However, our research and tests have found that is works best in lightly oiled lanes. The polyester used for the coverstock does not react as well as some of the other bowling balls with hybrid or pearl coverstocks can for medium oil lanes.
Fortunately, makes up for this by doing an excellent job delivering straight shots. In backlight, the color of the bowling ball looks impressive. Much like you would expect from your white socks, your bowling ball will also have the eye light up in this dark lighting. Occasionally, it can attract attention and add another level of pressure to bowl.
I personally like the design and the advanced features that many people have been using with it. Many children also find the bowling ball attractive, while others don’t like the lizard eye very much. It should be a great way for you to draw attention. However, just make sure you can back it up in the lanes with your bowling performance.
This is a stunning bowling ball, which does mean that it will command a hefty price tag. Personally, I think it is a little overpriced for the features that you are receiving. Once we break down the features, it is basically a polyester bowling ball. IT is a great option for a spare and to get yourself a nickname at the alley.
- Special design
- Great for spares
- The coverstock lights up
- Symmetrical core for drilling holes
- A little expensive
Ebonite Maxim Captain Galaxy Bowling Ball
The Ebonite Maxim Captain Galaxy Bowling Ball has the features that you need when looking for the perfect beginners bowling ball. A 3-piece core, makes life a little less complicated for beginners, while simultaneously adding the versatility of the few hybrid bowling balls on the market today. The versatility is one key selling point.
The coverstock is primarily designed for beginners with polyester/plastic being used for the over the majority of the ball. I am someone that likes a polyester bowling ball for the straight shots, but once again, I had to notice the lack of hook potential on medium oil lanes. IT might not be the best for these types of lanes.
A standard symmetric core makes up the majority of the inside, allowing you to precisely choose where you would want your finger holes. The lack of other components inside the bowling ball also means that you don’t need to make any changes to your current game. Even beginners should find that it will be easy to learn and play with.
The biggest downside is the weights that you have available. Unfortunately, this bowling ball has not been designed for those players that need something heavy. In the available weight department, we only found a couple of weights. Smaller players could find it a little more manageable while making it ideal for children.
The bowling ball is fairly affordable compared to a few others we have seen. It is not the best ball in the world for advanced or even intermediate player, but beginners will certainly have a blast with it. As a spare bowling ball, you can carry it along with you, while only breaking it out in the times you need to make a straight shot.
- A fun ball to play with
- Looks great
- Affordable price
- Symmetrical core
- Durable coverstock finish
- Weight options are limited
Motiv Midnight Sniper
A bowling ball with the name sniper in it does have a lot to live up to. However, the Motiv Midnight Sniper is designed by one of the leading brands when it comes to quality. Motiv has been in the game for a very long time, which means they have a ton of experience when you need something special for your games.
The core symmetrical, allowing you to drill holes anywhere in the bowling ball. However, the brand has decided to call it a hollow point core. The versatility of personalized holes will definitely ensure that you have a little more freedom. It also allows you more comfort to have every done to your own specification.
The coverstock does not have a ton reactiveness on heavy or even medium oil lanes, but it still offers a more reactiveness, which is not present in all the other beginner bowling balls. Since I have used it a couple of times, the hook seems to just be a little under medium and this means you can also use it as your primary bowling ball.
A glossy finish has been implemented, and while it does not change much on the lanes, it is nice to look at. If you use it on dry lanes that do not have a ton of oil, it can generate a lot of speed. This speed adds to the backend power. Occasionally, you might clear up a spare if you can generate enough power down the lanes.
Some of the critics might not be very happy with me calling this a bowling ball that can do everything. However, I would rather take a backup bowling ball with versatile features than one that can only do one thing. It is a little more expensive than many of the others with a polyester coverstock. However, you will get value for your money.
- It does have a slight hook potential
- It can generate a lot of speed
- Ideal for hitting spares
- Glossy finish that looks great
DV8 Zombie Spare Bowling Ball
The DV8 Zombie Spare Bowling Ball is one of the new bowling balls that we had to try. It is a brand that has slowly been building a decent reputation in the world of bowling. The bowling ball features a symmetric core that is named the bullet core, but it has all the same features that you would find in a standard symmetric core.
The most common lanes that are generally used for bowling at your local alley is the dry lanes. However, some of them might have a little bit of oil on them. This bowling ball comes with a polyester coverstock, which serves as the ideal coverstock that will help you make more straight shots. Your hook will not be as much for you to compensate.
Many people think that the design is a little overkill. However, it looks fresh and different from the most common bowling balls on the market. The only downside is that lanes with more than a little bit of oil could throw the ball off. It does not react as well as some of the reactive resin coverstock when you play in big leagues.
Since it can be considered the ultimate beginner bowling ball, you don’t want to pay too much for it. However, it does have a little bit of sting in the overall price. I still believe that it could get the job done on spares, especially when you don’t need to contend with a lot of oil. It also does not show dirt so prominently.
- The color combination makes it stand out
- It has a high gloss finish
- Can offer you a little bit of hook with the RG differential
- Reasonably priced
- The graphics are not favored by everyone
Pyramid Path Rising Pearl Bowling Ball
The Pyramid Path Rising Pearl Bowling Ball is one of the most advanced bowling balls on this list. It is one of the Ebonite prized projects and if you have been playing for some time, you must have heard of the brand before. The entire Pyramid collection has been widely used by some of the top players in the game.
Featuring a symmetric core, the bowling ball is made all types of shots that you can think off. At first, I wondered how it would react on oily lanes due to the normal Path bowling ball having a few weaknesses here. The Pearl coverstock adds some hook to the bowling ball. In turn, it could give you finesse to your game at higher levels.
Another benefit is that this coverstock does not only feature on medium oil lanes. I tried it on heavy oil lanes and still got some great hook. Additionally, it also gave me spin and backend power. For a spare, it can be tricky to navigate the hook potential. However, it serves as one of the best backups you can ask for.
Not only will you be receiving a standard 2-year limited warranty, but the bowling ball adds a lot of quality to your game. You don’t need to focus too much on changing your game either. I would recommend it to beginners, but since it can be used on advanced bowling lane conditions, it is a perfect versatile option.
- Versatile for all lane conditions
- Decent hook potential
- Reasonably priced
- Perfect scale rating
- Advanced pearl coverstock
- Hard to navigate spares
Brunswick T-Zone Patriot Blaze Bowling Ball
Another amazing bowling ball by Brunswick is the Brunswick T-Zone Patriot Blaze Bowling Ball. It is one of the direct descendants or upgrades to the Deep Space version. However, it features a better core with some additional hook potential that has been added for lanes that have medium oil conditions on game day.
Polyester is used for the coverstock, which means the ball has a tendency to go straight, much like the predecessor. It offers you consistency in making a straight shot with those elusive spares. The features that make it stand out is the additional hook potential. This is not major, but enough to give you more lane versatility.
The downside also tends to be the lack of weight options that you can select from. You might need to play around with the weight to make sure that you do find one that works for your game. Additionally, it has a whole host of excellent colors for you to choose from that will definitely make you stand out from the competition.
One of the main reasons for including it is the price. So far, this is the most affordable that we could find on this list. Beginners and those with an expensive primary bowling ball don’t need to spend too much for this backup. I would recommend it as your 2nd or even your 3rd bowling ball for elusive spare shots on medium oil lanes.
- It has a little bit of hook potential
- Sharp colors to choose from
- Really affordable
- Ideal for most lane conditions
- Lacks overall durability
Motiv Hyper Sniper Bowling Ball
Last but certainly not least, we have another bowling ball that is considered a direct descendant from a previous generation. The Motiv Hyper Sniper Bowling Ball is one of the second-generation versions of the Motiv Sniper. However, the features are almost identical, with only the designs that are different when looking closer.
The coverstock lacks some reactiveness on heavy or even medium oil lanes, while still offering more you everything that you will need for those straight shots. A symmetrical core is the staple of any spare bowling ball, but this one will enable you to customize it by having your finger holes drilled where you see fit.
Using this bowling ball, the most striking and appealing part is the color combinations. The bright colors can actually brighten up your game, or this is what happened for me. Ideally, you will not be using it o0n lanes with too much oil. If you need to do so, you should be able to still get a fair amount of hook potential.
The “jack of all trades” label is not one that you can slap onto any bowling ball. However, most bowling balls that I have tested from the Motiv brand seem to fit this criterion. The biggest issue is the price and you will notice that it has a really expensive price that not everyone can afford if they only need a pare bowling ball.
- Exceptional colors
- Decent hook potential
- Light oil lanes make it perform better
Key Features To Consider When Choosing The Best Spare Bowling Ball:
All bowling balls have a lot of features that go into making them great. However, the spare bowling balls have a lot in common with your standard bowling balls. Since they are plentiful and you have a variety of options, you might need to consider looking at these features to ensure that you get the best possible value for your money:
Core Of The Spare Bowling Ball:
Bowling balls have a variety of different cores that you can select from and all of these cores add something to the ball. However, the spare bowling ball predominantly needs to go straight and you don’t want to change your game too much to make it go straight. A symmetrical core is probably the best bet to ensure that the ball does go straight.
If you start playing at a higher level and you can read lanes, especially the oil that has been used on the lane, you might try to experiment with a better core. The asymmetrical core can take a little more time to figure out and use correctly. However, the additional curve can generate more power. Once you have more power, you can potentially change a spare into a strike.
Each bowling ball has a coverstock and your coverstock dictates the behavior of the bowling ball on the lanes. The coverstock will be the specific factor that gives you the desired hook potential that many people might look for. Polyester is the most common coverstock for a spare bowling ball. However, you can consider the others as well:
- Pearl: The pearl coverstock grips a lot on the lanes and it can make a massive difference. Since these are smoother, they often skid to give you a straight shot for those spares.
- Reactive Resin: I would recommend that if you are looking for a reactive resin coverstock, you might choose this for your primary bowling ball. It has great hook potential and can generate a lot of power.
- Solid Resin: The solid resin coverstock is not one that we see used often, but it can give you a combination of the pearl and the reactive resin options. They are ideal for intermediates with some experience.
- Polyester: As mentioned, the polyester or plastic coverstock is the most common. These bowling balls tend to go straight to your target. Additionally, they also tend to be a little more affordable.
The biggest determining factor for the coverstock that you will be choosing is your specific skill level. Those with experience could find that the polyester coverstock lack some of the finesse. Ideally, you would want to find a coverstock that matches the way you play. Making mid0game adjustments can be costly.
The weight of the bowling ball if one thing that we all know by now. However, the weight is not as simple as finding one that feels comfortable. You will also need to understand that weight distribution can play a massive part. Often times, you might need to do a little deeper research to ensure it has decent weight distribution.
**TIP** One of the tips that someone told me many years ago was to use the 10% rule when looking at the weight. The bowling ball should be 10% of your body weight if you want something comfortable. This rule can be applied to all player. However, some are stronger than others and neem something heavier for more power.
Bowling Ball Look:
Have you ever asked yourself why different bowling balls have different color combinations? Yes, it is for aesthetic purposes, but you can also make yourself look more professional. The psychology of colors is one that people have been studying for years. However, certain colors can be a little more intimidating than others.
Neutral colors seem to be what most experienced players choose. One of the reasons is to not draw too much attention. The one thing I hate at any bowling alley is when everyone wants to have a look at your bowling ball. If you want something flashy, you can find it, but also be sure that you can draw a lot of attention that can cause distractions.
Comfortable Finger Holes:
When all has been said and done, you will receive a bowling ball that is perfectly tailored to all of your needs. All you need to do now is to add the finger holes. The finger holes are not just for allowing you to preserve the graphics on the ball, but it also factors in where the core is and where you find it to be the most comfortable.
You have the opportunity to drill the finger holes yourself, but if you have spent almost a $100 on a great bowling ball, I am not the type to take the risk of messing it up. A professional at a pro shop or your local bowling alley can help you drill the perfect finger holes. You will be surprised to see the difference it makes to your games.
Brands Compete For A Reason:
Another question that I was looking to answer was why certain bowling ball brands would design almost the exact same bowling ball, but have different prices. However, there is a reason why certain brands compete with one another. I have tried to help you isolate the 4 top brands that help you with spares, without breaking the bank:
Ebonite is not only one of my favorite brands, but they have an entire series dedicated to beginners. The Pyramid series is not overly expensive and it comes in a variety of coverstocks. Most of these bowling balls have been solely dedicated to improving the games of beginners.
Brunswick is by far one of the top brands for most beginners. However, they do not only cater for beginners and have a wide variety of bowling balls for intermediate players as well. The prices are not that expensive either.
Storm is a wildcard brand that we often do not give enough credit for. Storm has been responsible for some of the top bowling balls that we commonly see in alleys. They have impressive features, while also focusing on keeping all of the prices affordable.
One of my favorite brands is the Hammer brand and they have been around for quite some time. Hammer is not one of the cheapest brands on the market today. However, one can hardly match their quality. They focus on durability but specifically design some of the best bowling balls with an asymmetrical core.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Since these bowling balls are mostly dedicated at the avid beginner or those looking for something basic, I think that we have covered most of the important things. However, a few questions still seem to be making rounds. I hope that I have isolated the questions you have to help you make the best decision for your next bowling ball:
Which coverstock is the best for a straight shot?
If you are adamant on making more straight shots to improve the rate at which you hit at least one pin from a spare, you should consider polyester. However, the lane conditions can also play a massive role. The more oil you have to deal with, the more reactive your coverstock needs to be. Often times, I would recommend a solid resin coverstock.
Does a bowling ball cleaner help to straighten shots?
A bowling ball cleaner is a multipurpose tool that is dedicated at making your bowling ball perform at an optimal level. Whether you have a reactive resin coverstock, or you have a polyester coverstock, cleaning your bowling ball often will ensure that you achieve the desired results.
Does power matter in bowling?
One of the common misconceptions is that you need to power the ball down the lane. While many people do this, it does have an effect on your accuracy, by slightly reducing it. The best way to generate power is by motion speed. The faster you can have your motion, the more power you generate, while also keeping the ball straight.
The word spare can be either the way that you see two pins on opposite ends of the lane or having to use a backup bowling ball. Whichever way you decide to cut it, you need a decent bowling ball. The best spare bowling ball is affordable and can help take your game to an exciting new level. Let us know what you think in the comment section.