Bowling is a sport that has been around for a long time. Starting out with wood as the main part of the ball, it has evolved dramatically over the last century. Since the late 1970’s the polyester bowling ball was considered the best. Not only did it have a much lower price tag, but the ball did not have as much maintenance as the best urethane bowling ball.
However, technology has since improved dramatically and in the latter part of the 20th Century, we were introduced to the Urethane bowling ball. It might be a little more expensive, but the results speak for themselves and some of the many new features can drastically improve your game while allowing you to move up in the ranks.
Having played my fair share of bowling games, I have learned a few tricks of the trade and how the bowling ball will inevitably perform on the lane. This insight has helped me to pick the best bowling balls with a urethane coverstock. We have also added a small buyer’s guide that will guide you through the process of selecting the right one for your game.
Table of Contents
- Round-Up Of The Best Urethane Bowling Balls:
- Key Features To Consider When Buying The Best Urethane Bowling Ball
- Frequently Asked Questions:
- Final Thoughts:
Round-Up Of The Best Urethane Bowling Balls:
If the intricacies of the sport fascinate you, you can easily choose to look at some of the features before looking at the bowling balls. However, we have started with the top urethane bowling balls we could find. Many of them have been tested, while some of them were highly recommended by some of the top experts in the field:
1. Motiv Combat Tank Bowling Ball
- Hybrid coverstock (Solid urethane and pearl urethane)
- Has a vanity look to it
- Garners up a lot of speed on lanes
- You have versatility when it comes to drilling holes
- Fairly expensive price tag
One of the newest inventions to make it to the world of bowling is the hybrid coverstock. It is rare for a urethane ball to have the hybrid coverstock and work effectively. However, the Motiv Combat Tank Bowling Ball does this perfectly to give the player more versatility when it comes to different types of oil on the lanes.
The coverstock features an impressive recon core that helps with the drilling of holes and performs more as expected. This core is symmetrical and can easily allow you to drill the holes where you see fit. The 3000 LSS Grit Reactive Resin is one of the reasons it can be a little hard to play with these bowling balls and it has a sharp hook on heavy-oil lanes.
Much like the name suggests, the ball itself is rather tough. Having had a few games with it myself, I have come to notice that it does take some time to get into the swing of things. However, the impact is devastating and it can whack through all the pins with ease. This feature is beneficial to those bad days you have at the lane.
One thing to keep in mind is the easy hook. If you are not used to hooking potential on your ball, you might surpass your target. It is worth spending some time at the course to get a few shots in before you use it for competitions.
Since the hybrid coverstock is unique, it is also one of the more expensive options on the market today. The ball has a vanity feel to it and the tank logo can be really intimidating. However, it is one that requires a lot of focus and might work best on some of the older wooden lanes.
2. Storm Mix Urethane Bowling Ball
- Great for throwing spares
- Features a standard 3-piece core
- Available in numerous colors
- Not ideal for conditions with a lot of oil
One of the first bowling balls you will come to find when you upgrade from your polyester ball is the Storm Mix Urethane Bowling Ball. It features a Pearl Coverstock and a traditional 3-piece core that gives you a lot of functionality down the lanes, especially when you are used to those hooks later down the lane.
Using the ball, you will find that it is designed for the beginner. It can actually be powerful enough to work when you go straight down the lanes, but the hook potential is a little low on medium oil lanes. The 3500-grit polish will make it hard as a rock and one of the best things about it is the inability to soak up so much oil.
When comparing it to the average polyester ball, we see a few common features. The ball has 3 pieces and could have a pancake core. These are the easiest bowling balls to play with and they are not that hard to throw in a straight motion.
The only issue that I had with the ball is the fact that it is much better on dry lanes. Unfortunately, most competitions have a lot of oil on the lanes and this could disrupt the flow of the bowling ball quite significantly. However, it should work well when you have a spare and need to squeeze in an extra pin on your shot.
Since it is not really designed for the professional players, the Storm Mix Urethane Bowling Ball is considered fairly average and ideal for most beginners. However, you still need some training and professional assistance to make it work for you with the late hook feature.
3. Storm Pitch Black Bowling Ball
- The ball gives you a late hook
- Reasonably priced
- Ideal for spinning and hooking
- Large core for more control
- It might lack some durability over time
The Storm Pitch Black Bowling Ball is probably one of the most popular bowling balls you will see today. Not only does it have a few features for professional and beginners, but the solid urethane coverstock is really easy to use and to predict movement. Generally, it is used by the player moving towards the higher levels of the game.
The ball works great on dry oil lanes and with a high RG combined with the low differential, it can be hard to see what the ball is doing as a spectator. It has been helped a lot by the large core and once you spin the ball, it tends to remain rather steady on the vertical axis. This will encourage you to get a little more accuracy.
Since the solid coverstock does not have too much reaction, it is ideal for hooking potential on the dry lanes. The ball does not hook early like many of the polyester balls. This will allow you to get the perfect hook late. However, it does tend to hook a little too early when we look at the lanes that have been soaked in oil.
One of the biggest concerns is the overall durability of the ball. I have not had any issues so far when playing with it, but many people believe that the core is not durable enough. This can be due to the large core that might feel hollow.
When we look at the price, the ball is not that expensive and compared to some of the top urethane bowling balls, this can be a real bargain. The color might be a little dramatic but should work well when you are going for the mysterious look. I would recommend it mostly to intermediate players on dry lane conditions.
4. Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane Bowling Ball
- Reasonable price tag
- Works in almost all lane conditions
- Available in numerous colors
- The reactive resin gives you a smooth experience
- The design is a little stale and boring
If you are out there to play the game and to have some fun, the Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane Bowling Ball might be one of the top options that you could choose. It features a pearl urethane coverstock with a basic tint of purple. However, it only has a basic small design that can be upgraded if you are willing to pay a little more.
The reactive resin is classified as “Smooth Arc” and this does show when you start playing with the ball itself. The ball is ideal for players that love to hook. It behaves nicely on medium oil lanes and will give you the late hook needed when it is needed. However, the core allows it spins as well before hitting the pins with force.
The durability of the ball seems to be on par, and the style fits what we have seen from some of the balls in the earlier years. I would have loved for the ball to have a little more graphics on it, just to give it more of a personal touch. I should also mention that purple is not the only color and there are a couple colors you can choose from.
Since the pearl urethane coverstock is slowly phasing out with the hybrid introduction, this bowling ball is fairly inexpensive. If you don’t want to waste too much of your hard-earned money on something you will only be using a couple times a year, this is the ball to go for. I personally recommend it to players at the intermediate level.
5. Hammer Black Widow Urethane Bowling Ball
- Features a classic 1980’s design
- The price is still reasonable
- Durable carbon fiber infused coverstock
- Great hook potential
- It is a little too aggressive on dry oil lanes
Keeping with one of the pioneers of the urethane bowling ball, we have the unique and extremely popular Hammer Black Widow Urethane Bowling Ball. This bowling ball is one of the older options and has taken the world of urethane bowling balls by storm. It features the pearl coverstock with a basic design that can be modified or tailored to your needs.
One of the stands out features is the asymmetrical core that they have integrated. These cores take a lot of practice to play with, but once you get a hang of the “gas mask” core, you won’t really need to worry about the rest. The core is really predictable and responsive when you understand how the strengths of the bowling ball work.
Additionally, it is a ball that has been weighed to perfection but will never give you an issue when you need durability. The coverstock might be pearl urethane, but it has also been infused with carbon fiber. The carbon fiber keeps the weight, as it should while giving the bowling ball more durability and additional striking power.
One of the downsides is that it only works best when you play in conditions with a lot of oil. The dry oil lanes might not be ideal, but it still features what you need. However, it might go too fast and have little hook potential when playing on dry lanes.
Since this is also a vintage bowling ball with a lot of history, you can expect to pay a pretty penny for it. The ball itself tends to be a little expensive, but you will get what you pay for. I would not recommend it to beginners, but rather to the intermediate player with some more knowledge of the game. Many professionals also choose it.
6. Motiv Tank Rampage Bowling Ball
- It is really aggressive on most lanes
- Really affordable
- Holes can be drilled anywhere
- Extremely durable outer coverstock
- It is a little too aggressive on dry oil lanes
Motiv is not one of the most popular brands on the market today, but the selection of TANK bowling balls they introduced are slowly making a name for themselves. The Motiv Tank Rampage Bowling Ball has a solid urethane coverstock and it features a gold cover that has been blasted on the ball to ensure it does not come off.
The outer shell also features the same 3000 LSS Grit finish that helps the ball pick up a little more speed on dry oil lanes. However, it does retain the hook potential late in the game when those lanes have more oil on them. The ball does have an aggressive feel to it when you have a game on a dry oil lane and this can make it harder to control.
Additionally, the Gear V2 core is one of those cores that will allow you to drill holes where you feel they need to be. This will give the player a little more control when it comes to playing the game and ensure that no bad shots occur accidentally. One of the downsides is that the ball might run a little too fast on dry lanes and does not create friction for itself.
If you compare the price to the first Motiv ball on the list, you might also think that this one will cost you an arm or a leg. However, the price has been dropped significantly, but the ball remains a great pick for almost any player. Having used it myself, I should mention that intermediate players will have a much better time with it.
7. DV8 Tactic Control Bowling Ball
- Reasonably priced
- It has a great blend of colors
- Durable outer coating
- Really powerful impacts
- It is not effective on heavy oil lanes
Last but certainly not least, we have a fairly affordable bowling ball that still has the same quality features as the high-end options. The DV8 Tactic Control Bowling Ball is fairly new to the market and while we have not had a lot of time to test it, the research has shown that the ball can hold its own in the right hands.
We believe it features a pearl urethane coverstock with an extremely smooth finish and the symmetrical core on the inside makes it perfect for lanes with a little less oil on them. The ball can create some friction of its own and still ensure that you have a tank-like sound when it comes close to the pins or smashes into them.
One of the only downsides is the lack of knowledge we have from this ball and it is still being tested to see how it will compare. However, the stylish colors to do make it a really attractive ball with great colors for anyone. I like the design myself and will have to look for one that will give me the opportunity to explore it with my skills.
We have included it on this list for the fair price. When you look at some of the modern bowling balls, you can see that urethane is really expensive. However, this one does not continue the trend. Having seen a couple of things from players, I believe it is ideal for beginners, or players moving on to the intermediate level.
Key Features To Consider When Buying The Best Urethane Bowling Ball
By now, you should probably have an idea of what you want. However, if none of these bowling balls strike you like the best urethane bowling ball, you might need to look at a couple of these features. Whilst searching, I did a lot of research to understand some of the dynamics and features that make a bowling ball great:
Unfortunately, not all urethane balls have been designed equally. Many of them have different types of urethane that are used for the coverstock. Having done some research, I have found out the reason for these different urethane coverstock designs. Here is a small breakdown of each to give you more of a perception:
- Pearl Urethane: The pearl urethane balls are more affordable of the two and they have the ability to go straighter. These balls are generally smoother and they hook a little later, with much less hooking potential. If you are starting out, these affordable options are the best.
- Solid Urethane: The other great option is the solid urethane balls and while they might be a little larder, they have much great hooking potential. These balls are mostly used by the experts and they can hook early if you don’t have enough skill with them.
- Hybrid: Nowadays, we also have the hybrid urethane bowling ball and it features the best of both worlds. These bowling balls have a combined coverstock of solid and pearl. They can behave in, either way, depending on how you throw them.
Once you have made your decision, these will be the main coverstock types to look for. As a beginner, you might consider the pearl coverstock to give you more control. The hybrid coverstock is also really effective but commands a massive price. We would only recommend the hybrid coverstock for someone that is really experienced.
Once you have the coverstock you like sorted, you also need to have a look at the core. We won’t be diving into the cores too much, but you have 3 types of cores. The pancake core is the most common and has a weight on one end. These balls have limited potential and are mostly used for plastic bowling balls.
As you find the symmetrical core, you will note that it is slightly larger and allows the ball to spin more. Since they have a larger inner core, the control is much better when you need s specific hook. Additionally, you also have the benefit of the holes being drilled where you desire.
The final core is the asymmetrical core and these cores can be a little intimidating to many beginners. The core is not the same as the symmetrical and the ball can behave a little wildly. However, it should be perfect once it is in the hands of a top player.
If you have the ball sorted, you need to ensure that you choose a bowling ball that will be easy for you to control. The weight plays an important role in your game and when it is too heavy, the ball can be hard to control. We generally recommend choosing a bowling ball that is around 10% of your own bodyweight. This will make it much easier to control and give you a competitive edge.
Holes Need To Be Drilled:
You might notice that most bowling balls you buy will not have holes in them. This is even more seen in the top urethane balls. As we mentioned, the core does play a massive role to determine this but having the holes drilled need to be perfect for your style of play. I won’t go into it too deeply and instead of drilling them at home, we recommend asking a professional for some assistance.
Style And Design:
One of the final things you need to look at is the style of the bowling ball. If you are a beginner, the plain bowling ball should be fine for practicing and getting you into the game. However, nice graphics and a vinyl design that looks the part will go a long way to give you some great value for your money. While vanity bowling balls are generally considered polyester, you can also find them in the urethane selection.
Frequently Asked Questions:
Compared to the standard polyester bowling ball, the urethane ball is a little more complex and this has led many people to have a few questions when it comes to them. During my research stint, I have found a few common questions that many people might have. Here are some of them with the answers that you might have been looking for:
What is the difference between urethane and a plastic bowling ball?
One of the most common questions is that you need to understand the difference between these two balls. While the urethane ball might be a little more durable, the coverstock also gives the ball some additional friction. This is what gives you hooking potential. Plastic balls a little softer and they tend to go much straighter.
Do I need to clean my urethane bowling ball?
You might have seen that the maintenance on the plastic bowling balls is limited. However, the urethane coverstock tends to pick up more oil and this can hold back a little more dust or other particles as well. You will need to clean the ball often to ensure you get the best possible use out of it.
You might need to consider a deep clean, but for the most part, you can choose one of the many bowling ball cleaning products that have been USBC approved. These cleaners can be used during the game and will give you the best possible performance while you are playing.
How do I increase the hook on my bowling ball?
The hook is all about technique and you might need to spend a little time to ensure that you have mastered the right technique and gameplay method. However, a clean bowling ball and using it in the lane conditions can also go a long way to ensure you get more hook on the ball. However, this is only possible when using a good urethane ball.
Is the urethane ball or polyester ball best for a spare?
This is a question that w don’t really have the answer for and both of them can be really effective when dealing with a spare. The urethane ball does have more hook potential, but with a spare, you might need more of a straight shot. A plastic ball can be really effective for hitting at least one of the balls on a spare to make it better on the scorecard.
You will need to keep the lane conditions in mind when you do this and some of the top professional players have decided to have one of each in their arsenal. It will all come down to your budget and the type of game you play.
These best urethane bowling ball can definitely help you improve your game and you will certainly see how your score keeps on improving. These bowling balls have been tested and while many of them are new on the market, they show great potential. If you are reading this as a professional player, the Motiv Combat Tank Bowling Ball might be a great option and a slight change from what you are used to.
Let us know in the comment section what you think of this selection and if we might have missed any of your favorite urethane bowling balls. We are constantly looking for new bowling balls to include and would love to see some of your experiences.