Guide: How to pick a bowling ball

How to pick a bowling ball

It is very important to find a perfect bowling ball that will fit your bowling style and weight, a size that fits you.

If you are a beginner you don’t need to think right away about core, hook potential, or brands.

For your first bowling ball, you need to focus on the ball’s weight and size, ball type, and grip.

How to choose the right bowling ball?


Follow our guide and you will know all the important factors that you need to know when you are looking for your first bowling ball or you want a new one and get it in the right way.

It is simple and you will now at the moment when you pick it up and try to roll it down the lane.

Other factors are something you will learn and there will be no problems with looking for a perfect fit for you.


Bowling ball materials


Urethane bowling balls
Urethane bowling balls

Bowling balls that are at the local centers are made of plastic, but you can find few more materials.

Urethane bowling balls – These balls have softer coverstock or shell that makes more friction that gives them better hooking potential.

Urethane balls roll evenly and have a great pin on the friction point.

Reactive resin bowling balls – This is an innovative material, this is a resin particle that is in the coverstock on a urethane ball.

This ball has a strong hook on the dry lanes. If you would like to use them on the oily lane you will need to generate more speed.

Particle bowling balls – Innovation in the bowling world, tiny pieces of glass and ceramic that is in the coverstock of the ball.

These fragments increase the friction of the ball.

The ball will have more grip on the different lane conditions, increase power, and get better hook motion.

Bowling ball types

Bowling ball types
Bowling ball types


The main question in choosing the right bowling ball is easy: Do you want to throw your ball straight or you would like to learn to do hooks?

Straight roll – if this is the style that you prefer choose a polyester ball that is also called spare ball or plastic ball. The price range of this type is affordable and it is great for recreational bowling.

Hook roll – if you would like to learn hooks, choose entry-level balls, they are a step up from spare balls. Find the one that is in the middle price range.

Weight of the bowling ball


This is the second step. Try a few different balls and you will determine the right weight.

Consider that the already drilled balls are lighter than the ones in the store that you will drill on order.


There are two styles, conventional grip, and fingertip grip.

You can use inserts – they create more friction when your thumb is out of the ball what gives you extra rotation.

Conventional grip – thumb is all in the ball, middle and ring finger are in on the second knuckle.

Fingertip grip – whole thumb is in the ball, middle and ring finger are in on the first knuckle.

Conventional grip or Fingertip grip
Conventional grip or Fingertip grip

Your own custom bowling ball


At the point, you determine the weight and cover stock, weight, and size that will fit your needs you can order customized bowling ball online or at the local bowling shop.

If you are buying a customized ball, find your drill layout.

Holes that are personalized will give you more control and will decrease the percentage of the potential injury.

If it is your first time having personalized bowling ball that is drilled by the measures of your hand maybe you will feel that it doesn’t fit you as it should.

Usual balls that are ”standard” drilled are wider that this ordered.

You will need little practice but your new ball will be more comfortable and controllable than others.

Maintain your bowling ball


Before you determine how to maintain and care for your bowling ball you need to know what kind of finish your ball has.

ere are two types of coverstock: one that is sanded and polished ones.

Combinations are endless and you can find unique ones depending on the finishing procedures.

Sanded finish – this is a rough surface and it produces more friction. This kind of ball hooks toward the end of the oiled lane.

Polished finish – this type of bowling ball surface makes the ball go further down the lane. Resurfacing bowling ball

The main point of the maintenance of the ball is period resurfacing.

Resurfacing of the ball is important, pores get scuffed and restoration gets them in shape again.

You need to keep the ball clean of the dirt and oil. Any damages lower down the performance of your ball.

Bowling ball gets debris and scuff marks and resurfacing soothes the ball again. When the ball is in the perfect condition you can have control over her, especially if you play hooks and not just straight throwing.

You need to have consistency and predictability on the lane.

When is time to resurface your bowling ball?


Maybe you don’t know when is the time to get your ball resurfaced. You should pay attention to your ball condition and you will see changes in her.

If you see signs of wear and tear it is time to get it resurfaced.

Especially pay attention to the ball’s track point, when that place starts to look washed and not that shiny it is time to get it done.

You can do the resurfacing as many times as the ball name is readable when it washes off that it is time to consider buying a new one.

How to clean and resurface a bowling ball at home?

How to clean and resurface a bowling ball at home?

There is a list of the equipment that you will need to do it at home as a professional.

Sanding agent for the bowling balls – use the materials you can find, Sia sanding papers are the best. Some bowlers use sandpaper or 3M Scotch-Brite pads.

Bowling ball spinner – spinners make it easy when resurfacing your bowling ball.

Polish and cleaner – these products will ensure that your bowling ball is completely clean.

Polishing pads and towels – adding polisher and cleaner detergent on your ball.

Water – you will need water to rinse sanding pads and wash the ball.

No matter what material you have chosen, size and weight, your bowling ball should be personalized so you can have the right feeling and make hooks, straight lines and get your ball to its best speed and performances.

Get your new bowling ball drilled and maintain her as scheduled.

You have simple tips and recommendations when and how you should clean it or when to take it to the professionals and also when is the time for a new one.

Follow our guidelines for purchasing a bowling ball and you will have a perfect fit in your bowling bag.

Simple tips for cleaning bowling ball


After every bowel – clean your coverstock with ball cleaner (this will reduce oil from the lane absorption).

After 10 games – use sanded coverstock to re-polish your bowling ball

After 30 games – use liquid dish detergent and clean the ball, choose one with degreasing agents.

After 60 games – take your ball to the bowling shop and get it fully resurfaced.

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Last updated on October 18, 2020 7:58 am

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