Best bowling ball

Recreational Sports

Bowling balls have three holes: one for the thumb, middle finger and ring finger.

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Which bowling ball is best?

Bowling may seem simple like a simple sport, but there are a lot of factors that help determine performance when at a bowling alley. The grip and proper weight plays a role in how the bowling ball will perform once it leaves your hand. 

If you’re looking for a reliable ball, the Hammer Black Widow Legend is the top choice. 

What to know before you buy a bowling ball


Purchasing any bowling ball isn’t sufficient enough, you need a ball that isn’t too heavy or light. Balls can weigh anywhere from 6 to 16 pounds. Lighter balls are more suitable for children, while heavier balls are more suited for adults and professionals. 

For children, a 6-10 pound ball is ideal. Teenagers should use bowling balls anywhere from 11 to 14 pounds. For adult women and seniors, 12-14 pounds is ideal, but it’s recommended those of larger stature use bowling balls that weigh around 15 or 16 pounds. 


Bowling balls come in either a two-piece or three-piece construction, both models featuring an outer shell called the coverstock. A classic bowling ball will have a three-piece construction that features a coverstock, a thin weight block and a large area of filler. The top of the ball is slightly heavier than the bottom, helping the ball balance when rolling. Modern bowling balls have a coverstock and large heavy weight that balances the entire ball. 


Make sure you take into consideration how many people will use a bowling ball when using it. If you’re going to share with friends or teammates and you’re concerned about hygiene, it may be best to clean it after every use when sharing.

What to look for in a quality bowling ball


The coverstock tends to be made out of polyester, plastic, urethane or reactive resin. Polyester and urethane are durable materials suitable for beginners, whereas reactive resin is for advanced and professional level bowlers.


Bowling balls have three types of cores: pancake, symmetrical and asymmetrical. Pancake cores have a flat side and a rounded side, with some having a puck-like shape. Pancake cores are commonly found in balls with polyester coverstock and don’t offer the best performance. However, there are some beginner urethane and reactive resin models with pancake cores as well.


A conventional grip is the most common bowling ball grip, where you insert your thumb all the way into its hole in the ball, then place your middle and ring fingers into their respective holes to the second knuckle. This grip offers firmer control of the ball and works best for beginners. 

The fingertip grip involves placing your thumb completely into the hole of the ball, then placing your middle and ring finger into their respective holes. Intermediate and advanced bowlers tend to prefer a fingertip grip because it provides better leverage, which makes hooking the ball easier. 


You’ll want to choose a color that suits your preference, as there are plenty of fun shades to choose from. However, selecting a ball with a unique color pattern and combination will make your ball easier to find. Many models will have designs, such as a marbled or swirled design of two or more colors. 

How much you can expect to spend on bowling balls

Prepare to pay $44-$225 for a bowling ball, depending on the material and weight. Polyester balls range from $44-$110, urethane balls are $60-$140 and reactive resin balls are $85-$225.

Bowling balls FAQ

What type of bowling ball is best for new bowlers?

A. Bowling balls with a polyester or plastic coverstock tend to be the best option for beginners. They’re generally less expensive and there’s usually a wider range of weights to choose from with polyester, making it easier to find a ball for beginners of any age. 

What type of bowling ball offers the best hook shot?

A. Reactive resin balls will provide the best hook shot possible. The resin provides more friction between the ball and the oil on the lane, allowing the ball to curve into the pins easier. However, urethane models may be the best option for beginners, as it’s less costly and offers a little more control. 

What type of cleaning or maintenance does a bowling ball require?

A. Throughout each game, wipe down the ball with a microfiber towel, because the ball can pick up oil from the lane. Many advanced bowlers wipe their balls before each throw. Before you store your bowling ball at home, apply a ball cleaning spray and wipe it down with a clean towel to help prevent the ball from soaking any oil. 

What’s the best bowling ball to buy?

Top bowling ball

Hammer Black Widow Legend

Hammer Black Widow Legend

What you need to know: This stylish ball is built for various lane positions.

What you’ll love: This bowling ball features a spider design on the ball, which will stand out from other balls, and hooks easily into your hand. This ball is suitable for intermediate bowlers, as well as competitive bowlers. 

What you should consider: This ball may not be suitable for beginners as it takes time to master control of the ball. Some users have reported chips occurring after regular use. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top bowling ball for the money

Storm Ice Storm Blue and White

Storm Ice Storm Blue and White

What you need to know: A reliable bowling ball, it is suitable for multiple skill levels. 

What you’ll love: The pearlized polyester coverstock helps the ball travel down the lane accurately. It features a unique ice colored design. 

What you should consider: It lacks a modern core design. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Storm Timeless Bowling Ball

Storm Timeless Bowling Ball

What you need to know: This bowling ball has a pleasant fragrance.

What you’ll love: Designed with the help of PBA champion Jason Belmonte, this ball provides a great drive with the proper technique. It also features an aromatherapy fragrance that provides a pleasant smell for the bowler. Experienced bowlers will enjoy the drive it produces. 

What you should consider: With an expensive price tag, this ball is best for more experienced bowlers who have the budget. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon


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Ade Hennis writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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