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Bowling is one sport that can be played by just about anyone; from teenagers to senior citizens. Thanks to the low risk of injury, bowling has become a pretty popular sport across the world. So much so that it’s now a billion dollar industry in the U.S. with over 3,000 bowling centers spread out in the country.
One of the reasons why bowling is such a favorite is because it offers endless fun. It also confers a ton of health benefits. In fact, if you’re looking to lose a couple of pounds, there’s no better way than to bowl your way to fitness. You can burn as much as 300 calories per game. But to make most use of your bowling activity, you’ll need to invest in several accessories, the most important being a good bowling ball. The best bowling ball can help you improve your scores and your consistency in the game.
What is the Best Bowling Ball?
To choose the coolest bowling balls, one thing you need to focus on is the fit and feel of the ball. If the bowling ball feels comfortable, that is, it’s neither too heavy nor too light, then it will be easy to handle. Apart from weight, you should also check the composition, finger holes and accessories. Some manufacturers will sell bowling ball and pins while others only sell the ball.
Below find the best Bowling Balls:
1. KR Clear Red Rose Bowling Ball
Heading to a bowling ball game? You’ll want to invest in a quality bowling ball like KR Clear Red Rose.
The first thing you’ll notice about this bowling ball is its striking design. This consists of a transparent surface featuring a fully-blossomed red rose at the middle. Recommended for beginners, the KR Clear also sports a highly polished plastic coverstock.
It’s important to note that due to the complex manufacturing process employed in its creation, this bowling ball is only available in a 14 lb. version. It also comes with a USBC-approved serial number and is backed by a 1-year warranty.
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2. Ebonite Maxim Bowling Ball
If you’re looking to roll them straight, then the Ebonite Maxim Bowling Ball will come in handy. This ball sports a pancake weight core. Essentially, this constitutes a flat disc sitting on one side of the ball.
Like the KR Clear, this bowling ball is a great choice for beginners not only because of its performance but also the decent pricing.
Ebonite also has a polyester coverstock and a quality polish finish. This enhances its durability by preventing scratches and nicks. Furthermore, it comes in three colors: purple, royal and silver.
3. Pyramid Path Rising Pearl Bowling Ball
Pyramid Path Rising is the perfect bowling ball for players of all skill levels. It comes in five different colors, giving users several options to choose from. But what really stands out is the meticulous inspection that this bowling ball goes through to guarantee the players optimal performance.
When the ball is released from the production line, it’s inspected on several aspects including coverstock composition, topography and pin placement. This goes to show how the ball is made using the highest standards. Designed for medium to dry lanes, Pyramid Path Rising also boasts unique technology known as New Era 139 Symmetric, meant to offer a variety of drilling options.
4. Brunswick Tzone Deep Space
If you’re just getting started on bowling, you’ll want to go for a basic but still durable bowling ball that is worthy of your investment. Brunswick Tzone bowling ball fits this bill perfectly. This ball comes in bright colors including: pink, blue, green, indigo and more.
The coverstock is made of polyester, which contributes to its durability. And, this ball is also a great spare for advanced players.
5. Storm Timeless
Storm Timeless is a revolutionary bowling ball resulting from a collaboration with Jason Belmonte, a renowned PBA player. Timeless is the first creation in the all-new Signature Line, a versatile brand offering state-of-the-art products.
One of the key highlights of this ball is its unrivaled dual-drive weight block. It also has the R2S coverstock, designed to glide through the lane and then react to the backend.Together, these features give this bowling ball excellent speed just like its predecessor, the IQ Tour.
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6. Hammer Black Widow Legend
Hammer Black Widow originates from a long line of reputable bowling balls. In fact, this brand is well known among bowling fanatics. But unlike the previous iterations, Hammer takes things up a notch.
For starters, the coverstock boasts NBT hybrid cover. Combined with the 1000 grit Abralon finish, this coverstock providesjust the right amount of length and strength of hook. The gas mask is made up flex resin and carbon fiber. This gives the ball an excellent backend turn while also taking out the fronts with ease. Overall, Hammer bowling ball is aggressive due to its polished cover combined with the Gas Mask core.
7. Columbia 300 Nitrous
For a budget-friendly bowling ball, there’s no better option than the Columbia 300 Nitrous. Available in three main color schemes, this ball is meant to replace Deep Freeze from the previous season. Apart from its decent pricing, there are a few other things to like about this bowling ball.
It features a new symmetrical core design with a lower RG and slightly lower differential than its predecessor. Next, it has a new coverstock, which provides players with more back end reaction and hook potential.
Bowling Balls Buying Guide
Why buy a bowling ball?
Rather than waste your precious time looking for a house ball when you get to the alley, you can get started on the game right away, if you have your own bowling ball. Plus, you won’t have to worry about finding a good ball since you already have one. This helps you to stay focused on the activity at hand.
Once you find a bowling ball that works for you, you’ll have better control of the game, and this will help to improve your performance.
Whether you’ve been bowling for several years or just a couple of days, accidents can happen. The easiest way to minimize the risk of injuries is to choose your own bowling ball, which will be of the right weight and have proper grip.
Bowling balls are some of the dirtiest items in a bowling alley. Consider all the people who rent shoes and then sweat in them. What about all the hands that touch bowling balls every day? Now think about the amount of dirt that accumulates on each bowling ball. The worst bit is that these bowling balls are rarely cleaned. At best, bowling facilities clean the finger holes a few times each year using a bowling ball cleaner.
So, when you use the house balls, you are exposing yourself to a ton of germs and bacteria. This means that you could end up getting a cold, flu among other conditions. Your best shot at maintaining your hygiene is having your own bowling ball, which you can clean after every game.
Top Health Benefits of Bowling
Muscle toning and strengthening
Bowling is one of the best workouts for exercising your lower body muscle groups. When bowling, you’re constantly on the move with the additional weight of the ball in your hands. And when you swing your arm to throw the ball, you help to exercise the tendons, ligaments and muscles in your arms.
As mentioned earlier, bowling can help individuals to lose excess weight. Despite the fact that this sport is played on a small space, it keeps you on the move; thus helping you to burn calories. You have to walk or run back and forth, and this gives your leg muscles a good workout. At the same time, the act of swinging a bowling ball down the lane exercises your upper body muscles.
Statistics show that by the end of a three-game series, the average bowler will have walked for about 3/5th a mile. Based on your individual weight and the energy you put into the sport, you’re likely to burn between 170 to 300 calories in every game. MayoClinic.com reports that an adult weighing 200 pounds can burn a whopping 275 calories every hour when bowling.
Improve social life
According to a survey done by the Bowling Foundation, there are at least two million bowlers who mingle and bowl together every week in different leagues across the United States. By enrolling to bowling leagues and teams, you get a chance to meet other players and interact with old allies. The companionship that one gets from bowling can come in handy, especially for the elderly and others who live alone. In fact, bowling has proven to be an effective technique of minimizing stress and depression.
Reduce risk of disease
Living a sedentary lifestyle is one of the main culprits of heart disease. What many fail to realize is that engaging in low-impact sports such as bowling, goes a long way in preventing this and other conditions such as heart attack, stroke and diabetes. Bowling also keeps the cholesterol levels and blood pressure low while helping your body to make better use of oxygen. To make the most of this sport, try bowling one or two times per week.
Can be enjoyed at any age
When it comes to bowling, any one individual can participate regardless of their age and skill level. Both preschoolers and the elderly can engage in this sport and reap significant benefits. What makes it a great option for seniors is the fact it poses low risk of injury. What’s more, bowling centers are built in such a way that those in wheelchairs and the blind can access alleys effortlessly.
Easy to learn
Bowling is one of the easiest sports to learn. Many bowlers like this sport because it can be played for different purposes- recreation, relaxation, on a competitive basis and for socialization.
Did you know that the simple act of forming friendships boosts your heart health? Throughout history, research studies have shown that there’s a direct correlation between one’s heart health and his level of network. So by interacting and forming new relationships at bowling tournaments, you mitigate the risk of heart problems.
Fun for the whole family
One primary reason why bowling is such a popular game is because of how simple and adaptable it is. With easy-to-understand rules and an automatic scoring system, bowling is a straightforward game. Also players get to enjoy both the competitive nature and fun that comes with playing it.
Bowling requires a great deal of precision so that you can get a strike when you throw the ball. The amount of concentration required in this game stimulates mental alertness and tactical planning. This makes it the perfect game to help youngsters boost their motor skills as well as hand-eye coordination. Seniors, on the other hand, are able to refine their tactics.
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The Right Bowling Ball for Beginners
If you’re a first-time bowler, there are a few things to keep in mind, and these points differ significantly from those that the more skilled and dedicated bowlers need to be concerned about. The first thing you should consider is pricing. Now, when you’re bowling for the first time, you shouldn’t expect too much in terms of getting strikes. Even if you have the most reactive ball, it won’t accomplish much more than a basic bowling ball would. Getting a strike calls for a lot of skill and experience.
Therefore, it wouldn’t be advisable to break the bank buying your first bowling ball. Odds are, that ball is going to wear out eventually. A better idea would be to buy the less expensive bowling balls. Essentially, the main features you should think of when getting your first bowling are weight, coverstock and grip.
We’ll start with weight. The mechanics of bowling are a bit definite. This means that even big-sized people can perform better when they use a light ball. To increase your chances of scoring, experts usually advise players to focus on balance and aim rather than the power they put in when throwing the ball.
The coverstock is simply the exterior part of the ball. For first-time bowlers, the best thing is to choose “pearl” or “stiff” coverstocks. These are better for new bowlers who have a tendency to throw the balls straight down on the lane instead of concentrating on hooking into the pins.
Lastly, you’ll need to consider your grip, and more so the position of your fingers. Ideally, your palm ought to be resting fairly flat on the ball once your middle finger, ring finger and thumb are inserted. However, it’s better to work with a pro who can help you determine the right spread between your middle and ring finger.
One more tip to add is that novice players should always go for plastic bowling balls as opposed to urethane or reactive resin. The plastic balls are cheaper and make better options for beginners.
The Right Bowling Ball for Experienced Rollers
If you are a more skilled bowler- the kind who goes to the bowling alley multiple times in a week or participates in competitions- then picking the right bowling ball is an important decision. You may not have any control over the conditions of the lane, and you may not always get strikes. But, if you can determine how your ball compares to your rolling style, this can give you an edge and help you pick that spare.
The size of the bowling ball is as important to experienced players as it is for beginner bowlers. You shouldn’t pick a heavy bowling ball just because you have five years’ worth of experience in bowling. In any case, you should go for much lighter bowling balls as your control of the ball improves.
Contrary to novice players, the experienced ones don’t just throw bowling balls down the lane. As such, plastic wouldn’t be the best option for skilled bowlers. If you’re an experienced, pick reactive resin or urethane ball, which can be made to curve and drift when you swing your arm.
Keep in mind that the material you choose will have a direct impact on the hook. But you also need to think about the Radius of Gyration (RG). The RG is the distance that the mass of the ball can spin without altering its inertia. In a nutshell, this is the ball’s resistance to rotating, and it’s determined by the density of its core. This means the denser the core is, the faster it’s going to start rotating, which is a plus for those who have mastered their aim. Conversely, the less dense the core, the longer it’s going to slide straight down; hence, resisting the spin that’s supposed to draw it across the lane.
Bowling Ball Materials and Construction
A bowling ball has two main components: the coverstock and the weight block/ core. The coverstock is the visible part of the ball, which has hook potential since it usually comes into contact with the lane.
There are four main kinds of coverstock, and they differ in the materials used in the construction. The four types are: plastic, reactive resin, urethane and proactive or particle. Due to the differences in materials, these coverstocks perform differently when it comes to reacting to the lane surface. Also, they generate different levels of friction once the bowling balls are rolled down the lane. The more the friction, the higher the hook potential.
A plastic coverstock will have a smooth surface, which results in minimal friction. Consequently, it has slight hook potential. Plastic bowling balls are ideal for beginners because they provide an excellent fit to their hands; thus, giving them better control. Intermediate and seasoned bowlerscan also invest in plastic coverstocks for shooting spares.
Urethane coverstocks are superior to the plastic ones as they are more durable. They generate more friction between the bowling ball and the lane, which gives the coverstock higher hook potential. A urethane coverstock also deflects less and it offers a superb pin action. If you’re looking to improve your control, a urethane ball is the best option.
Unfortunately, reactive resin is the least durable coverstock. On the plus side, it offers the highest amount of friction, and subsequently, a high hook potential and better pin action. Due to their high friction, reactive resin balls are more sensitive to the conditions of the lane. In fact, they are more prone to operator errors. They are also very difficult to control, which makes them a better fit for medium level players.
With a proactive coverstock, the surface is a little bumpy, and this helps the ball to get a good grip of the lane surface, which creates more friction especially on lanes that are heavily oiled. Like reactive resin, the proactive is also best left to the mid-range bowlers.
Now, the second part that we mentioned is the weight block. There are high and low mass weight blocks. The high mass weight blocks are pancake-shaped and located close to the balls’ shells. This kind of weight comes in handy when you want a lot of length down the lane. A high mass weight helps to keep the ball from getting into a heavy roll.
A low mass weight block comes in different shapes and with varying densities. Found closer to the center of the ball, this weight facilitates a heavy roll, which in turn increases the hook potential.
Choosing the Right Ball for Bowling
There are a ton of balls to choose from at a bowling alley. However, it might be difficult to find one that meets your need. For this reason, it’s always better to buy a custom bowling ball, which improves your chances of scoring. Here are a few things to account for when getting your own bowling ball:
The weight of a bowling ball determines how much control a player has over it. For the average adult, the ideal range of weight is between 12 and 15 pounds. But female players may need a lower end of this range. For teens and younger players, the perfect bowling ball is one weighing between 10 and 12 pounds. As your experience increases, you can pick a heavier ball.
But age is not the only factor to consider when thinking of weight. You also need to consider your bowling technique. For instance, some players do better with light balls, which give them more control. So, before placing your order for a particular ball, visit a bowling alley and test balls of different weights. This way, you can establish the right ball weight that corresponds to your bowling style.
Understand the Condition of Lanes
When looking for a bowling ball, it’s crucial that you also consider lane conditions. You’ll come across all kinds of bowling balls, some suited for beginners, seasoned players, light-weighted ones as well as balls that provide strong reactions in heavy oil conditions. Inquire about the lane and oil conditions. You might also want to ask the type of balls that other players are using. Once you’ve established the lane conditions, you can then find a corresponding coverstock. The main types of lanes are:
- Dry lanes- for a dry lane, invest in a pearl or stiff coverstock, which can easily slide to the pins.
- Medium to heavy oil- for this kind of lane, opt for a solid coverstock. Poly-urethane coverstocks are the best as they offer excellent grip.
A key benefit of buying your own bowling ball is that you get to fit your fingers. House balls come in different sizes of holes, which can make it challenging to fit your fingers and become consistent. As long as the thumb and forefinger holes are spaced improperly, the ball will always feel uncomfortable and this can cause wrong release of the ball.
Custom holes, on the other hand, increase your chances of getting a strike. When you use a custom bowling ball for the first time, you will never want to use any other ball. Custom bowling balls are particularly handy for players looking to improve their control and overall performance on the lane.
Bowling Ball Appearance
The design of your bowling ball is another factor you might want to consider. Some players don’t give much thought to this. But for other players, the ball’s appearance boosts their confidence. Confidence is a strong virtue, and for a few players, this is all they need to get that strike.
With bowling, just like any other sport, the type and quality of equipment you use have a direct impact on your performance. The easiest way to improve your score and boost your bowling skills is by first investing in the best bowling ball. Not only does a good bowling ball improve your bowling but it also helps you to stay hygienic since you won’t be using house balls that collect a ton of dirt and germs.