HomeBowlingHow To Choose A Bowling Ball (Best Guide For Beginners)

How To Choose A Bowling Ball (Best Guide For Beginners)

How to choose a bowling ball?

What should you know when choosing a bowling ball?

What are the essential elements you should know?

Keep reading as we have gathered exactly the information that you need!

Let’s learn more about bowling balls!

Are you ready?

Let’s get started!

How To Choose A Bowling Ball

Selecting the right bowling ball can be an important choice for many.

With the right ball, you can elevate your game and enjoy your hobby or sport that much more.

You’re probably confronted with many questions:

  • Is there a brand that you should choose?
  • Should you consider the material used to make the ball?
  • What type of core is best for you?
  • Does this ball have hook potential?
  • Does the weight of the ball matter?

There are more questions but we’ll spare them to avoid further confusion.

In this article, we will go over what are the real important aspects when choosing a bowling ball.

If you are a beginner, the good news is that you won’t need to make the selection of your bowling ball too complicated.

The entry-level bowling balls are substantially similar and will offer you what you need to get started.

The more you learn to play the game, the more you are inclined to work on your technique, the more the selection of your bowling ball becomes crucial.

Bowling with the right bowling ball can not only make your game consistent but will surely improve your scores.

Bowling Ball Type

Choosing the ball type is the first aspect to think about.

Throwing Straight Balls

If you are a beginner and want to throw a straight ball, you should probably look into polyester balls.

Polyester balls are also known as spare balls or plastic balls.

A polyester ball is a great choice if:

  • You are looking to just have your own bowling ball
  • You are looking to play recreational bowling 
  • You want to bowl with friends 

Good polyester balls intended to be thrown straight can range from $50 to $99 per ball.

Hooking The Ball

If you are looking to practice hooking the ball or your goal is to throw hooks, you should consider going one level higher than polyester bowling balls.

You get more out of an entry-level bowling ball than polyester if you are looking to hook the ball.

If you are starting to learn to hook the ball, you may want to get a less expensive one going for about $79.

If you want to pay yourself a little more luxury, you can go as high as $190.

For many, a ball sold for anywhere between $79 and $129 should do the trick.

Bowling Ball Cover Stock

To cover stock of your bowling ball is the material used to cover the outer surface of your ball.

The material can be made of:

  • Polyester (also known as plastic)
  • Urethane 
  • Reactive resin 

If you are a beginner, you should not worry about the cover stock too much.

You should be just fine with polyester if your objective is to throw straight balls.

If you want to throw a hook, that’s when you can look at urethane or reactive-resin as a cover stock as it has a better hook potential.

Urethane and reactive-resin are better for hooks as they grip the lane in a better way than plastic balls.

Bowling Ball Weight

The weight of the ball is another important aspect if you are looking to choose a bowling ball.

For many, the weight of the ball is immediately apparent when they pick up a bowling ball.

The truth is that if you have a bowling ball with holes perfectly fitted for your hand, the ball may feel lighter in your hand as you won’t need to tightly grip the ball.

Evaluating House Balls

To find the right weight for you, you should:

  • Go to a bowling alley and pick up a few balls with varying weights
  • See how the balls feel in your hands
  • Try them by bowling a few games
  • Pay attention to which ball (at what weight) is comfortable for you to swing

In the end, the weight you feel is what’s right for you in the bowling alley, you should select that weight.

If you are going to drill the finger holes for your ball, you should add about two pounds to your ideal house ball weight.

Based on Body Weight

Another method for choosing the right bowling ball weight is to go based on your body weight.

Some will tell you that your bowling ball should be about 10% of your body weight and never exceed 16 pounds.

For example, if you weigh 150 lbs, your ball should be 15 lbs.

Many professional bowlers use bowling balls of 15 or 16 lbs.

Bowling Ball Cores

How to choose a bowling ball core?

This is an important question for those who are intermediate and advanced.

For beginners, the short answer is: it does not matter!

For those who are curious, here are the different types of cores:

  • Pancake cores
  • Symmetrical cores
  • Asymmetrical cores

The pancake core is generally found in beginner balls making the ball easier to control and helps the ball stay straight.

Symmetrical cores are used by more advanced players giving you a much more balanced ball for an even roll.

The asymmetrical core helps create a more angular motion if the player needs to use an angle to hit a pin.

Bowling Ball Grip 

A third important aspect to consider in your quest to answer the question How To Choose Bowling Ball is the ball grip.

There are two types of ball grips:

  • Conventional grip
  • Fingertip grip

Conventional Grip

With a conventional grip, you will:

  • Insert your thumb all the way into the ball 
  • Insert your middle finger and ring finger until you reach your second knuckle 

If you look at most house balls, they are drilled for a conventional grip.

This type of grip is best for beginners purchasing a polyester or plastic ball.

Fingertip Grip 

With a fingertip grip, you will:

  • Insert your thumb all the way into the ball 
  • Insert your middle finger and ring finger until you reach your first knuckle 

This type of grip is best for those looking to throw hooks or learning to hook.

Those who select a fingertip grip may also want to look into purchasing inserts placed into the hole to fill up the extra space in the hole. 

Inserts are useful to help you apply a better rotation on the ball, create more revolutions and generate a more powerful throw.

The inserts come in many shapes and colors allowing you to select the ones that fit your taste and ball.

Drilling the Ball

Another way to manage the grip is to have the holes drilled specifically for you by your local pro shop.

Drilling the holes on the ball specifically to fit your hand is quite nice as you’ll have a ball truly custom.

The pro shop will measure your fingers and span to assess the best drill possible.

Be Patient!

The most important piece of advice that we can give you is to be patient.

When you hold your first bowling ball, it may feel heavy, the holes may feel tight (if you have custom holes drilled).

Don’t worry about that.

With some patience and practice, you’ll get past this initial stage where you are conscious and aware of these aspects.

Eventually, you won’t even notice it as you’ll be more focused on your game than your grip.


How to choose the right bowling ball?

How to choose a bowling ball for beginners?

Let’s look at a summary of our findings.

How To Choose A Bowling Ball

  • Choosing the right bowling ball will be great for your game, consistency and score
  • The first thing to do is to select the ball based on your needs (throwing straights or hooks)
  • Then select the right ball weight (about 2 lbs heavier than house balls if you are buying your own ball with custom holes drilled)
  • Select the right grip (conventional grip for straights or fingertip grips for hooks)
  • Consider the cover stock (plastic is ok for beginners, urethane and reactive resin better for throwing hooks)
  • Drill custom finger holes for the best experience 
Bowling Ball Sizing
Bowling Balls
Bowling Calculations
Bowling Score
Bowling Tape
Bowling Towels 
Hook Potential
Polyester Balls
Reactive Resin Balls 
Urethane Balls
Choosing the perfect house bowling ball 
How to choose a bowling ball core
How to hook a bowling ball
Positive axis point on a bowling ball
Editorial Staffhttps://bowling.zone
Hello Nation! My name is Amir! I started this blog to provide all you bowling fans and enthusiasts with useful content, information, and resources on bowling. No matter if you are doing this as a hobby or professionally, I hope you could find what you're looking for. Enjoy!


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Most Popular

Editor's Pick