Looking for the bowling ball that can serve you the best? Can’t decide which one to buy? Then don’t worry because you are in the perfect place from where you can get all the answers you need regarding a bowling ball. So what are you waiting for? Let’s have some reviews on the best bowling balls that exists in the market exist
ling is quite a popular type of physical activity nowadays. It is rather useful as well because throwing heavy bowling balls can be quite of a challenge.
While some play bowling just casually, others seriously develop their skills. Our today’s best bowling ball review/guide may be more targeted at advanced players. To just have fun with playing bowling, you don’t necessarily need to get your own bowling ball. But if you wish to become better, you might discover that the standard balls have no use for you.
For anyone who is considering buying a bowling ball, we are presenting 10 best bowling ball reviews from which one can buy! But that’s not all as we will clarify the features of bowling balls in our buying guide to help you get acquainted with them!
Let’s not waste any more time on the introduction and get started with our reviews!
HERE IS THE CATALOGUE OF OUR 10 BOWLING BALLS WHICH IS Best For All:
Here is our Top 10 Best Bowling Balls Reviews
The first bowling ball on our list of best bowling balls is produced by Pyramid. This affordable ball is a nice pick for players of any skill level, especially beginners. We have some reviews on Pyramid Path Bowling Ball. Now, let us explain what makes this ball so great.
The coverstock of this bowling ball is made of polyester delivering consistent movement along the bowling lane. That is because polyester has low hook potential, which is what makes this ball ideal for beginners. Want to focus on improving your bowling technique and not be distracted by hooking? Then this ball may be the best option for you!
This bowling ball can be a good choice for more advanced players as well. But if you are looking for a ball with more hook potential, this one is not for you.
We also have a detailed review on Pyramid Path Rising Bowling Ball in case if you want to check it out.
Looks of bowling balls may be quite important as well. With its appearance, this ball has no issues as it comes in 7 glossy color options! Each color carries different design & features. A bad thing is that some buyers on Amazon complained about the discrepancy between the colors on images and the actual looks of the ball. If the color isn’t that important for you, that shouldn’t be a problem.
You can choose between an 8-, 9-, 10-, 11-, 12-, 13-, 14-, 15-, or 16-pound ball. This makes this bowling ball perfectly suitable for everyone – children, women, and men!
This bowling ball comes undrilled, so you need to think about getting your finger holes drilled. Lastly, the ball is covered by 2-year warranty.
- Polyester coverstock makes this ball ideal for straight shots and no hooking.
- Great for players of any skill and age.
- Nice appearance, comes in 7 color options.
- A wide range of sizes.
- Comes undrilled, so you can make custom finger holes.
- 2-year warranty.
- Not suitable for those who want to hook.
- Some complaints about the discrepancy between the actual color and the color on the images.
- You will have to spend extra money on hole drilling.
Next on our reviews are on the Ebonite Maxim Bowling Ball, yet another great choice for beginners! Its polyester coverstock, as you already know, delivers more consistent movement and allows you to do straight shots with no hooking and focus on your technique.
Another factor contributing to the straightforward performance of this bowling ball is its simple 3-piece core. It attaches pretty standard behavior to the ball and makes it a good choice for those players who want more easily predictable moving pattern. On the other hand, the core makes this ball not so fitting for those advanced players who want the challenge of asymmetrical or symmetrical cores. Also, it is the cheapest bowling ball with great quality!
This particular bowling ball comes in only one color option, but the black/purple/gold color scheme makes this ball fairly pretty. Besides, unlike the previous bowling ball, no users have so far complained about its color! If you are looking for a nice bowling ball, this may be a great choice for you.
This bowling ball comes in a variety of sizes as well – 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 pounds. The 6-pound ball is more appropriate for younger children. But as you could have seen from the size options, this ball is not for you if you are looking for a heavy 16-pound ball.
- Polyester coverstock makes this ball’s movement more straight and eliminates hooking.
- The 3-piece core delivers standard playing experience, which is perfect for beginning players!
- Nice black/purple/gold scheme.
- Undrilled ball gives you more finger hole customization opportunities.
- Comes in multiple sizes.
- This ball has no hook potential.
- The core is unfitting for those who want more rich bowling experience.
- No 16-pound size option.
- You have to get the finger holes drilled.
- Not shipped outside the United States.
We have also some reviews on the Whit dot bowling ball. The White Dot bowling ball, another good option for beginners or those who want more simple ball performance! Let’s examine what makes this affordable ball worthy of being considered one of the best bowling balls.
Looking for a predictable and straightforward ball behavior? As with previous great bowling balls on our review, this ball’s coverstock is made of polyester. With it, you will get straight shots and no hook potential whatsoever!
Another notable feature seriously contributing to the consistency of this ball is its polished finish. It will have less friction with the bowling lane, leaving the trajectory of the ball almost completely unaffected! The best thing about it is that beginners will learn the basics of bowling technique much more easily. No factors drawing their attention away from the straight shots!
The pancake core is another factor bringing more simplicity to this bowling ball’s performance. With this ball, you will get the most ordinary bowling experience! Some may think that it is actually bad, but simplicity doesn’t necessarily mean that you will get unsatisfied with this ball. On the contrary, as with the coverstock and polished finish, the pancake core attaches no complex moving patterns to the ball’s performance.
What about the looks of this ball? Our reviews on this ball say it’s lime/slime color scheme may be pretty much perfect for your taste! If you have a similarly colored shirt, you will undoubtedly become the most eye-catching player at the bowling alley!
The size options of this ball are similar to the ones of the previously reviewed bowling ball – 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, and 15 pounds. The drawback of these is the same – no 16-pound bowling balls.
- The plain and simple movement pattern is ideal for beginners.
- The polyester coverstock, polished finish, and the pancake core are the components ensuring the straight trajectory of the ball on the lane.
- Gorgeous Lime/slime color scheme.
- You can make the perfect finger holes with this ball!
- Comes in a variety of sizes.
- Zero hook potential.
- The pancake core delivers standard playing experience.
- Again, no 16-pound option.
- The ball is undrilled.
Let us present you with the first bowling ball with hook potential on this list! Meet Black Widow Legend bowling ball by Hammer! This ball is a great choice if you are looking for a ball to start learning to hook.
But what features deliver the high hook potential of this ball? Those are the hybrid coverstock and the hybrid core of the bowling ball! While this ball’s hook potential will certainly be less compared to urethane or resin bowling balls, it is pretty much perfect for those who have just started to look into learning the technique of hooking. The downside of such features is the unsuitability of this ball for beginners. Of course, as a beginner, you can start off with this bowling ball, but the higher hook potential will distract you from mastering the basics of bowling technique.
The low radius of gyration (RG) of 2.50 and rougher, 500/1000 Abralon polished surface of the ball are another features hugely contributing to this ball’s behavior. Overall, if you are looking for a ball to start learning to cook with or just want a ball with good hook potential, this bowling ball will be a great pick!
The appearance of this ball will certainly catch the eye of fellow bowling players! It has only two colors to choose. Its aggressive black/red pearl color scheme makes this bowling ball look serious and intimidating, which perfectly suits its great characteristics!
The Black Widow Legend comes in 12-16 pound sizes. Although this ball is a nice pick for stronger and more skilled players, it may be inappropriate for those who play with lighter balls.
Finally, the Black Widow Legend comes covered by 3-year warranty!
- An ideal choice for those starting to learn to hook.
- The hybrid coverstock, hybrid core, 500-grit surface (factory smoothened with a 1000-grit Abralon pad), and RG of 2.5 attach high hook potential to this ball.
- Aggressive and eye-catching black/red pearl color.
- With this undrilled ball, you can get the finger holes drilled to fit your fingers perfectly!
- Great for players preferring heavy bowling balls.
- 3-year warranty.
- No light options.
- More hassle with the undrilled ball.
- May be inappropriate for beginners.
Yet another mid-performance bowling ball, the Wrecker by Roto Grip is a nice option for more advanced players! But what makes this ball so good for them? We have made some reviews on it for you. Let’s see,
The 52ML hybrid reactive coverstock works best with light-medium oil conditions. It gives more clear front end and more control at the breakpoint. This unique coverstock will ensure earlier and more consistent reaction. And that’s not so surprising as the RG of this ball is 2.55 while its differential is 0.042. The high differential means that the Wrecker will respond to friction faster!
Although this bowling ball is designed to deliver quicker reaction, it has medium-low hook potential. That is somewhat due to the pretty smooth 1500-grit surface of the ball. But overall, this ball delivers good length and strong down-lane motion.
Looking for a calmer color scheme? Then the Wrecker may be the best choice for you as it is a white pearl/blue solid. You could even say that the balanced feel of the color compliments the mid-range performance of this bowling ball.
At the moment of this review’s publishing, the Wrecker came in only three size options – 10, 11, and 13 pounds. While it may be not critical for women or people with less strength, this ball is not for you if you want a heavier ball. So from our points of view, this is the best bowling ball for women and less strong players
- Great mid-range performance thanks to the hybrid reactive coverstock and hybrid core.
- Low RG of 2.55 and high differential. The Wrecker will spin earlier and react to friction quicker.
- Medium-low hook potential.
- A nice option for women and less strong players.
- Calm color scheme.
- The Wrecker is undrilled, allowing you to get the perfect finger holes drilled for yourself.
- No heavy or light balls.
- Unfitting for those looking for high hook potential as well as beginners.
- Again, undrilled means some inconvenience.
The Grudge by DV8 is the first ball with extremely strong hook potential we are going to review! It has all that’s necessary for a quick spin, fast reaction to friction, and nice hooking.
First, its composite hook solid coverstock is the main feature attaching great hook potential to this bowling ball! The asymmetrical core makes the Grudge a good pick for more experienced players who have developed their own playstyle with such cores. This bowling ball comes undrilled, meaning that you can drill the finger holes to make the ball perfect for yourself and complete its great features!
Low RG (2.490 plus 0.056 differential) and the 500-grit surface of the ball factory smoothened by a Siaair Micro pad are another factors contributing to the ball’s fast reaction. Working great with heavily oiled bowling lanes, this ball will be an excellent choice for highly skilled bowling players.
This particular Grudge comes in a nice black/purple color scheme, which may be the best pick for you if you don’t like more aggressive colors. Besides, this ball is 15 lbs., but you should be able to find other sizes if you want them.
Overall, this ball is for those players who want to achieve mid-length strong performance.
- Mid-performance ball with great hook potential.
- 490 RG with 0.056 differential and 500/1000 Saair Micro pad polished surface of the ball ensure its faster spinning and quicker reaction to friction with the bowling lane.
- The undrilled ball with an asymmetrical core will give great customization options to advanced players.
- Beautiful black/purple color scheme.
- An ideal choice for skilled players looking for a heavy bowling ball.
- This particular Grudge comes in 15-pound size only.
- The ball is surely unsuitable for beginners.
- Strong hook potential is not for those players who want medium-low hooking.
Let’s review 300 Nitrous bowling ball by Columbia, another great pick for players with the advanced technique! While this ball has not so much hook potential, its medium hooking will satisfy those who want more consistent movement.
The Boost/R reactive resin coverstock is what attaches some nice hooking to the bowling ball. Reactive resin is the material which the balls with the most hook potential are built of! However, its two-piece Nitrous core offers consistency and somewhat balances out the resin coverstock. That’s why the hook potential of this ball is not as high as it could have been. It isn’t a bad thing necessarily as not every skilled player wants to have a high-hook bowling ball.
Another important feature contributing to this ball’s harmonic hook is its 500-grit surface factory polished by 2000-grit Abralon Powerhouse pad. Besides, the ball has 2.55 RG, meaning that the ball will spin faster. By the way, the ball works best with medium-light oiled lanes. All this makes this bowling ball perfect for players searching for a balance between hooking and consistency.
The ball comes undrilled, which allows anyone to adapt it to any grip style.
The 10-, 11-, 12-, 13-, 14-, 15-, and 16-pound size options will suit bowling players with a wide range of skill and strength. At last, you can choose between black/blue/bronze, purple/pink, red/silver, and silver/black colors, which are pretty aggressive and eye-catching.
- Reactive resin coverstock plus two-piece Nitrous core offer a good balance between consistency and hook potential.
- 500/2000 Abralon polished surface complements the core and the coverstock of the ball.
- 55 RG.
- You will be able to drill the finger holes for your comfort.
- 10-16-pound options are ideal for both men and women.
- Eye-catching colors.
- Medium hook potential.
- Not the best ball for beginners and children.
- Not shipped internationally.
Let’s examine another great bowling ball for beginners on our list of bowling balls! Its name is Tzone and it is manufactured by Brunswick!
This ball is an ideal option for both beginning and those players who want to have more consistency with their bowling ball. The polyester coverstock, as you already know, makes the ball move in a straight line and eliminates hooking. Obviously, this ball has great long-range performance. The high-gloss factory polished surface and high RG (2.715 max, 2.696 min, 0.038 differential) hugely contribute to the consistency of the ball’s trajectory. The absence of hooking and the straight movement will allow beginners to focus on their movements better.
Some people start practicing bowling as children, right? TZone has light size options to fit the abilities of children perfectly! But that doesn’t mean that this ball is not for stronger players as it comes in up to 16-pound sizes.
This particular Tzone bowling ball is Caribbean blue, but you should be able to find other color options if you need to.
- The polyester coverstock and polished surface of the ball make TZone consistent.
- High RG, meaning that the ball won’t start spinning too soon.
- A wide range of sizes makes this Tzone great for anyone.
- Glossy Caribbean blue color.
- Drill your own perfect finger holes with this undrilled ball!
- No hook potential at all.
- Shipped within the United States only.
Here we have some reviews on Strom Timeless Bowling Ball. It is the today’s most unique bowling ball. It has been designed by Storm in collaboration with multi PBA champion Jason Belmonte. Their idea was to create a perfect and timeless ball, hence its name. Let’s now view what makes the Timeless so outstanding!
The heart of this bowling ball is the unique dual-drive core combined with the amazing R2S coverstock. That combination makes this ball fast-reacting and attaches unparalleled hook potential to it. The block-within-block two-piece core generates more energy to be transmitted to the pins. The Timeless glides through the front of the lane and then delivers strong reaction at the backend. This ball is one of the best bowling balls any advanced player can get!
The Timeless comes in blue solid/platinum pearl/black pearl color, which greatly emphasizes the solid level of the ball’s performance. Besides, this bowling ball comes in 12-16-pound sizes. An ideal pick for any advanced player!
- Professional-level ball with smooth front lane and strong backend performance.
- The R2S coverstock and dual-piece core generate more energy and deliver high hook potential.
- This particular ball is beautifully colored in blue solid/platinum pearl/black pearl.
- A wide range of heavier bowling balls for the most skilled players.
- Comes undrilled for you to create the ideal finger holes!
- High hook potential and the performance of the ball may be inappropriate for some players.
- Not really a downside for this ball, but the Timeless is definitely not for beginners.
Now, it’s the perfect time to finish our reviews. Our last bowling ball review is on Dark Legend by Hammer, another great choice for skilled bowling players! Its most important feature is the Gas Mask core covered with Semtex Hybrid coverstock with 500/1000 Abralon pad factory smoothened surface.
What does the combination of the core and coverstock mean for the performance of the ball? The Dark Legend offers powerful mid-lane and continuous backend movement! Working best with medium-heavy oil conditions, this bowling ball delivers increased traction for the faster spin and unmatched hook potential. That’s quite expectable with this ball as it has 2.50 RG with high 0.058 differentials. So overall, the Dark Legend ball is among the best choices of bowling balls one can find out there!
Read the complete review of Hammer Dark Legend Review
Another notable feature of this ball is that it is infused with carbon fiber, one of the toughest materials in the world! The additional strength and durability of the Dark Legend allowed Hammer to confidently offer a 3-year warranty with this great ball!
Want to have gorgeous looks with your professional-grade bowling ball? You could say that the black/purple pearl color scheme of this ball perfectly suits its magical performance. Besides, you can choose a bowling ball from the 12-16-pound size range. Both skilled men and women can try out the unparalleled performance of this ball themselves!
- The Dark Legend offers strong mid-lane and continuous backend action.
- The Semtex Hybrid coverstock-Gas Mask core pair delivers outstanding hook potential.
- The 500/1000 Abralon pad polished surface reacts to friction faster.
- With RG of 2.50 and 0.058 differential, the Dark Legend won’t take too long to start spinning.
- Carbon fiber-infused.
- Beautiful black/purple pearl color.
- The wide range of heavier balls.
- The undrilled bowling ball lets you make the most comfortable finger holes!
- 3-year warranty.
- High hook potential and mid-backend strong performance are not for everyone.
- Not a beginner’s ball.
- Fuss with finger hole drilling.
- Not shipped internationally.
Things to Know When Buying Bowling Balls
Now, it is the time to look into the features of bowling balls. They are not only about their spherical form and holes for your fingers but a couple of other things as well. If you don’t know how the specifications of bowling balls fit your playing style and experience, you may end up getting a ball that is just a waste of money for you.
So what are those features you need to be aware of? The two components you are going to read a lot about when looking for a bowling ball are the coverstock and the core, which we will explain below in more detail. Basically, the coverstock is the outer material while the core is inside the body of a bowling ball. They are the primary factors impacting the smoothness and intensity of the ball’s spin and whether the ball will move in a hook pattern or not. Speaking of a hook, we will cover it more in-depth as well.
The holes of bowling balls play quite a big role as well. The more the holes fit your fingers, the better the control over the ball. Some balls come with pre-drilled holes while for others, they have to be drilled by either a professional or you, which we will cover a little bit later. Custom-drilled holes let the player use heavier balls because they deliver much better grip. Besides, players can choose between either left-handed or right-handed hole.
Another term you will see quite often is the radius of gyration (RG). RG denotes how slow or fast a ball will start to spin. The lower the value, the earlier the ball will spin. RG is usually between 2.43 and 2.80, so you will most commonly see numbers in that range.
The term differential is directly related to RG. It is the difference between the max and min RG of a ball. The higher the differential, the greater the flare potential and the more angular motion the ball will produce between the breakpoint and the pocket.
You may sometimes see the term grit, which indicates how much texture the exterior of the ball has. A higher number means smoother texture – a bowling ball with smoother texture will deliver more consistent motion without hooking.
These are some general terms, but they all depend on the coverstock and the core of the bowling ball. And that’s why we will now examine them separately.
As we already mentioned, the coverstock is the material which covers bowling balls from the outside. It is the part you see and which comes in contact with the bowling lane. That is why the coverstock impacts the ball’s movement so heavily.
There are three main types of coverstocks – plastic/polyester, urethane, and resin. The most of the entry-level and cheaper bowling balls are made of polyester, which is easy to produce. Polyester produces the least friction, which allows the ball to move in a straight line and not break off into a curve as it moves further along the lane. Bowling balls made of polyester are ideal for those who want their ball to move in a straight line. Besides, such balls deliver best results on dry lanes.
The next type of coverstock materials is urethane. This is an intermediate option between plastic/polyester and resin balls as urethane bowling balls deliver controlled hook and work best on lightly oiled lanes.
The most expensive bowling balls are made of resin. Generally, resin performs best on well-oiled lanes. Resin balls are more fitting for those who want their ball to deliver more sharp hooks.
Resin compound can come in solid, pearl, or hybrid style. Solid-resin bowling balls get more friction with the lane and more hooking while pearl balls behave in the opposite way (though pearl resin coverstock has much more friction than polyester/plastic). Lastly, hybrid resin coverstock is the combination of the other two types, which makes the ball’s performance more balanced.
While there are a couple of different bowling core types, they won’t matter as much if you are a casual player or a beginner. The main types of bowling ball cores are the pancake, symmetrical, and asymmetrical. Bowling balls with pancake cores will deliver the most standard bowling experience, which is not so dependent on the skill of the player. As for symmetrical and asymmetrical cores, paired with the position of the finger holes, they impact the behavior of the ball quite significantly. That difference is more pronounced with asymmetrical cores. You should go for asymmetrical core if you know how to handle your bowling style exactly, otherwise, it would be better for you to get a ball with a symmetrical core, which is more forgiving to the level of skill.
Now that we are generally done with coverstocks and core types, let’s move on to those features impacted by them directly – the hooking, weight, and even looks of bowling balls.
Hooking of a bowling ball is its sideways movement on the lane after you throw it. The so-called hook potential, as we already mentioned, is impacted by the coverstock and somewhat the core type, finger hole positioning, and polish. If the coverstock has more friction, the hook of a ball will be wider (=more). The lesser the friction, the less is the hook and the more straightly the ball moves on the lane.
When manufacturers evaluate the hook of bowling balls, they usually either use low-high rating or a numerical value between 10 and 175.
For beginners, low hook potential will be the most suitable as it will make it easier for them to focus on their technique and getting the ball down to the end of the lane. More experienced players or those who want to familiarize themselves with complex bowling techniques can move on to a bowling ball with more hook potential. Hooking is a high-level skill and allows you to control the ball’s movement and direct it into the pocket.
Weight is more like of a personal feature as it will depend on the player greatly. Based on their strength, most men and skilled bowlers tend to use heavier balls, which provide them with more control over its motion. Some bowlers use lighter balls to reduce the hook potential. That’s due to the lighter bowling balls spinning faster.
Adult males usually can deal with 14-16-pound bowling balls while adult females should easily master 10-14-pound balls. For children, there is a “1 pound for 1 year of age” rule. For example, 8 years old child should play with an 8-pound bowling ball. Keep in mind that while having the heaviest manageable ball is ideal, it is better to have a ball that is too light than too heavy.
The appearance of the bowling ball may be quite critical as well. Among other things, you will make your final choice based on the looks as well. Besides, if you don’t like your ball, it can affect your confidence during your plays. So make sure you select a color and pattern that suits your taste but remember that the looks of the ball will not affect how well it handles.
Generally, that’s it for what you should know about the features of bowling balls. Now, let’s view a few accessories for bowling balls, which can be quite useful.
Bowling balls are heavy and it would be quite awkward to carry them around by hand. Besides, without proper cover, the balls can be damaged, preventing them from performing well. To avoid all that, you can buy a bowling bag of the right size for your bowling balls. Some bags can carry just one ball while others are capable of storing two. Bowling bags can also feature pockets for bowling shoes, towels, and other accessories.
Towels are necessary to not only keep bowling balls shiny. Professional players know that cleaning their bowling balls is especially important when moving from one lane to another. That’s because oiled lanes leave residue on the surface of the ball, which can seriously impact its performance on differently oiled a lane.
Bowling gloves deliver a better grip on the ball, which not only helps with controlling the ball but also provides support for the wrists.
You can buy separate wrist supports for your bowling activity. They can come quite in handy as repeatedly rolling heavy bowling balls fatigues your wrists and can even put excessive strain on them. Wrist supports can help you prevent injuries and premature fatigue.
That’s it for our guide on things that you will need to look for. However, while knowledge is a great thing, how do you actually apply it to get the most appropriate ball for your requirements and skills? We will try to answer that question in the next section.
Tips on Buying the Best Bowling Ball
How do you understand which bowling ball is the best choice for you? We will now give you a couple of tips to follow when searching for the ideal ball for you.
- Find your perfect ball weight. According to some people, the ball should weigh around 10 percent of the player’s body weight (up to 16 pounds). Besides, you can use the numbers presented above for males, females, and children to get a general idea of the weight you should be looking for. With custom-drilled holes, you can use heavier balls. Just keep in mind that you shouldn’t go for an overly heavy ball.
- Determine the ideal coverstock. As you already know, the coverstock plays a huge role in the behavior of bowling balls. The choice of a specific type will depend on your preferences and your skill. You shouldn’t get a bowling ball with urethane or resin coverstock if you A beginner. Instead, look for a ball with plastic coverstock. Moreover, you should choose a plastic ball if you want it to move in a straight line regardless of your skill level. Otherwise, select a urethane or resin ball to get more hook potential.
- Get it drilled for your hand. If you are going to buy a ball with no pre-drilled holes, you will have to drill them yourself. You can get them to be drilled by a professional, of course. Holes precisely drilled for your fingers and grip will make the ball more personalized and efficient in your hands. That is much better than buying a bowling ball with generally-sized holes.
- Try out a couple of bowling balls. You should try some bowling balls on a bowling alley to understand what the final product needs to look and feel like. There is no better way of finding out the appropriate weight, size, finger hole positioning, and grip of the ball.
Bowling Ball Hole Drilling Guide
If you are going to buy an undrilled bowling ball, you will need to get them drilled. If you are a skilled bowler, proper hole configuration will be much more important for you. The right angling and layout of the holes will allow your fingers to fit comfortably for you to be able to take more control over the ball.
Mostly, hole drilling is done by professionals, which is probably the best approach. A professional knows how to drill the right holes for you without damaging or even cracking the ball. Today, you can easily find bowling ball hole drilling services. Actually, that may be the most appropriate choice for you.
However, it is possible to drill those finger holes without calling a professional! If you know what you are doing and can use drills and other necessary tools perfectly, you can and maybe should do it yourself. Otherwise, you could end up with two halves of what once was a bowling ball. We do not advise unprepared individuals to try and drill finger holes in their bowling balls by themselves.
Now, let’s review the process of drilling finger holes step by step!
- Choose your bowling ball first. Follow our or any other guide to choosing the best-fitting bowling ball for you. This is quite important as, for example, drilling custom holes in too heavy or too light ball would be pretty much pointless.
- Choose a hole configuration. Different layouts of finger holes will deliver a different level of control and power. Let’s quickly cover the main types of grips:
- With conventional grip, the holes are deep enough for the fingers and the thumb to be inserted into the ball up to the second knuckle joint. This is the most traditional and easiest way of controlling a ball. Thus, it is better for beginners and moderately skilled players.
- Fingertip grip allows the fingers to be inserted into the ball up to the first knuckle joint. This grip is much harder to control but provides more lift, power, and spin.
- In the case of semi-fingertip grip, the fingers are inserted up to the middle of the first and second knuckle joint. This is a balanced grip as it is easier to master than the fingertip grip and delivers more power compared to the conventional grip.
- Keep in mind that when saying “first” or “second” knuckle joint or crease of a finger, we count from the fingertip, not the finger’s base. For example, the first knuckle joint is the one closest to the fingertip.
- Measure your span. To do this, you need to measure the distance between the base of your thumb to the points on your two fingers at which they will bend when holding the ball. Some players prefer the middle and ring fingers while others use their forefinger and middle finger.
- The position of the points on your two fingers will depend on the grip you are going to use. For example, for conventional grip, you will need to point the second crease of chosen fingers.
- Using an adjustable bowling ball will make the results much more precise. The moving holes and their various depths will allow you to find that proper finger positioning. You should be able to find an adjustable ball at a local store or bowling alley.
- If you cannot find an adjustable ball, you can place your fingers on the surface of your undrilled ball and then mark around each finger once you find a comfortable placement. Keep in mind that this method will be less precise.
- Another option is measuring your span with a compass or calipers. Just keep your fingers together and thumb out, measure the span, and then reduce the measurement by 1/8 of an inch (1/4 for a fingertip grip).
- Lastly, to find out the necessary depth of the holes, measure the distance from the edge of your span to the fingertips. For example, for fingertip grip, you would need to measure the distance between the crease closest to the fingertip and the end of the finger.
- Record the measurements.
- Determine an angle. The angle of the holes is critical for the performance and comfort. For example, holes angled forward will result in more lift when released due to the fingers remaining in the ball until the last second. The angle will depend on your comfort and individual playing style.
- Fix the ball in place. Now, it’s time to start the process of drilling. Tightly clamp the ball to make sure it stays fixed during drilling. Otherwise, you may end up with uneven holes.
- Mark the holes on the ball. Place a mark at the center of the spot you are going to drill a hole through. You can do this with an erasable marker or a piece of chalk. Make sure that the marks are properly placed with your span measurement.
- You should avoid drilling through the pin as it might void your warranty and negatively affect the ball’s performance. What is the pin? During the molding of bowling balls, they are fixed on a small rod, which leaves a small hole after being removed. The hole is then filled in. That is the pin. It should be easy to locate as its color usually differs from the rest of the ball.
- Advanced drillers use the pin to determine the properties of the core as well as the ideal location for finger balls. This will vary from one ball to the other, so consulting with the ball’s instructions is a must.
- Choose the drill bits. This would be easy after you have tried adjustable balls because they provide data on thumb and finger widths. Otherwise, if you didn’t have access to such ball, you can experiment with different bits on a block of wood to see which delivers holes comfortable for your thumb and fingers. You shouldn’t pick a bit that makes too tight holes.
- Drill the thumb hole. First, drill a hole for your thumb. Drill slowly at the desired angle and don’t forget to check the depth to not drill too deep. Keep in mind that some regular drills might damage the ball. You should research for drills and bits appropriate for hole drilling beforehand.
- Drill the other two finger holes. Switch the bits and drill the rest of the holes. Follow the same tips as with the thumb hole.
- Sand the holes. Smoothen the interior of the holes with a sanding attachment until they are smooth and the fingers slide in and out easily. By the way, you can try smoothening the holes in a wood block. After all, although you may have picked the best bit, smoothening might negatively change the comfort level of the holes. That’s why you should try it before actual drilling.
Frequently Asked Questions
What would be a better choice – getting a pre-drilled ball or an undrilled bowling ball?
Are you a beginner? If so, you will probably buy a cheaper polyester bowling ball. In this case, the cost of hole drilling could be up to 30-40% of the ball’s price. Are such expenses reasonable? Some may say no, but that doesn’t mean that getting your finger holes drilled for yourself is a bad thing. After all, it will bring more comfort and more power transfer to your performance. But for beginners, it is not as necessary. Before buying a bowling ball, try some out at a bowling alley to get an idea of what you like. If you cannot stand standard holes, maybe you should purchase an undrilled bowling ball.
For skilled players, it will be a little bit different. They more or less know their playing style, strengths, and weaknesses, so it would make more sense for them to get their own finger holes drilled. Moreover, advanced players should have a ball with customized finger holes if they want to develop their bowling skill.
Should I get the finger holes drilled myself?
Unless you know how and what you need to do, you should call a professional. With inappropriate tools, you risk damaging your bowling ball permanently. While getting finger holes drilled can be costly, breaking the ball will affect your budget much more. Do not attempt to drill the finger holes if you do not know what to do.
That’s it for our today’s of the best bowling balls review. As you could have seen, bowling balls are not only about their shape. Materials, build, the configuration of the finger holes, your skill, and the oil condition of bowling lanes hugely impact the choice of a particular bowling ball. Not knowing what to look for may result in unnecessary expenses.
You should keep in mind that the majority of bowling balls(if not all) you will find online are undrilled. That won’t be an issue if that’s exactly what you need, but you would have to maybe visit a local sports store to get a drilled ball otherwise. That’s why conducting research is so important.
We have presented you with 10 great options from casual to professional-level bowling balls. Anyone could find the best ball right after completing reading today’s bowling ball reviews! And hopefully, we have provided you with everything you need to make that final choice and buy the most appropriate bowling ball for your skill and needs.
Remember, know what you need, collect data on bowling balls, read some reviews, get yourself acquainted with different models, and you will find the best bowling ball! We wish you to find it in no time!