Bowling Balls: How Many Are Enough?

New and old bowling balls

When I first got into bowling and I’d go to the lanes with my father, I’d notice people coming in with bags that had multiple bowling balls. At the time I didn’t understand why someone would need so many bowling balls, so I chalked it up to people just wanting different styles. And when I say styles I mean the way they looked. I didn’t knownat the time there were different coverstocks for bowling balls. I was using my mother’s old bowling ball at the time so it was strange to see someone come in with more than one ball. How Many bowling balls does one person need anyway?

Why do bowlers use more than one ball?

There is one main reason why bowlers carry around more than one ball. Most bowlers roll their first shot with a hook to get a better angle and knock as many pins down as they can. A spare ball is used for a more accurate second shot that won’t hook away from the pins that remain. If your only bowling in one alley most of the time, then you will only need two balls because the balls you have will be specific to the lane conditions.

If you play in different bowling alleys you will need more balls to match the lane conditions. If you come across a lane with oily conditions and you want to still get hook, you need a heavy oil bowling ball with a porous, reactive cover stock which will absorb oil making it react to the lane and hook. If you come across a dry lane you will need a plastic or polished ball that won’t have much traction to the lane. This is so the ball doesn’t hook too much. If you don’t have a polished or plastic ball, use a ball that won’t hook too much. 

If you play competitive then you will definitely need more balls because of the different type of lanes you will play on. Most competitive players will have a dedicated spare ball that is used for precision to ensure they get a spare. However, having more balls means that you have to get used to playing with it. This means you will need to spend more time practicing which some players can’t do. 

How many bowling balls do I need?

If you are serious about bowling, then you need at least two balls. One ball is used for your first shot (strike shot) and the other ball is used for spare shots. Most professionals will have around five bowling balls. This is so that they have a ball for every different lane condition. There is three main lane conditions, medium, oily, and dry, however, you need a ball for a spare shot and many competitions have different oil patterns.

If you are not a serious bowler then you will only need two balls maximum. One for the strike shot and one for a spare shot. If you only play for fun with family, then just use the bowling balls at the alley. There is no point buying bowling balls unless you play often or want to improve and play competitive.

Having four or more bowling balls is considered the correct amount because there are mainly four types of balls. These four bowling balls have to be suited to your technique and not all identical in the way they perform. The biggest mistake is buying balls when you don’t know your technique and what ball you really need.

How to build your bowling ball arsenal

Some people who don’t know about bowling balls too much will end up building their bowling ball arsenal full of nearly identical balls. This is because the customer service may not be great and the shop might try and sell you the most expensive high-end balls. If this happens, then changing ball in game won’t make much of a difference.

However, there is a strategic method you can use to ensure your bowling arsenal is varied. Firstly, you need to find out what type of bowler you are. Secondly, you need an idea of how aggressive bowling balls are ranked against each other. And lastly, you need to know, based on your style, what type of bowling balls you need.

There are typically five types of bowlers ranging from the straightest player (speediest), to the strongest (high revs). The five types of bowlers are; strongly speed dominant, speed dominant, even, rev dominant, and strongly rev dominant. When you have taken these steps, the last step is to have a budget. For a professional bowler, you will be looking to spend around $100- $200. If you are a casual bowler, you will spend around $40 – $100. Make sure to take care of your bowling balls as they are quite expensive. Use a microfiber towel, rubbing alcohol and water to clean your ball and keep it in good condition.

There are many different types of balls in bowling, so what types of balls should be in your arsenal? The four typical balls people have in their bowling ball arsenal are; a urethane cover stock ball, a strong and aggressive ball, a continuous ball, a ball that can get some angle and lastly a ball that can get massive angle down the lane. Having these types of balls should allow you to play on any alley and have a ball that suits the lane you’re playing on.

For two-handed bowlers, they need to figure out their technique to figure out which bowling balls to add to their bag. Most two-handed bowlers have a lot of power and accuracy in their shots however, may lack speed at times. Most bowling balls that two-handed bowlers use are heavy because they can generate the power due to throwing the ball with more force since they are using two hands. You still will want the four different balls to cover all lane conditions you may come across. Some bowling balls suited for two-handed bowlers are; Storm tropical breeze pink/purple 16lbs, Storm pitch black 15lbs, hammer black widow legend black/gold 15lbs, Brunswick kingpin 15lbs, Motiv venom cobra purple pearl/green/orange 16lbs, and Storm code black/blue/purple 16lbs.

Recent Posts