The type of bowling ball you use can greatly impact your performance and hook power. While buying a bowling ball, choosing the right material for your ball can be quite confusing, but don’t worry as In this article, I’ll be talking about all four types of bowling balls based on the material used for their coverstock in detail and help you choose the best one for you.

Plastic (Polyester)

  • Easy to control
  • Best for Dry Lanes
  • Best for Beginners (Straight Bowlers) as It hooks less

The coverstock of these bowling balls is incredibly smooth, which means it creates very little friction and as a result, doesn’t offer a lot of hook potential.

They become a great option for beginners and casual bowlers who prefer to throw the ball straight and don’t try to spin the ball much. 

Another plus is that they’re usually cheaper than the other types, so you don’t have to break the bank to get your hands on one. Lastly, they’re easy to maintain and clean, so you can spend more time bowling and less time fussing with your equipment.

On the downside, plastic bowling balls aren’t the most durable. They’re not great with oily or heavily-lubricated lanes, so they might not be the best choice if you play on oily lanes. 

Basically, plastic bowling balls are a solid choice if you’re just starting or prefer a straight shot.

What’s the best plastic bowling ball?

Though you can literally buy any of the plastic bowling balls as most of them are almost the same. My personal favorite is the Brunswick Rhino, it literally works like charm for straight bowlers, it is a great beginner and spare ball, You can also go with the Hammer black widow as an alternate.


  • Has Moderate hook
  • More Durable
  • A good step up from plastic balls with increase in hook

Urethane bowling balls are like the Goldilocks of the bowling world – not too much hook, not too little. They offer more hook potential than plastic balls but still keep things controllable. Plus, thanks to the increased friction on the lane, urethane balls tend to deflect less and offer better pin action.

They are made with a coverstock that’s made of a material called urethane. Urethane is a high-friction material that helps the ball to generate more hook than plastic balls, but less than reactive resin balls. The core of a urethane ball is usually symmetrical or slightly asymmetrical, which gives it a consistent rolling motion.

Urethane bowling balls have a smooth and predictable motion, which is great for improving your accuracy and consistency. Plus, they offer a moderate amount of hook potential – just enough to help you improve your hooking skills, but not so much that you’ll end up in the gutter.

But like all good things, urethane bowling balls have their drawbacks. They may not be the best option for bowlers who want to generate a lot of hooks, or who want to play on heavily-lubricated lanes.

What’s the best Urethane bowling ball?

I recently had the pleasure of using the Purple Pearl bowling ball during a league night, and I have to say, it’s easily the best urethane bowling ball I’ve ever used. It is literally an all-rounder ball with a great hook and durability at the same time.

So, if you’re thinking of buying a urethane bowling ball, go blindly for the Hammer Purple Pearl. One of my friends has been using it for quite a while now and I was quite impressed when I had my hands on it the first time.

Reactive Resin

  • Best Hook Potential
  • Works well on all types of Lanes

Reactive resin bowling balls are a super cool type of ball that can help you hook like a pro! They have microscopic pores in the coverstock that allow them to grip the lane better, and when combined with the right core design, they can generate tons of power on the lanes.

They’re especially awesome for intermediate and advanced bowlers who want to improve their hooking skills and increase their chances of getting strikes.

But wait, there’s more! Reactive resin bowling balls are also really durable, so they will be able to take a lot of wear and tear from frequent use as well. Plus, they’re super versatile and can be used in all kinds of lane conditions, even oily ones!

While reactive resin bowling balls are pretty great, they can be a bit pricey compared to other types of balls. That being said, they’re totally worth it if you’re serious about bowling.

Another drawback of using a reactive resin ball is that they require more maintenance than other types of balls. Because they create more friction with the lane, they can become dirty and oily more quickly than other balls. This means that they need to be cleaned and maintained more frequently to maintain their performance.

What’s the best Reactive resin Bowling Ball?

If you’re thinking of buying a reactive resin bowling ball, just close your eyes and go with Hammer Black Widow 2.O , I’ve been using it for more than a year now and honestly saying it has done wonders for me! and its not just me, hundreds and thousands of other people say the same thing about it.

So if you’re planning to buy one, Hammer black widow 2.O is the must-go!


  • Best for Oily Lanes

They’re made with a special resin that’s infused with microscopic particles that makes the surface of the ball a little bumpy that improve the ball’s performance on heavy oiled lanes. These particles create increased friction with the lane surface, giving the ball more hook potential and a stronger reaction to your throw.

One of the main benefits of using a particle bowling ball is its ability to handle heavy oil patterns. The increased friction allows the ball to cut through the oil and still maintain a strong hook. Lastly, particle bowling balls tend to have a stronger back-end reaction, which can help carry through strikes and spares.

But, as with any bowling ball, there are some drawbacks to using particle bowling balls. They tend to be on the heavier side, which may be a challenge for some bowlers to control. Plus, the particles can become embedded in the lane surface, which can alter the ball’s performance over time.

What Kind of Balls Do the Bowling Alleys Use?

Most bowling alleys provide house balls for their customers to use. These are typically plastic bowling balls with polyester coverstock. They’re great for beginners because they’re durable and easy to control. Though they are slightly harder to hook than other bowling balls.

However, if you’re serious about improving your game, it’s recommended that you invest in your own bowling ball.

What Kind of Balls Do the Pros Use?

Professional bowlers usually use reactive resin bowling balls. These balls are designed for maximum hook potential and can generate a lot of power on the lanes. They’re also more expensive than house balls.

How Are Bowling Balls Made?

Bowling balls are typically made from a core, which gives the ball its weight and shape, and a coverstock, which affects the ball’s performance on the lanes. There are three main types of coverstocks: plastic, urethane, and reactive resin.

What Type of Bowling Ball Hooks the Most?

Reactive resin bowling balls have the highest hook potential followed by urethane. They’re designed to create friction with the lane, which causes them to hook more than other types of bowling balls. However, the amount of hook you get depends on your personal style and the lane conditions.

What Type of Bowling Ball Should You Buy?

If you’re a beginner (straight bowler), a plastic ball with a polyester coverstock is a great choice as it has the least hook. If you’re an intermediate or advanced bowler, you may want to consider a urethane or reactive resin ball as they offer a better hook and works well on oily lanes as well.

When I first started out, just like many other I went with a basic plastic ball with a polyester coverstock. It was honestly a good choice for me as a beginner because it was lightweight and easier to control. Although, as I started to improve my game and learned more about spinning the ball and hook, I realized I needed a ball that could offer me a bit more hook potential and better performance on different lane conditions.

And then I went for a reactive resin one and never looked back since then because of the performance boost I saw, even my friends were shocked for once.

Reactive resin works best as a step-up, so if you’re bowling for quite a while now and want to take it to the next level now, reactive resin is the best option for you.

I’ve tried out a few different options in the past, but the Black Widow bowling ball with a reactive resin coverstock has been my go-to for quite some time now. You can easily find it on amazon.

When choosing a bowling ball, it’s also very important to consider the weight of the bowling ball. As a general rule, you should choose a ball that’s 10% of your body weight, although this can vary depending on your strength and skill level.

What Are the Different Types of Bowling Ball Covers?

As mentioned earlier, there are three main types of bowling ball covers: plastic, urethane, and reactive resin. Plastic balls are durable and easy to control, but they don’t generate as much hook as other types of balls. Urethane balls are designed for more control and moderate hook potential. Reactive resin balls are the most expensive and offer the most hook potential.

Summing Up

Bowling can be a lot of fun, but choosing the right ball can make or break your game. There are four main types of bowling balls to consider: plastic, urethane, reactive resin, and particle.

Plastic balls are great for beginners & straight shooters, while urethane balls offer a moderate amount of hook potential. Reactive resin balls are perfect for generating a lot of power and hook, and they work well on all types of lanes. Lastly, particle balls are ideal for oily lanes.

Personally, I started with a plastic ball when I was just starting out, and it was perfect for me. The ball was lightweight, easy to control, and didn’t cost too much.

As I improved my skills, I decided to switch to a reactive resin ball. The ball’s hook potential and power allowed me to achieve higher scores, and I felt more confident in my game. However, it did take some time to adjust to the ball’s different feel and characteristics.

For those just starting out, I highly recommend a plastic ball with a polyester coverstock. It’s affordable, easy to control, and will help you build your confidence and technique. As you improve, Urethane and Reactive resin could become a better options.

Remember to consider the weight, finger holes, and grip when choosing a ball. You want a ball that feels comfortable and fits your hand well. And don’t forget to take care of your ball – clean it regularly and get it resurfaced when needed.

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