- 1. Hammer Black Widow Black/Gold Bowling Ball
- 2. Hammer Gauntlet Fury Bowling Ball- Purple/Smoke/Orange
- 3. Storm Drive Bowling Ball- Gold/Navy/Red Hybrid
- 4. Storm Code Red Bowling Ball
- 5. Brunswick Tenacity Bowling Ball – Black/Silver/Purple Pearl
- 6. Roto Grip Halo Bowling Ball- Coal/Fuschia/Sky Blue
- 7. Motiv Primal Rage 5-Year Anniversary LE
- Types of Bowling Balls
- Best Bowling Balls for Tournaments
- Top Bowling Ball Brands
- Average Pricing
Those who are not active in the bowling culture might question exactly how different one bowling ball could be from the next. For those in the know, there are huge variations between ball types, costs, and the type of bowler they suit. Those who are planning on getting into bowling in 2020 or who are planning on upping their game will want to invest in the perfect ball that is most likely to give them the most comfort while playing, pleasure in the game, and produce the most strikes. While there are numerous bowling brands out there, not all are created equal, which is why we're going to take a look at the most expensive bowling balls that are worthy investments for 2020.
1. Hammer Black Widow Black/Gold Bowling Ball
The Hammer Black Widow is a bowling ball to be reckoned with. This is one for the serious bowlers and pros. It comes without the holes drilled so owners can get the holes drilled to precisely the ideal comfort and fit. This ball is known to dominate the lanes with both its look and ability.
The super cool black widow image in orange and the black and smokey finish on the ball makes it a site to behold as it crushes those pins. For those wanting a ball that makes a strong visual statement, the Hammer Black Widow will more than suffice.
The Hammer Black Widow features a hybrid coverstock, offering the best of both worlds and has a strong angular core: the gas mask. This ball is known to produce good carry-through with a strong backend and a great hook. For those who like an angular approach to knocking down those pins, the Hammer Black Widow will not disappoint.
• Super cool look
• Hybrid coverstock suits a variety of lane conditions
• High hook potential
• Strong carry through
• Weighs 15 pounds
• Comes with holes undrilled
• The additional cost of getting the holes drilled yourself
• Not so good for beginners
2. Hammer Gauntlet Fury Bowling Ball- Purple/Smoke/Orange
The Hammer Gauntlet Fury bowling ball features a very impressive look with a smokey purple and orange finish that is sure to cause a stir at your local alley, not to mention the 'Gauntlet' name and image of the historical gauntlet sword.
Hammer's Gauntlet features their most durable pearl coverstock. Of the coverstock types available, pearl goes the longest. Many pros will switch to a pearl coverstock ball at the end of their game when their arm is getting tired and they are not producing the carry-through they need. This ball will give bowlers more length in their carry-through and a more precise response on the backend.
The extra length and carry-through that this ball offers makes it ideal for slower bowlers or those without enough strength to consistently launch the ball down the lane. The Hammer Gauntlet performs the best on medium- to heavily-oiled lanes.
The Ball is carbon-fibre infused: one of the strongest materials known to man. Hammer added it to the ball's asymmetrical core to enhance its strength and durability, which is why they offer an impressive 3-year warranty. The ball's weight can be selected between 12-to-16 pounds to suit a variety of bowler preferences.
• Stylish smoky finish in purple and orange
• Strong asymmetrical core
• Long carry-through
• Ideal on well-oiled lanes
• Sharp back-end response
• 3-year warranty
• Available in a variety of weights
• Pearl coverstock
• The additional cost of getting the holes drilled
• Not ideal for performing on non-oiled lanes
The Storm Drive ball has the look of a classic bowling ball. It features swirling gold, navy and red finish that calls to mind the classic look of bowling balls from the 50s.
The Storm Drive features a R2S nano hybrid coverstock that is ideally suited for lanes that are well-oiled. The ball is seen as a predictable midline performer with a dual-drive core that is ideal for those who like to strike at an angle and appreciate good hook.
The Storm Drive's dual-drive core is made up of a weight block within another weight block. The two blocks work together to establish a core that produces significantly faster revving action and transfers higher energy at the pins.
While this ball has great hook, it is recommended that it is reconditioned every few games so it does not lose its turn. With a little maintenance, the Storm Drive is an ideal choice for those looking for a ball with a classic look and an epic hook.
• Classic look
• Dual-drive core for better revving action
• More energy transfer at pins
• Performs well on oiled lanes
• Great hook
• Additional cost of getting the holes drilled
• Not ideal for lanes that are low- to medium-oiled
• Has to be reconditioned to maintain its turn
4. Storm Code Red Bowling Ball
The Storm Code Red bowling ball features an aggressive colour for a reason: epic torque. This high-performance bowling ball continues the international success of Storm's Code Black with its high-differential core technology and a RAD4 core.
The Storm Code Red pairs its core with the R2S hybrid reactive coverstock for a versatile performance and is finished with a 1500-grit polish. What this stellar combination produces is a bowling ball that glides through the lane's front portion to create the impressive breakpoint shape and backend response that is the Storm name's signature touch.
This ball performs the best on lands that are medium- to heavily-oiled. The Storm Code Red comes undrilled so you will have to pay for drilling services, but this also produces a better fit for more serious players who are in the game for the long run.
For its price point, the Store Code Red is a wise investment. It is a high-performance ball with durability and epic torque potential on its side.
• High-differential core technology
• Hybrid coverstock
• Great backend response
• Performs well on well-oiled lanes
• Additional drilling services cost
• Performs a bit aggressively for beginners
5. Brunswick Tenacity Bowling Ball – Black/Silver/Purple Pearl
From Brunswick, one of the most trusted brands of bowling pros, comes the high-performance Tenacity bowling ball. Finished in a silver-purple colour combination, this ball will turn heads.
The Brunswick Tenacity is praised for its strong carry-through and has a high transfer of energy at the pins for the best strikes. Featuring an ultra responsive pearl coverstock, this ball is ideal for slower bowlers who need their balls to have that extra oomph to make it to the pins with some strength and power left.
This ball is known as highly responsive to friction with an angular breakpoint shape and high hook potential. The Brunswick Tenacity is known to perform best on lanes that are heavily oiled.
• Trusted brand
• Strong carry-through
• Ideal for slower bowlers
• Good energy transfer at pins
• Angular breakpoint
• Good hook potential
• Good ball for beginners trying to build their strength
• Doesn't perform as well on lanes that are not highly-oiled
• High price point
6. Roto Grip Halo Bowling Ball- Coal/Fuschia/Sky Blue
The Roto Grip Halo bowling ball has features a bright and eye-catching colour combination of coal, fuchsia, and sky blue.
The Halo ball was designed by Roto Grip to dominate in lanes that are heavily oiled. The ball features a Centrum asymmetrical core paired with the MicroTrax-S18 coverstock. This ball is renowned for its strength and sharp hook.
Bowlers who have switched over to the Halo have found it extremely easy to adjust to, while some even report that it is too much ball for them and wouldn't recommend it for beginners. Sanding pads are recommended for keeping the ball looking new and out-of-the-box.
• Super strong ball
• Great hook
• Ideal for well-oiled lanes
• Asymmetrical core
• MicroTax S-18 coverstock
• Too much power and weight for beginners
• Not as ideal for bowlers with a straight launch
7. Motiv Primal Rage 5-Year Anniversary LE
While this lava red pearl bowling ball may not be the ideal gift for a five-year wedding anniversary, the Motiv Primal Rage five-year anniversary ball is a limited-edition release that will not last long. For bowling-history buffs, this ball could be a necessary addition to your collection. This ball was originally released five years ago and is being re-released in the hopes of duplicating its original success. It's only being produced once in limited quantities, so enthusiasts are rushing out to get one before it is too late.
The bowling world stood up and took notice of this ball five years ago and is doing the same this time around. This ball is designed for peak performance on medium-oiled lanes. Added to its original Impulse V2 core is the new Fusion HX pearl coverstock using Fusion-and-Hexion technology to improve the ball's backend reaction. The high torque and continuation of this ball outshines its predecessor and eliminates the wiggle associated with the original when oil was carrying down.
• Affordable price for a high-performance ball
• Impulse V2 core
• Fusion FX pearl coverstock
• Less wiggle than the original
• Good torque and carry-through
• Not many available
• Only carries a one-year warranty
Types of Bowling Balls
Bowling balls might mostly all look the same, but there is a little bit of variety when it comes to how they play. When people talk about types of bowling balls, there are usually two characteristics that can separate a ball from others. The coverstock is certainly a difference maker, and the weight block also has a pretty big impact.
When asking how to select a top quality bowling ball, these two factors can really change how a ball plays. Here’s a closer look.
Types of Coverstock
The cover stock is basically the outer shell of a bowling ball. It is responsible for the amount of hook a person can put on a delivery. They can be made of different materials, and that is how the ball plays differently.
A plastic or polyester coverstock is a popular choice for a lot of people because it is durable, inexpensive and easy to access. The downfall is that it is pretty much designed for beginners and intermediate players at best, because there is not a lot of hook potential. Plastic is harder than the other options out there, making it easier to control but harder to get any type of action on it.
Just about every single house ball at a bowling alley is going to be using a plastic coverstock. That is why most experienced bowlers will not even mess with those balls.
Urethane has a lot of the same qualities as a plastic coverstock, but the opportunity to add a decent amount of hook is there. It is still a very easy ball to control, and the durability is solid as well.
For those who want a slight step up from plastic, this might be the move to make. People will probably notice a little bit better pin action on impact as well. While a little bit more expensive, it is not so much that people are turned off by it.
This is the best way to get complete control when bowling. The special type of resin does a very good job of creating friction, which in turn allows people to add additional hook. There are actually different types of reactive resin, and each one can work well for an individual if they do their research.
Lanes can differ quite a bit from bowling alley to bowling alley, so having something that is so adaptable is certainly a plus. This resin allows a person too pretty much make every bowling alley as close to the same as possible. That is about all somebody can ask for out of a bowling ball.
This coverstock is pretty much reserved only for the best players. There is definitely a learning curve when using this coverstock, as the ball actually has a bumpy surface. In the beginning, most people will actually see their scores go down. Everything changes once a person gets a good feel for it.
Types of Weight Block
As the core of a bowling ball, the weight block is going to have a big impact on how a ball performs once it hits the pins. Finding a bowling ball that fits a specific style can really make a big difference.
Two-piece bowling balls are going to have symmetrical wait blocks. This is going to really be beneficial for people who bowl on drier lanes for the most part. A slower ball is also going to benefit more, because the arc motion is going to be a little bit smoother.
Any drilled bowling ball is going to be considered asymmetrical. The advantage to using a ball like this is that a person can get more hook on balls, and more precision as well. With just a bit more revolution on the ball, many bowlers appreciate the overall feel of this weight block.
The pancake weight block is designed so that the ball doesn’t roll too heavily. One end of the ball is going to be a little bit heavier than the other, allowing for hook to be easier and more effective. The pancake-type weight block is very similar to the symmetrical weight block, but the pancake is just a bit more high-level player friendly.
Best Bowling Balls for Tournaments
If a person is bowling at a tournament level, more than likely they have more than one bowl that they use on a consistent basis. A lot of it will depend on the lane conditions when picking out the right ball for a specific tournament.
The first thing bowlers will look at is the Radium of Gyration, also known as RG. The lower the RG, the more mass there is in the center of the ball. This will get the ball rolling in a hurry. A higher RG ball will have more mass around the shell area, so it will take longer to get into a steady roll. Asymmetrical balls tend to have the lower RG, while a symmetrical one has higher RG.
Most tournament bowlers are going to tinker with knowledge like this, and use different balls on different lanes before fully settling on the right option. It might seem like a ton of information, but tournament bowlers have been at it for a while, so they are very well versed in a bunch of different types of balls.
All tournament bowlers need to have their own finger and thumb holes, because otherwise it is just not going to feel right out of the hand. No one should be playing with a ball that is not customized in that way when participating in any type of tournament.
Compared to casual play, the majority of tournament bowlers will also go with a heavier ball if at all possible. For the most part, the heaviest ball a person can control is going to provide the best amount of success.
Finally, the best bowling balls for a tournament will need to be clean and ready to go. Just a little bit of dirty residue can hurt the overall performance of a ball. Most people will clean their balls beforehand, but also clean their balls between each shot if possible. It is more of a habit for seasoned tournament players these days.
Top Bowling Ball Brands
There are a decent amount of bowling ball brands that put out quality products. Most people know about Brunswick, Columbia, Storm, Hammer and Pyramid. They seem to be the most popular options for people to use when they are looking for an affordable bowling ball option to call their own.
Each of the major brands are going to have a number of options for different levels of players, and also those with different tastes when it comes to color scheme. A lot of companies tried to differentiate themselves with a good-looking ball that people can be proud of when they are using at the local bowling alley.
Although a lot of people like to go with trusted brands, there are plenty of other alternative options as well. Some of the most creative designs are made by smaller companies and brands that are trying to really get some attention. Innovation is hard when it comes to a bowling ball, because there is only so much one can do. With that being said, design options are pretty much endless, so chances are more unique and customized it looks Will be emerging in the future.
Pricing for a bowling ball is going to be different depending on the quality that a person wants. It is all going to come down to the skill level of a bowler to really get the right idea.
Those shopping for their very first bowling ball to call their own are probably looking at around $50 to spend. That might seem like a decent amount of money, but it is well worth the investment. Not only can a person have the consistency of using their same ball every single time, but it can be a very custom fit for any individual.
Even the inexpensive balls are going to be shipped without holes cut in them. That means just getting in the proper fit is going to make this ball more consistent for a user. It can be frustrating to go around the bowling alley and try to find something that works, but having a trusted ball every single time is certainly a positive thing.
In the $50.00 to $100 range, there are a lot of decent intermediate balls for people to consider. This is also the range where people can start to find some professional options. It is always a good spot for people to shop around, because sometimes a casual bowler is only going to need a certain type of bowling ball.
Finally, anything over $100 is generally going to be something close to what professionals use. Of course, when shipped, the bowling ball is really going to be rather generic. It takes time for a person to fully customize the look and feel of the bowling ball so that it can be used consistently to its full powers. Once it is figured out though, it is a big change from the community balls.
Wayne Webb is a three year state champion bowling team member. Wayne first started bowling with his father at age 5, and has been a huge fan of the sport ever since. In his professional career, Wayne currently serves as a full-time teacher at Portland High School. Wayne writes for several online publications including Lane1Bowling.com and Bowling Magazine.