How To Choose A Bowling Ball: Weight, Material, and Type

A bowling ball is a crucial piece of equipment for any bowler. The ball determines the amount of force applied to the pins during the game, and choosing the right ball can make all the difference to your bowling game. 

There are several things to consider before buying a bowling ball.

These include the type of material, weight, and size, and we have covered everything that you need to know to choose the right bowling ball, including how to select the perfect size for your needs.

What Is Bowling?

If you’re new to the sport, it might seem like there are many different types of bowling balls available on the market, but they all do pretty much the same thing.

They allow you to strike the pins with enough force to knock them down. As such, the only real differences between the various bowling balls are in their weight, feel, and appearance.

The main purpose of a bowling ball is to provide a consistent striking surface for the bowler to use when throwing the ball.

Bowling is an activity that involves hitting a small hard object called a pin (or “pin-up”) with a heavy bowling ball. There are two main ways to score points in a bowling match.

You can either knock down as many pins as possible within a certain number of frames, or you can get rid of a target ball by knocking it into one of the gutter pockets along the side of the lane.

The most important factor in determining which kind of bowling ball you should buy is its weight. This will determine how much force you apply to the pins when you throw the ball. If you want to learn more about the best way to pick out the right bowling ball weight, keep reading!

What Are Bowling Balls Made From?

Bowling balls are made from two main elements: an outer layer known as a Coverstock and an inner section known as the Weight Block. 


The Coverstock of a bowling ball can be made from a range of materials, including:


Plastic is amongst the most common options for the Coverstock due to its durability and affordability. It also tends to be lighter than other coverstocks, making it easier to control. However, plastic coverstocks tend to wear quickly over time, so if you plan on playing regularly, it may not be the best option for you.


Urethane is another popular choice for Coverstock, mainly because it provides excellent grip for the bowlers. Urethane is often used in combination with other materials, such as rubber, to create a durable coverstock.

Reactive Resin

This is a relatively new material that has been gaining popularity in recent years. Reactive resin is usually combined with some form of synthetic fiber, such as polyester, nylon, or polypropylene.

Particle (Proactive)

A particle coverstock is typically composed of tiny particles of rubber, urethane, or similar materials. Particle coverstocks are generally heavier than traditional coverstocks and therefore require more skill to control.

Weight Blocks

The Weight Block is where the actual mass of the bowling ball resides. It is normally constructed from metal or composite materials.

There are two primary types of Weight Blocks:

High Mass

High-mass weight blocks are pancake-like in shape and are placed closer to the outer shell of the ball, preventing the ball from getting into a heavy roll and allowing more length down the lane.

Low Mass

Low-mass weight blocks are rounder in shape and are located toward the center of the ball, providing less resistance to the ball rolling down the lane. They allow for greater speed through the air but make the ball harder to control.

How To Pick The Right Bowling Ball Weight?

To choose the correct bowling ball weight, you need to consider your personal preferences and needs, and there are a number of elements to consider:

Your Skill Level

You also need to consider how skilled you are. If you have only ever bowled once or twice in your life, then you should probably stick to a standard-weight ball.

However, if you regularly compete in tournaments, then you can opt for a heavy ball. If you have never bowled before, then you should start off with a low-mass ball.

These balls are easier to control, and they are great for beginners who are just starting out. As you gain experience, you can move up to a higher-mass ball.

Your Game Style

If you play competitively, then you should opt for a high-mass ball. These are designed to provide better spin and control, giving you a better chance at winning games.

Your Playing Surface

If you are going to use the ball indoors, then you will want to go for a lower-mass ball. This allows you to get more distance without having to worry about the ball slipping around too much.

Your Personal Preferences

The first thing you should do is take into account what kind of player you are. If you are someone who likes to bowl fast and loose, then you may benefit from a heavier ball than someone who prefers to keep things under control.

Your Budget

Finally, you need to think about your budget. There are many different types of bowling balls available, with some costing hundreds of dollars while others costing less than $10. It all depends on what your needs are, so make sure you choose something that fits within your price range.

What Are The Different Weights of Bowling Balls?

There are three main categories of bowling ball weights:


These balls usually weigh between 10 to 12 pounds. They are suitable for beginners and those with difficulty handling heavier balls. While they offer good speed, their accuracy might be somewhat reduced.


These balls weigh between 13 and 15 pounds and are considered standard for most adult bowlers. They balance speed and accuracy, making them popular among recreational and intermediate players.


These balls range from 16 to 18 pounds. They are ideal for advanced and competitive bowlers who want maximum performance. Heavyweight balls offer excellent accuracy and speed, making them suitable for serious tournament play.

These different sizes impact the speed and accuracy of the ball as follows:

  • Size (lbs): 10-12, Lightweight. Speed Accuracy: Poor
  • Size (lbs): 13-15, Mediumweight. Speed Accuracy: Average
  • Size (lbs): 16-18, Heavyweight. Speed Accuracy: Good

When choosing your size, it is important to remember that larger sizes are not always better; you don’t necessarily need to buy the biggest bowling ball available on the market. Instead, you should look for one that feels comfortable when you hold it and has the right amount of heft for your level of skill.

What Is The Difference Between Regular And Premium Bowling Balls?

Regular bowling balls are made from pure lead core, whereas premium bowling balls contain additional components like graphite.

How To Choose A Bowling Ball: Weight, Material, and Type

Graphite is a type of carbon that gives bowling balls their unique feel, as well as makes them lighter.

How Can I Improve My Bowling Technique?

There are a number of methods that you can use to improve your bowling technique, and these include:


Practice makes perfect! All of the best bowlers in the world have spent years honing their skills, and this is the only way to become a great bowler.


You can also improve your technique by using equipment designed specifically to help you out. For example, there are special grips that allow you to grip the ball tighter, which helps to reduce arm fatigue.

Mental Training

Mental training is another method that you can use to get the most out of your practice sessions. You can work on improving your concentration, focus, and timing, which will ultimately result in an improved form.

Visualization is another tool that you can use to enhance your practice time. By focusing on your target area, you can train yourself to hit the pins more consistently.


If you want to improve your overall strength and endurance, then working out regularly is essential. This will help you build up muscle mass, increase flexibility, and boost your metabolism. It is also a great way to maintain or lose weight.

If you want to improve your physical fitness, then eating a healthy diet is also vital; you must ensure that you eat plenty of protein, carbohydrates, vitamins, and minerals. This will ensure that you stay fit, strong, and energetic all day long.


Getting adequate sleep is crucial for maintaining a healthy lifestyle. Try to go to bed at least eight hours before you plan to wake up, and make sure that you get enough restful sleep each night. If you find that you are having trouble sleeping, try taking some melatonin supplements or drinking chamomile tea.

Choose The Right Weight

Finally, choosing the right weight for your bowling ball is crucial to your success; this will make the largest difference to your technique and overall success.

Final Thoughts

Choosing the right weight for your bowling ball does not have to be overly complex; with our complete guide, you can choose the perfect ball for your game and watch your scores start to soar!

Drew Kaufner