How to Buy a Bowling Ball for Beginners


Choosing the right bowling ball for a beginner doesn’t seem like an easy task at first, especially since there are a lot of confusing terms and different types of balls out there. The good news is that finding the right ball for a novice player is actually much easier than you think. Follow these simple tips and you’ll find the perfect beginner bowling ball in no time.

Polyester Coverstock

A bowling ball’s coverstock, which is the material that makes up its outside layer, is by far the most important consideration in a beginner bowling ball. It affects how the ball handles on the lane, and can be the difference between learning the basics and giving up on the sport entirely. Most beginners will want a ball with a polyester coverstock, as they make the bowling balls much more affordable compared to reactive resin coverstocks.

A polyester coverstock is also going to give the ball less friction, which means that it will move down the lane with less resistance. This is important because less resistance allows the ball to travel in a straighter line, rather than breaking off to the side as it approaches the pins in a process known as hooking. Beginners need a ball that travels as straight as possible so they can focus on the fundamentals of form instead of trying to figure out the more complicated aspects.

Weighing in on Weight

Generally speaking, a beginner is going to want to choose a lighter ball when they start out because it is much easier to control. Trying to use a heavier ball when you’re not familiar with how to handle one can make the bowler feel frustrated and give up. It also increases the chances of getting hurt trying to throw the ball, since it requires much more force to send down the lane at a faster speed.

Another benefit of lighter balls is that they can spin faster more quickly, which helps reduce the hook potential. However, choosing a ball that is too light can limit the bowler’s learning because there isn’t enough of a challenge. This can alter the way the bowler throws and make it much harder to handle heavier balls later on down the line.

A Note on Core Type

Different core types can have a huge impact on a ball’s overall performance, which is something that a beginner doesn’t want to have to worry about. Beginner bowlers should choose a ball with a pancake or symmetrical core type, because that offers a more equal amount of performance and doesn’t require much additional consideration when it comes to drilling the finger holes. Symmetrical core types also have a more middle-of-the-road radius of gyration, which makes the ball more predictable for beginners. Highly asymmetrical cores can create a ball that is harder for the beginner to control, especially since some finger hole configurations can create different effects if they hit part of the core.

Don’t Think About the Long-term

One mistake a lot of people make when learning a new skill is trying to buy something that they can use once they get better at it. This is a huge mistake because it can make it much harder to learn, since you are dealing with too many different factors. In terms of bowling, this means you shouldn’t think about what kind of ball you might use in the future, and instead focus on finding a balanced ball that you can easily handle now. The hook potential, core type, and other factors are high level concepts that require more skill and a greater understanding of the ball, the lane, and several other factors. Thinking about that right at the beginning splits your focus and stops you from creating a solid foundation of basic concepts and abilities.

One Final Piece of Advice

After taking all of the different components into consideration, it’s important to remember that bowling is supposed to be fun. It’s easy to lose sight of enjoyment of the sport when you focus too much on the little differences between bowling balls. The best beginner bowling ball is one that allows the bowler to play comfortably and enjoy themselves. Without the ability to enjoy playing, it becomes much harder to improve your skill and move beyond the beginner phase.