Bowling remained confined to a recreational activity for several years after its advent. However, slowly but steadily it started emerging as one of the most sought-after sports and today it is one of the top three aristocratic sports with the other two being Golf and Tennis.
With its stature rising from a fun activity to a professional sport with all rules & techniques in place, the bowling gears also started gaining importance. After their transition from wooden to plastic balls, bowling balls saw a major transformation during the late 1970s. Balls made of urethane made their way into the game. These balls offer more friction with the lanes. Additionally, they give more hook to the bowlers compared to their plastic counterparts.
Choosing a urethane ball is something that requires a proper understanding of different types of balls available in the market. Also, it is essential to know about their features and their respective advantages & disadvantages.
Top 7 Best Urethane Bowling Balls in Review
- Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane Bowling Ball
- Michelin Storm Mix Urethane Bowling
- Roto-Grip Hot Cell Urethane Bowling Ball
- Hammer Black Widow Urethane Bowling Ball
- Michelin Storm Pitch Black Urethane Bowling Ball
- Motiv Tank Rampage Ball
- Michelin Storm Fever Pitch Urethane Bowling Ball
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- Coverstock: Urethane Pearl
- Core/Core Type: Purple Pearl/Symmetrical
- Finish: 500/1000/2000 Abralon
- RG/ Differential: 2.65/0.015(15# ball)
- Lane Condition: Medium to Light Oil
- Experience Level: Advanced Performance Ball
The Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane bowling ball is an advanced performance ball. The ball is suitable for mid to light oil lane conditions. Additionally, it also offers an effective hook on the high oil lane conditions as well.
The ball has the urethane pearl coverstock with an Abralon finish. The finish grit of 500/1000/2000 would mean that you have the flexibility to tune it for any lane type. This makes these balls a highly versatile option.
The RG of 2.65 makes the mass more skewed towards the outer cover. With the LED cover design coupled with a pearl urethane coverstock, the ball offers great control over the short oil lanes. If you are a hooker, this is a dream ball for you in the most performing coverstock. It would create super cool curves with fabulous hooks while moving forward on the lanes.
Over and above all these performance features, the Hammer Purple Pearl is one of the most attractive bowling balls in the market. The scintillating pearlized purple color gives high aesthetics to the urethane bowling ball.
|Ideal for mid oil lanes but suitable for all lane types||Aggressive back-end reaction- a bit tricky for beginners|
|Excellent ball for the hookers||Not ideal for dry lanes|
- Coverstock: U1S Pearl Urethane
- Core/Core Type: Traditional 3-Piece Core/Symmetric
- Finish: 3500-Grit Polished
- RG/ Differential: 2.69/0.006(15# ball)
- Lane Condition: Light Oil
- Experience Level: Entry Level Bowling Ball
MICHELIN Storm Mix is a colorful ball, ideal for the beginners, and for having as a spare ball. However, in the desert-dry conditions, the MICHELIN Storm Mix can also be used as the strike ball. On the dry lanes, it is much easier to control the ball as the friction on the lane increases and the urethane ball with a high grit value of 3500 would hook sooner. For the oily lanes, however, these balls are too smooth to control. The ball on these surfaces would hook much later compared to the dry lanes.
The ball has the traditional 3-piece core with a symmetrical core type. For this reason, the ball is smoother and rolls evenly on any surface.
The ball originally comes undrilled. And the undrilled ball has an RG of 2.69 that means the mass is concentrated more towards the cover of the bowling ball. With the differential RG of 0.006, the ball does not have any significant difference between the maximum and minimum RGs.
The bowling ball with urethane coverstock offers very high durability. Moreover, the Storm Mix bowling balls are one of the most attractive, bright, and colorful in the market. So, its durability would mean you would be able to be in its company for a long time, something that you would love to be with the Storm Mix.
|Very attractive with its bright and vibrant colors||Lacks enough back-end reaction for advanced bowlers|
|Smooth and even rolling||Not good for heavy oil lanes|
|Ideal for the beginners|
|Great for dry lanes|
- Coverstock: Radioactive Solid Urethane
- Core/Core Type: Nucleus/Asymmetric
- Finish: 2000 Grit Abralon
- RG/Differential: 2.52/0.056(15# ball)
- Lane Condition: Medium to Light Oil
- Experience Level: High-Performance Ball
The traditional Nucleus core which has been the most sought after old-timer, when blends with the urethane coverstock create the wonder called the Roto Grip Hot Cell bowling ball. The designing of the asymmetrical core is done so superbly that it still offers the rotation and the forward motion like its symmetrical counterpart. The ball is supplied undrilled; however, even drilling the ball too doesn’t alter this characteristic of the bowling ball.
Urethane in the coverstock is urethane… yes, pure urethane without any mixing whatsoever.
The ball is consistent and true to its path and that was what the objective of the team was when it had conceptualized the design of the bowling ball.
The 2000 grit finish makes it a wonderful ball for the moderately oily lanes to the dry ones. The high-performance ball with RG of 2.52 concentrates its mass towards the center.
|Provides more lane length than other asymmetrical cores||Pretty tricky to handle for the beginners|
|Ideal for mid to light oil tracks||Expensive|
|Superb hook potential|
- Coverstock: Urethane
- Core/Core Type: Gas Mask/Asymmetric
- Finish: 360/500/500 Abralon
- RG/Differential: 2.50/0.058(15# ball)
- Lane Condition: Medium oil
- Experience Level: High Performance
When you blend the two best technologies in the manufacturing of urethane balls, the end result is as magnificent as the Hammer Black Widow Urethane bowling ball. The blend of Hammer, the urethane technology leaders of the 1980’s era, and the classical Black widow bowling balls, the modern mid-priced tagged high-performing ball makers, is a perfect recipe for a professional bowler.
The combo makes it a lethal weapon with the characteristic repeatability of the PU and the iconic hook of the Black Widow.
The ball has the Carbon fiber core with urethane Cover Stock. This imparts the characteristic toughness of the carbon to the ball making it extremely strong and durable.
The grit value of finish would mean the ball would offer more friction and would slow down the speed. This would cause the ball to start to hook earlier. Therefore, it is ideal for the bowlers who have a high forward speed and lower revolution rate.
Lower RG means the ball has more mass concentrated towards the center.
|Maximum energy on pin impact with Gas Mask core||Not ideal for beginners|
|High consistency 7 predictability||Not good on dry lanes|
|Affordable price range|
- Coverstock: Control Solid Urethane
- Core/Core Type: Capacitor/Symmetric
- Finish: 1000 Grit
- RG/Differential: 2.57/0.022(15# ball)
- Condition: Dry Lane Condition
- Experience Level: Mid Performance Ball
The MICHELIN has yet another bowling ball that stands the test of time. The Storm Pitch Black Urethane bowling ball comes with the Control Solid urethane coverstock with the Capacitor core thus making them one of the strongest and longer-lasting bowling balls.
The symmetric core type ball has a finish of 1000 Grit, which makes it ideal for the beginners but also a great ball for the mid-performers.
The 2.57” of RG means the ball mass is more skewed towards the center. The high value of differential RG would indicate that the ball has high internal versatility and you can adjust more length while drilling.
Ideal for dry lanes these balls are a perfect fit for the spinners to hit the ten pin in style. One of the best in the category these urethane balls is a wonderful choice for the hookers as well for they can hit the pins with an early hook on the dry lanes.
It is no surprise, thus, that the Storm Pitch Black has received so many accolades from the most renowned bowlers from across the world.
|An equally excellent option for spinners as well as hookers||Not ideal for high oil lanes|
|Durable due to control solid urethane coverstock|
|More length adjustability during drilling|
|The ball offers high revolution speed|
|Greater overall reaction|
- Coverstock: Alchemy Urethane
- Core: Gear V2
- Finish: 3000 Grit LSS
- RG/Differential: 2.55/0.020(15# ball)
- Lane Condition: Dry
- Experience Level: Entry Level Bowling Ball
Combining Alchemy Urethane and Gear V2 has a specific purpose. It is made for the modern bowlers who love to have the tighter track flare. The bowlers want to play many more angles then are usually possible with many existing urethane balls. The Motiv Tank Rampage allows them to play the bowlers their natural game.
The ball provides a big hook with a good smooth surface of urethane- thanks to the 3000 Grit LSS finish given to the coverstock. The up-gradation to the earlier version has enabled the Motive to offer higher RG to the ball.
Though best suited for light oil conditions, the ball offers good performance over the mid oil surfaces as well. The ball, in addition, can show equally powerful performance on dry and wet surfaces.
With all these features, there is absolutely no doubt that the Motiv Tank Rampage would not be one of the toughest and most durable urethane bowling balls in the market.
|Strong and durable Alchemy urethane coverstock||Not suitable in heavy oil lane conditions|
|Excellent for entry-level bowlers|
|Compatible for different lanes|
- Coverstock: PWR+CTRL Pearl Urethane
- Core/Core Type: Tour Block/Symmetric
- Finish: 2000 Grit Abralon
- RG/Differential: 2.61/0.030(15# ball)
- Lane Condition: Light Oil
- Experience Level: Mid Performance Ball
The Storm Fever Pitch Urethane bowling ball is an improvised Storm Pitch. With its PWR+CTRL Pearl Urethane coverstock, it is a pretty aggressive version of its previous avatar. The ball offers much more angular pin impact as compared to its predecessors. The pin impact is also comparatively more violent.
The coverstock is not only highly reactive, but it is also strong and sturdy. It imparts the ball very high durability. It is a mid-performance ball having superb hook potential on the light oil lane conditions. Moreover, the ball is huge straight-line power on any other lanes.
The ball can cover longer lengths but is tougher than its previous version. The symmetrical core gives it a high level of constancy and offers great confidence to the bowler on scoring consistently throughout the game. The high predictability and super lane length compensate for the aggressive coverstock. The finish of 2000 Grit Abralon makes the ball fit for light to mid oil lanes.
|Perfectly demonstrates the effectiveness of urethane balls||Doesn’t perform much effectively in heavy oil lane conditions|
|Amazing mid-performance ball||Not very suitable for the beginners|
|Powerful back-end reaction|
|Perfect for mid oil lanes|
|Enhanced pin violence|
Top Pick – Our Favorite Urethane Bowling Ball
The Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane is our top pick. And there are many reasons to showcase its high quality & high-performance features that make this highly versatile bowling ball our best choice.
One of the most popular bowling balls, the Hammer Purple Pearl is an absolute stunner. The moment you look at the ball, it allures you with all its substances, the shelf appeal, the superb appearance- there is no match to the looks of this eye-catching purple ball.
The Abralon finish of 500/1000/2000 grits offers the bowlers tremendous flexibility. They can tune it up and down to suit the lane requirement. The RG of 2.65 and the differential of 0.015 take this ball to an altogether different level when it comes to the performance. At 15 lbs it is just the right weight for most of the bowlers. And even for those who weigh a little less than 100 lbs, it won’t take much time to get attuned with the gravity of the bowling ball.
So, with all the wonderful features and versatility we proudly pick the Hammer Purple Pearl urethane bowling ball as our top pick.
Buyer’s Guide for Choosing the Best Urethane Bowling Ball
Having gone through the top urethane bowling balls, you would have realized that each one of these bowling balls has some or the other unique feature that makes it to find a place in the list of the best balls among the many available in the market.
While going through the reviews you would have matched your requirement with the different features offered by each one of these urethane balls. This would have helped you in shortlisting 2-3 bowling balls suitable for your purpose.
Now, we offer you our assistance in selecting the best one from your shortlisted products. We recommend you to give a thorough read to our buyer’s guide below to know the important factors you should consider in selecting the best urethane bowling ball.
The size of the bowling ball would depend on your age. Moreover, there are specific regulations regarding the size of the ball for competitive games.
The balls come in sizes between 8.5 to 8.595”. You can select the one as per your age and your comfort level.
This is one of the basic factors to consider while buying the bowling ball. If you are a beginner you would prefer a ball that is more affordable while for a professional the features of the ball would over-weigh the cost of the ball.
Having said that, whether you are a newbie or the pro, it is always advisable not to spend unnecessarily on features that do not add any value to your ball or help in enhancing your performance. At the same time, you should not compromise on the important factors just to buy a cheaper bowling ball.
No one would want to spend their hard-earned money on buying bowling balls every now and then. You would like to have a strong and durable urethane ball that lasts reasonably long and gives value to your money.
For this, you need to go with the reputed brands. You should thoroughly study the features, advantages, and disadvantages of the bowling balls that you have shortlisted. Additionally, you should also refer to customer reviews offered online.
The criterion to choose the weight is simple. It should not be so heavy that it causes fatigue to your hands. You should be able to comfortably handle the ball.
The weight of the bowling balls ranges from 6 lbs to 16 lbs. An adult male generally uses balls weighing 14 to 16 lbs. Adult women; on the other hand, prefer the ball weighing around 10 to 14 lbs. And the balls weighing less than 10 lbs are ideal for the children.
So, as a beginner, you should start with the lower range in your respective category.
There are broadly three types of coverstocks viz. Plastic, Urethane, and Reactive Resin. Now, since you have chosen urethane coverstock you will have to select among the different types of urethane coverstocks. Some coverstocks are more aggressive and reactive than others. You must select the ball with the coverstock that suits your style and also your level of experience in the game.
Apart from the type of coverstock, its finish in Grit is also an important factor. A grit value of 500- 1000 is generally good for the heavy oil bowling lane conditions while a higher grit value of 4000-5000 would be good for the dry lanes.
The type of core used in making the bowling ball makes a big difference. There are broadly three different types of cores viz. Pancake, Symmetrical and Asymmetrical cores.
Pancake cores are usually for the entry-level bowlers. These cores allow for more stability & balance, therefore, roll mostly in a straight line. They do not offer too much of a hook with these cores.
The symmetrical cores are not as stable as the pancake cores but still offer reasonable balance to the bowlers. It requires skills to have stability and for this reason, they are used by experienced bowlers. These balls have quite a bit of hook potential and can get some curve as well. However, you may stool remain in control of the ball movements.
The asymmetrical cores are not uniformly shaped thus offer large bites and curve so much so that you may completely lose your control over them. These cores are therefore used by the most proficient bowlers.
It is a very personal factor and largely depends on the individual’s preference for aesthetics and looks. For some, it is a big psychological and overall feel-good factor. However, some players do not give any emphasis on this aspect.
Many brands highlight it as one of their key features and offer balls in multiple colors and styles. On the other hand, some brands offer single color or style of urethane bowling balls. The single style, however, can too be highly attractive and can add significantly to the aesthetic value of the ball.
Drilling the Ball
Though it is not a criterion to select the type of ball yet it is an important factor while you are going to buy a new bowling ball. Getting the ball drilled protects you from potential injuries. Additionally, it offers more comfort and also more control while throwing the ball on the lane.
So, this was all about the best urethane bowling balls from our side. We hope that the information provided above helped you in knowing about the different types of urethane balls and also about the best balls available in the market at present.
You would have realized that buying a good urethane bowling ball requires a good amount of knowledge about the sport as well about the different types of balls and their utilities in different lane conditions. It needs a lot of patience to select the final one while weighing each factor against your specific requirement.
We hope that through our buyer’s guide you would have understood these factors to consider while buying the best bowling ball for your specific purpose.
Having shortlisted a few bowling balls after going through the review section, we hope you would be able to finalize the best one for you.
In case you still find it difficult to single out one bowling ball, you can safely go with our top pick for its versatility, performance, and highly impressive aesthetics.
FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)
Q: When should I switch to urethane balls?
Losing control over the reactive resin balls on light lanes is an indication that you should switch to urethane balls like a professional. Besides, if you observe a drop in your normal consistency levels you should consider switching to these balls.
Q: What is the advantage of having a urethane ball as a spare ball?
Urethane ball provides more friction between the lane and the ball as compared to the plastic or reactive resin balls. They, in turn, provide more hook than the plastic balls. Besides, urethane balls are more durable than the other types.
Q: How can I increase the hook on the urethane bowling ball?
You should always use your ball in the perfect lane condition. This would help you in increasing the hook on the urethane ball. A parallel move would also allow for an early hook.
Q: How should I clean my urethane bowling ball during a game?
Cleaning the bowling ball is essential to maintain the consistency of the ball. Oil buildup can drastically affect the performance of the ball. So, the first and foremost is to avoid the accumulation of oil on the ball. Clean the ball after every game or even after every shot with a microfiber cloth to keep the finish of the ball protected. Moisten the towel with alcohol and clean it after the shot when the ball is still a little warmer. The open pores in the warm condition would allow for better cleaning. Wipe out the remaining dampness with a dry towel.
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