Urethane Vs Reactive Resin Bowling Ball: Which is Better?

What do you think makes the difference in bowling and distinguishes the performance level in bowlers? Many think it is the lane, the pitch, the hook potential. But surprise, it is essentially the coverstock material that makes the most significant difference in the performance of a bowler. 

Are Urethane or Reactive Resin Bowling Balls Better?

The eternal question remains, which is the best ball for you? Beginners need to start their journey with urethane coverstock balls. Urethane balls are:

  • Easier to handle
  • Provide reliable and predictable motion
  • Offers high friction
  • Lesser deflection
  • Satisfactory Hooking Potential

In general, urethane coverstock balls are best for beginners. It will take you a while to fully understand which ball is the best one for you. You will only understand the correct ball after you have played the game for a few days and realize your comfort zones. Urethane bowling balls are cheaper and even if you don’t like the ball, you won’t lose much. 

Urethane balls are great for learning the tricks of the game at a basic level. You will feel like you can play the game and it is potentially quite good for developing interest in novices. Every bowler eventually starts with a urethane ball. Almost all the renowned bowling brands have an exclusive collection of urethane bowling balls and that gives you plenty of options to choose from. 

Reactive resin balls are mostly used by pro players. They are better for the bowler as they advance to the higher stages of the game where the basic training is already over and the bowler is learning some advanced skills and techniques. There are various subtypes of reactive resin balls each one is dedicated to particular skills for the game.

A beginner cannot handle the aggression of a reactive resin ball. Also, a reactive resin ball is not good for the introductory practice sessions. If you start your learning process with these aggressive and wild balls, you will feel like you are losing it all and a player often loses enthusiasm that way. Choosing a reactive resin ball before a urethane ball is like trying to learn multiplication even before identifying the digits that are overwhelmingly awful. On the other hand, advanced pro players do not like urethane balls because they feel like it ain’t working up to the mark. 


Urethane Bowling Balls – In and Out

Urethane balls are widely popular because of their distinguishing features. Urethane balls are loose easily tamable ones you can control from day1, which gives you a sense of mastering the art and is hence the best choice for beginners. Urethane balls are very easy to control when it comes to skid distance. The low back end hook provided by Urethane Balls makes it a great entry-level bowling ball. 

All the bowlers – successful or unsuccessful had started with urethane balls. Every parameter of the ball performance shall be under the grip of control for the bowler. This is a great option if you are scared of the sport and are having tough initial days. Urethane ball use can build up your confidence and enhance your love for the sport. Indeed it is one of the feel-good accessories of the bowling world. 

Do not presume that the hooking potential is too bad. Urethane balls have netter hooking potential than plastic coverstock balls. Now, what is it that accounts for this intermediate hooking potential? It is the presence of a huge number of pores on the ball body. The high number of pores increases the friction level when the ball rolls on the lane and that alone is capable of boosting the hooking potential. This is also the major difference between plastic and urethane coverstock bowling balls. 

There are various advantages of the high friction achieved in urethane balls. The major advantage is a deflection compromised through which you are going to love. The ball faces minimum deflection during the game when the coverstock is urethane. This is a great relief for beginners. 

Even if you are throwing the ball wrong, there would be no blunder consequence. Who would not fall in love with such a forgiving ball? That is the precise reason, beginners should try their hand at this ball until they are completely primed to handle the tough parts of the game. Urethane balls are great for long practice sessions. Use of this ball will boost up your confidence as a player and will help one to learn the various tricks of the game which is not easy to learn with other ball types.


Urethane Vs Reactive Resin Bowling Ball

Reactive Resin – An Insight

Reactive Resin coverstock bowling balls are for the pro players. It’s great for bowlers who have already come above the basics and are trying some real-world game. You cannot start your lessons with reactive resin because of course, they are more difficult to handle than urethane. Reactive resin balls also feature a huge number of pores on their surface – manifolds greater than what is present on urethane balls. Hence the friction offered at the lanes is even higher than the urethane balls. Reactive resin balls are also more sensitive in the lane than urethane balls. 

Pro players love reactive resin coverstock because of the versatility of the ball. There are innumerable ways in which one can play with the reactive resin ball. If a bowler wants to specialize in skills, this is an excellent option. The reactive resin balls are so sensitive that you can come up with a different move using the motion of every single point of the ball. The irony is, reactive resin balls give the player huge control of the game but this control is extremely difficult to game. Hence, beginners can never perform well with this ball. 

Reactive resin balls also react differently to the various oil conditions of the lane. Reactive resin balls do not deflect quite easily. So, that is a boon if you are in the quest of mastering steady bowling practices. The major difficulty while handling the ball is the differential or unequal performance of the ball at various conditions of the lane. The speed and motion of the ball may vary largely at different lane conditions. One needs a lot of practice, hours of careful observation, and scrutinized study to understand how it all goes with reactive resin. But once you master the art, there is no stopping. You shall be in the queue of becoming the legend. 


Types of Reactive Resin

Reactive Resin Balls are quite complex and are available in various types. Some of the common subtypes of reactive resin coverstock balls are:- 

Reactive solid coverstock

These balls are perfect for a smooth back-end motion and provide a great opportunity to the player for manipulating various aspects of the ball function. The solid reactive coverstock is prone to react with the oiled lane in the initial potions that creates the smooth backend motion. The maxim hooking potential is achieved at the beginning. Later on, it just rolls smoothly. In a nutshell, the motion pattern of this coverstock type is smooth and fast movement at the end lane. 

Reactive Pearl Coverstock

The distinguishing feature of this type of coverstock is the extra mica layer on this ball that is absent in any other reactive resin coverstock. The performance of this type of ball is most oriented at a specific lane position. Instead, this ball performs well at all the lane positions. The mica on the coverstock reduces the reactivity or sensitivity of the coverstock. Hence it gives a smooth, consistent overall performance. The performance is of premium high-end quality. There is no speeding up at the beginning or end of the lane. So, if you want a ball that will listen to you and perform in a smooth undisturbed fashion, go for this one. 

Reactive Hybrid Coverstock

It is very evident from the name, that this coverstock is an ideal mix of solid and pearl; type reactive coverstock material. Therefore the level and nature of performance also fall somewhere in between these two. It portrays a perfect balance of performance and one can easily handle this one. Many bowlers particularly avoid extremes. 


What is the Coverstock?

The external covering of the ball is termed as coverstock. There are plenty of materials used for building the coverstock material of the ball but the prominent ones are plastic, urethane, and reactive resin. The first myth that needs to be broken here is, the ball isn’t made of these materials, it is only the coverstock. Urethane doesn’t mean the ball’s body is made of urethane, the coverstock is only made of the assigned material. 

Urethane Vs Reactive Resin Bowling Ball

Here is a short spoiler alert for bowlers – it might take you years to figure out which one is the best ball for you. You have to believe in the comfort factor. A ball might be expensive, made of the best material yet not be the one for you. Initially, you have to accept the fact that the money for one or two balls might go to waste. 


Final Thoughts

There are so many materials in the world of coverstock, yet urethane and reactive resin remain to be the real heroes. One can also use plastic coverstock but that is not much professional. A ball is one of the primary and the most basic bowling essentials that you need to buy when stepping into any sort of training for the bog sports world. As a beginner, start with a urethane ball and then switch over to any variant of reactive resin as you advance through the game. 

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