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Best Bowling Balls 2024: Tried And Tested Bowling Balls


Best Bowling Balls 2024

Last year, with the PBA upping the minimum hardness for urethane bowling balls, bowling ball makers had to hit the labs for some serious brainstorming. But you know what? This is a positive development because having a greater variety of choices enhances the overall experience for bowlers. To dominate on the bowling lanes, you must equip yourself with the best bowling balls.


BowlingLife staff got you covered with the latest and greatest bowling ball picks of the year. From different lanes to personal playing styles, we've handpicked a lineup form the best bowling ball brands like Storm, Hammer, Roto Grip and others, that's been put to the test. We continuously refresh this review so you can rest assured that we always recommend the best possible bowling balls on the market.

This isn't your typical bowling ball roundup – we're sharing our own tips, real opinions, and the nitty-gritty on each ball's strengths and quirks. Our goal is to make your decision-making process not just easy but tailored to your bowling needs. So, let's dive in together and discover the game-changers of 2024!


Top 5 BowlingLife bowling ball picks


Don't feel like reading the full review? Check out our top 5 picks for the best bowling balls to buy in 2024.


Hammer Black Widow 3.0 - the best overall bowling ball 2024

Hammer Scorpion Low Flare - the best bowling ball 2024 for predictable reaction

Brunswick Ultimate Defender - the best bowling ball 2024 for heavy oil

Hammer Effect - the best bowling ball 2024 for medium oil

Storm !Q Tour 78-U - the best bowling ball 2024 for dry lanes


Looking for a new bowling ball?


Storm The Road bowling ball - best new bowling ball for all lane conditions

Storm DNA Coil bowling ball - best new bowling ball for heavy oil

Roto Grip Optimum Idol bowling ball - best new bowling ball for house shot

 
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How to choose a bowling ball?


Selecting the right bowling ball for you plays a crucial role in enhancing your game; it's about finding the perfect bowling ball that complements your playing style and adapts to diverse lane conditions. Remember, it's not just about acquiring the most advanced ball; it's about crafting a strategy that elevates your bowling experience, turning each roll into a triumph on the lanes.


When making a purchase for a bowling ball, these are some aspects to take into account:


Coverstock - the exterior surface of the ball that interacts with the lane, plays a crucial role in bowling. There are thousands of different bowling balls, but they can all be divided into three main groups according to their coverstock - plastic, urethane, and reactive resin. They all have unique functions and allow players to adapt quickly to changing lane conditions. Dive deeper into the characteristics of these surface types by exploring our comprehensive article.


Core - it defines the rotation of a bowling ball down the lane. A core is made of weightier materials (such as iron or calcium oxides), making it the heaviest part of a bowling ball. Core can be symmetrical or asymmetrical. To delve into the nuances of these core variations and gain a better understanding of bowling ball motion, check out our dedicated article on the subject.


Radius of Gyration (RG) - serves as a gauge for the distribution of mass within a bowling ball. A higher RG translates to increased back-end motion, as a ball with a higher RG tends to skid more and preserves more energy for the latter part of the lane. While it might sound a bit like rocket science, we suggest exploring our article on the impact of RG on your game for a more comprehensive understanding.


Differential (Diff) -  it can be total and intermediate. The total differential is the difference between low RG (X axis) and high RG (Y axis). Intermediate differential can be only found in asymmetrical balls, as it is the difference between the high RG (Y axis) and intermediate RG (Z axis). Increased differentials result in a more powerful hook potential, injecting additional flare into your shots.

Best bowling balls in 2024 - detailed list


Now that we've covered the crucial aspects of selecting a bowling ball, it is time for the the most anticipated chapter – a comprehensive list of the best bowling balls carefully selected by our staff to elevate your game. Dive into the details of each ball, explore their unique features, and find the perfect match to enhance your performance on the lanes.


Best overall bowling ball 2024


(Release date: January 25th, 2024)


Hammer Black Widow 3.0 bowling ball

Key advantages:

  • Proven Excellence: Black Widow 3.0 excels in ball reaction, continuing its lineage.

  • Enhanced Traction: Improved surface and oil tractions for heavy-medium oil conditions.

  • Versatile Performance: Ideal for heavy to medium oil, ensuring superior gameplay.


The Hammer Black Widow 3.0 takes the exceptional lineage of its predecessors to new heights. The new verion retains the classic Gas Mask core and even shares the same coverstock type as the Hammer Black Widow 2.0. However, in the case of the Black Widow 3.0, the HK22 base material is paired with a reactive solid coverstock, promising you everything you'd want in a benchmark bowling ball – a strong, reliable mid-lane read that's easy to control, and a powerful follow-through that keeps the pins dancing. Hammer Black Widow 30 is a valuable addition to any arsenal, catering to various bowling styles. Ideal for heavy to medium oil, this ball won't let you down.


Price on Amazon: $159.95


Best bowling ball 2024 for curve


(Release date: January 19th, 2024)


Storm Summit Peak bowling ball

Key advantages:

  • Enhanced Performance: Innovative Centripetal HD for optimised play.

  • Early Revs: Quick response, improved control for diverse conditions.

  • TX-23 Pearl Formula: Unbeatable grip on slick lanes, consistent performance.


Meet the Storm Summit Peak – a bowling ball that's not just crafted, but tailored for a one-of-a-kind experience in your bowling ball collection. Why is it different? Well, with the Centripetal HD nestled in the A.I. Core, Storm has redefined the game, pushing RG and differential boundaries to ensure every shot hits the mark with confidence. Early revs and a reliable lane performance come standard with this ball. Thanks to the TX-23 Pearl formula (born from the trusted Phaze II TX-16), you get unbeatable grip on slick lanes and controllable overall motion. Whether you're a seasoned pro or just starting out, the Summit Peak, with its pearl TX-23 and A.I. Core Technology, is your "must have" for 2024 bowling ball arsenal.


Price on Amazon: $164.58 - $174.95


Best bowling ball 2024 for predictable reaction


(Release date: January 25th, 2024)


Hammer Scorpion Low Flare bowling ball

Key advantages:

  • Consistent Motion: Predictable and reliable performance.

  • Versatility: Adaptable for high and low-rev players.

  • Smooth Ride: Core and Semtex Hybrid offer a comfortable, controlled experience.


Scorpion Low Flare promises a seamlessly predictable motion on the lanes. Fuelled by the core numbers and embraced by the Semtex Hybrid cover, finely finished at 2000 Siaair, this ball guarantees a smooth ride. Whether you're a high-rev player using it across the lanes or a lower-rev enthusiast relying on it for tricky conditions and lane transitions, the Scorpion Low Flare is another "must-have" for 2024. Don't step onto the bowling scene without this game-changer in your arsenal.


Price on Amazon: $144.95


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Best bowling ball 2024 for heavy oil


(Release date: February 22nd, 2024)


Brunswick Ultimate Defender bowling ball

Key advantages:

  • Strong hook: unmatched hook potential on heavy oil lanes.

  • Surprising Backend: Despite dull finish, Portal X core provides sharp downlane motion.

  • Extended Play: Cleaner front, sharper downlane motion allows longer use.


The Brunswick Ultimate Defender is engineered specifically for heavy oil conditions. Featuring the HK22 base with A.C.T. 3.0 Hybrid additives, this ball delivers exceptional hook potential while retaining responsiveness on the backend. What's particularly surprising about its design is that, despite its matte finish, the Brunswick Ultimate Defender exhibits more backend motion than usual for balls of its kind, thanks to the Portal X asymmetrical core. Offering a cleaner front part of the lane and a sharper motion downlane, this ball enables bowlers to maintain their play with it for longer periods before needing to switch. Ideal for heavier oil patterns or fresh typical house shots, the Brunswick Ultimate Defender stands out as an excellent choice.


Price on Amazon: $189.95 - $230.16


Best bowling ball 2024 for medium oil


(Release date: March 21st, 2024)


Hammer Effect Bowling Ball

Key advantages:

  • Hockey Stick motion: Clean in the front, but very reactive off the friction in the back.

  • Versatility: Works well on heavier oil compared to other pearl bowling balls.

  • Creates big arc motion.


The Hammer Effect is the strongest pearl bowling ball ever created, not only by Hammer but by the entire Brunswick Bowling Inc. With the new Huntsman core, it incorporates all the best core qualities from iconic Hammer balls like the Vibe and Black Widow. Additionally, the brand-new HK22 Cohesion Pearl coverstock, coupled with the 1500 Siaair polish finish, will produce a very strong skip flip motion down the lane. Overall, the Hammer Effect is a true hooking beast, destined to be one of the favorite bowling balls of the year for those who love the massive hockey stick bowling ball motion in the backend on medium oil. Plus, it looks amazing, thanks to its first-ever four-color design.


Price on Amazon: $194.95


Best bowling ball 2024 for dry lanes


(Release date: December 15th, 2023)


Storm !Q Tour 78-U Bowling Ball

Key advantages:

Rule-Compliant Hardness: Designed to meet the latest regulations.

Consistent Reaction: Ensures a smooth and predictable response on the lanes.

Proven Performance: Swiftly recognized and trusted by professionals on the PBA Tour.


The name says it all: 78 hardness urethane ball designed to comply with the latest hardness rule. If you seek a smooth and predictable reaction, the !Q Tour 78/U might be your perfect match! With its newly formulated Controll 78 Solid urethane coverstock and a 500-Grit finish, it offers a distinct reaction not seen in current urethane options in the bowling industry. Released just a month ago, it has swiftly gained recognition as an incredibly reliable bowling ball among professionals on the PBA Tour. Be among the first to experience the difference with an advanced urethane bowling ball technology!


Price on Amazon: $167.45 - $207.63


Other bowling balls to buy in 2024


(Release date: March 20th, 2024)


Bowling Ball Motiv Hyper Venom

Key advantages:

  • A True Powerhouse:  the most angular Motiv Venom to-date.

  • Ideal for medium-dry oil.

  • Stable Mid-Lane Assurance: With a low RG/low Differential, the fast-spinning, low-flaring core ensures mid-lane stability without risking burnout from excessive flare.


Looking for a benchmark pearl bowling ball? Look no further than the latest addition from Motiv: the Hyper Venom. Featuring the Gear core and the innovative Propulsion MXR Pearl Reactive coverstock, the Motiv Hyper Venom provides enhanced traction on friction. Fans of the classic "hockey stick" reaction will be thrilled with this new release, as the Hyper Venom boasts the most angular performance among the Venom series to date. Perfect for medium to dry oil patterns, the Motiv Hyper Venom stands out as a top choice for bowlers seeking reliable performance.


Price on Amazon: $162.95 - $176.60


(Release date: February 16th, 2024)


Bowling Ball Roto Grip Attention Star

Key advantages:

  • Versatile Performance: Reliable on both house shots and challenging conditions.

  • Precision Down-Lane: Low RG, high diff for consistent accuracy.

  • Unique Core Technology: Momentous Core with upgraded A.I. tech.


The Roto Grip Attention Star bowling ball, the newest addition to the HP4 lineup, has been capturing attention for a few months now, and with good reason. It features a unique core—the Momentous Core from international releases—paired with advanced A.I. technology, a combination previously unseen in the U.S. Wrapped in the sleek eTrax Plus Pearl coverstock, it boasts a low RG of 2.48 and a higher differential of .049, delivering a powerful and precise performance on the lane. Whether you're dominating house shots or tackling challenging conditions, the Attention Star proves to be a reliable companion. It's the go-to choice when you need to open up angles and achieve the perfect shape. Seeking a pearl, asymmetric ball that not only delivers outstanding performance but also showcases stunning aesthetics? Look no further than the Attention Star. Get ready to illuminate the lanes with a barrage of strikes!


Price on Amazon: $200.09 - $226.88


(Release date: November 16th, 2023)


Bowling Ball Hammer NU Blue Hammer

Key advantages:

  • Urethane-Like Reproduction: NU Blue Hammer replicates urethane performance seamlessly.

  • Versatile Competitor: Suited for challenging lanes, excelling in various competitions.

  • Timeless Motion: Captures the classic Purple Hammer ball motion for effective play.


In light of recent PBA rule adjustments impacting traditional urethane, Hammer stepped up to create a ball capable of mirroring the performance of the famous Purple Hammer without relying on urethane coverstock. The result? The NU Blue Hammer – it's not urethane, but it flawlessly reproduces the smooth, consistent, and predictable motion characteristic of urethane balls. Tailored for versatility and well-suited for challenging lane conditions, this ball provides bowlers with the advantages of a reactive ball suitable for any competition, all while capturing the timeless Purple Hammer ball motion that has been a lane dominator (and a problem for some) for years.


Price on Amazon: $152.40 - $186.95


Best bowling ball for beginners 2024


(Release date: September 21, 2023)


Bowling Ball Ebonite Fireball

Key advantages:

  • Classic Curve: Ebonite Fireball delivers a classic curved motion for beginners.

  • Powerful Flip: HK22 - GB10.7 coverstock provides a strong backend flip on dry lanes.

  • Versatile Performance: Ideal for challenges, it adds value during extended house tournaments.


You won't find any absurd plastic bowling ball recommendations here. We understand the beginners' desire to create that classic curved bowling ball motion, as hooking a bowling ball is better than throwing it straight. That is why we searched for a bowling ball that can hold its own. Beginners often start their bowling journey on well-worn lanes before delving into the complexities of lane patterns, so after rigorous testing, we believe we've found the perfect match – the Ebonite Fireball. It boasts the HK22 - GB10.7 pearl reactive coverstock with a polished factory finish, providing ample power for a strong backend flip on dry conditions. Some of our testers have added this bowling ball to their arsenal for those extended house tournament nights, finding it exceptionally helpful when the lanes become challenging. The Ebonite Fireball is the perfect companion for your first bowling ball, bringing a new level of value and performance to the game. Go ahead and grab one.


Price on Amazon: $107.00 - $146.02


Best new bowling ball releases 2024


(Release date: March 15, 2024)


Storm DNA Coil Bowling Ball

Key advantages:

  • Swift Pearl Reactivity: Storm DNA Coil responds faster than alternative pearls, perfect for evolving lane conditions.

  • Heavy Oil Companion: An excellent complement to the original Storm DNA, especially on dense oil patterns.

  • Reliable Assistance: Thrives on challenging oil patterns, excelling in higher volume conditions for consistent performance when you need it most.


After Storm DNA's success on heavy oil patterns, testers eagerly anticipated the new Storm DNA Coil. The EXO Pearl coverstock with Reacta Gloss finish delivered a clean and smooth roll, exhibiting an early reaction uncommon in asymmetrical pearls. The strategically placed mass in the Supercoil Core lowers the RG, providing an early midlane read for greater controllability. This fusion of coverstock and core ensures the Storm DNA Coil hooks early, making it an excellent choice as lanes break down. Positioned just below the original DNA on higher volume oil patterns, it excels on challenging patterns. Excited to put one in the bowling bag for the upcoming bowling tournament!


Price on Amazon: $182.79 - $226.33


(Release date: March 15, 2024)


Storm The Road Bowling Ball

Key advantages:

  • Pro-Level Precision: Unleash Your Potential with Inverted Fe² A.I. Core.

  • Versatility at Its Finest: From Beginners to Pros, Conquer Every Lane.

  • Consistency You Can Count On: Smooth, Reliable Finish with Medium-High RG.


Introducing the Storm The Road bowling ball – it's the MVP among bowling balls! You're familiar with how the Hy-Road has been a standout for years? Well, this one kicks it up a notch. Featuring the innovative Inverted Fe² A.I. Core, it elevates your game to pro level, regardless of your skill. Just like its predecessor, the Hy-Road, this ball excels in handling various styles and lane conditions, maintaining the tradition of excellence. The Storm The Road delivers a smooth finish, boasting a medium-high RG and differential infusion, setting a new benchmark for reliability. Moreover, with the A.I. Core available in all weights, everyone can experience its power, catering to individual preferences. Get ready to dominate the lanes with the Storm The Road bowling ball – it's the game-changer you've been anticipating!


Price on Amazon: $159.95 - $167.36


(Release date: March 22nd 2024)


Roto Grip Optimum Idol Bowling Ball

Key advantages:

  • Superior Grip: Mirco Trax coverstock ensures excellent grip for confident shots.

  • Enhanced Flare: Low RG Ikon core offers increased power and versatility.

  • Smooth Upgrade: Optimum Idol rolls as smoothly as the OG Idol, with added strength for consistency.


This solid symmetrical marvel is engineered to excel on medium to medium-heavy lane conditions. With its Mirco Trax solid coverstock, it delivers exceptional grip on medium lanes, instilling confidence in every shot you make. What truly distinguishes this ball is its low RG Ikon core, combined with AI technology, resulting in increased flare potential and a touch more power compared to the OG Idol. Our testers discovered that the new Roto Grip Optimum Idol rolls just as smoothly as the old pink Idol but with a tad more strength. Whether you're looking to upgrade from your old Roto Grip Idol or add a versatile new addition to your arsenal, the Roto Grip Optimum Idol is the perfect solution. Give it a try and feel the difference for yourself!


Price on Amazon: $164.95 - $176.67


How do we choose the best bowling ball?


To assist our readers in making well-informed decisions when selecting bowling balls, BowlingLife relies on thorough testing for all our recommendations. We firmly believe that an unbiased opinion about each ball can only be formulated after our team has personally tried it out.


Our testing team comprises three individuals – one with dominant speed, one with dominant revs, and a two-handed player. The goal is to give each ball the chance to demonstrate its strengths across various lane conditions.


We strive for our ball reviews to find a middle ground between being casual and informative. We constantly update the links in the article so you can find reviewed bowling balls easily. Please note that certain links provided might be affiliate links. It's crucial to emphasize that, regardless of the review's tone, it is still a subjective opinion. Just because we found success with certain bowling balls doesn't necessarily mean you will keep on striking with them. Nevertheless, rest assured that our reviews are carried out with fairness, consistency, objectivity, and honesty, guided by bowlers for bowlers.

FAQ


1. How are the best bowling balls selected for this list?


The best bowling balls are chosen based on testing, considering factors like performance, durability, and feedback from our bowling ball testers. Tests are conducted across various lane conditions to ensure versatility and effectiveness.


2. What types of bowling balls are included in the list of the best bowling balls?


Our list comprises a diverse range of bowling ball types, including reactive solid, urethane, and reactive hybrid coverstocks, as well as symmetrical and asymmetrical core designs. Each ball is selected for its unique features and ability to suit different playing styles and lane conditions.


3. Are the best bowling balls suitable for bowlers of all skill levels?


Yes, our curated selection caters to bowlers of all skill levels, from beginners to advanced players and even pros. The chosen bowling balls offer versatility and performance to accommodate various playing styles and skill levels.


4. Can the best bowling balls perform well on all lane conditions?


While some balls may excel across a range of conditions, many of the best bowling balls are designed to deliver consistent performance on specific conditions. In our review of the top bowling balls, we've highlighted the specific lane conditions where each ball excels. BEar in mind that bowlers may need to adjust their techniques or surface preparations for optimal performance on different lanes.


5. How often should I expect to replace the best bowling ball?


The lifespan of a bowling ball varies based on factors like frequency of use and maintenance. With proper care, our top-rated bowling balls can provide years of reliable performance before needing replacement.


6. Are there specific weight options available for the best bowling balls?


Yes, our selected bowling balls are typically available in various weights to suit bowlers of different ages and strengths. Common options include 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16 pounds, with some models (like spare balls) offering additional customization options.

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