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Best Bowling Balls 2024: Tried And Tested Bowling Balls


Best Bowling Balls 2024

Not sure about you, but for us, the arrival of the new year always signifies the need of new bowling balls.


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.

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 that's been put to the test.


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.


Storm Summit Peak - the best overall bowling ball 2024

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

Hammer Black Widow 3.0 - the best bowling ball 2024 for heavy oil

Storm Virtual Energy Blackout - the best bowling ball 2024 for medium oil

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

 
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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. If you ever cut a ball in half, just like in one of those chocolate eggs, you'll notice a surprise inside of it. That surprise is a core. 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 19th, 2024)


Storm Summit Peak

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.



Best bowling ball 2024 for predictable reaction


(Release date: January 25th, 2024)


Hammer Scorpion Low Flare

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.


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Best bowling ball 2024 for heavy oil


(Release date: January 25th, 2024)


Hammer Black Widow 3.0

Key advantages:

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

  • Enhanced Traction: Improved surface and oil tractions for heavy 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. This revolutionary bowling ball, designed as the perfect companion to the Widow 2.0 Hybrid, continues the trend of excellence in ball reaction. With enhanced surface and oil tractions, it's your go-to bowling ball for heavy oil conditions in 2024. Featuring a solid reactive composition and an upgraded cover with HK22, the Black Widow 3.0 maintains the iconic black and orange colors. Ideal for heavy oil to medium to oil, this ball ensures superior performance.


Best bowling ball 2024 for medium oil


(Release date: September 22nd, 2023)


Storm Virtual Energy Blackout

Key advantages:

  • Medium Oil Dominance: Unrivaled on medium oil lanes.

  • Shape-Lock HD Core: High-density core for unique lane shape.

  • Staff Approved: Widespread staff endorsement for versatility and predictability.



Alright, we know what you're thinking. This ball may not be manufactured in 2024, but it still made our list. Here's why – we simply didn't find any of our tested bowling balls better on medium oil than the Storm Virtual Energy Blackout. With its high-density Shape-Lock HD Core (making a comeback since Gravity Evolve), lowered RG, and boosted weight block differential, this ball offers an extraordinary flare potential, creating a unique shape on the lane that you didn't even know you needed. It's like the Storm Dark Code but with better midlane dig, and it still delivers a substantial downlane recovery with a predictable reaction. No wonder it earned a spot in the bowling bags of almost half of our staff. We strongly recommend getting one for yourself as well.



Best bowling ball 2024 for dry lanes


(Release date: December 15th, 2023)


Storm !Q Tour 78-U

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!



Other bowling balls to buy in 2024


(Release date: January 19th, 2024)


Bowling Ball Storm Absolute Power

Key advantages:

  • Powerful Combination: Sentinel Core and R2S DEEP Coverstock for a potent blend of power and control.

  • Extended Lane Performance: Travels further for controlled reactions.

  • Strength with Precision: Delivers strength without sacrificing control, ideal for versatile bowling situations.


Absolute Power features a revolutionary single-density Sentinel Core and a R2S DEEP Solid Coverstock, offering a unique blend of power and control. Absolute Power travels down the lane a bit further and exhibit a more controlled reaction, making it a valuable addition to a bowler's arsenal, especially in situations where a big, strong ball is needed without sacrificing control.



(Release date: Decemeber 15th, 2023)


Bowling Ball 900 Global Sublime

Key advantages:

  • Innovative Design: Hybrid Cover and A.I. Core for a fresh experience.

  • A.I. Magic: Lower RG, higher differential for a speed demon on the lane.

  • Versatile Performance: Ideal for medium-dry oil patterns, ensuring optimal symmetrical play.



Say hello to the Sublime – the newest addition to the 900 Global fam! This bowling ball is equiped with the Reserve Blend 802 Hybrid Cover with Reacta Gloss and got the Immersed Symmetric A.I. Core, a first in the 900 Global lineup, making it the freshest choice for those craving a new symmetric experience. Why is it a game-changer? Well, this core's got A.I. magic, giving you a lower RG and higher differential – basically, a speed demon that hugs the lane, especially nailing those light pocket hits. Ideal choice for those looking optimal and versatile symmetrical bowling ball performance on a medium-dry oil patterns.



(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.



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.



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.