How much does a bowling ball cost

What Are Bowling Balls?

Bowling is one of the most fun-filled, enjoyable games played widely in almost all parts of the world. A bowling ball is a small, spherical-shaped ball that the players use to knock down the bowling pins to win the game.

It is single-handedly the most crucial component in the bowling sport. A bowling ball gives true meaning to each and every other element of the game and has the potential to make or break your shots! Therefore, you need to develop an in-depth knowledge regarding modern bowling balls, their costs, and custom bowling balls cost to use them more appropriately for your benefit on the field.

Today, many manufacturers are experimenting well with the coverstocks and internal cores so the balls can achieve maximum friction, especially while playing on the heavily oiled lanes. It is thus essential for both novice and professional bowlers to understand different types of bowling balls/custom bowling balls and their prices to hunt down the perfect product at the perfect time.

Moreover, it is also imperative to know that the key to finding the right ball lies in its construction. For many, a bowling ball is something they can just grab and start tossing at the pins, but if you wish to excel in the game and beat everyone else on the lane, the ball’s weight, construction and materials are even more important to acknowledge.

How Bowling Balls Are Made?

Before jumping into the bowling ball price details let’s take a look at the construction of the bowling balls.

Making The Core

  • A mold is made to the core shape after the computerized design process
  • A suitable material is poured into the mold and allowed to become hard

Forming Shell

  • The finished core is kept in the coverstock (spherical mold)
  • The coverstock material is poured to encase the core and allowed to become hard

Filling Gaps

  • The ball is removed from the coverstock mold, and a plastic dowel is injected
  • Fill material is incorporated in the logo print of the same or different color

Finishing Up

  • Size specifications and shaving off of the extra coverstock to achieve the precise shape
  • Surface is given the right texture  (matt or polished) using an appropriate sanding material

Bowling Ball Coverstock

A coverstock is indeed the most critical part of a bowling ball. It is responsible for up to 80% of your overall performance on the lane. The different types of coverstocks are:

  • Polyester Or Plastic Coverstock

Today, many entry-level bowling balls are made of polyester or plastic coverstock. These coverstocks are quite hard and less porous compared to other types; therefore, they do not have enough hook potential required for extraordinary lane performance. You will find the coverstock on beginner-level balls mainly due to the low cost, durability and longevity.

  • Urethane Coverstock

Compared to plastic coverstocks, these coverstocks can generate a fair share of friction with the lane. You can give more entry angles in the pocket to achieve significant strike power. They are also found on entry-level bowling balls, so great for bowlers about to learn how to throw a hook ball. Despite being replaced by a reactive resin material, you will still see some high-end bowling balls with urethane coverstocks because of their affordable price and certainty concerning on-lane movement.

  • Reactive Resin Coverstock

This revolutionary coverstock formulation can deliver significantly higher friction with the lane causing better entry angle, massive end motions and pin carry. With the exception of a few urethane balls available out there, almost all the bowling balls are made of reactive resin coverstocks. The covers are divided into three groups, i.e. reactive solid coverstocks (base formulation of reactive resin with a decent even rolling), reactive pearl coverstock (combination of reactive solids and mica with sharp back end motion) and reactive hybrids coverstocks (mixture of a reactive solid cover and reactive pearl cover).

Bowling Ball Core

Modern bowling ball cores have three types:

  • Pancake type cores (primarily present in plastic balls and some entry-level reactive resin and urethane bowling balls)
  • Symmetrical cores (include two types, i.e. axisymmetric geometry and non-axisymmetric geometry)
  •  Asymmetrical cores (have  a high differential and intermediate differential)

How Much Is A Bowling Ball? – Based On Ball Types

Are you planning to invest in a bowling ball that goes well with your budget?  It is quite hard to give you an exact idea about a bowling ball cost, as the general price range differs from one brand and model to another. However, an entry-level plastic or polyester bowling ball may cost you somewhere between $20-$60. Urethane bowling balls are a little more expensive than plastic ones, but you can quickly get an apt one for about $80-$100. Vanity balls or reactive resin bowling balls are a bit heftier on their price tags, so available for $150-$250 with a customized logo.

Plastic Bowling Balls                                                                                                                       

These are the most reasonably priced and less aggressive bowling balls, the reason being the incorporation of simple materials/cores and lightweight structure. They are great for entry-level players and those who like to play straight shots on the lane. Despite the difference in aesthetics, the price of plastic bowling balls has no impact on performance.

Almost all the balls available out there virtually work great, which means there is no need to bout unless you have extra money to spend. The only downside is that the plastic balls do not hook much, so players mostly prefer them to shoot at the spares.

So, if you are looking for something plain and straightforward and are not planning on throwing hook shots, expect to pay somewhere between $20-$60. Your bowling ball is sure to slice through different lane conditions with great accuracy on spare shots!

Urethane Bowling Balls

These bowling balls are great for people with mid to advanced-level bowling. They are available in a wide range of styles and colors, so immensely popular among avid bowling lovers for decades. Since they are a tad more modern compared to plastic bowling balls, the incorporated materials and designs are also startling.

The biggest benefit of using urethane balls is that they feature custom cores and allow your ball to hook properly. You can have as much control over the ball’s breakpoint, motion and reaction as you want while fulfilling all the other requirements at a decent price point. They hook relatively better than the plastic balls, but still not as better as the reactive resin ones. Thus, if you aim to enjoy only a bit of hook, a urethane bowling ball between $75-$100 can be a great choice to consider. Use them while throwing both strikes and spares with less maintenance and more savings in the long run.

Reactive Resin Bowling Balls

Today’s most modern, updated, and top-of-the-line bowling balls are the ones made of reactive resin material. This statement shows how these balls are clearly designed and manufactured for people with higher bowling skills. As you begin to bowl and start getting better at it, you will need something that can deliver improved lane reaction, friction and durability. This is where the reactive resin balls come in handy!

They feature way more hook potential compared to the rest and even have the most R&D in the coverstocks and ball cores. Since the balls are for intermediate and professional level players, they don’t come cheap! The reactive resin balls are quite expensive and over-the-top; all hail to their heavy coverstock and custom-made cores.  Owning a high-quality, professional reactive resin ball can cost you somewhere between $150-$250, which we know is expensive but serves as a great investment for your future coalitions and contests.

Proactive Balls

Proactive or particle bowling balls are the most unusual ones you will ever find! They are fully covered in bumps to provide the highest hook potential on the lane. The only downside is that they are hard to control and can dig in the bowling lane differently. A bowling player with an advanced or professional level game can use a proactive bowling ball in its full capacity.

Needless to say, these kinds of balls have great potential, and only those with the craziest skills can tame the bowl as per their throwing style. Usually, the proactive bowling ball price range starts from $100 and can go up to $300 depending on the brand and quality of the materials. Buying a particle ball is only appropriate for extremely professional players who know exactly what they are doing on the lane.

Additional Costs

Some additional costs linked with the purchase of a bowling ball includes the following:

Bowling Ball Fitting Costs

If you are a first-time purchaser and have not found the ball to be as per satisfaction, you might need to get it fitted to suit the playing style. The fitting procedure of a bowling ball must be done in accordance with the measurements of your fingers. Since the customization is almost only performed at a sporting merchandise store or a professional’s shop, it can become an additional cost. Expect to pay somewhere between $10-$50 depending on the bowling ball’s quality and the materials it is made of!

Bowling Ball Drilling Costs

There are two types of bowling ball drilling services that you can benefit from a pro shop, including basic and custom drilling services.

Basic drilling is mostly for all the recreational bowlers who like to purchase their own bowling balls. It includes a standard, predictable design using an average for the ball’s hole size. The procedure is based on regular measurements during drilling, which means that the fit may not be right for every player. You might need to go with some further hole size adjustments to get the desired fit. This type of drilling can cost you around $30-$50.

For customized drilling, the pro shop owners use precise milling machines to guarantee an accurate fit every single time! However, this professional service is only best for the advanced players with their own custom-made bowling balls. The entire course will cost you from $60-$80 and even more, if you also opt for other services like installing finger inserts, switch grips, finger slugs, thumb molds, etc.

How Much Is A Custom Bowling Ball?

While there are set measurements and magnitudes of a regular bowling ball, the constituents and form may differ from one brand to another. It is also true for the bowling ball costs; they are available at a varying price rate mainly due to the difference in their core, materials, coverstock and craftsmanship.

But how much does a custom bowling ball cost? Let’s take a look!

Plastic Custom Bowling Balls

Unluckily, plastic bowling balls are inaccessible with a customized centre to give them a hook. They are only meant for the performance-pushed players and entry-level bowlers. However, when possible, a plastic custom bowling ball can cost you somewhere around $50.  The balls are, in general, the most affordable ones out there, but the lack of customized core cannot give you the additional hook required even for spare throwing.

Vanity Custom Bowling Balls

As far as the structure and characteristics are concerned, these bowling balls are no different from the plastic ones. However, they are still available in branded manufacturers with brand names, pictures, logos and teams on them. Despite being vinyl, they are available at a higher cost of around $75-$150 as they look better and are jam-packed with logos of teams and other necessary add-ons that you may like.

Entry To Mid-Level Performance Custom Bowling Balls

Like other players, we also love the tiny bit of customized centre available with such bowling balls. Thanks to this attribute, you get to relish a decent and practical hook to begin your bowling journey. These balls are quite advanced and can easily be designed with branded logos and other things to offer more institutions during the game.

However, the hook probability here is a little farther compared to the professional bowling balls made for professional players. Therefore, they are often used by casual players learning the sport for future tournaments. For a custom entry to mid-level performance ball, you can be charged between $70-$160 and more.

High-Level Performance Custom Bowling Balls

As you start becoming a professional bowler, you will need a bowling ball with more durability and customization to suit your style and grace. Luckily, many high-level performance bowling balls are available that are expensive but offer a custom core with the ability to be branded with your desired logos and design.

The professional custom bowling balls can cost you around $250 or even more but with such a high-quality product in hand; you will be all set to rule the bowling world!

Final Thoughts

After going through this article, you must know how to select the best bowling ball corresponding to your playing style and budget. Purchasing a bowling ball is no big deal, but getting the right one demands extensive homework. Here we have explained everything you need to know with estimated costs so you can pay the right price for the right product without breaking your pocket!