It’s true that you can just use the bowling balls available at your local bowling lanes. Most of them are functional, and you can have a great time. The problem is that bowling is a game that relies a lot on consistency and having different bowling balls to play with doesn’t give you the consistent conditions you need to practice your motions. But you can buy one instead, and the great news is that even the best bowling ball cost you a reasonable amount of money.
With a bowling ball of your own, you can practice with the same weight of bowling ball all the time. The holes of the bowling ball can also be customized to precisely suit the size of your fingers. Even the design can help motivate you to do your best.
So how much does a bowling ball cost? Bowling ball prices generally range from about $40 to more than $300. It all depends on the brand you go for, though for the most part, the bowling ball prices are all about the type and material used.
Types of Bowling Balls
Here are the price ranges of bowling balls, depending on the type of bowling ball you go for:
Plastic or Polyester Bowling Balls
These are the cheapest of them all, and they typically go at prices from $40 to $60. Very few go over $65. These are cheap due to the inexpensive material, and the plastic and polyester don’t need a lot of fuss during the construction.
These balls don’t have a customized core that gives you a “hook” for the ball. Instead, these balls are meant to go straight.
These are best for newbies or for those who want their own bowling ball even though they only play very seldom. Some of the better bowlers have this as a backup for their more expensive bowling balls for specific playing situations such as going for split pins.
Vanity Bowling Balls
These are just like ordinary plastic or polyester bowling balls. They’ve just been embossed with a unique design so you’re able to have a better-looking bowling ball that you can easily recognize as yours. The good looks may even encourage you to play better.
Because of the work needed to give its embossed look, the price of this type of bowling ball can go from $75 to $150. The more expensive ones look terrific, like some sort of modern art.
Entry-Level Performance Bowling Balls
These are generally made with custom cores, so you have more of a hook for your ball. Many have branded logos, and they tend to have a bit more momentum to work with. The price is also $75 to $150.
These are usually for newbies who want to take bowling a bit more seriously. The hook you get here isn’t as much as what you get with a better performance bowling ball, but you don’t get to spend more money.
High-Level (Intermediate to Professional) Bowling Balls
These are the top of the line balls with terrific quality and looks. These are the types of bowling balls that all the real professionals go for. The outer shell (coverstock) is much more durable, and you have custom cores as well. You can also have the ball embossed with a unique design.
So how much does a custom bowling ball cost? It can go anywhere from $150 to $250, with some going for more than $300.
Alternatives to Plastic and Polyester
While plastic bowling balls are very cheap, for better performance you need to go with alternative materials for your bowling ball. Here are some of your options.
Balls using this material usually have a softer outer shell. This gives you more friction as the ball goes on the bowling lane, so you’re more likely to hook the bowling ball and get more strikes.
The urethane also tends to roll more evenly than the plastic ball. Urethane balls generally knock down more pins while not deflecting all that much.
This is comparatively a somewhat new design. You still have a bowling ball made from urethane, but now you also have resin particles in the coverstock. The resin increases the friction which can lead to more strikes. On dry lanes, these bowling balls can give you a sturdy hook, while on oily lanes you can have more skid and higher speed.
Particle Bowling Balls
This is even a newer type of design. The bowling ball is also made from urethane, but now you have tiny amounts of glass or ceramics on the coverstock. This enhances the friction with more excellent grip on oily bowling lanes. The power you generate is stronger, and the hook can also be stronger too.
These can be very expensive, but in general, this is the type of bowling ball that the professionals on TV go for.
One of the advantages of having your bowling ball is that you can have it drilled with custom holes that perfectly suit your fingers. This type of work can cost you an extra $50 to $75.
You then will need a bowling bag as well. Some can go for just a few dollars while others are bigger and more expensive. The best bowling bags can also accommodate your bowling gloves and maybe even your shoes.
Tips on Getting the Cost Down
Are you asking: Where can I buy a bowling ball for lower prices? The answer is that you should buy online. The prices are generally lower as sellers don’t need to cover the overhead costs of a real shop.
Some sellers may even negotiate a lower price or offer a discounted (or even “free”) service like having custom holes drilled. Amazon is always the best site to start with, though you may also want to look at Craigslist and eBay. Regardless of the bowling ball cost, you should end up with a proper bowling ball that improves your score. That should justify the expense!