Finding the right bowling equipment is important for your game. Learn more about bowling balls and shoes here.


Bowling Buyers Guide


Bowling Balls

Shopping for Proper Weight:

  • Average adult male usually bowls with a: 15-16 lb. ball
  • Average adult female usually bowls with a: 10-12 lb. ball
  • Juniors: 1lb. of weight per year of child’s age, i.e. 8 yrs old = 8-lb. ball
  • Buy the heaviest ball that you can comfortably hold/control, since heavier balls knock down more pins; Note: better to have a ball that’s too light than too heavy
  • Be cautious of exceptions in size and physical ability. If you are larger/heavier than average, go up in weight. If you are smaller or have limiting physical features, stay lower in ball weight


Shopping by Composition:

Polyester and plastic balls

  • Recommended for beginners and entry-level players
  • Roll straight with little hook
  • Good for dry conditions
  • Ideal if you roll a straight ball
  • More forgiving

Urethane balls

  • Recommended for more skilled players
  • Roll with more controlled hook
  • Tend to hit pins so pins remain low and mix with each other, offering more opportunity for strikes
  • Usually sold with sanded finish; This assists with hooking, especially if lanes are oiled

Resin balls

  • Yield similar benefits as urethane balls, but offer a sharper hook with more abrupt power
  • Allow bowlers to achieve greater entry angle than plastic or urethane balls
  • Offer greatest strike potential of all kinds of balls

Drilling the finger holes:

  • Bowling balls need to be drilled unless otherwise specified
  • Be sure to take your bowling ball to a qualified professional when getting it drilled
  • Professional drilling allows you to customize the placement and size of the finger holes
  • You can find out where to get a ball drilled at your local bowling alley

Bowling Shoes

  • Bowling shoes vary in width
  • Fit to your exact size; Too tight will cause blistering, too loose will throw off your balance
  • Look for padded collars, cushioned insoles, and padded linings; Not only do they cushion and support, they minimize movement in the shoe for better stability, balance, and performance
  • High-performance shoes are constructed differently for left and right-handed bowlers; These shoes have one shoe with a leather sole (used on sliding foot for smooth stop at delivery) and the other shoe with a rubber sole (worn on the swing-side foot for traction for forward momentum to help with balance)