Bowling is one of the most popular pastimes and requires a high degree of skill to master. Many factors contribute to becoming an expert bowler, and choosing the right bowling ball is one of them. There are four basic types, each with their own advantages, and learning the pros and cons will help you find the right match to take your game to the next level.

4 Bowling Ball Types

1. Plastic

Depending on the type of roll, you may need very little friction between your ball and the lane. Plastic bowling balls offer this advantage, making them a favorite of professional bowlers shooting for spares. Because of the low friction, the ball is less likely to hook off its original course, offering a straight shot with little deviation. This also makes plastic balls ideal for beginners looking to learn the basics of aiming and throwing.

2. Reactive Resin

bowlingReactive resin bowling balls create an immense amount of friction, making them ideal for complicated spins and hook shots. The downside to this is that they’re more susceptible to imperfections in the lane and may go off course despite being rolled well. Overall, these are best handled by skilled bowlers and are best for specialty shots.

3. Urethane

Urethane coverstock balls fall between reactive resin and plastic bowling balls. While they generate strong friction, it’s not enough to make the ball susceptible to over-hooking. This means the quality of the lanes will have less influence over the control of the ball. Urethane bowling balls are a popular choice for specialty and opening rolls because of this versatility and durability.

4. Particle

Particle-based bowling balls are often mistaken for being worn or damaged due to their bumpy surfaces. However, these imperfections are what make these balls so controllable. They generate more friction than other balls and can overcome lane issues or extensive wood oiling that may complicate skill shots. Because of this, particle bowling balls are the go-to choice for more difficult shots but are less effective for opening.


If you’re looking for bowling and the best pizza in La Crosse, WI, schedule a night out with friends at South Lanes Pizza. This local bowling and pizza establishment has built a reputation for their delicious menu and exciting atmosphere, making it the perfect place for your next social gathering. Call (608) 788-0830 today to speak with their staff and visit their website and Facebook for updates.