The Best Reactive Bowling Balls

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What to Look For

Three out of the four types of bowling balls are considered reactive, including urethane, reactive resin and particle balls. Reactive with the amount of oil on the lanes, these three types of balls will help any bowler throw a hook due to the materials used to make the bowling ball. Urethane balls are made from a softer polyurethane cover, causing more friction between the lane and the bowling ball. Reactive resin bowling balls are urethane balls with resin particles in the cover. The resin allows the ball to hydroplane down the first half of the lane and snap into the pocket at the end. Particle balls are most often used by experienced bowlers and on oily lanes as the ceramic or glass particles provide a better grip and stronger, more consistent hook.

Common Pitfalls

Avoid plastic balls, which do not react to lane conditions. Although particle balls are made for the strongest hook, they are mainly thrown by experienced bowlers. Consider the difference between the way you throw your first ball and the way you throw your spare ball. Two reactive bowling balls may be needed--one with a consistent hook or one that glides down the lane to hit the 7 and 10 pins. Do not choose a ball that is too heavy or too light for you. The ball's inaccurate weight will cause inaccuracy when hooking the ball, rendering the reactive properties uncontrollable.

Where to Buy

Local bowling alleys' pro shops will have reactive bowling balls for sale. Bowling balls may also be purchased online at manufacturers' websites. You can visit a sporting goods store or pro shop to have the ball drilled to your finger sizes.


Polyurethane bowling balls range between $100 and $200. Reactive resin balls will typically cost between $150 and $200. Particle balls are not for experience bowlers just because of their potential. They typically cost over $200, which is an investment the beginner bowler may not want to make.


A bag for the bowling ball that holds shoes, towels, resin and other bowling necessities is a useful addition to a bowling ball purchase. Bowling bags that hold one ball can be found for $25 and up. For a bag that holds two balls, you may spend between $45 and $100. Bags that hold three or more bowling balls will typically cost over $150.

Insider Tips

Finger tip grips added to a reactive bowling ball will help control the hook. The inserts are shelved polyurethane, which allow only your finger tips to enter the ball. When the ball rolls off your finger tips, rather than being released by your fingers, it allows you to put more spin on the ball.