Like all products across all markets, there are high-quality brands, budget brands, and brands slapped with a high street price tag. Bowling balls are no different.
In this article, I’m going to run through the best bowling ball brands across all price ranges, giving the pros and cons of each one. These four names are also often included in articles on the top 10 best bowling ball manufacturers and best bowling ball brands that pepper the web.
Top 4 Bowling Ball Brands
You might well be familiar with Brunswick already—that’s because it’s the industry’s highest-selling bowling ball brand, almost a household name.
Brunswick has been in business for decades, and the company founder, John Moses Brunswick, was a key figure in bringing bowling out of Victorian parlors and into the arms of the general public.
Our favorite aspect of this popular bowling ball manufacturer is that its history proves it isn’t just about making money for them.
Since the very beginning, the company has been very passionate about bowling as a sport. In fact, John Moses Brunswick was an integral figure for the sport as a whole, even helping create rules and regulations for the United States Bowling Congress (USBC).
One of the most instantly recognizable house balls that have become a staple of public lanes everywhere is the entry-level Brunswick Rhino.
Featuring a reactive cover stock that can tackle most lane conditions, there’s a good chance this has been your weapon of choice long before you entertained the idea of getting your own bespoke fisrt bowling ball. The reason for this is it’s a versatile and easy-to-handle bowling ball that’s renowned for getting results.
They offer, among a range of other bowling equipment, a huge variety of bowling balls and bowling ball cores, including polyester cover stock balls and urethane balls.
Their balls feature a wide selection of designs, with everything from solid colors to marbled effects. This top bowling ball brand even offers a stars-and-stripes design if you’re feeling patriotic.
Also, it might interest you that the DV8 brand is also under the Brunswick Corporation.
DV8 balls are quite similar in many ways, but they are more robust and perfect for players who hit hard and fast. If you’re interested in this bowling ball brand, the DV8 Notorious is one worth checking out.
Unlike other bowling ball manufacturers, Hammer doesn’t really produce balls for beginners. The brand name specializes in a product line for bowlers with mid to upper skill level.
This can be seen as both a good or a bad thing, depending on your bowling ability.
You may view this as a bad thing because the price range could be considered excessive for those just starting out. However, for those who are a little more seasoned on the lanes, Hammer is a great choice for a bowling brand, offering a wide selection of bowling balls available at most bowling retailers.
There are 25 different bowling balls for different oil conditions available on their website, and other stores will undoubtedly have other products. Like other brands including Brunswick, they sell other products too, such as bowling bags and shoes, but bowling balls are where their specialties lie.
One of their ball names that you may have seen discussed on forums is the Black Widow Legend. Boasting a gas mask core, the Widow Legend is a pin action powerhouse on most lane conditions and is a firm favorite of anyone trying to land those ambitious hooks.
They sell a number of ball types with different cover stocks and designs, and the vast majority have customer ratings of 4 stars or above. They’re also the first bowling company to come up with the 2-piece urethane ball, which was such a hit at the time.
To inspire brand loyalty, Hammer keeps their customers and the bowling community in the know and offers an archive of old products. Their high-end bowling balls also come with a 3-year warranty.
Lastly, you might have heard of Ebonite balls. To clear any confusion, Hammer is under Ebonite, like Columbia 300. Hence, Hammer balls and Columbia 300 (known for Columbia 300 Nitrous) can all be considered Ebonite balls.
Storm is one of those bowling brands that you’ll frequently see come up if you browse the web for bowling related products. It is undoubtedly one of the most up-to-date bowling ball companies in the market, choosing to lead by innovation rather than anything else.
Not only are Storm balls very stylish, but they’re excellent quality, too.
Although they only have 22 balls currently on their website, this is because they choose quality over quantity. Most brands choose either one or the other (sometimes to disastrous effects), but Storm chooses to release high-quality products less frequently, as they’ll last you longer and the upgrade will be significantly better.
They make high-end and high-performance factory-finish balls for players of all abilities, something which some of their competitors, unfortunately, neglect to do.
Their high-score products and bowling balls are designated into a number of categories, including Premier, Signature, Master, and Thunder. Each bowling ball category offers something different, but you can guarantee that their products are approved by professional bowlers for both performance bowling and leisure bowling.
Storm is the best company at keeping their buyers in the loop, with an active social media presence (be sure to favorite the #stormbowling hashtag). If you have any questions about weight blocks and ball performance, this is the company you want answering them.
4. Roto Grip
Like Storm, Roto Grip is a company that prides itself on innovation. Their balls look really quite sleek and are very futuristic, both in terms of the technology itself and their appearance.
They don’t make balls to build their own reputation; they do it because it benefits their customers.
They have a rich history and have been in business for over 65 years. In my opinion, this is the best company to purchase a bowling ball from.
They have the benefits of all the other bowling brands put together—innovation, customer service, and many years of experience at the top of their game. Their balls are all high-performance, too, and no matter the bowling lane condition, you’re sure to find one that can best serve you.
It’s worth noting that there are only 15 balls on the website at the time of writing, but they’re all excellent. They come with high ratings and are in four different categories.
Some of their best bowling balls are upgrades on others, which means there are products available at all price ranges. I love Roto Grip, and one bowling ball you should check out is the Roto Grip Halo Pearl.
Boasting the cutting-edge Centrum asymmetrical core for its weight block like the original Halo but covered with a pearlized cover stock, this bowling ball has great hook potential on dry lanes or medium oil lanes—and no one says no to such a ball.
If you choose any of the above brands making waves in the bowling industry, you have nothing to worry about.
They’re all high quality, have longevity on the lanes, and will certainly help to up your game if you use them properly (i.e. correct form and proper drilling). They’re the names you’ll probably see in lists of best bowling balls of all time.
However, it’s worth looking more in-depth than just the bowling ball brands, as they all offer several different products suited for different types of bowlers.
Some popular bowling ball makers have also come up with innovative ideas.
Motiv, for example, is known for using their NeoMark graphics technology to incorporate vivid graphics into the coverstocks, resulting in bowling balls that are head turners at the bowling lanes.
If you’re thinking of getting a Motiv ball, try the Motiv Venom Cobra which sports the new Sabotage Hybrid Reactive coverstock and a 5500 grit Laser Scan Polish finish. Alternatively, you can go for the Venom Shock if you’re more into a Solid Reactive cover.
Another is 900 Global. 900 Global is a new brand priding itself in creating top bowling balls and other bowling equipment for all skill levels and at an affordable price.
AMF is a brand under 900 Global. For the budget-conscious, the Pyramid Path Rising Pearl balls are another great option.