Bowling is a sport and pastime that famously appeals to people of all ages without being geared specifically to any single demographic. This is one of the reasons why bowling is hugely popular worldwide.
Because of the sheer volume of players across the globe, bowling companies and manufacturers of bowling equipment have made continued efforts to ensure every need is catered for and that every potential gap in the market is filled.
Children little above the age of infancy can enjoy the fun that the sport of bowling has to offer with balls purposely designed to be wielded by younger players. Bowlers right through adolescence and adulthood can also get their fingers into the right ball for their individual needs.
But, how about the more mature player base? Well, senior bowlers are in luck.
Of course, ‘senior’ covers a rather broad scope—this could be anyone that finds themself between ages 65 and 100+. Taking this wide spectrum into account and not forgetting variants in skill, strength, overall health, and nimbleness, there’s a wealth of choice out there when it comes to the best bowling ball for seniors.
This list of some of the best bowling balls available for seniors should hopefully give you an idea of which route is best for you to take to meet your needs.
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Bowling Balls for Seniors
If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the bowling balls for seniors that most people buy).
- Hammer Black Widow Legend Ball Top Pick
- Storm Match Up Bowling Ball Runner-up
- DV8 Poly Bowling Ball Runner-up
Top 5 Best Bowling Balls for Seniors – Our Reviews:
1. Hammer Black Widow Legend Ball
Hammer is a household name when it comes to bowling shoes, accessories, and balls, and the Black Widow Legend from Hammer Bowling is a powerhouse of pin action.
Coming in a variety of weights, you’ll be able to find the ball that works best for you. Whether at 12 pounds or 16 pounds, the Black Widow Legend works incredibly well on medium to heavy oil patterns.
It’s fitted with an asymmetrical core so you can generate a lot of backend power and achieve some impressive hooks. The hybrid cover stock gives the ball a lot of reactivity too.
As this is a striking ball with a lot of aggression and hooking power, we maybe wouldn’t recommend it as a starter option for players who are thinking of taking bowling up as a retirement activity, unless they really have the drive to quickly excel.
- Comes in a range of weights
- A lot of hooking action
- Hybrid cover stock generates good reactivity
- Not ideal for beginners
2. Storm Match Up Bowling Ball
The Match Up from Storm Bowling is a visually stunning 13-pound ball that responds well to most lane types.
It has a reactive pearl coverstock that glides smoothly over heavy oil applications and its Stinger 2.0 core offers a lot of hook potential with a powerful backend.
The Stinger core type allows the ball to carry the pins really well, which is great for strikes and scoring difficult spares.
The Match Up is a solid entry-level choice with many users reporting easier side to side performance than earlier models. Once again, bowling tips would not recommend this to total newbies but if you’ve been seasoning yourself at your local lanes, this could be a good starting point for you.
- Reactive pearl cover stock responds well to most conditions
- Great hooking power
- Stinger core creates good pin movement
- Not ideal for precision shots
3. DV8 Poly Ball
Coming in a wide variety of weights ranging from as little as 6 up to 16, the DV8 is a well-balanced option for seniors of all ages and skill levels.
It’s a durable ball that’s particularly good for hobbyists or players looking for a great spare bowling ball because it’s fitted with a pancake core, meaning you have guaranteed precision almost every time.
The DV8 comes in a range of bold and inoffensive colors, so you have the choice to go as modest or as pronounced as you like.
If you want to generate continued results from a well-focused aim, then the DV8 could be a solid contender for you.
It should go without saying that if you’re hoping to pick up wide hooks, then you should avert your gaze, but as a spare ball or an all-rounder for beginners, the DV8 is in a league of its own.
- A generous variety of weight options
- Nice ball reaction on most lane conditions
- Polyester coverstock
- Excellent for precision
- Works well as a spare ball
- Little to no hooking capacity
- Fans of swirl patterns may be disappointed
4. Storm Hy-Road Bowling Ball
Another fine entry from Storm Bowling, the Hy-Road has a reactive cover stock that generates low revs with big, easily predictable hooks.
When drilled with a fingertip grip, you really can get the most from the ball’s hooking potential without having to put too much power behind your throws. This really helps if your play style is cool and calculated instead of frenzied and ferocious.
While some users may have some trouble getting used to the ball’s late hooks, the Hy-Road comes highly recommended by seasoned pros, returning players, and even fresh-faced newbies.
- Big hooks for low revs
- Path is easy to predict
- Works well when drilled with a fingertip grip
- Not recommended for bowlers looking for a lot of reactivity
- Users have complained of the wrong weight arriving in the mail
5. Brunswick Magnitude 035 Bowling Ball
The Brunswick Magnitude 035 is a slightly heavier ball than others in this category, shipping between 12-18 pounds.
The slightly denser build coupled with the ball’s symmetrical core makes for formidable performance on medium lane types and powerful straight shots with a lot of pin movement.
On drier lanes it also achieves a decent amount of curve, so you can secure big swooping finishes if you so desire.
This Brunswick bowling ball is a versatile option that works well as either a spare or a striking ball.
- Picks up a great deal of pin movement
- Symmetrical core is good for precision shots
- Can hook well in drier conditions
- May be too heavy for some players
Things to Consider When Buying Bowling Balls for Seniors
House balls are fine for casual bowlers; they won’t do for seniors who want to stay on top of their game.
Now, buying a bowling ball for seniors isn’t the same as buying one for your average bowler. Age takes its toll on everything and everyone, so there are important factors to keep in mind in order to land the best bowling ball that would mean a great (and safe) bowling experience for seniors.
How a bowling ball does when you throw it depends on what the ball surface is and what the lane surface conditions are. You’ll need a ball with a rough surface to deal with oily lanes, and a slick one for less oily lanes.
However, there are also bowling balls that straddle the middle and can be used on most lane conditions. They’re the best bowling ball option for seniors who, most of the time, don’t put much stock on the lane conditions and just want to have a fun time in the bowling alley.
Aside from it being 10% of your body weight, the general idea behind ball weight is that the heavier it is, the more pin movement it can generate, hence a better chance at scoring a strike. For seniors, however, it doesn’t do well to choose a heavy ball.
Even though you’re totally fit for your age, keep a great bowling form, and can still bowl like a pro, repeatedly carrying and throwing a heavy bowling ball can damage your health and body, particularly your shoulder joint, after some time. Remember that you aren’t as resilient anymore as you used to.
Hence, for the best bowling ball for seniors, bowling tips would suggest sticking to a 13-pound ball as it’s heavy enough to knock the pins but still comfortably light for a senior bowler to easily throw. The manageable weight also doesn’t pose many health risks to seniors bowling on a regular basis; plus, it can be easily stashed in a bowling bag and carried anywhere.
Grip type, also called drilling type, refers to the pattern the finger holes are drilled. It can strongly affect the way you release the ball, so the grip is often customized to fit the bowler.
There are different grip types, but the two most common are the conventional grip and the fingertip grip. It’s always best to go for the ball with the drilling you’re most comfortable with, especially when you’re a senior.
Compared to younger bowlers, senior bowlers have a lower rev rate mainly due to strength differences. Most would likely aim to throw a straight ball more than to play hooks or increase ball speed as a straight ball is much easier to do and control.
The grip type helps in this area. Seniors using a bowling ball drilled according to their specifications would have an easier time throwing a straight ball and thus, enjoying a game.
The sport of bowling is not just a fun pastime but it also does provide a means for seniors to enjoy and reap the benefits of a good exercise.
Hopefully, this list gave you a comprehensive insight into your next potential steps as a senior bowler and which bowling ball to pick next time you visit a bowling store. Some retailers also sell balls with a bowling ball bag, so watch out for such nice deals.
As you can see, there’s no shortage of options out there when it comes to bowling balls that serve seniors well. It’s all up to you to consider which bowling ball can best meet your needs according to your build, strength, and experience.