In bowling, when you hear the term spare balls, you are probably thinking along the line that it’s an extra ball that can be used if the main one gets damaged or lost. That’s not the case though; spare balls have a different meaning in bowling circles.
Bowlers always have two plastic bowling balls in tow, and the reason for this is that the first shot is rolled with a hook ball, and then the spare ball is rolled next for the second throw that’s more precise.
There are many types of spare balls on the market, and we’re going to focus our attention on the very best ones. We’ll explore their best traits and their weaknesses, and provide you with a detailed buying guide that you can use on your next shopping trip down the bowling shop.
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Spare Bowling Balls
If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the spare bowling balls that most people buy).
- Pyramid Path Rising Bowling Ball Top Pick
- DV8 Zombie Bowling Ball Runner-up
- Hammer Black Widow Bowling Ball Runner-up
Top 7 Best Spare Bowling Balls 2023 – Our Reviews:
1. Pyramid Path Rising Bowling Ball
The Pyramid Path Rising Bowling Ball is a high-performance bowling ball that has a fine 1500-grit polish and a strong path reactive coverstock, making it a top pick for many bowlers.
Equipped with a New Era 139 core, the Pyramid Path Rising is well within the affordable range of most bowling enthusiasts and is a great value for money, all features considered. The engineering used makes it hard for the ball to deviate from the straight-line motion once the player has released it during gameplay, and this is why many pros prefer having this ball for shooting spares.
The Pyramid Path Rising Bowling Ball can be used on all types of lane conditions but has a higher affinity for the dry lane condition compared to an oily lane condition. It moves by minimizing friction with the surface, which gives it the speed to roll gracefully towards the bowling pins at the end.
As one of the best spare ball options, the Pyramid Path Rising Bowling Ball comes in weights ranging from 8 to 16 pounds and can be used by people of all ages and genders. This spare ball isn’t pre-drilled as well, giving you the freedom to customize it to fit your fingers snuggly.
- Varied weight and color options
- Ideal for pros
- Good for straight shots
- Reliable hook potential
- Not good with oily conditions
2. DV8 Zombie Bowling Ball
The DV8 Zombie Spare Bowling Ball is a unique item when you consider the artwork on it.
It features the gory image of a zombie with one eye burst open and the skin shredded to pieces. This may be too much for many people, but as far as performance goes, the DV8 Zombie Spare ball is a powerhouse.
Using a bullet core and a polyester cover stock, the ball is best known for killer straight shots, all thanks to the bullet core that ensures the spare ball moves along its line of symmetry. The consistency it brings when it comes to striking down pinballs is amazing, and one of the many reasons why you’re most likely to find this spare ball in the bag of professional bowlers.
The high gloss polish makes the ball look good in light and is easy to clean when used on oily surfaces, making it a ball ideal for beginner bowlers. The DV8 Zombie bowling ball has varying weights that range from 10 pounds all the way to 16 pounds.
- Good for straight shots
- Ideal for beginner bowlers
- Extraordinary appearance
- Isn’t drilled on purchase
- Can also be used as a strike ball
- Doesn’t work well for left-handed people
3. Hammer Black Widow Bowling Ball
The Hammer Black Widow Spare Bowling Ball is another aesthetically pleasing product that has been making headlines in the bowling community. It packs both good looks and performance, two good reasons why you need this ball as your spare option.
As one of the best spare bowling balls, it features a gas mask core, a polyester coverstock, and a 2000 Abralon powerhouse factory finish. All three combine well to give the ball the right control balance, predictability, and durability, which will see you use the ball for ages before you even start entertaining the idea of getting a replacement.
The ball rolls down any type of lane conditions with minimal friction, and this makes the Hammer Black Widow spare ball one of the best options for spares as it has a high precision rate of hitting the pinballs exactly where you want to have them knocked. The coverstock plays a huge role in making sure that the ball moves in a straight line without any deviation, even when it hits some minor bumps on the way.
It comes in a varying weight option that reaches up to 16 pounds and has three color options that include orange, black, and a smoke version. All the balls have the black widow spider emblem on them.
- High flare potential
- Beautiful appearance
- Good shooting ball
- Handles all lanes, especially dry lanes
- Decent hook potential
- Can also be used as a strike ball
- Heavy weight ball
4. Brunswick TZone Deep Space Bowling Ball
The Brunswick TZone Deep Space spare bowling ball is a colorful masterpiece that’s revered by bowlers around the world, especially beginners who are just starting to feel their way around the game.
As one of the best spare bowling balls, it features a solid polyester cover stock that gives it the hardiness to withstand the bumps and the throws on the bowling alley. It’s equipped with a T-Zone Bullet core that makes controlling the ball quite easy for the player.
The factory finish on the ball comes courtesy of the Crown Factory Shine, which gives the ball an alluring illustrious glow in the light.
The swirl pattern on the surface of the ball has become a hit with people of various ages and gender, and the fact that the ball also comes in varying weights makes it the ideal all-around bowling ball that can be used for a communal bowling match involving all the members of the family.
On the price side, the TZone Deep Space is within the affordability range of most bowlers. It can also be the ideal strike ball to get if you want to learn and perfect your skill without breaking the bank.
- Many color options
- Durable and strong construction
- The best for beginners
- Reliable spare bowling ball
5. Motiv Midnight Sniper Bowling Ball
Featuring a TruShot Polythene coverstock, a Hollow-Point core, and a 5500 Grit LSP factory finish, the Motiv Midnight Sniper is one of the best spare bowling balls that packs in appearance what it also packs in performance. Simply put, this is a beast spare ball.
The backup bowler ball is one of the most accurate options you’ll ever come across. This is all down to the combination of the cover stock and the core, which makes it easier for the user to handle and control the direction once the ball leaves their hands.
One other thing worth noting about the Motive Midnight spare ball is that it isn’t pre-drilled; you get to set your own measurements when setting up finger holes. The cover stock is designed to reduce friction when it comes into contact with the lane, and this makes it easy to set its trajectory no matter the conditions of the bowling alley lane.
The ball comes in varying colors and designs as well as weights that make it possible for all people to use them.
- Ideal for dry lanes to moderately oily lanes
- Disciplined trajectory
- Powerful core
- Top-tier cover stock
- Very expensive
Read Also: Best Motiv Bowling Balls
6. Storm Clear White Bowling Ball
If cool had a name, then that would be the Storm Clear White Bowling Ball. It’s a high-performance bowling ball designed to be used on all lane conditions and has all the features needed to make that possible.
It’s equipped with a polyester pearl coverstock that doesn’t permit the spare bowling ball to hook on any surface that it’s used on. This increases its ability to strike pinballs as many times as possible, a clear proof of its accuracy.
It has a core traditional 3-piece that stops the ball from experiencing any deflection the moment it leaves your hands and hits the lane. When that’s combined with the 3500 grit polish, then you have in your hands a well-refined all-rounded spare bowling ball that gets things done when you need it to.
This Storm ball is good for both pros and those who bowl for fun. It has all the weight sizes that are appropriate for all age groups and genders.
It’s the type of ball you want in your bag if you’re going out for a family outing at the bowling alley.
- Shoots straight
- Easy to maintain
- High predictability
- Good hook potential
- Pearl polyester finish
- Traditional 3-piece core
- Too expensive
7. Ebonite Maxim Bowling Ball
The Ebonite Maxim Bowling ball is one of the best spare bowling balls and a great option for those looking for a high-performance spare ball.
It has featured in countless bowling ball reviews around the world. It has the looks and the features you’d want in a reliable bowling ball.
Featuring a 3-piece core for better predictability and control, the bowling ball is a favorite of the pros and the beginners alike. It fits the hand snuggly and works pretty well on any type of lane.
It even comes with a night-glow feature which increases its visibility even at night, giving it an elevated aesthetic appeal.
The choice for the outer shell is a polyester coverstock that’s of solid construction, giving the league bowler good handling and control even in oily conditions. Lastly, this bowling ball for spares comes in a variety of weight sizes for all genders and age groups.
- High-quality 3-piece core
- Varied weight options
- Glow in the dark feature
- Versatile spare ball
- Can also be used as a strike bowling ball
- Prone to cracks
- Inconsistent on some oil surfaces
Choosing the Right Spare Bowling Ball: Things to Consider
The main reason why spare balls exist in the first place is to give the player the necessary control for them to finish the pinballs with one strike, and finding the best spare bowling ball is hard. Hence, there are some important factors that have to be considered when choosing a spare bowling ball.
Not many bowlers know how important the weight of the spares bowling ball is. It influences almost everything that goes into making a shot.
The core weight block determines your swing and the speed of release on oily and dry lanes. For the best result, the rule of thumb states that the weight of the spare bowling ball should be about a trench of the bowler’s body weight.
When these conditions of the lanes are met, then the player gets the control and the handling needed to make the best shot possible in a straight line. However, the ability to pull this off depends on the abilities and the experience accumulated through years of practice.
A good coverstock goes a long way in ensuring high performance for the best spare bowling ball.
A good coverstock shouldn’t be porous to stop the plastic bowling ball from absorbing oils from the lane. It should also be sturdy and durable enough to avoid any kind of damage that may be inflicted on it through bumps and throws.
The best option with regard to coverstock so far is the plastic or polyester bowling ball. Some spare balls have been known to also make use of solid urethane, but that’s a rare occurrence in bowling circles.
Pay attention to the polyester coverstock when checking out spare balls for purchase.
The core is one of the most important things that affect the entire functioning of any best spare bowling ball. There are three types of bowling ball cores: pancake, symmetrical, and asymmetrical.
Symmetrical and pancake grant the user more control over the balls’ motion, and this is why most spare balls are created with these cores as the foundation.
The core is also closely related to the weight of the ball. The two combine to influence the trajectory, speed, hook potential, and angularity of the throw.
A lightweight core weight block will lead to low traction and wayward movements of the ball, while a heavy core weight block increases the velocity and handling of the bowling ball. If there’s one area you should pay close attention to when shopping for a spare bowling ball, that would be the core.
Most spare bowling balls come drilled, and this can be limiting since getting holes that fit your fingers perfectly becomes hard.
What you should be going for are spare bowling balls that haven’t been drilled. You can then take them to a drilling expert who will create holes that are the exact match to your fingers and hand measurements.
This will ensure that you have the most control of the ball, and that will give you an edge over others in any competition. Spare balls don’t need a thumb hole, but you can add it out of habit since many bowlers are used to using the thumb for steadying their shots.
The one thing you don’t want to deal with is having to run to the shop every six months to get a new spare bowling ball. It isn’t only inconvenient, but it’s also expensive.
When selecting the best spare bowling ball, go for the one with a durable polyester coverstock that’s sturdy enough to take hits without cracking up. They have to be scratch-resistant and of solid build.
Bowling involves a lot of crashes and having a ball that can withstand all these is what should be high on your priority list. Inferior bowling balls will always crack after a short while, so make sure to avoid those at all costs.
There’s nothing wrong with using a good-looking spare bowling ball color, and for those who love a little color, there’s nothing stopping you from going for anything type of spare bowling ball that you want.
Aesthetics may have nothing to do with the performance of the bowling ball, but they do elevate the motivation to play.
You can only buy what you can afford, and the same principle applies to bowling gear. There are some strike balls and spare options that are considered high end and they may cost an arm and a leg, but that doesn’t mean you have to go for them to increase your chances of becoming a better player.
What you should be focusing on first are the features that make a spare bowling ball ideal; only after determining that should you start focusing on the price. Expensive isn’t always equivalent to good.
The Bottom Line
Spare bowling balls are an essential part of the sport, and any bowler worth their salt should have the best spare bowling ball in their bag.
There are many other bowling balls reviews of models on the market that you should find time to check out. To make your work much easier, make use of this short guide to quickly sift through the unnecessary chaff to get to the one bowling ball that fits what you want.
It may take time, but in the end, you’ll have the perfect item in your hands.