The history of bowling is quite fascinating, it dates back 7,000 years. Its original version is called kegel and was brought to North America by German emigrants. It was practiced in many places as a betting game and, not having precise rules, it caused many scandals, which is why it was banned.
Bowling is a sport in which geared players roll a ball down a track (flat wooden or synthetic surface) with the goal of knocking down as many pins as possible. Globally there are several varieties of bowling, the most popular being the 10-pin, spread in the USA. There, the first standardized rules were drawn up on September 9, 1985, in New York.
How Much Does a Bowling Ball Cost?
The average cost of a bowling ball is anywhere between $50 and more than $280, depending on the retailer you buy it from, the brand, and the material it is made from.
At the time this article was written, best sellers on Amazon charged anywhere between $55 and more than $200 for a bowling ball.
In the table below you will find the average cost of some of the most common types of bowling balls, including entry-level, high-level performance, vanity, and plastic.
|Type of Bowling Ball
|These balls have a custom core for a decent performance
|$50 to $90
|In this category are balls that are made either from polyester or from plastic
|$100 to $200
|These balls will have an image or a sort of logo embedded on them, although they are very similar to normal plastic bowling balls
|$100 to $175
|This is the best of all types of bowling balls, being made with a premium outer surface and an advanced core
|$200 to $400+
As we already mentioned, the cost of a bowling ball is affected by the brand, with the Storm bowling ball being the most sought-after. Most retailers charge anywhere between $150 and $220 for such a ball. Another well-known brand is Ebonite, which sells bowling balls for $80 to $195. In the table below you will find the average costs of some of the most popular bowling ball brands.
|$90 to $130
|Storm Crux Pearl
|$145 to $270
|$130 to $190
|$85 to $150
|$85 to $190
|$95 to $175
|$175 to $280
|$90 to $180
Bowling ball overview
A bowling ball can be made of various materials such as:
- particle, which is nothing else than a reactive resin, with small pieces of ceramics or glass, made to increase the friction of the ball;
- plastic, which is the cheapest and the most common material;
- reactive resin, which is a relatively new material on the market and includes resin particles on the ball’s cover stock to increase the friction; a ball made of reactive resin can be used also in oily conditions and can create a strong hook;
- urethane bowling balls can create more friction on the lane and have a softer outer shell; also, it creates a greater point of impact and rolls more evenly.
Important things to consider
When choosing a bowling ball, make sure that its diameter is the same on all axes, and that the surface of the ball is smooth and free of cracks, chips, and defects. The only irregularities in the ball are the three finger holes.
The weight of the ball should be one-tenth of your weight – so it will be easier to control.
Grab the ball and pull your arm forward. A ball of suitable weight, you can easily hold for more than five seconds without pain in the muscles. If you have never played bowling before, consult a lane specialist to help you pick up a ball of the right weight with the right size finger holes.
What are the additional expenses?
In order to make the perfect fit for their fingers, some bowlers could have their bowling ball holes custom drilled. Be prepared to spend anywhere between $60 and $90 for customized bowling drilling.
It is highly recommended to have a ball bag/tote for easily carrying your bowling ball and other pieces of equipment during a night out or a tournament. Plan on spending $10 to more than $30 for such a bag. Also, you may have to budget for bowling gloves and bowling shoes.
If you are an avid bowling player, you should budget for resurfacing the ball in the future. This would cost you around $40 at most pro shops.
If you want to have a custom design on your bowling ball, you may have to pay extra. Expect to spend another $120 to $170 to the price, for a customized bowling ball.
In case you purchase a bowling ball from an online retailer, you may have to pay an extra delivery fee because of the weight and traveled distance.
Tips for saving money
In case you buy the bowling ball directly from them, some retailers may offer the drilling for free. For example, Dick’s Sporting Goods provides drilling for free after you purchase from their shop.
Take into consideration getting a slightly used bowling ball from eBay, Craigslist, or your local bowling alley. You will be able to save more than 50%, even though this will not be fully customized.