Bowling

Best Bowling Balls For Straight Bowlers

The ultimate goal in ten-pin bowling is to knock down all the pins standing at the end of the bowling alley. You’ll get a ‘strike’ – and lots of claps from your fellow players – if you can knock them down in your first attempt. You can choose your shooting style for that – hook or straight. Players exerting great strength prefer straight shots. And, they need to pick nothing but the best bowling balls that can work for straight bowlers.

Bowling is believed to be 5,000 years old. Our ancestors apparently used the husk of grains covered in animal leathers as make-shift balls. If you don’t believe in history archives, you surely can’t ignore the episodes of Flintstones! Eventually, the popular choices of materials became porcelain, Caribbean Lignum vitae hardwood, Ebonite rubber, and Brunswick Mineralite rubber.

Columbia Industries first developed plastic bowling balls in 1960. And some 20 years later, Ebonite first introduced urethane-shell bowling balls in 1980. Since then, all the bowling ball manufacturers have mixed and matched all the available core, coverstock, and polish. The experimentations have resulted in the best balls on the bowling alley. 

There are some that work like magic in straight shots. The choice of best among such balls can be limited. So, we tried and tested bowling balls to finally pick our top bowling balls that are most popular among straight bowlers. Have a look!

blue bowling ball on dry lane

10 Best Bowling Balls For Straight Bowlers & Reviews

1. Pathogen Plague Bowling Ball by Pyramid

The Pathogen Plague bowling ball from the house of Pyramid has already made its name as one of the best balls for the straight bowlers. It comes with the newly-designed 139 symmetric core that offers 2.54 RG and 0.032 Differentials with a medium flare potential. It features the new GPS navigational urethane coverstock that comes with a 1000 Grit Abalone sanded finish.

The combination of the new era symmetric core and the breach urethane coverstock offers better efficiency and controlled motion for the players. Besides, it works well even in the driest lane condition. This ball also comes undrilled to enable it for versatile drilling options to support different bowling styles.

Pros

  • More controllable arcing motion
  • Perfect Scale Rating of 142.20
  • Comes in 10-16lbs weight variants
  • Works like a charm in the dry to dessert-dry lane conditions

Cons

  • Works best when used with Monster Gel cleaner
  • Comes undrilled to support several finger styles

2. Tough Bowling Ball by Hammer

This ball is one of the old designs of Hammer, launched with a new look and a wrap of their new technology. It comes with their traditional pancake core infused with carbon fibre to give it the toughness. And, it has Polyphone Polyester coverstock that works in perfect sync with that core. This ball comes with 500/1000 Abalone powerhouse factory finish that further ensures the highest efficiency.

Tough Bowling Ball has low flare potential that makes it an ideal choice for the straight bowlers. Hammer has primarily designed this particular ball for the entry-level bowlers, although pro-athletes can also use this as a durable spare ball. Besides, this ball is USBC approved which proves its high quality.

Pros

  • Toughest spare ball ever produced by Hammer
  • Comes with a 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Available in 12-16lbs weight variants
  • Very low intermediate Differential (Mass Bias)

Cons

  • No variant lighter than 12lbs
  • Needs to be drilled from a nearby bowling arena

3. Black Widow Legend Bowling Ball by Hammer Bowling Products

The black widow legend bowling ball is not just the best ball of the Black Widow line of the Hammer Bowling Products but is also one of the bowling balls preferred by straight bowlers. Besides, it is the first ball of this series that comes with a hybrid coverstock. It has a traditional gas mask core that has a flex-resin additive with Ceramix surface and carbon fiber outer layer. 

This ball comes with 500/1000 Abalone powerhouse factory finish at the speed of 300 RPM. The combination of innovative gas mask core with polished coverstock enables it for a wide variety of movement on the backend. It maintains its arch through the pins, although it is also ideal for the straight bowlers. This ball works best in the medium-heavy oily lane condition.

Pros

  • First of this line to feature a hybrid coverstock
  • Quite aggressive due to core and coverstock
  • Controlled motion on the back-end
  • 3-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Comes in 12-16lbs weight variants

Cons

  • No lightweight variant less than 12lbs
  • Doesn’t have a pre-drilled variant

4. Hyper Sniper Bowling Ball by Motiv Bowling Products

The Hyper Sniper bowling ball from the house of Motiv Bowling Products comes with the new TruShot Polythane technology. This new feature ensures the durability of urethane with the unbeatable performance of polyester. It comes with the innovative hollow-point core with new cover technology; this gives it the perfect balance to go well with almost any lane condition. It works best as a spare ball due to its low reaction in the back-end.

It is one of the most colorful balls available in the market that comes with a pearl shine. Besides, it has 5500 Grit LSP factory finish to ensure optimum performance. This ball has low flare potential that makes it one of the best balls for bowlers who strike straight shots. Hyper Sniper has an effective radius of gyration of 2.68 and 0.010 differentials. It is precisely engineered by Motiv, which gives accurate spare shots.

Pros

  • Optimum balance of performance and durability
  • Accurate spare shots due to precise engineering
  • Comes in 12-16lbs weight variants
  • Colorful and attractive for bowlers of all skill groups

Cons

  • No pre-drilled variants as of now
  • Works best as a spare ball

5. Pathogen X Bowling Ball by Pyramid

The Pathogen X bowling ball from the house of Pyramid features the newly invented 139 symmetric core. It has GPS Navigational Pearl coverstock. The combination of this core and coverstock allows the ball to read the mid-lane way better than other balls of this category. This ball now comes with 2000 Grit Abalone factory polish.

The 2.54 RG and 0.032 Differential give it a medium flare potential. The medium RG and low Differential enable a steady reaction on the back-end. Besides, the Orange pearl in the coverstock helps energy retention. It has a Perfect Scale Rating of 199.80. It comes undrilled to support versatile drilling options for different finger styles.

Pros

  • Comes in 12-16lbs weight variants
  • Benchmark motion on medium lanes
  • Combination of the core and coverstock
  • Good for entry-level players and beginners
  • Works brilliantly as a strike ball on a medium oil lane

Cons

  • Works best with the Monster Foam cleaner
  • No weight variants lighter than 12lbs

6. Lizard Eye Glow Viz-a-Ball by Brunswick

The best thing about this ball from Brunswick is that it glows in the dark and under black light. It is a limited edition ball with 3D graphics all over the surface, making it really attractive, especially for the young players. It is an excellent ball for the entry-level bowlers, although it also works wonderfully for pro bowlers who need a spare for straight delivery. 

The ball is made of high-quality polyester material, making it durable. It comes in 6-16lbs weight variants that make it suitable for all age groups. This ball is extremely tough and can be an ideal choice for regular use. It comes with a rubbing and finishing compound single buff factory finish. You can match your ball with genuine Lizard merchandise like t-shirt and towel!

Pros

  • Appealing look with high-quality 360-degree graphics and 3D images
  • Ideal for recreational bowlers and entry-level players
  • High-quality durable polyester material
  • Comes in 6-16lbs weight variants
  • Suitable for all age groups

Cons

  • Comes undrilled
  • Starts to flake if not taken care of seriously

7. Antidote Bowling Ball by Pyramid

The all-new Antidote bowling ball from the house of Pyramid now comes with new era 149 symmetric core. It is bundled with ‘High RG – High Differential’ technology that ensures maximum flare potential or optimum result. Besides, this core technology also ensures continuation that’s more extended than other balls. This ball comes with GPS Navigational solid coverstock and 2000 Grit Abalone factory finish.

The combination of the solid coverstock and abalone polish makes it a perfect choice for the medium to heavy oil surfaces. This balance also gives it a much stronger and smoother reaction with the surface. This ball has 2.55 RG and 0.054 Differential to ensure a medium flare potential of 3-4″. It works like a beast if you need an amazing back-end reaction, although it also works brilliantly for the straight bowlers.

Pros

  • Ideal for medium to heavy oil lane conditions
  • Comes with a 2-year manufacturer’s warranty
  • Perfect Scale Rating of 201.60
  • Comes in 12-16lbs weight variants

Cons

  • No lightweight variants less than 12lbs
  • Monster Foam cleaner needed for best performance

8. Rip’d Solid Bowling Ball by Hammer Bowling Products

The Rip’d solid bowling ball by Hammer Bowling Products has the perfect balance of Rip’D core and Aggression solid CFI coverstock. The core is made of Flex-Resin additive with Ceramix surfacing processing, and a carbon fiber outer core. This ball’s core is shaped as a combination of the Gauntlet and Scandal cores, making it one of the best balls for bowlers who prefer straight shots.

This ball is infused with one of the toughest materials on earth, Carbon Fibre, to give it unmatched durability and strength. It comes with 500/1000/2000 Abralon factory finish and has 2.48 RG and 0.054 Differential. The ball comes in 12-16lbs weight variants. Besides, it has a 3-year limited warranty to ensure a hassle-free after-sales service.

Pros

  • Innovatively designed for optimum mid-lane traction
  • Delivers continuous down-lane movement
  • Great in heavy oil conditions
  • Infused with carbon fiber for extreme toughness

Cons

  • Comes without any finger hole
  • No variant lighter than 12lbs

9. Just Black Bowling Ball by DV8 Bowling Products

Just Black bowling ball is a The specially-designed ball from the house of DV8 Bowling Products. It is not just a ball that looks awesome but is also one of the top balls for straight bowlers. Its plastic/polyester coverstock makes it perfect for dry to desert-dry lane conditions, although it works well with almost any surface.

Just Black comes with high gloss factory polish and has a low hook potential, scoring around 25 on a scale of 10 to 175. It has 6-16lbs weight variants that make it suitable for almost any bowler of any age group. You can use it as a practice ball, as well as a spare ball during straight deliveries. It is the ideal ball for entry-level players due to its unmatched durability. 

Pros

  • Extremely tough with unmatched durability
  • Has complimentary sack for easy transportation
  • Ideal choice for entry-level bowlers and kids
  • Works like a charm as the primary spare ball

Cons

  • Not recommended for players looking for greater hook
  • Comes without any hole on it

10. Blood Moon Rising Bowling Ball by Pyramid

This ball comes with the all-new SG 19.5 dual-density asymmetric core that has 2.48 RG, 0.039 Differential, and mass bias of 0.012. Besides, it has GPS Navigational hybrid coverstock that comes with 2000 Grit Abralon matte factory finish. And, these combinations make it one of the best balls for players to bowl straight shots. It works well in almost any lane condition, although it assures the best performance in the medium oily lanes.

The divergent path line is powered by this ball’s new asymmetric core, which reads the mid-lane way better than other balls. The combination of low RG and medial Differential also ensures a controlled yet powerful banked movement. It has already made its name as one of the most predictable and consistent balls. Besides, Pyramid also assures the durability of this product. Its Perfect Scale Rating of 213.30 is one of the best scores in the industry. 

Pros

  • Comes in 12-16lbs weight variants
  • Optimum controllable motion on medium to heavy oil lanes
  • Versatile drilling options for various bowling styles
  • Perfect Scale Rating of 213.30, 

Cons

  • Requires Monster Gel cleaner for best performance
  • Not as shiny as most visual representations show

Buyers Guide for Straight Bowlers

There are many different kinds of bowling balls available in the markets, specially made for specific bowling styles. There are particular balls that work well for hook shots, while there are those that are designed for straight bowling. To put it in simple words: balls for hook and straight shots have different cores and chemical coverstocks. And, here is our guide for you to choose the best bowling ball for a straight bowler.

Pick the core wisely

The most popular core of balls that work well for straight bowlers is the pancake core. However, this is considered by many as the core for entry-level bowlers. But, trust us when we say that it is perfect for straight bowling. The only downside is that it looks a little cheap as it is typically made of low-end urethane or plastic.

Manufacturers place the pancake core on a particular side of the ball and fill the center of the ball with other filler materials. Small pancake cores are usually shaped in a rectangular form to provide an all-around balance. And, this offers better stability and rotation, thus ensuring that the ball goes in a straight line. Needless to say, you won’t get much hook with the pancake core due to its balance distribution.

Choose the right coverstock

Besides the core, the microscopic pores and spikes of the ball are also found to be a prime factor in making the ball hook or go straight. According to a 2008 Ball Motion Study by USBC, the chemical frictional characteristics decide the ball’s path on a particular alley. In their  2018 study, Freeman and Hatfield have described that the path of the ball usually depends on ITS chemical stickiness.

Shiny coverstocks usually deliver longer skid, compared to matte coverstocks. Besides, the pearl coverstocks also make the ball skid longer and for more distance, thus making the ball to go in a straight path before reacting with the low-oily backend.

Go for the right polish

The finish of the ball is crucial if you want it to hook or go straight. If you polish it with higher grit numbers to create lower-friction surfaces, then the ball will skid longer and go straight. So, avoid polishing the ball with lower grit numbers. Otherwise, it will create higher-friction surfaces to deliver an earlier hook.

Conclusion

Most bowlers learn straight bowling at the earliest stage of indulging in the sport. However, even though most experienced bowlers prefer hook shots, they also depend on straight shots for cleaning up a few pins which helps them gain a spare. Whether you’re a new player or an experienced one, you’ll need the right ball to help you, after considering factors like the coverstock, weight, hook, etc. So, we hope that you can now pick the best ball for yourself to match your bowling style, and enjoy making some fabulous straight shots. Happy bowling!

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