5 Best Bowling Balls for Straight Throwers Reviewed
Most people choose straight bowling as their first style. Since you’re reading this recharged article, you are either an aspiring professional or already one perfecting the form. Even, you might be picking up some spares, the most popular use for this style.
Beginner or advanced, you need a ball that helps you bowl straight instead of making the job difficult. Each type of ball is made with bowlers’ needs in mind.
So, the idea of getting one of the best bowling balls for straight throwers makes sense for those who want to hit the pins ahead with power. Let’s see what we got for you.
5 Best Bowling Balls for Straight Throwers: Comparisons and Reviews
The following table includes the essential specifications and numbers that give you a quick overview of all the bowling balls reviewed later.
Now is the time for detailed reviews of all five bowling balls. Hopefully, you’ll be able to make a well-informed decision by the end.
1. Pyramid Path Bowling Ball
Since straight bowling is the goal, you need your ball to have friction and spin as low as possible. This Pyramid Path ball uses a polyester coverstock which is pretty much conventional because these plastics are best suited to meet all these conditions.
This ball may deliver entry-level performance, but its factory polish and ‘low hook and flare’ potential make it ideal for dry lane conditions. Its Perfect Scale® rating is 5. What else do you need to consider its suitability for dry lanes?
The Pyramid ball comes with a pancake core that looks like a small disc and is associated with reliability and steadiness. As long as you’re thinking about a standard lane where you don’t need many drilling options or other special considerations.
The weight being in the range of 8 to 16 pounds is no deal breaker because bowlers with any skill level can use the ball to match up with their conditions. Choose one from the three available colors – black, blue, and white.
An Important NoteSome might want to see the ball’s ‘little ability to hook’ as a potential limitation. You know you’re looking for one of the best bowling balls for straight throwers. With a very low coefficient of hook or friction, this Pyramid ball is just as good as it gets.
2. Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball
By now, you may have understood that the balls on this list are mainly designed for beginners who want to take the game seriously. Tzone Deep Space easily serves this purpose while being an excellent pick for experts looking for spares.
The manufacturer introduced their own performance index that gives this ball 99 for the strength of its reaction shape. ‘Accurate’ is the name of the shape that provides ‘low hook potential’, making it a good choice for bowlers who are going to score in dry conditions.
The polyester coverstock is neither average nor the best you can expect. It is just what you need for entry-level performance. The ball uses ‘Crown Factory Polish’ which works on all materials, such as plastic, urethane, and reactive resin.
The ball comes with three distinct core styles for three different weight categories, such as 6-8 lbs., 9-11 lbs., and 12-16 lbs., but the principal core type called TZone Bullet remains the same. The company offers a 1-year warranty for any defect.
An Important NoteWith 25 in hook potential, you have no worries because that is just as low as you can get from a ball for straight shooting. You better focus on drilling than seeking a lower number on the hook.
3. Storm Mix Urethane Bowling Ball
The manufacturer says this urethane ball is meant for recreational bowlers who are looking to have a taste of the game and experienced guys who need a good spare option for straight shooting. Well, they couldn’t be more accurate about the performance of the Storm Mix.
A 3-piece core is undoubtedly a traditional choice for those wishing to enjoy predictability of the ball’s movement on any lane condition. Urethane is known for its durability, perhaps greater than plastic or most other materials used as the coverstock for a bowling ball.
However, there is a matter of concern – its hook potential that causes more friction between a dry lane and the ball. Still, you’ll find it useful for straight bowling because it won’t move as much as a reactive coverstock would do.
The ball has a high Radius of Gyration (RG) value which is 2.68" to 2.72" across the different weight categories. That value being high enough causes the ball to hook or spin less. The ball gets into a hooking motion right towards the end of an alley, keeping energy for its backend.
Consequently, the ball moves forward in a straight fashion, despite its hook potential. It means urethane coverstock with a higher hook potential than plastic is not necessarily an impediment to straight bowling. But you need to have some skills to take the advantage.
4. Lizard Eye Brunswick Brunswick Bowling Products
The lizard eye may not be to everyone’s liking, but the surface being covered with colorful graphics will draw your attention. Just like the other balls on this list, this polyester ball has been designed for first timers who want to get their hands wet as well as those who need spares.
Brunswick puts this product under the ‘Accurate’ category according to their index for reaction shape strength. By ‘Accurate’, they mean the ball has a very low ‘hook potential’ on moderate to extremely dry lane conditions.
As the index says, the higher the number which is 99 for this ball, the straighter the ball travels and the stronger its reaction shape is. Well, this claim makes sense since the coverstock is polyester which is an ideal material for balls required by straight throwers.
Considering certain variables such as the speed at which you might throw the ball, lane conditions, tilt, axis rotation and rev rate, you can choose any of the several drilling layouts provided by the brand. This flexibility allows you to customize the holes as you need.
5. Storm Ice Storm Blue/White (15 lbs)
You could say everything of the Storm Mix ball is the same as that of this Ice version except for one important factor – the coverstock material, and that makes all the difference.
The Storm Mix is more about durability than performance while the Storm Ice is a mix of suitability for beginners and performance, especially with straight shooting.
As customers’ experience reveals, the 3-piece core is not an average pancake style core. Covered with pearlized polyester, the core provides bowlers with the convenience to throw the ball down the dry lane while pinpointing its direction as it moves ahead.
The RG value of this ball is the same as that of the urethane variant, but this plastic ball is much easier to handle if you are looking to enter the world of bowling.
However, the manufacturer’s claim that this ball is good for any lane condition is not above board. You might want to have something else to try when the lane has patterns, different from the standard ones.
By far, these are some of the best bowling balls for straight bowlers, but you won’t want all of them. Will you? So, here is a quick guide in case you need help with picking up just one of them.
How to Buy the Best Bowling Balls for Straight Throwers?
The coverstock, weight, grip layout, core type, and price are the factors you need to consider with a great emphasis. Other factors like the polish, aesthetics, and colors are also important to many bowlers.
Coverstock and Performance
The ball has a surface made of certain materials which are known as the coverstock. As your ball maneuvers down the lane or through a pattern, these materials come into play by helping create or prevent friction.
A plastic coverstock is by far the most appropriate cover material for a ball designed for straight throwers. Polyester is therefore the top choice while urethane coverstock can be chosen depending on various lane conditions. Polyester doesn’t spin much thereby providing low friction on dry lanes.
However, you want a pearl coverstock if the lane is not completely dry or has an oil pattern with low saturation. Lanes having an oil pattern with heavy saturation require the bowler to use more aggressive coverstocks.
A plastic/ polyester coverstock is a kind of universal choice that allows bowlers with any skill level to work through various oil conditions.
If you ever have been to a bowling alley or club without taking your own bowl, you might have received one from that facility. Those bowls have what players call a conventional grip which is triangular in shape with two closely drilled holes for the middle and the ring fingers and another hole drilled in the middle and below those two for the thumb.
Based on the size of players' hands, the distance between two finger holes may vary, but the conventional grip layout, more specifically the triangular shape, brings straight bowlers some advantage as they throw the balls.
The coverstock of your ball needs to be matched with your game, and preparing the surface of the ball is the key to that. Surface is an important determiner of how the ball rolls on the lane. Since surface preparation has been a crucial activity when it comes to good scores, you need to know which finishing products are used in general.
These finishing products come with a variety of surfaces distinguished by their grits, from the roughest (180) to the smoothest (4000). Lower numbers on the grits indicate that the ball is going to create more friction, and the higher results in less of that action.
Higher grit surfaces (2000 to 4000) contribute to the ball's faster energy retention and its easy movement toward the break-point, which result in a bigger and some back-end movement and the ball's ability to go straight.
Although many enthusiasts would say that a good straight bowling ball usually weighs at least 8 pounds, a widely accepted formula is to choose something that weighs approximately 10% of the bowler's body weight with the caution to not exceed 16 pounds.
Professionals or experts may want to use 16-pound balls while more people pick up the ones that weigh 15 pounds. Another popular method goes like this:
A good ball should be heavier than your regular house ball by 1-2 pound(s). If you choose a ball that weighs 8-9 pounds and is properly drilled to your specifications, that ball may weigh about the same as a house ball that weighs 6-7 pounds.
To avoid confusion, you can follow this particular principle. Find out the heaviest ball that you can hold and throw comfortably. An experienced buddy might advise you to pick a heavy ball, but you shouldn't do that without considering your comfort.
Once a ball leaves the bowler's hand and starts moving gradually down the lane; it builds momentum which is significantly influenced by the core of the ball. Three core types are commonly marketed, such as pancake, symmetrical, and asymmetrical core.
Pancake cores are popular due to the reliability and steady momentum they add to the ball. If you are interested in straight bowling on standard dry lanes and nothing else, these are the right cores for you.
Symmetrical cores are preferred by those who need the ball to create momentums at variable paces, so they can achieve higher hook potentials. These cores are a result of a particular innovation that ensures the consistency of the ball's weight while improving its performance.
Asymmetrical cores are a more complex evolution of the symmetrical type, requiring bowlers to hone their skills in curving the ball. Bowling balls with an asymmetrical core rev up pretty fast and finish with an aggressive motion down the lane. These balls are ideal for those bowling on a heavily oiled lane where getting friction is hard.
Aesthetics and Colors
While color pigments are more about the aesthetics of balls than about their effect on the ball reaction, some experts may argue that various color pigments have something to do with the way the ball reacts.
Many instances of color triggering reaction changes have been reported over the years. But no scientific statements have been made to confirm that a blue ball hooks more/ less than a red ball. No credible tests have been conducted to draw a conclusion that a tri-colored ball hooks more/ less than a two-colored ball.
So, it is safe to say that these are just insignificant differences that arise as manufacturers try mixing multiple color pigments to create a finished product.
Price and Your Preferences
As long as you need to hone your skills in straight bowling, plastic balls are definitely the most useful option for two reasons, such as their durability and affordable price points.
Both beginners and bowlers with some experience can choose this type as their primary balls, and experts can consider them for straightening their spare shots.
Plastic balls lack what other types are known for, the back-end power and hook potential. Besides, plastic being the primary material allows players to control the balls with ease.
The cost of a ball made with plastic usually starts around $40. A good entry-level product may cost $60. Balls with better material, surface adjustment, and finish may cost $100 or higher.
Don’t be surprised to see some ball polished with swirly colors or a particular brand logo selling for $150. You may want to add an additional $25-$30 for getting a product drilled if yours doesn’t come pre-drilled.
However, you’ve already seen that products on this particular list are available within the range of $50 to $100. So, a hundred bucks can make a fair pricing point.
Now you know what a straight bowler should look for in a ball and which products you can think of as you start visiting the local stores. You can do a few things to take straight bowling to the desired level.
FAQs About Straight Bowling and Balls
Although most of these questions are associated with one’s effort to master the art of throwing/ bowling, you can follow them to make yourself a better straight bowler.
Should I Choose a Heavy or Lightweight Ball?
Answer: Choose heavier balls instead of the lighter ones. An 8-pound or slightly heavier can be a good starter. With your comfort level growing, you can choose the heavier products.
How Much Does a Ball Lose After Drilling?
Answer: Depending on your finger size and drilling preferences, your ball may lose up to 4 oz. or 0.25 lb. Choose a ball that weighs at least 8 lbs. after the drilling is done.
How Can I Grip My Bowling Ball?
Answer: Use the conventional grip style (putting fingers from your second finger joints into the holes while spanning the index and other fingers as far out as possible).
How Should I Stand While Throwing?
Answer: Stand tall up and straight, angle the shoulders, and then throw the ball right toward the target. Position the body, so it aims toward the pocket. Avoid dropping the shoulder that swings the ball.
How Should I Release for Throwing Straight?
Answer: Align your release with your target. Release all your fingers simultaneously keeping your wrist straight. Bring the palm right up to the forehead as you release the ball.
The above points are just fundamentals that may help you gain control with a straight delivery. You can always consult a certified bowling coach or even train under an instructor.
The original intent of this article is to help you find the best bowling balls for straight bowlers, which means each product here has been included for a reason.
Brunswick Tzone Deep Space should be at the top of this list due to its best overall quality and performance though the cost of purchase and customization can be slightly costlier than others.
Apart from the limited drilling options, Pyramid Path Bowling Ball offers a mix of quality and affordability. Storm Ice Storm Blue/White is the closest competitor you can find here.
Lizard Eye comes as an innovative product marked by its Viz-A-Ball label featuring 360 degree but that comes at a cost. If you only want one bowling ball that offers more versatility than the other four, Storm Mix Urethane Ball should be the name.
Do you still think you need more information or assistance to find the right ball for straight bowling? Feel free to let us know.