While most bowlers learn the game while throwing a straight shot, the real fun and results don’t come until a bowler figures out how to hook the ball. The best bowling balls for hook beginners help newbies find their mark. Rather than punishing a less-experienced bowler for their mistakes, these reactive resin bowling balls work with beginners and help them tailor a hook shot which works best for them.

Straight-line bowling can only get you so far with more bowling lanes than ever sporting complex oil patterns and heavier oil densities. To take advantage of these conditions, a beginner must find the right ball to work through the growing pains necessary to throw an effective hook shot. 

Rather than leaving hook beginners in the dark searching through dozens of reactive bowling ball options, we’ve created this primer for hook novices which includes our definitive list of The 6 Best Bowling Balls for Hook Beginners.

Without further ado, here’s the list!

The Best 6 Bowling Balls for Hook Beginners

1. Ebonite Choice Bowling Ball

Last update on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re a hook beginner who wants to jump in head first, the Ebonite Choice is a fantastic option. While this ball offers a ton of hook potential and angularity, it also provides fantastic traction and lane length in the deepest of oil conditions. While this ball’s juts and cuts may leave some hook novices scratching their head, this ball still works with you and is a perfect hook proving ground for newbies.

Specs

Color: Black, Red, White
Core: Mod-1 (Asymmetrical)
Coverstock: GSV-1 Hybrid (Reactive Hybrid)
Finish: 500 / 1000 / 2000 Abralon

RG: 2.49
Differential:
0.054
Flare potential: Moderate to Significant
Recommended Lane Condition:
Heavy

Pros

  • The more oil you feed the Ebonite Choice, the more it rewards you with added angularity and firepower on the back end. Hook beginners playing on heavier oil patterns have met their match!
  • For a reactive hybrid coverstock which isn’t pearlized, the GSV-1 Hybrid is one of the most powerful and long-lasting coverstocks available for sale.
  • Once you get this ball slotted into the pocket with regularity, the added pin carry and undeniable continuation to and through impact will increase any hook beginner’s strike count.

Cons

  • The less oil out there, the less responsive the Ebonite Choice will be. It will be extremely counterproductive for any hook novice to use this ball in dry or medium-dry lane conditions.
  • The angularity of this ball will take some hook beginners plenty of time to get used to. You have to patient with the Ebonite Choice (and yourself) if you’re relatively uninitiated to throwing hooks.

2. Hammer Scandal/S Bowling Ball

Hammer Bowling Scandal/S Ball, 15
  • With the Semtex Hybrid CFI cover stock finished at the same surface as the original Scandal, you will get that same strong mid-lane motion you loved from the Scandal but with more pop on the back end.
  • Reaction Aggressive Mid-Lane w/ Continuous Backend
  • Best Lane Condition Medium to Heavy Oil

Last update on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Hammer Scandal/S takes a more balanced approach which will give hook beginners a bit of leeway to work with while calibrating their shot. The ball’s hitting power and overall hook potential are undeniable, but the Hammer Scandal/S balances things out with a smooth down-lane motion and a feeling of absolute control which can be absent from many high-performance reactive resin bowling balls.

Specs

Color: Blue, Red Pearl, Blue Pearl
Core: Scandal (Symmetrical)
Coverstock: Semtex Hybrid CFI (Reactive Hybrid)
Finish: 500 / 2000 Abralon

RG: 2.48
Differential:
0.054
Flare potential:
Minimal to Moderate
Recommended Lane Condition:
Medium-Heavy to Heavy

Pros

  • The symmetrical core of the Hammer Scandal/S is the perfect counterbalance for hook novices looking to match angularity with lane length and mid-lane staying power.
  • The Semtex Hybrid CFI coverstock takes a beating and keeps on performing. For beginners wary of investing in a reactive bowling ball, it’s a complete breath of fresh air.
  • While the Hammer Scandal/S is built for heavy oil, it doesn’t get violent and unwieldy when faced with tons of oil. In fact, it seems to become even more controlled in such conditions.

Cons

  • Stay away from dry and medium-dry lanes with the Hammer Scandal/S. It goes from being a reliable hook behemoth to a glorified paperweight.
  • This ball can be a bit redundant for higher-rev and high-speed bowlers. It doesn’t offer the same charms as it does for others. 

3. Storm Hy Road Bowling Ball

Storm Hy Road Bowling Ball, 14-Pound
  • Coverstock: R2S Solid Reactive
  • Core: Inverted Fe² Technology
  • Finish: 1500-grit Polished

Last update on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Storm Hy Road’s claim to fame is providing all of the bells and whistles of the best reactive resin bowling balls out there without the inconsistency and erratic reactivity of the most aggressive balls on the market. Hook beginners can breathe easy with the Storm Hy Road and know they’ve got a ball which will work with them and not against them.

Specs

Color: Black, Ultramarine Blue
Core:
Inverted Fe2 Technology (Symmetrical)
Coverstock:
R2S Hybrid Reactive
Finish:
1500 Grit Polished
RG:
2.57
Differential:
0.046
Flare potential:
Minimal
Recommended Lane Condition:
Medium 

Pros

  • The perfect ball for learning how to hook on a normal house shot pattern. The Storm Hy Road is at home in the deep stuff, offering great mid-lane traction and fantastic length down the lane.
  • One of the most versatile reactive resin bowling balls ever released. While this ball is primed for medium oil conditions, it hooks long and strong on a variety of different patterns.
  • The back-end reaction of the Storm Hy Road will up strike counts and forgive slight mistakes headed towards the pocket. It basically detonates at impact and sends pins flying!

Cons

  • Extremely heavy and extremely dry oil patterns will vex a hook beginner as the ball becomes inconsistent and unreliable. Not the place for a hook novice to work on their shot.
  • The overall hook potential of this ball is dialed down in favor of a more balanced approach. Those who find success with wild angularity will need a different ball.

4. Brunswick Vintage Vapor Zone Bowling Ball

Brunswick Vintage Vapor Zone Bowling Ball Purple/Blue Pearl, 15
  • Finished at 500 stair pad and crown factory Compound
  • Features the zone Asymmetric core
  • Recommended for medium oil lane conditions to drier lane conditions

Last update on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Some hook beginners will have a really tough time adding power and pure oomph to their hook shots, and the Brunswick Vintage Vapor Zone is the right ball to combat that. This update of a crowd favorite is an extreme heavy hitter which continues to and through the pins for insane pin carry and trajectories. If you want to learn to hook without sacrificing too much power, this is the ball for you. 

Specs

Color: Blue Pearl, Purple
Core: Zone Asymmetric (with DynamiCore)
Coverstock: Activator Plus 2.0 Reactive Pearl
Finish: 500 SiaAir / Crown Factory Compound
RG: 2.478
Differential: 0.048
Flare potential: Moderate to Above Average
Recommended Lane Condition: Medium 

Pros

  • One of the most reliable teaching balls out there for hook beginners. Not only does this ball hit like a ton of bricks, but it also tracks extremely well on the back end to minimize rookie mistakes.
  • Lower-rev and lower-speed bowlers are in for a revelation with the Brunswick Vintage Vapor Zone. This ball offers a ton of innate firepower which seems to unlock itself the farther it goes down the lane.
  • No ball on this list continues its motion as well through the pins as the Brunswick Vintage Vapor Zone. This ball’s lack of quit will be a huge find for any hook novice looking to put marks on the score sheet.

Cons

  • The less oil on the lanes, the worse the Brunswick Vintage Vapor Zone performs. Keep this ball bagged when oil conditions start out light or begin to deplete from hours of play.
  • Those who graduate from the level of hook beginner may find this ball too calm for what they’re trying to accomplish. There are more angular and powerful options out there. 

5. Radical Katana Legend Bowling Ball

Radical Katana Legend 14lbs
  • COLOR Black/Red/Gold
  • CORE Katana Asymmetric
  • COVERSTOCK Forged + Pearl
  • COVER TYPE Pearl Reactive
  • FINISH 500 and 1, 000 Stair/Crown Factory Compound

Last update on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

One major problem which befalls many hook beginners is an inability to keep the ball on the lane, especially when faced with a normal house shot which concentrates deeper oil in the middle of the pattern. The Radical Katana Legend is the perfect cure for that, offering perhaps the best mid-lane traction and overall staying power of the six entries on our list. 

Specs

Color: Black, Gold, Red
Core:
Katana Asymmetric
Coverstock:
Forged + Pearl Reactive Pearl
Finish:
500 / 1000 SiaAir / Crown Factory Compound
RG:
2.503
Differential:
0.050
Flare potential:
Significant
Recommended Lane Condition:
Medium 

Pros

  • The Radical Katana Legend is a well-rounded gem which forgives off hits and beginners’ mistakes more than the majority of reactive resin balls on the market.
  • This ball sticks to the lane on longer and deeper oil patterns, providing invaluable traction and controllable fury for those refining a newly-found hook shot.
  • The booming back-end reaction of the Radical Katana Legend gives lower-speed bowlers (and any bowler, for that matter) a huge boost in crazy pin trajectories and overall pin carry. 

Cons

  • Beginners should steer clear of the Radical Katana Legend when oil patterns start to break down or start off at medium-dry or dry. The ball’s normal traction is cut dramatically in such conditions.
  • The ball’s overall hook potential is closer to average than maximum. Those who start to master their hook shot and want a bit more overall angularity will need to look elsewhere.

6. Hammer Gauntlet Bowling Ball

Hammer Gauntlet Bowling Ball- Orange/Black/Silver (13lbs)
  • The Hammer gauntlet bowling ball was designed for heavy oil
  • The ball is finished with 2000 Abralon pad which gives the ball a dull surface to pick up in the oil
  • The new Hammer gauntlet bowling ball will change direction down lane quicker and harder than the scandal

Last update on 2020-05-26 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

For those hook beginners who are starting to find a rhythm and want to test themselves, you can’t do any better than the Hammer Gauntlet. While the learning curve of this ball is much sharper and steeper than most of the other entries on this list, it rewards patience and hard work with trademark hitting power and a vast array of pin entry possibilities. This is a great graduation ball for hook novices who are figuring things out. 

Specs

Color: Orange, Silver, Black
Core:
Gauntlet (Asymmetrical)
Coverstock:
Semtex Hybrid CFI
Finish:
500/2000 Abralon
RG:
2.50
Differential:
0.050
Flare potential:
Average
Recommended Lane Condition:
Heavy 

Pros 

  • Hammer bowling balls are built to hit with a level of force that just looks and feels different. The Hammer Gauntlet is a prime example of that, offering maximum impact for bowlers of all speeds and styles.
  • This ball slices through heavy oil like the sharpest knife. The more oil it sees, the more nuanced your hook shot can become with said oil serving as fuel.
  • For such an aggressive ball, the Hammer Gauntlet is still pretty versatile and forgiving. If you slot this ball near the pocket, you’re going to get pretty awesome results. 

Cons

  • Those who are just starting to throw hooks may be intimidated by the firepower and angularity of the Hammer Gauntlet. It’s a much better better for beginners with a few weeks of trial and error under their belts.
  • Stay away from dry lanes or extremely depleted oil patterns. The Hammer Gauntlet has no staying power in such conditions and becomes a completely unreliable mess.

FAQs

What’s the best bowling ball for a hook?

For the hook beginner who wants the most total hook out of the box, go with the Hammer Gauntlet. While it may not be as balanced and forgiving as some of its counterparts, it offers the most hook possibilities and an unlimited supply of angularity for unique pin entry angles.

It can be a beast to control, but those who put the time and effort into the Hammer Gauntlet will find themselves throwing powerful hooks which reduce open frames and up a bowler’s mark count considerably.

What is the best bowling ball for a beginner?

If you’re a true hook beginner who wants a ball which is very kind to off hits and rookie missteps, you have a reactive bowling ball friend in the Storm Hy Road. It doesn’t offer the total hook of other more aggressive balls on our list, but it still hooks plenty while showcasing unmatched control and consistency.

Those hook beginners who are less worried about maximum firepower and are more concerned about keeping their hook shots on the lane will love what the Storm Hy Road has to offer.

How do you pick a bowling ball for a hook?

First and foremost, picking a bowling ball for hooking on modern bowling lanes means picking a reactive resin bowling ball. While urethane was the coverstock composition of choice just a few decades back, it simply can’t read and react to today’s heavier oil patterns like a reactive bowling ball can.

Secondly, always look at the amount of total hook and type of hook a ball provides. Some balls are much more angular and some balls have smoother overall arcs. If you’re seeing much more effectiveness when your hooks are sharper, find a ball which can cuts well through oil and can provide that.

Finally, find a ball which will minimize your weakness and amplify your strengths. If you struggle with lane length, picking an aggressive ball which requires pinpoint placement will simply leave you frustrated and feeling defeated. The right ball for hook is the right ball for you, not the right ball for what you think you could be.

What weight bowling ball should I use?

We’ve already published our definitive bowling ball weight guide for those who are unsure of how heavy of a bowling ball they should be playing with. Give that a look at this link.

In short, the right weight bowling ball is one you can throw repeatedly for multiple games without tiring out quickly and losing your overall shot effectiveness. Conversely, throwing a lighter ball because it’s easy will reduce your peak hitting power and limit your score potential.

It always pays to try out different weights of house balls for multiple games and find the weight which fits you.

Closing Thoughts

The best bowling balls for hook beginners come in a wide swath of colors and specs, but they all provide a valuable tool for hook novices to learn on the go. Whether you’re looking for maximum total hook or a more controlled playing experience, our list of the six best balls for hook beginners has something for everyone.

The quicker you get one of these in your bowling bag, the quicker you’ll see results and begin taking your hook shot to the next level.