slow-speed-bowling-balls

Best Bowling Balls For Slow Speed [2019 Reviewed]

If you’re looking for the best bowling ball for slow speed, you’re likely worried that such a ball isn’t going to make much of an overall difference. Those worries are misplaced. Modern bowling ball technology has advanced by leaps and bounds to the point where a good bowling ball will do a lot of the leg work for you! 

While there are definitely ways to optimize your overall throwing speed, bowlers who skew slower can still garner explosive pin carry and fantastic back-end reactions with the right ball in hand. Our list of the Top 6 Bowling Balls for Slow Speed in 2019 will give you a detailed look at the half-dozen balls which we’re convinced can take slower bowlers’ games to the next level.

Top 6 Bowling Balls for Slow Speed in 2019 

1) Storm Hy-Road

Storm Hy-Road 15 Pounds
  • Color: Black/Ultramarine Blue
  • Coverstock: R2S Hybrid Cover
  • Core: Modified Inverted Fe2 Technology
  • Finish: 1500-grit Polish
  • Differential: .058 (Medium-High) on a scale of .000-.080 Low Flare-High Flare

Last update on 2019-12-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Slower-speed bowlers need pinpoint control to get the pin carry they desire, and the Storm Hy-Road is the perfect reactive hybrid bowling ball to provide just that. The Storm Hy-Road reads the middle of the lane better than any Storm bowling ball we’ve played with. It also offers an extremely strong breakpoint reaction even when thrown at lesser speeds.

Specs

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

Pros 

  • The half solid, half pearl coverstock on the Storm Hy-Road is one of the most impressive hybrid coverstocks we’ve played with. It’s especially great at staying and strong before a top-tier breakpoint reaction.
  • This ball is extremely versatile. While it is primed for medium oil conditions, it has a strong enough coverstock to tackle most oil patterns with minimal efficacy lost.
  • Slower-speed and lower-rev bowlers will love this ball’s high-RG core. You can get a lot of pin violence out of a little force.

Cons

  • This ball will not offer you anything in extremely dry oil conditions. If it stays on the lane at all, you’re likely to burn out its coverstock.
  • The total hook of this ball isn’t bad, but it’s not exactly a wow factor ball in that way. Bowlers looking for maximum hook potential should look elsewhere.

2) Hammer Black Widow

Hammer Bowling Products Black Widow Bowling Ball- Black/Gold, 13lbs
  • This bowling ball ships undrilled with no holes unless you add Drilling services. The Hammer black widow bowling balls keep rolling out and dominating the lanes
  • The Hammer black widow bowling balls keep rolling out and dominating the lanes
  • The Hammer black widow Black/Gold takes the aggression Hybrid Coverstock, and pairs it with their most angular core
  • The Hammer black widow Black/Gold takes the aggression Hybrid Coverstock, and pairs it with their most angular core, the gas mask, to create a ball that goes long and then offers a strong backend

Last update on 2019-12-08 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


For slower bowlers looking to maximize aggressiveness at limited speeds, the Hammer Black Widow is the way to go. This ball matches fantastic lane length in medium and medium-heavy oil conditions with a distinct and powerful reaction off the dry. You can get this ball very angular without too much effort. That’s huge for bowlers who can’t reach optimum throwing speeds.

Specs

Color: Black, Gold
Core: Gas Mask (Asymmetrical)
Coverstock: Aggression Hybrid (Reactive Hybrid)
Finish: 500 / 1000 Abralon / Powerhouse Factory Finish Polish
RG: 2.50
Differential: 0.058
Flare potential: Moderate to Significant
Recommended Lane Condition: Medium

Pros 

  • The Hammer Black Widow’s Aggression Hybrid coverstock lives up to its name and then some. This ball dominates medium oil patterns with a fiery off-kilter sensibility. 
  • The Black Widow’s Gas Mask core is one of the most proven and beloved asymmetrical core designs on the market today. It hits hard and it hits creatively.
  • This is a great ball to pull out in fresh conditions for pretty much any style of bowler. You can start in the part of the lane you’re most comfortable with and get the results you want.

Cons

  • The Hammer Black Widow needs oil to be worth anything from a lane length and hitting power perspective. Dry lanes will turn it into a glorified paperweight.
  • This ball’s aggression takes some time to tame. If you’re not used to an aggressive coverstock/asymmetrical core combination, there’s a sharp learning curve.

3) Storm !Q Tour Emerald

Storm IQ Tour Emerald 15lb
  • Cover stock: R2S Pearl Reactive
  • Weight Block: C3 centripetal control core
  • Scent: melon Mint

Last update on 2019-12-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


The Storm !Q Tour Emerald is all about continuation on the back end to and through the pins. You won’t see a sharp change of direction down the lane, but slower bowlers will love how long this ball goes and how little energy it bleeds before hammering through the pins. This is one of the smoothest rides on our list and is perfect for bowlers with touch and finesse to their games.

Specs

Color: Emerald
Core: C3 Centripetal Control Core (Symmetrical)
Coverstock: R2S Pearl Reactive (Reactive Pearl)
Finish: 1500 Grit Polished
RG: 2.49
Differential: 0.029
Flare potential: Minimal to Moderate
Recommended Lane Condition: Medium

Pros 

  • The ball’s R2S Pearl Reactive coverstock is one of the most well-reviewed pearlized coverstocks to ever hit shelves. It combines fantastic durability with strong angularity in response to friction.
  • You’ll never feel like the Storm !Q Tour Emerald has quit on you. Even when you throw it at slower speeds, this ball maintains energy for impressive impact to and through the pin pocket.
  • This ball will dominate medium oil patterns and can get through fresh fronts with little to no energy expended.

Cons

  • The farther lane oil conditions skew towards the extremes, the less effective the Storm !Q Tour Emerald will be. 
  • Those looking for distinct and powerful changes in direction at the breakpoint need not apply. This ball is too smooth for that.

4) Columbia 300 Chaos Black

Columbia 300 Chaos Black (15)
  • Available in 12LB thru 16LB undrilled
  • Used for Medium to Heavy Oil Lane Conditions; Reaction is Skid/Flip
  • Chaos Core with Exciter Solid Coverstock
  • Finish is 500/1000 Abralon, Polished w/Powerhouse Factory Finish Polish
  • USBC Approved

Last update on 2019-12-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Just one of a select few factory-polished reactive solid bowling balls currently in the marketplace, the Columbia 300 Chaos Black provides slower bowlers with ample lane length and a much stronger motion off the dry than the previous Chaos incarnation. Low-speed bowlers will also love how easy it is to rev this ball up in medium to heavy oil conditions.

Specs

Color: Jet Black
Core: Chaos (Symmetrical)
Coverstock: Exciter Solid (Reactive Solid)
Finish: 500 / 1000 Abralon / Powerhouse Factory Finish Polish
RG: 2.48
Differential: 0.054
Flare potential: Moderate
Recommended Lane Condition: Medium

Pros 

  • The Columbia 300 Chaos Black offers a ton more coverage and versatility than a normal skid/flip ball. You’ll find your comfort zone easily with it.
  • This ball’s factory polish pushes it through the freshest of fronts with ease before settling in for some impressive length headed to the breakpoint.
  • There’s a ton of back end oomph to this ball thanks to its distinct and powerful motion off the pattern and its ability to continue to and through the pins.

Cons

  • Without enough oil to work with, the Columbia 300 Chaos Black become utter chaos in the worst way. You won’t be able to keep it on the lanes in the dry.
  • This ball’s motion off the pattern is massive and angular. Those looking for a smoother downlane finish are going to be disappointed.

5) Brunswick Rhino

Brunswick Rhino Cobalt/Aqua/Teal Bowling Ball Cobalt/Teal/Aqua, 11lbs
  • Features the light bulb core
  • Has the gear will-16 reactive Coverstock
  • Ball is finished with 500 siaair pad and then Polished with Royal polish

Last update on 2019-12-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


The Brunswick Rhino is a go-to ball for slower bowlers looking for a change-of-pace strike ball on depleted and shorter oil patterns. This is also a great option for budget-conscious bowlers looking for invaluable control on medium to light oil house shots. It’s an entry level performance ball in name but offers enough to be considered a mid-performance option in the dry.

Specs

Color: Red, Black, Gold Pearl /  Black, Blue, Silver Pearl / Purple, Pink, White Pearl / Green, Silver Pearl / Black Pearl
Core: Light Bulb (Symmetrical)
Coverstock: R-16 Reactive (Reactive Pearl)
Finish: 500 SiaAir / Royal Compound / Royal Shine
RG: 2.524
Differential: 0.030
Flare potential: Minimal
Recommended Lane Condition: Dry

Pros 

  • Those looking for an easy-to-control and smooth arcing hook which hits hard upon impact are going to have a blast with the Brunswick Rhino.
  • The Brunswick Rhino offers ample length and strength in dry and medium-dry oil conditions. You’ll constantly be amazed and impressed.
  • The agreeable price point for the Brunswick Rhino only becomes more agreeable when you see how easily this ball revs up for slower bowlers on shorter and depleted oil patterns.

Cons

  • Do not bring out the Brunswick Rhino on fresh medium or heavy oil patterns. This ball will get submerged and gummed up quickly, losing most to all of its reactivity and power.
  • There isn’t a lot of overall angularity to be had with the Brunswick Rhino. That’s par for the course with an entry level performance ball, but it needs to be noted for those who need a bit more sharpness on the back end.

6) Pyramid Path Rising

Pyramid Path Rising Bowling Ball (Black/Silver, 12lb)
  • New Era 139 Symmetric Core offers Variety for Drilling
  • Path Reactive Pearl coverstock offers delayed/angular reaction
  • Ideal for medium-dy lanes, Finished to 1500-Grit/Polished Factory Finish for extended length
  • Great Entry-Level Performance Ball
  • Perfect Scale Rating: 181.30

Last update on 2019-12-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Another worthwhile entry level performance bowling ball which sells at a budget-friendly price point, the Pyramid Path Rising offers enough firepower and lane length to also be considered a borderline mid-performance bowling ball. For straight-line bowlers who also throw a bit slower, this ball’s high-RG core and pearlized coverstock keep this ball long before a sneaky back-end burst.

Specs

Color: Aqua, Silver Pearl / Black, Silver Pearl / Black, Hot Pink Pearl / Blue, Dark Blue Pearl / Enchanted Black, Teal, Silver Hybrid / Kelly Green Sparkle Pearl / Purple, Steel Blue Pearl / Red, White, Blue Pearl
Core: New Era 139 (Symmetrical)
Coverstock: Path Reactive Pearl (Reactive Pearl)
Finish: 1500 Abralon Polished
RG: 2.550
Differential: 0.032
Flare potential: Moderate
Recommended Lane Condition: Dry, Medium

Pros 

  • The Pyramid Path Rising has the ability to provide a slower bowler the pinpoint control they need while also revving up for some powerful pin carry after impact.
  • The Path Reactive Pearl coverstock is as durable as you’ll find for balls at this price point. You’re going to get some great play life out of it.
  • The ball’s 1500 Abralon polished finished cuts through medium-oiled fronts with relative ease and stores the energy for ample hitting power late.

Cons

  • This ball will do absolutely nothing for you in the heaviest of oil conditions. It also gets lost and wacky on longer, more complex oil patterns.
  • The overall hook potential of this ball will leave something to be desired for those looking for a more angular response down the lane.

FAQs

Are there advantages to bowling at slow speed?

While there are definitely inherent limitations to throwing a ball at a slow speed, there are a few advantages to be had. Firstly, it’s easier to keep a straight-line throw on track and pinpoint spare shots effectively with a more measured approach.

Secondly, a low-speed throw usually means less exertion overall for a bowler. This comes in handy on long league nights where heavy effort throws early could lead to decreased efficacy as the night wears on. The less effort expended per shot, the more shots you can make without crashing.

While lower-speed bowlers may struggle to get the same pin carry and violent pin impacts as other bowlers, they definitely can make up for it on spare shots. Sometimes it takes a steady, slow shot to hit a spare right where you need to hit it.

What is the ideal bowling ball speed?

This is a tricky question to answer considering the fact that oil conditions alone can alter a shot’s overall speed by around 2 mph. Dry lanes, for instance, take extra oomph to reach optimum pin impact speeds because of the friction a bowler has to contend with to get the ball down the lane.

All things considered, pro bowlers usually attempt to release a ball at 20-22 mph with pin impact speeds at around 17 to 18 mph. 

A pin impact speed in that range of 17 to 18 mph is the ideal range for peak pin carry. Dipping to 16 mph or less will decrease pin carry and lead to inconsistency in overall ball motion. A pin impact speed of higher than 18 mph also runs the risk of a decrease in pin carry and overall shot efficacy.

How can I increase my bowling ball speed? 

It’s not enough to try and throw a bowling ball harder. In fact, taxing your arm past its normal limits over and over could lead to the opposite effect and slower throwing speeds later in games.

If you’re looking to increase your bowling ball speed, first look to your footwork. Work on increasing the pace of your steps with each step faster than the last before your throw. While doing this, keep your knees flexed just enough so you can draw power from the main larger muscles in your legs.

Instead of just throwing harder, loosen your arm swing and swing the ball to the top of your range as quickly as you comfortably can. Accelerate your swing forward and push your arm to a complete follow-through.

With paced steps getting quicker and a free, loose swing with some added oomph, you can maximize your bowling speed and get to a desired speed range more often than not.

Closing Thoughts

A slower-speed bowler isn’t destined to be an ineffective bowler. With the right bowling ball in your bag and the right approach, bowlers who throw at lower speeds can still play with the best of them. 

With one of the six balls on this list in your arsenal, you’ll be able to get the most out of your throws regardless of how fast you throw them. They’re built to do extra work and create extra pin carry for bowlers of all different speeds and styles.

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