entry-level-bowling-balls

Best Entry Level Bowling Balls [2019 Reviewed]

While high-performance bowling balls are the cream of the bowling world’s crop, there is definitely a market for a great entry level bowling ball. Sometimes high-performance bowling balls offer too much movement and aggression for bowlers who want a bit more control or to do their thing when oil patterns are drier or more depleted.

Enter entry level bowling balls – balls which are usually kind to a bowler’s budget and often predicate straight-line control and consistency over aggressiveness and angularity. With that in mind, we looked at a wide selection of contenders and narrowed them down to our in-depth list of the Top 10 Entry Level Bowling Balls For 2020. If you look for a good beginner’s ball or just a ball which gives you peak straight-lane control in lieu of calibrated wildness, these are the balls for you.

Top 10 Entry Level Bowling Balls 

1) Brunswick Strike King

Brunswick Strike King Bowling Ball
  • Coverstock:SK13 Reactive
  • Core Type: Strike King Symmetrical
  • Finish: 500 Siaair Micro Pad; Rough Buff; High Gloss Polish

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


Brunswick’s most celebrated and well-reviewed entry level bowling ball is a dry lane delight! It’s an extremely durable control freak which has enough reactivity within its pearlized coverstock to tackle some wet on shorter patterns. You will be able to find your line and your groove easily with the Brunswick Strike King. It goes long and it hits strong!

Specs

Color: Black Pearl / Red, Gold Pearl / Blue, Red Pearl / Purple, Pink Pearl
Core: Symmetrical (Unnamed)
Coverstock: SK13 Reactive (Reactive Pearl)
Finish: 500 SiaAir / Rough Buff / High Gloss
RG: 2.578
Differential: 0.028
Flare potential: Minimal
Recommended Lane Condition: Dry

Pros

  • The reactivity of this ball is secondary to its straight-line control properties and ability to track itself back to the pocket on slight off throws.
  • You get fantastic length out of this ball in dry and depleted oil conditions. It doesn’t get wild and wonky and won’t try to fight you.
  • The durability of the pearlized coverstock is simply impressive. It’s impervious to most cracks and chips. You’ll get a very long play life out of this one.

Cons

  • There isn’t enough strength in this coverstock to really do much in medium and medium-heavy oil conditions. It’s not built to eat oil and turn it into angularity like mid-performance and high-performance balls do.
  • The backend reaction of this is a little too smooth and unremarkable for some. It revs up well but it doesn’t translate into a crazy burst through the pins most of the time.

2) DV8 Alley Cat

DV8 Alley Cat Bowling Ball
  • Polyester Cover stock
  • Pancake Core
  • High-Gloss Polish Finish

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


DV8’s foray into the entry level bowling ball market may be one of the most impressive and versatile options on this list! This ball is known for its easy and consistent lane length and ability to dominate oil conditions from dry to medium without fail. If you want a ball that will keep itself on the lane and come on strong late, this is the entry level bowling ball for you.

Specs

Color: Red, Electric Blue / Purple, Green / Pink, Black
Core: Alley Cat (Symmetrical)
Coverstock: Alley Cat Reactive (Reactive Solid)
Finish: 500 SiaAir / Crown Factory Compound / Crown Factory Shine
RG: 2.564
Differential: 0.025
Flare potential: Minimal to Moderate
Recommended Lane Condition: Medium

Pros

  • The DV8 Alley Cat stays long and conserves energy for a strong, smooth move at the back end. It revs itself into a real beast by the time it hits the pins.
  • Not many entry level bowling balls boast the solid hook potential and breakpoint movement of the DV8 Alley Cat. It’s a real bargain!
  • Many entry level bowling balls struggle with true medium oil patterns. The DV8 Alley Cat isn’t one of those.

Cons

  • Extreme dry and extreme wet vex the DV8 Alley Cat to no end. You want a little bit of oil for this ball to do its job, but not too much.
  • While there is hook and angularity to be had with this ball, it won’t be enough for those who are counting on aggressiveness and late sharpness from their equipment.

3) Hammer Blue Vibe

Hammer Vibe Blue Bowling Balls, Blue, 16 lb
  • The Hammer vibe Blue brings length predictability and versatility to your arsenal
  • The ball is finished with 2000 Grit Abralon and Polished with factory finish
  • The vibe Blue should be used for medium to light oil conditions

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


The Hammer Blue Vibe is one of the smoothest and most consistent entry level bowling balls we’ve ever tested. It’s just an exceedingly easy ball to throw and keep tracked down the lane in medium-dry and normal house shot conditions. There’s enough movement inherent to get a bit wacky with it, but it’ll also hold a straight line perfectly and hammer into the pins with pure force behind it.

Specs

Color: Blue
Core: Vibe (Symmetrical)
Coverstock: CT Reactive Plus (Reactive Solid)
Finish: 500 / 2000 Abralon / Powerhouse Factory Finish Polish
RG: 2.51
Differential: 0.042
Flare potential: Moderate
Recommended Lane Condition: Medium-Dry

Pros

  • The Hammer Blue Vibe smooths out shorter patterns and house shot conditions in a way which comes off as effortless. It just takes over on such patterns.
  • This is an extremely versatile bowling ball for an entry level offering. It offers mid-performance power for an entry level price.
  • Are you a hook artist? A straight-line puncher? Either way, you’ll find something to love about the Hammer Blue Vibe. 

Cons

  • The Hammer Blue Vibe turns into nothing more than a paperweight in deep oil. There just isn’t enough strength in the coverstock to tackle these conditions efficaciously.
  • The relatively low-RG core can be a little bit tricky for those lower-rev bowlers who want some added oomph from their ball’s core design. 

4) Columbia 300 White Dot

Columbia White Dot Diamond 14lb
  • Great choice for children, beginners or spare shooting.

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


The first plastic bowling ball on this list, the Columbia 300 White Dot is one of the most trusted and well-reviewed polyester coverstock bowling balls out there. What it sacrifices in reactivity, it more than makes up for with its durability and straight-line firepower. This is also a great entry level option when looking for a consistently undeterred spare ball.

Specs

Color: Diamond
Core: Pancake
Coverstock: Polyester (Plastic)
Finish: 800 /800 /1000 / 2000 Abralon Polished w/ Powerhouse Factory Finish Polish
RG: 2.71
Differential: 0.018
Flare potential: Minimal
Recommended Lane Condition: Dry 

Pros

  • The play life you’ll get for such a low price feels criminal – this ball is a true steal as a spare ball or strike ball for straight shooters.
  • This is such an easy ball to control on dry and depleted oil patterns. It attacks wood lanes and synthetic lanes with equal gusto and stays on course to and through the pin deck.
  • We wish more bowling lanes had these as their house balls of choice. This is such an easy ball to just pick up and throw with little to no initiation. 

Cons

  • Oil is not kind to the Columbia 300 White Dot. The coverstock has no oil absorption properties and just skids off the lane in the slickest of stuff.
  • There really isn’t much hook to this ball at all. You’ll need a reactive coverstock ball if you want to start messing with spin and pin entry angles.

5) Pyramid Path Rising

Pyramid Path Rising Bowling Ball
  • 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


This is one of the strongest entry level bowling balls out there when it comes to taking down a normal house shot pattern. It cuts through medium oil patterns with relative ease and keeps its length before launching into one of the better backend reactions on this list. You get a lot of potential from this ball for very little initial investment!

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

  • House shot patterns are no match for the Pyramid Path Rising at its best. This ball creates traction in the deepest parts of the house shot and turns it into energy for a backend boom.
  • The pearlized coverstock of the Pyramid Path Rising is crack and chip resistant. It’s an easy ball to maintain regardless of how tough the conditions get.
  • This is one of the few entry level balls out there which will handle fresh patterns and deeper fronts with efficacy. It’s not afraid of a bit of oil.

Cons

  • If oil patterns get too deep, the Pyramid Path Rising falls apart. There’s not enough power here to swim through the heaviest and most complex of oil patterns.
  • You can hook this ball but not to the extent of a mid-performance or high-performance ball. The more hook dominant your game starts to become, the more likely you’ll need another strike ball in your bag.

6) Brunswick Twist

Brunswick Bowling Twist Reactive Ball, 13
  • Brunswick has a new twist on ball reaction
  • We have combined our Proven gear will-16 reactive with the new twist low diff core to create easy length with a strong and controllable backend reaction on drier lane conditions
  • The twist is sure to appeal to bowlers of all ages and skill levels

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


The Brunswick Twist is basically Brunswick’s version of the aforementioned Pyramid Path Rising – an entry level performance bowling ball built to go long and strong on traditional house shot patterns. The Brunswick Twist, however, has an even higher RG core which serves bowlers with speed/rev limitations extremely well down the lane. 

Specs

Color: Black, Gold, Silver
Core: Twist Low Differential (Symmetrical)
Coverstock: R-16 (Reactive Pearl)
Finish: 500 Siaair / Crown Factory Compound / Crown Factory Polish
RG: 2.591
Differential: 0.018
Flare potential: Minimal
Recommended Lane Condition: Dry

Pros

  • The Brunswick Twist requires very little behind it to rev up late. That leads to some fantastic late length and great backend power for those who may not bring a lot of force to the lanes.
  • Smoothness is the Brunswick Twist’s calling card. Especially on dry lanes, this ball holds steady and moves confidently in its journey towards the pins.
  • The pearlized coverstock of the Brunswick Twist hits hard without risk of cracking. It’s extremely durable and needs to be to tackle dry lane conditions.

Cons

  • The Brunswick Twist’s reactive pearl coverstock isn’t porous enough to tackle medium-heavy and heavy oil patterns. It’ll just get gummed up and start sliding off the lanes.
  • There isn’t enough aggression and power in this ball for it to graduate with a player who wants to add a hook-dominant element to their games.

7) Storm Tropical Breeze Pearl Carbon/Chrome

Storm Tropical Breeze Bowling Ball- Carbon/Chrome Pearl
  • Experience paradise on the lanes with the Tropical line of bowling balls
  • These pearl reactive balls have a tropical colors and fragrances
  • This is a great entry level reactive urethane ball

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


Versatility is a key element of many bowling balls in the Storm oeuvre, and the Storm Tropical Breeze keeps that reputation alive and well. It’s got enough innate angularity within it for bowlers who want a bit more hook out of their entry level ball, but it’s also steady enough and smooth enough for straight-line bowlers to keep lined up with pinpoint precision.

Specs

Color: Carbon, Chrome Pearl
Core: Camber (Symmetrical)
Coverstock: Reactor Pearl Reactive (Reactive Pearl)
Finish: 1500 Grit Polished
RG: 2.57
Differential: 0.009
Flare potential: Minimal to Moderate
Recommended Lane Condition: Medium-Dry

Pros

  • The Camber symmetrical core is one of the most trusted entry level bowling ball core designs on the market today. It’s a great stabilizing tool which keeps this ball on the lanes and going strong.
  • Whether you’re a straight shooter or a budding hook artist, the Storm Tropical Breeze has something for you in dry to medium oil conditions.
  • The breakpoint movement and backend reaction of this ball sneaks up on you. You can get some mid-performance violence out of this ball with the right torque and approach.

Cons

  • Deep oil and complex oil patterns will turn the Storm Tropical Breeze into a pitiful gust of nothingness. It just can’t handle so much oil all at once.
  • This ball is a great entry level ball for hook artists who value control over angular possibilities. The more angularity you need, the less likely this ball is for you.

8) Brunswick Tzone Deep Space

Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball
  • It's always good to have a spare
  • And with T-Zones being so affordable, you can! Just pick your favorite color, or two, or three!Great Ball for Kids, Beginners and Spare Shooting Coverstock: Plastic/Polyester Ball Color: Many Colors Available- Product color of this ball is listed in the title of this ballBall Finish: High Gloss Polish Hook Potential: 25 (Low) on a scale of 10-175 Low-High Recommended Lane Conditions: Any

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


The second and final polyester bowling ball on our list of the best entry level bowling balls out there, the Brunswick Tzone Deep Space is just as fun to play with as it is pretty to look at! While you’ll love the gorgeous deep space design and blacklight reactivity, you’ll keep playing with this ball because of its overall durability and straight-line power.

Specs

Color: Deep Space
Core: Symmetrical
Coverstock: Polyester (Plastic)
Finish: High Polish
RG: 2.715
Differential: 0.019
Flare potential: Minimal
Recommended Lane Condition: Dry

Pros

  • This is such a great budget option for anyone looking for a straight-line strike ball for depleted conditions or a consistent spare ball which keeps its line.
  • The polyester coverstock on this ball hits hard while lasting a long, long time. It’s very rare to see one of these balls even scuffed up, let alone cracked or chipped.
  • If you’re looking for an entry level ball for a beginner who hasn’t really bowled much before, you can’t do much better than the Brunswick Tzone Deep Space.

Cons

  • Polyester coverstocks are not made for swimming through today’s more complex and deeper oil patterns. Keep this ball bagged when faced with such conditions.
  • There is very little total hook at all within this ball. Hook-heavy bowlers need not apply unless they want a straight-line spare ball on the cheap.

9) Roto Grip Hustle Ink

Roto Grip Hustle Ink PRE-DRILLED Bowling Ball
  • This bowling ball ships PRE-DRILLED
  • There are 5 sizes and the sizes that we drill are based on the weight of the ball
  • X-Small: 6lbs- Ages 8 and under, Small: 8lbs and 9lbs- Ages 8-11 and womens ring size from 8-11, Medium: 10lbs, 11lbs, and 12lbs, Ages 11-15 and Adult Ring size 10 or lower, Large: 13lbs and 14lbs, Mens ring size 10-12 or people with larger hands, X-Large: 15lbs and 16lbs, Mens ring size over 13 or people with extremely large hands

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


The Roto Grip Hustle Ink is a mid-performance bowling ball disguised as an entry level offering. When asked what the best entry level bowling ball is for a beginner with aspirations to get better and better, this ball is always on the shortlist. It revs itself up nicely and holds strong on normal house shot patterns, providing length and great pin carry with the right touch.

Specs

Color: Ink Blue Solid
Core: Hustle (Symmetrical)
Coverstock: Psyched Solid (Reactive Solid)
Finish: 1500 Grit Polished
RG: 2.53
Differential: 0.030
Flare potential: Moderate to Significant
Recommended Lane Condition: Medium

Pros

  • This is an extremely versatile entry level offering. It has enough hook to satiate most intermediate bowlers and enough straight-line control to keep beginners happy and moving forward.
  • While a lot of entry level bowling balls struggle in true medium oil conditions, the Roto Grip Hustle Ink thrives in such situations. It’s not scared of a true medium oil pattern in the slightest.
  • The Roto Grip Hustle Ink brings a strong backend reaction which continues to and through the pins. This ball hits with more confidence than most mid-performance balls, let alone entry level bowling ball offerings.

Cons

  • Keep this ball bagged in true dry and true wet conditions. It can work with a fair amount of oil, but not too much or too little.
  • You can do some cool things with this ball from a hook potential standpoint. However, there isn’t a lot of sharpness and quick flips/juts to be had. 

10) Storm Match Up Solid

Storm Match Up Solid Black/Aqua/Lime, 11 lb
  • The match up solid replaces the match from last season's release from Storm
  • The match up solid has the stinger 2.0 core which offers more flare potential and hook than the original version of the match
  • The added power in the weight block will allow bowlers more entry angle and better pin carry when needed

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


There is conjecture as to whether or not the Storm Match Up Solid is a true entry level offering, but we consider it as such thanks to its agreeable price tag and control/functionality in dry and depleted oil conditions. This ball is an entry level dream. The amount of pure performance and overall potential you get from it for a reduced cost is simply unparalleled. 

Specs

Color: Black, Aqua, Lime
Core: Stinger 2.0 (Symmetrical)
Coverstock: Reactor Solid Reactive
Finish: 1500 Grit Polished
RG: 2.57
Differential: 0.035
Flare potential: Moderate to Substantial
Recommended Lane Condition: Dry, Medium

Pros

  • Want mid-performance hook potential and backend firepower at an entry level price? You won’t find it very often, but you will find it in the Storm Match Up Solid.
  • This ball has the most angular breakpoint reaction we’ve ever seen from a ball in this price range. You can get very creative with your pin entry angles.
  • Dry lanes are no match for the Storm Match Up Solid. It keeps its length and rolls with confidence in dry and depleted oil conditions.

Cons 

  • Medium-heavy and heavy oil conditions will be an uphill battle for the Storm Match Up  Solid. All of its angularity and backend fury gets muted and falls by the wayside.
  • This ball blends wet and dry well on shorter oil patterns. However, it will start to get unwieldy and shaky doing it for too long on more complex and lengthy oil patterns.

FAQs

What should I look for in an entry level bowling ball?

The first question you should ask yourself is “what type of coverstock is best for me?” A traditional polyester or urethane bowling ball will only be fully effective in drier oil conditions or when normal house shot patterns start to deplete. While you may still be able to get some straight-line control in medium conditions, you’d be better served with an entry level ball that sports some kind of reactive coverstock.

The more oil present at your usual bowling alley, the more likely you’ll want your main strike ball to have a reactive coverstock. That’s also the case if you’re going to want to start playing around with spin and hook in time.

Before shopping for your entry level bowling ball, also make sure to play with a house ball several times and get a feel for your game. Are you a softer thrower or do you have natural speed to your credit. Does your throw have a natural spin to it or are you a straight-line thrower through and through.

Gather all the information you can about your nascent bowling style and bring that information to your local pro shop or use an article like this one and match your strengths to the purported strengths of the bowling balls on this list. The more research and more information you have to your credit, the more informed and easier your decision will be.

What bowling ball weight is right for me? 

Many different people claim many different things about the science of selecting the right bowling ball weight. We’ve debunked a few myths in a recent bowling ball weight guide in favor of giving you a logical process to follow before picking the right weight of bowling ball for you.

In short, ~10% of your body weight and to be heavy enough to do peak damage while being light enough for you to repeatedly throw without burning yourself out. This is another case where throwing different house balls may be a great option so you can see which weight feels the best and gives you the results (and the potential for results) you’re looking for.

Closing Thoughts

Entry level bowling balls get a bad rap sometimes when compared to their high-performance bowling ball counterparts, but there’s definitely a wide array of bowlers who will benefit from a good entry level ball over an aggressive, sometimes unwieldy high-performance offering.

The ten balls on the above list are all great pieces of bowling technology which will get the job done for bowlers of all different styles, throwing speeds, and physical gifts/limitations. Invest in one and you’ll see your game flourish and your scores increase in time.

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