The right heavy oil bowling ball can be tricky to find for the discerning bowler, especially taking each bowler’s unique shot and hook pattern into account. Heavy oil lanes can cause some bowling balls to be completely useless for certain bowlers’ shots. That can be extremely deflating, especially when you get to the lanes and realize you can’t do the things you’d normally do on a light or medium oiled lane.
What is it about heavy oiled lanes which causes certain bowling balls to lose their touch? What are the things you need out of a heavy oil bowling ball, especially if you want to use these conditions to your shot’s advantage? We’re here to answer these questions, along with providing you with a list of 6 heavy oil bowling balls you should circle as potential investments down the road.
How Do Heavy Oiled Lanes Affect Bowling Balls
Decades ago, bowling alleys began to add oil onto their lanes as a means of protecting them from damage. Prior to this, bowling balls would dent and chip wooden lane surfaces when thrown haphazardly.
Despite the fact that most bowling lanes are now made out of synthetic materials, bowling alleys still add oil onto their lanes for both protection and to add an extra level of challenge to the game.
Oil causes a bowling lane to be much slicker and makes it harder for certain bowling balls (non-porous bowling balls such as plastic and urethane bowling balls) to gain traction. This inability to gain traction reduces the friction coefficient and makes it nearly impossible to hook some of these bowling balls with any sort of efficacy and consistency.
These non-porous bowling balls tend to submerge in heavy oiled lanes, losing reactivity and dulling their overall pin carry and impact possibilities. They also tend to get erratic, causing those with hook shots nothing but headaches.
In order to not only survive but thrive on heavy oiled lanes, a bowler needs a heavy oil bowling ball which can utilize these conditions to its advantage. What kind of bowling ball does this? Read on!
Things To Look For In A Bowling Ball for Heavy Oil Lanes
To optimize your hook shot on heavy oil lanes, you need a heavy oil bowling ball with a porous, reactive cover stock which will absorb oil as a means of reading the lane and reacting to it in kind.
This rules out plastic/polyester bowling balls and the vast majority of urethane bowling balls which are built solid with little to no ability to absorb lane oil.
Start your search looking for bowling balls with reactive resin cover stocks, or particle cover stocks if you’re an advanced bowler looking for an extra bit of friction oomph. It’s all in the name for reactive resin cover stocks – they’re built porous to absorb oil and react to lane oil, giving a bowler back the power and hook sharpness which lane oil can take away from other non-heavy oil bowling balls.
In addition to a porous cover stock, you’ll want to pay close attention to the type of core inside your potential new heavy oil bowling ball. Asymmetric cores are extremely varied, but the right off-kilter core can add hook sharpness and back-end reaction which will increase your scores and overall pin violence.
If you’re looking for a more controlled hook, pairing a porous cover stock with a symmetrical core can work wonders as well.
Ask questions at your local pro shop and try to come in with as much information on your particular hook shot as you possibly can. Do you prefer an early reaction which carries through your hook? Are you more partial to bowling balls which conserve energy for a massive back-end crash?
Heavy oiled bowling balls can meet the needs of both of these hook preferences. You just have to pair the right heavy oil bowling ball with the right shot.
What exactly would we consider the right heavy oil bowling ball? Here are six really good places to start!
Top 6 Heavy Oil Bowling Balls
The Hammer Scandal/S bowling ball combines trademark Hammer hitting power with a unique ability to retain energy for a massive back-end reaction. It reacts fantastically to both heavy oil and changes in oil pattern on the lane, smoothing itself out late in a way that forgives shot mistakes and adds a bit of consistency to the proceedings.
- Semtex Hybrid CFI cover stock matches great reactivity with durability that is unparalleled with reactive resin bowling balls.
- Symmetrical core adds a counterbalance of control which benefits both slower bowlers and those who need a little bit of tracking to rein their hooks in.
- Some heavy oil bowling balls tend to overreact to oil conditions. The Hammer Scandal/S doesn’t do this. In fact, it makes varied oil conditions feel similar to each other when thrown with efficacy.
- High-speed bowlers may not get the same benefits out of this ball as lower-speed bowlers. Higher speeds can cut into this ball’s overall efficiency.
- When the ball gets gummed up with oil, it starts to loose its smoothness and act erratically. It needs constant cleaning to combat this.
Brunswick has made a true heavy oil bowling ball beast with this one. A lot of high-performance bowling balls have trouble clearing the heavy fronts of lane oil patterns with much energy retention. The Brunswick Kingpin Rule was built to combat this. It’s calibrated for clearing fronts cleanly and giving you a fantastic energy burst on the back end.
- ECA-XR solid reactive cover stock reads heavy oil lanes extremely well, helps you tweak and control your hook shot even when the oil is extremely dense.
- Asymmetric DynamiCore stores energy efficiently and promotes fantastic lane carry. The cover stock gives you the friction and the core turns it into some amazing pin trajectories on impact.
- If you want a strong, consistent arc to your hook shot with some back-end sharpness potential, this is the heavy oil bowling ball for you.
- This ball can be extremely ornery on lower-volume oil lanes. It’s built for oil, so it tends to be more of a burden in these conditions than anything else.
- It can be too aggressive for bowlers just figuring out their hook shot on a heavy oil pattern.
The Roto Grip Halo bowling ball has one of the most distinct and powerful back-end hook reactions of any heavy oil bowling ball we’ve played with! Roto Grip took bits and pieces of the best of their brand arsenal and turned it up a notch with the Halo – creating a heavy oil bowling ball which hits heavy and at angles which bowlers only dreamed about before!
- The initial reactivity of the MicroTrax S-18 solid reactive cover stock is absolutely stunning to behold. It tackles long, heavy oil patterns with speed and energy to spare.
- Its centrum asymmetrical core pushes the ball through the head with more power and efficacy than any other ball on this list.
- One of the most fiery and explosive back-end reactions we’ve seen out of a heavy oil bowling ball!
- Cover stock weakens considerably over time with repeated use. It can be fixed and made into a pearl cover stock, but the out-of-the-box reactivity won’t last.
- Certain hook shots can feel a little dead with this ball, especially when the oil is less prominent in certain parts of the pattern.
Are you a speed dominant bowler with a powerful hook in need of being utilized to its fullest extent? The Motiv Trident Abyss bowling ball is for you! It is one of the most aggressive heavy oil bowling balls on the market, reacting sharply to heavy oil patterns in a way that will make advanced high-rev and high-speed bowlers freak out (in a good way).
- Coercion HV3 solid reactive cover stock eats up oil like Pac Man. It’s a hyper aggressive cover stock which portends powerful and varied hook potential.
- Turbulent asymmetric weight block creates friction out of seemingly nowhere on heavy oil patterns.
- Advanced bowlers and professional bowlers can get some amazing results taming this ball to fit their particular hook shots.
- This is not the ball for beginning or even intermediate bowlers. Its reactivity and flare potential can be way too much for the uninitiated to handle.
- Heavy reactivity makes for a very high-maintenance cover stock. Repeated cleanings are necessary to keep this ball at its peak performance.
The Storm Physix bowling ball is one of the most versatile and powerful heavy oil bowling balls on the market. High-speed bowlers will marvel at this ball’s capability to power through any oil pattern while offering an angular hook potential which just isn’t possible with most other heavy oil bowling balls.
- NRG hybrid reactive cover stock has one of the most varied and out-of-this-world hook potentials of any heavy oil bowling we’ve seen. It eats oil with ease and turns it into some very unique impact angles.
- Asymmetrical core is built for building and maintaining speed through the heads with a powerful back-end flourish.
- There’s so much energy to spare with this ball. A powerful hook shot gets much more powerful with this ball in tow.
- Its hook potential can get extremely angular and tough to hand for those use to a more consistent, arcing hook shot.
- The cover stock gets gummed up pretty easily. If you don’t clean this ball super often, it’s going to turn into a paperweight.
The Ebonite Choice comes complete with a fantastic combination of a powerful, durable cover stock and undeniable hook potential which leads into a violent back-end reaction. It’s also a lot easier to control than some of the other heavy oil bowling balls on this list thanks to a symmetrical core calibrated to reduce the impact of shot mistakes.
- GSV-1 cover stock burns through heavy oil with ease, keeps the energy building for a fantastic back-end crash no matter how oily the lanes are.
- Symmetrical mass bias core increase pin carry and lane length without cutting into hook potential.
- One of the more durable and easy-to-maintain reactive cover stocks we’ve ever played with.
- This ball can be extremely volatile and hard to handle for inexperienced bowlers, and can be trouble for all bowlers on fresh house conditions.
- The ball can get chewed up pretty badly on drier lanes. Keep it in the bag on those occasions.
Heavy oil bowling balls aren’t hard to find. In fact, reactive resin bowling balls made for oilier conditions are coming out at a record pace. But, there are definitely differences between your average heavy oil bowling ball and one that can make the most out of those conditions for the benefit of your shot and scores.
The six heavy oil bowling balls on the list above are the best of the best. With practice and one of these heavy oil gems in your arsenal, you’re bound to surprise yourself with what you can do with your hook shot.