Best Spare Bowling Ball: What To Look For & Top 10 Recommendations

The search for the best spare bowling ball you can possibly find is a crucial one. It will pay major dividends for your bowling game to find a spare bowling ball which suits your shot and your particular style, complementing your primary bowling ball with the combination of lane length and power. 

Many beginning bowlers aren’t aware that finding the best spare bowling ball for them could serve as the difference between an okay bowler and a good bowler. But, it’s the honest truth – without the right spare bowling ball, your game could be woefully incomplete and you could be left lagging behind the rest of the bowlers in your league. Why is that? Let’s find out.

What To Look For In A Spare Ball

A good spare ball will likely be made of plastic/polyester and have a durable cover stock built to last. Any bowling ball cover stock which has a porous surface is going to be counterproductive to what you need. The right spare ball is going to have an extremely solid overall composition which doesn’t absorb oil and serves just to ride a straight line to your spare pin target of need.

You’ll also want to find a spare ball that is a proper weight, sometimes a pound less than your normal “strike bowling ball.” While its not as imperative to have a spare ball drilled to your thumb (as you’re not going to be looking for a hook out of it), it’s still a good idea to have the ball tailored to you for maximum comfort and a smooth transition from your main bowling ball.

You don’t have to break the bank to find a great spare bowling ball, but make sure you find a ball from a trusted brand (such as Brunswick or Storm) which can weather repeated use and isn’t on the  fast track to cracking or chipping. You’re going to be needing a lot of spare pickups regardless of your expertise level, so the ball is going to be your best friend and last resort a lot of the time.

With that in mind, let’s give you an insider’s look at the best spare bowling balls on the market right now.

10 Of The Best Spare Bowling Balls In 2019

1) Hammer Black Widow Spare Bowling Ball

The Hammer Black Widow is a well-reviewed wonder, rolling evenly down the lane with one of the better high-performance finishes we’ve ever seen on a spare bowling ball. Its plastic cover stock keeps your shot level and lined up, but there’s enough to the core and entire package of this ball to add some hook potential if you really want it on drier lanes. 

2) Pyramid Path Rising Pearl Bowling Ball

While the Pyramid Path is actually a reactive pearl cover stock bowling ball, its pancake core works to even out your shots and provide straight-line power on any spare shot you can imagine. Precision and accuracy are paramount with this ball, trading hook potential for lane length with an impressive pinpoint finish.

3) Ebonite Maxim Bowling Ball

The Ebonite Maxim is a budget-friendly plastic spare bowling ball which also happens to be one of the best spare bowling balls on the market. It’s extremely durable and find its line with ease, making it extremely easy to pick up and convert spares with. It’s a low-cost gem and is the spare ball of choice for bowlers of all skill levels.

4) Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball

Looking for a bit of design flash in a spare bowling ball which also gets the job done and done right? The Brunswick Tzone Deep Space bowling ball comes in many different eye-popping color combinations, but the real draw is that it’s a consistent spare ball which has found its way into the bags of bowlers all around the world. It’s one of Amazon’s most popular spare bowling balls, and for good reason!

5) DV8 Zombie Spare Bowling Ball

DV8 is an underrated bowling ball brand, and this ball is a perfect example of that. The aesthetic draw to the ball is, of course, the chaotic and awesome zombie design on its cover stock. However, the flashy design would mean nothing if the ball wasn’t as durable and easy to use as it is. 

6) Storm Clear White/Navy Bowling Ball

The direct opposite of the last ball on our list, this ball’s simple and classic look pops visually on its own accord. It’s a cost-effective, durable spare bowling ball which cuts hook potential down to virtually nil with its flawless polyester cover stock. If you need a straight-line finisher which won’t let you down, this is it.

7) Motiv Midnight Sniper Bowling Ball

The Motiv Midnight Sniper may be made of urethane, but don’t be fooled – it’s a straight-line shooting masterpiece. Its symmetrical core sacrifices hook potential for a powerful straight shot, keeping the ball  on track regardless of lane condition. Plus, you get the added benefit of its urethane composition which will resist wear and keep your investment rolling for years on end.

8) Storm Ice Blue/White Bowling Ball

The smooth finish on the cover stock of the Storm Ice Blue/White bowling ball complements its traditional 3-piece symmetrical core just so, giving you the perfect spare bowling ball which hits the lane (and the pins) with added power and undeniable accuracy. You want a ball that’ll act like the bowling version of a sniper rifle? You got it.

9) Brunswick Lizard Eye Glow Viz-a-Ball

The flash is there with the impressive Lizard Eye design, but its the Brunswick quality which makes this one of the best spare bowling balls on the market right now. With the Brunswick logo embossed on it, you know you’re getting an effective straight-line spare ball and not just a flashy knock-off which will crack or chip quickly. Go for quality. Go for Brunswick.

10) Roto-Grip Own It Red/Clear Polyester Bowling Ball

The biggest draw to the Roto-Grip Own It bowling ball is the one-year warranty which comes when you buy this ball from the manufacturer. A lot of things can happen to a bowling ball in one year, especially when you’re making multiple trips to the bowling lane a week. It’s not likely you’ll need it, considering just how durable and consistent this ball is. It sure is nice to have, though!

Why Do Bowlers Have 2 Balls?

A good, prepared bowler has two bowling balls or more in their arsenal – with at least one high-performance bowling ball and one spare bowling ball to their credit. The reason why a bowler has at least two bowling balls is because a high-performance bowling ball and a spare bowling ball are complementary to each other, filling in the gaps where the other one cannot. 

A high-performance bowling ball is usually made of reactive resin or urethane at the very least, providing a bowler with hook potential and a cover stock surface which cuts and juts through the heaviest of oil patterns. This is perfect for a bowler’s first shot where hook violence and back-end action are critical to causing maximum pin carry with all ten pins placed.

However, what happens when you just miss your mark and leave a pin? Or two pins in sequence? Or, sadly enough but it happens, a split? You’ll need to replace your normal hook shot with a straight-line shot which targets a certain pin in a certain spot with efficacy and accuracy.

That’s where a spare bowling ball comes in. Usually made of polyester/plastic, a spare bowling ball reacts much less to lane conditions than a high-performance bowling ball. Therefore, it’s easier to keep on the lane for longer and with much greater straight-line accuracy. Its cover stock is made for those times when you can sacrifice overall power (and need to) for hitting the right spot at the right time.

So, a good bowler uses these two bowling balls for two very different shots – all with the singular, expressed purpose of increasing scores and making the best out of any situation that comes up on the lane.

What Are The Best Type Of Grips To Have On A Spare Bowling Ball?

Some bowling experts believe that you should stick with a conventionally drilled spare bowling ball to limit hook potential to the bare minimum, but that’s not necessarily true. The real thing you need to worry about is a consistency of grip. If you’re a fingertip bowler with your strike ball, you can still use fingertip grips on a spare bowling ball. 

Just release your fingers without the whip and rotation, using a spare bowling ball’s composition to keep the ball on a straight line towards your target. It’s all in the fingers and the way you release, not necessarily in the grip you use. 

Conventionally drilled spare bowling balls may give you an initial control boost, but it’s not going to mean much if you’re throwing off your entire game switching between grips. Find the fit that’s right for you and let the best spare bowling balls out there do the work they’re made to do!

What Is The Best Spare Bowling Ball For A Two-Handed Bowler?

The key difference between the best spare bowling balls for a normal one-handed bowler and for a two-handed bowler is the positioning and structuring of the weight block. Many of the spare bowling balls in our above top-ten list will work for a two-handed bowler, with the Hammer Black Widow’s symmetrical core and cover stock composition making it one of the leading choices for two-handed bowlers currently on the market.

It’s a durable ball which is weighted just right to give both one-handed and two-handed bowlers the right strength and straight-line accuracy on spare shot after spare shot. 

Closing Thoughts

The best spare bowling balls out there blend durability with accuracy in a way which provides the perfect counterpoint and balance to your “strike bowling ball.” Built to resist hook potential in favor of pinpoint single pin accuracy, a great spare bowling ball will add tens of points to your game. 

Finding the right spare bowling ball is just as important as finding the right high-performance bowling ball to lead with, if not more so when it comes to eliminating open frames and ensuring a scorecard full of marks.

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