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7 Best Urethane Bowling Balls in 2020

In the 2018 Bowling World championship, 5 out of the ten most popular bowling balls had Urethane Coverstocks. In fact, the most popular bowling ball of the tournament was Storm’s Pitch Black, which is a Urethane ball. Pitch black was followed by Storm IQ Tour and Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane. These statistics show that 256 players from around the world consider Urethane bowling balls an essential part of their arsenal.

For a bowling player and fan, this information is fascinating. Urethane bowling balls are considered the choice of intermediate and moderately skilled bowling player. Then why are these balls so popular among the professionals?

This article will breakdown the reasons for the renaissance of Urethane Bowling balls as well as list the 5 best bowling balls of 2019.

If you are in a hurry, here is a snapshot view of our top picks:

Picture Name Price
Storm Pitch Black $ – Check Price
Storm IQ Tour $ – Check Price
Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane $ – Check Price
Roto Grip Idol Magenta $ – Check Price
Motiv Combat Tank $ – Check Price

If you are an avid bowler and bowling fan, then the rest of the article is for you!

To understand the resurgence of Urethane balls, let’s first take a look at the characteristics of a Urethane bowling ball.

Buying Guide:

Urethane Bowling Balls originated in the late 19th century. In 1980, AMF manufactured the first Urethane ball by the name of Black Angle. AMF manufactured the ball to give players a greater hook potential than the plastic balls of the time.

Urethane Bowling Ball has the following characteristics:

1.The Material

Used to manufacture rollercoasters and even wheelchairs, Urethane is a sturdy and durable material. If maintained properly, Urethane bowling balls will work perfectly even after years of use.

2.The Core

The older models of Urethane balls had pancake cores, which affected their hitting power and entry angle. However, the Urethane ball models of today have superior symmetrical cores. These are sophisticated balls that have enhanced the original appeal of the Urethane ball by adding the latest core models.

3.Hook Potential

The Urethane ball gives a decent hook potential. Urethane is not as shiny and smooth as the plastic ball and thus creates more friction between the ball and the bowling lane. This friction increases the potential to ‘hook’ the ball.

4.Hitting Potential

You will hear some bowlers arguing that Urethane balls have a lesser hitting potential than reactive resin balls. Don’t be fooled by this statement! The modern Urethane balls have almost the same hitting potential as the reactive resin with the added advantage of greater control over the ball.

Older models with their pancake cores did not hit the pins hard, but the new Urethane balls can make all tin pins crash with the right hook.

5.Lane Conditions

It is my personal experience that Urethane balls perform exceptionally in dry – medium lane conditions. The ball hooks nicely and gives you greater control over the entry angle.

As you can see, these characteristics were far superior to the plastic ball, which only offered the advantage of speed. Hence, the Urethane ball was an instant hit, and it dominated the market in the last two decades of the 19th century.

Urethane’s popularity suffered when the reactive resin balls hit the market in the early 2000s. But Urethane balls have regained their glory in the past few years. As mentioned in the opening, many professional players have Urethane balls in their arsenal. So why is a Urethane ball ideal for beginners, intermediates, and professional?

Let’s take a look:

Urethane Ball – Something for Everyone

Someone smart once said that the right bowling ball is one that goes straight when needed and gives you the hook when needed. A Urethane ball fulfills both criteria; it has the capability of going straight and hooking with the right wrist movement.

The versatility of the Urethane ball is the primary reason for its popularity among beginners and professionals. Here are some other ideas:

Why Are Urethane Bowling Balls Suitable for Beginners?

A new bowling player needs control over the ball to perfect their aim and throwing movement. Secondly, a beginner needs a ball that can give them a chance to improve their throwing skills so they can get better at the game.

A beginner does not want to keep shooting straights for the rest of their life. They want to work on their skills so they can join the big leagues one day.

A Urethane ball satisfies both these goals; it is controllable and yet give the player the chance to learn and practice hitting angles. The ball grips the lane better than plastic balls, thus giving it a higher hook potential.

Another advantage is that Urethane balls are less expensive than reactive resin and particle bowling balls. A beginner can easily choose an affordable yet quality Urethane ball without breaking their bank. More on this later.

Why do Professionals Choose Urethane Bowling Balls?

Many professionals have at least one Urethane ball among their favorites. Some title-winning professionals like Jakob Buttruff and Ryan Ciminelli almost exclusively play with high-end Urethane balls.

While it is confusing to some, professionals claim that they play with a Urethane ball because it gives them several advantages. We spoke to several experts and here is a summary of why professionals are becoming more partial to Urethane Bowling balls:


Experts say that Urethane balls give them more control over the ball then reactive resin or particle balls. Interestingly, controlling the ball is a common factor for professionals as well as beginners.

However, while beginners are struggling with control over the ball in easy lane conditions, professionals are talking about control over the ball in very challenging lane conditions.

Most of the experts we spoke to stated that tougher lane patterns require predictable ball movements, which only a Urethane ball can provide. The new reactive resin balls are very strong and fast; they are quite unpredictable, especially on flooded lanes.

Moreover, the rev rates (ball revolution rate) are higher than ever, which makes it challenging to control reactive resin balls. Professional players use Urethane balls to manipulate ball roll and gain control while still maintaining ample hitting power.

2.Changes in Oil Patterns and Designs

Many bowling coaches attribute the changes in oil patterns and designs for the popularity of the Urethane ball among professionals. They claim that oil patterns have become flatter and shorter, whereas most modern balls are not made for longer distances. Hence, a gap was created between the lane conditions and what the players wanted the balls to do.

A reactive resin ball would spin out of control at the end of the shorter oil pattern, making it challenging to hit higher scores. Thus, players started looking for old Urethane balls as they hooked really well on dry lanes and did not veer out of control.

3.Hitting power

some may argue that Urethanee balls do not have the same hitting power as reactive resin balls. Most of the professionals we talked to disagree. They argue that newer model Urethane balls have the same hitting potential as reactive resin balls. The reason being that newer models have a symmetrical core as compared to the old pancake core.

Now that we have understood why Urethane balls are all the rage these days let’s take an in-depth look at the top 3 Urethane balls of 2019.

Storm Pitch Black

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  1. It has a symmetrical weighted core which gives it greater hit potential
  2. It has a porous Coverstock so it can absorb oil and is more reactive
  3. The core is sufficiently light so straight shots are possible as well hooks
  4. It is versatile and performs well in almost every land condition
  5. It offers higher control in flooded lanes


  1. A high-speed bowler might find this a little less reactive then they are used to

Storm IQ Tour

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  1. It performs beautifully on the fresh and delivers powerful shots
  2. It has a porous Coverstock so it can absorb oil and is more reactive
  3. It has a centripetal control core which gives it a smooth ball roll
  4. It is versatile and performs well in almost every land condition
  5. It has a convenient grip which enhances the game experience


  1. It is a strong mid-lane ball; it may struggle a little in rough lane conditions. A little polishing will help.

Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane

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  1. It has a beautiful backend, much better than other Urethane balls in this category
  2. The ball is consistent; even at breakpoint it does not steer off its course
  3. Even though it is a mid-lane ball, it is possible to get extra long shots without losing aim
  4. It is durable and has a weighted symmetrical core which gives it a good roll and a good hit potentia
  5. It is versatile and packs a punch in any land condition


  1. It may become slow after the 5th arrow


In this article, I discussed the reasons for the popularity of Urethane balls among beginner and professional keglers. We found that Urethane balls are extremely versatile; they provide a decent hook and a good hitting power while also being durable. However, the number 1 reason for the popularity of Urethane Balls is the control they offer.

Beginners use this control to learn sophisticated bowling techniques, such as throwing the ball at angles. On the other hand, professionals use the control to manipulate challenging lanes and make predictable hits.

Professionals are able to control the downlane motion without sacrificing the hook angle or the carrying speed. Most professionals love a high-end Urethane ball over reactive resin because it provides a good hit while being manageable.

Did you learn anything new? Let us know if you have any questions about Urethane balls in the comment section below.