Do you ever look at a bowling ball and think it looks like a heavy solid marble ball?
But chances are, it is not.
Many people mistakenly believe that bowling balls are in fact crafted from the same material as statues and monuments – however, this couldn’t be further from the truth!
In reality, these iconic pieces of sporting equipment have been sculpted out of a range of materials over time – each tailored to specific requirements depending on the game and players involved.
Read on to find out more about exactly which component parts combine together to make up a typical modern bowling ball!
Are there any marble bowling balls?
No, bowling balls are NOT made of marble!
In fact, the most common material used to make them is resin (reactive urethane), a synthetic polymer that is much more durable than marble and provides better hooking motion when thrown.
Other materials, such as polyester and urethane, are also sometimes used to make bowling balls but they are generally considered less effective than resin when it comes to getting the ball to hook on the lane.
Marble simply isn’t suitable for making bowling balls due to its hardness, lack of flexibility, and susceptibility to damage from impact and abrasion.
Marble is a beautiful, luxurious material that can be used for making furniture and other decorative elements.
However, it does not have the properties required for making bowling balls.
Marble is an extremely hard material and its surface is too smooth to allow the bowler to control the direction of their throw.
Furthermore, since marble is a brittle material, it is prone to cracking when coming into contact with other objects or surfaces.
Additionally, marble weighs significantly more than the plastic or urethane materials used to make bowling balls today, which would create an unfavorable imbalance when throwing the ball down the lane.
For these reasons alone, marble cannot be used to make bowling balls – but it’s definitely great for other projects!
Are there any other rock materials suitable for making bowling balls?
No, there are no other rock materials suitable for making bowling balls.
The process of creating and constructing a bowling ball requires the use of specifically engineered materials that have certain characteristics that make them ideal for the specific needs of this application.
Resins and urethane materials are combined with various densities, hardness levels, and chemical components to provide optimal hook potential and durability that can withstand the strain put upon it while traveling down the lane.
The materials must also be able to absorb energy mid-roll to prevent too much rebound off of obstacles on the lane.
Were bowling balls ever made with marbles in history?
No, bowling balls were never made with marbles in history.
Although the first rubber band ball was created in 1905, most prior bowling balls were made with the hardwood Lignum Vitae which is native to the Caribbean and Central America regions.
Lignum Vitae is a very dense and resilient wood making it ideal for creating durable bowling balls, while also being waterproof, insect-proof, and high-temperature resistant.
Not only that, but the tree itself has a natural oily resin on its surface which helps provide extra grip and control when rolling it down the lane.
So even though there have been attempts to use other materials such as rubber or plastic for some specialized bowling balls, it seems that Lignum Vitae remains the most popular choice for these kinds of activities due to its natural properties.
With all the points discussed, it is safe to say marbles are not suitable material for bowling balls.
They’re too hard.
And their smooth surface doesn’t grant you control when throwing, either.
However, don’t worry too much as there are plenty of other materials you can use to make your own bowling ball like resin or urethane!
Last updated on March 12, 2023
Jerry Coleman is a professional bowler and experienced bowling blogger. He founded and owns the voelkersbowling.net website, which provides news and information about the sport of bowling. Jerry has competed in numerous tournaments over the years and has won several awards for his bowling skills.