Does Heat Affect Bowling Balls? (What You Need To Know)



  • Temperature fluctuations can significantly affect the movement and hook potential of your bowling ball, thus impacting your performance on the lanes.
  • Bowling balls come in different types that react differently to temperature damage.


As a passionate bowler, you know that maintaining your bowling ball is essential for optimal performance on the lanes.

However, have you ever considered how heat and cold can impact your favorite sphere? In this blog post, we’ll explore the effects of temperature on different types of bowling balls, explaining how their movement and hook potential can change under various conditions.

We’ll also discuss some crucial tips to ensure your bowling ball’s longevity by protecting it from extreme temperatures. So let’s dive in and learn more about keeping your prized possession in top-notch condition!

Understanding The Effects Of Temperature On Bowling Balls

The temperature has a significant impact on bowling balls, with heat causing expansion and cold leading to contraction and stiffness; these changes can also affect the movement and hook potential of the ball.

The Impact Of Heat: Expansion And Contraction

As a bowling player, you must be aware of how heat can impact your bowling ball due to its porous material.

Rising temperatures can cause the ball to expand, affecting not only its performance but also resulting in potential damage. For instance, leaving your bowling ball in a hot garage for an extended period may lead to consequence heating and gradual expansion of the material.

This change in size can negatively affect a bowler’s game as it alters the fit of the finger holes and often requires adjustment during gameplay. Furthermore, extreme cases might even result in cracking which could render your once-perfect bowling ball unusable.

The Effect Of Cold: Contraction And Stiffness

does heat affect bowling balls

Cold temperatures can also affect your bowling ball’s performance, leading to slight contractions on surfaces and increased stiffness.

Just as extreme heat causes the expansion of the ball’s material, cold conditions create an opposite reaction that may reduce its hook potential and limit overall playability. For instance, leaving your bowling equipment in a freezing room overnight may cause the ball to experience these negative effects.

The contraction of both surfaces resulting from exposure to lower temperatures can put stress on the internal structure of a bowling ball. In fact, when asking “does cold affect bowling balls?”, know that it often does so by reducing their flexibility which alters their motion when rolling down the lane.

While this might not always result in visible cracks or damage like with extreme heat, it does compromise your ability to maintain consistent shots across different environmental conditions.

Changes In Ball Movement And Hook Potential

Temperature fluctuations can significantly affect the movement and hook potential of your bowling ball, thus impacting your performance on the lanes.

For instance, as heat causes expansion in the porous material of a bowling ball, it can lead to an increase in friction when rolling down the lane. In turn, this increased friction may result in more aggressive hooking action.

On the other hand, cold temperatures can cause contraction and stiffness in both surfaces of a bowling ball. This not only alters its gripping capabilities but also reduces overall hook potential.

A prime example of how cold affects bowling balls is leaving them inside a garage during winter – doing so might make it challenging for players to throw their desired hooks upon returning to warmer indoor environments.

Types Of Bowling Balls And Their Reaction To Temperature Damage

Different types of bowling balls react differently to temperature damage. Reactive resin bowling balls are more sensitive to high temperatures and can encounter cracking, while urethane bowling balls are less susceptible. Polyester bowling balls, on the other hand, can become brittle in the cold, while particle bowling balls require proper care during storage to avoid heat-related issues.

Reactive Resin Bowling Balls

Reactive resin bowling balls are a popular choice among bowlers due to their strong hook potential and performance in various lane conditions.

However, heat can have a significant impact on these high-performance balls. When exposed to extreme temperatures, reactive resin bowling balls can expand or even crack, leading to lower performance and costly replacements.

Proper storage and care of your reactive resin ball are crucial for longevity. Store them in cool environments away from direct sunlight and avoid leaving them in hot rooms.

It’s also important to regularly clean your ball with approved cleaners to prevent oil buildup that can affect its performance on the lanes.

Urethane Bowling Balls

Urethane bowling balls are a popular choice among many bowlers due to their ability to provide an excellent grip on the lane. These types of bowling balls are made up of a urethane cover stock and can be customized with different core designs for optimum performance.

Urethane bowling balls react differently to temperature changes than reactive resin or particle bowling balls. When subjected to high temperatures, urethane bowling balls tend to lose their hook potential and become unresponsive, which can significantly affect your game. Therefore, it is important to store them properly at room temperature and avoid exposing them to extreme heat.

To prevent damage from cold weather, it is advisable not to use the ball immediately after taking it out of storage as the ball could become stiff during colder months.

Instead, allow some time for the urethane cover stock’s surface area – where most friction occurs -to warm up before starting your playtime routine session in low-temperature environments like pin spotter rooms or when winters set in.

Polyester Bowling Balls

Polyester bowling balls are the most common type of ball used in casual settings, such as birthday parties or family outings. They are often referred to as “plastic” balls and are generally inexpensive.

Polyester balls are very durable and can withstand a lot of wear and tear, making them great for beginners. However, they do not have as much hook potential as other materials.

Polyester bowling balls also have a lower friction coefficient than other types of materials such as reactive resin or urethane. This means that they require more speed to get the same reaction on the lane.

Additionally, polyester is less porous than other materials which makes them less prone to damage from extreme temperatures but also limits its performance capabilities compared to other higher-end options.

Particle Bowling Balls

Particle bowling balls are known for their high hook potential, making them a popular choice for advanced bowlers.

They are made with an extra layer of particles inside the reactive resin coverstock, providing more surface area to create friction with the lane. However, this unique design also makes them more susceptible to temperature damage.

When exposed to extreme heat or cold, particle bowling balls can become softer or harder than intended, affecting their overall performance on the lanes.

It is important to store these balls in a cool and dry place between uses and avoid leaving them in hot garages where they could be subjected to fluctuating temperatures. Regular maintenance and inspection can help prevent cracks from forming due to temperature changes as well.


As a dedicated bowler, you want your equipment to be in top-notch condition every time you step onto the lane. Understanding the effects of heat on bowling balls is crucial knowledge to have.

Changes in temperature can cause your ball to behave differently, affecting your overall game performance. Knowing how different types of balls are affected by fluctuations in temperature can save you from cracking or damaging them.

Last updated on April 7, 2023