10 Best Bowling Balls For Spares 2023: Which One to Choose?

Are you struggling to pick up spares consistently and looking for that extra edge?

Finding the best bowling ball for spares can dramatically improve your game, precisely targeting those pesky remaining pins.

This comprehensive guide brings together expert advice, top recommendations, and factors to consider when choosing the perfect spare bowling ball for your style. Whether you’re an amateur or a professional bowler, our insight will have you knocking down more pins in no time.

Top 10 Best Bowling Balls For Picking Up Spares

How To Choose The Best Bowling Ball For Spares


One of the most crucial factors to consider when selecting the best bowling ball for spares is the weight. As a proficient bowler, I’ve found that using a lighter spare ball can remarkably help in achieving greater precision and control over the shot.

Take my experience as an example: I weigh around 180 pounds, so I aim for a spare ball weighing roughly 14-15 pounds. This weight adjustment allows me to maintain steady control while still having enough force behind each throw.

By opting for this perfectly balanced spare ball, not only has my aim for spares improved significantly but also it offers consistent roll thanks to its polyester coverstock material.


As a proficient bowler, I understand the importance of choosing the right coverstock for spare bowling balls. Coverstock is essentially the outer shell of a ball that interacts with the lane surface, making it a crucial factor in determining how your ball will perform under different conditions.

For spare shots, where precision and accuracy really matter more than hook potential, plastic or polyester coverstocks are typically recommended by professionals. These materials allow for longer skid down the lane and minimal backend reaction compared to other options like urethane or reactive-resin covers.

For example, my go-to spare ball features a high-quality plastic exterior that ensures consistent performance on every shot while picking up those tricky spares without drastic changes in direction at the end of its path.

Core Design

One of the most critical factors to consider when searching for the ideal spare bowling ball is its core design. The core, often referred to as the “engine” of your bowling ball, can dramatically affect your overall performance on the lanes.

The reason for this lies in predictability. For consistent and precise results when attempting spares, it’s best to opt for a symmetrical or pancake-shaped core design. These cores offer better stability and keep the ball rolling along a straighter path – perfect for picking up those pesky single-pin leftovers!

As an example, let’s say I’m targeting my 10 pins during a game; using a bowling ball with a simple pancake core would aid me in consistently directing my shot between pins while keeping control over my roll downlane.


best bowling ball for spares

Are Urethane Or Plastic Balls Better For Spares?

Urethane balls are often a better choice than plastic balls for spares on house shots. This is because urethane bowling balls generate more friction, making it easier to control the ball and hit your target accurately.

Additionally, urethane is a more durable option and has a higher hook potential than plastic balls, which can come in handy when you need a little extra power to pick up that spare.

While there is some controversy surrounding the use of urethane balls for spares, many bowlers swear by them and believe they offer greater accuracy and consistency in their spare shots.

How Should I Select A Bowling Ball To Use For Spares?

As an experienced bowler, selecting the right ball for spares is crucial to success on the lanes. When choosing a bowling ball for spares, consider using a control ball that is lightweight and made from urethane or reactive resin.

A spare ball like this can help you get the perfect roll when targeting corner pins without making any abrupt hook movements that may cause you to miss your target. Weight distribution should also be considered carefully; use a lighter weight than your strike ball while retaining good coverstock texture for better grip on dry lanes.

Remember, plastic coverstocks are commonly used as most spares don’t require powerful hooks.

What Size Of A Bowling Ball Is Most Suitable For Spare Shooting?

When selecting a bowling ball for spares, size is an important factor to consider. The average diameter of a bowling ball used for spare shooting is 8.6 inches, and it weighs around 6 to 7 kilograms.

However, the perfect size for you may vary based on your strength and technique.

One useful tip when choosing the best size of a bowling ball for spares is to visit a pro shop where experts can offer professional advice based on your physique, play style, and skill level.

A well-fitted spare ball can significantly improve your performance in this aspect of the game by providing better accuracy and consistency with each shot.

Does The Weight Of A Bowling Ball Matter When Shooting Spares?

When it comes to bowling, the weight of the ball is an important factor to consider when choosing a spare ball. While regulation balls cannot weigh more than 16 pounds, it’s recommended that your spare ball weighs about 2 pounds lighter than your strike ball for optimum performance.

However, personal preference and skill level should also be taken into consideration. For example, if you’re new to bowling or have physical limitations, a lighter weight may be easier to handle while still hitting those pesky spares.

It’s important to experiment with different weights and find what works best for you based on factors such as oil patterns and pins used in gameplay.

Is There Any Specific Type Of Coverstock That Works Well With Spare Shooting?

When it comes to selecting the best bowling ball coverstock for spares, plastic and polyester are often preferred by bowlers. Plastic coverstocks, in particular, are commonly used on spare balls of competitive bowlers due to their ability to go straight up the boards of the lane.

This is especially useful when shooting corner spares or when dealing with dry lane conditions where a hook shot may send the ball into the gutter. Polyester coverstocks are also great options as they provide a consistent and predictable roll that can be relied upon for effective spare shots.

Does The Drilling Pattern Affect How Effective My Spare Shots Will Be?

The drilling pattern can impact the performance of your spare shots. It affects ball motion, angle of entry, and precision drilling, all essential factors that determine how effectively you convert your spares.

For example, if you tend to leave corner pins frequently, consider getting a drilling pattern with an increased length in the fingers’ span to help improve your aim.

Precision drilling is also crucial since any inconsistency in hole position or size could make it challenging to repeat shot execution consistently.

Should I Buy An Asymmetrical Or Symmetrical Core For The Best Sparing Performance?

When it comes to choosing the best bowling ball for spares, one of the main considerations is whether to go for an asymmetrical or symmetrical core. Symmetrical cores are more suited for straight shots as they create less hook potential, while asymmetrical cores tend to produce sharper and more pronounced movements when encountering friction on the lane.

However, each type of core has its own advantages and can be better suited for certain lane conditions or transition periods. It ultimately depends on personal preference and the specific challenges presented by your local bowling alley.

Do Surface Finishes Have Any Effect On Striking More Pins While Doing A Spare Shot?

Yes, surface finishes can have a significant impact on your ability to strike more pins while shooting spares. The texture of the coverstock is an important factor to consider because it affects how much friction the ball creates with the lane surface.

A highly polished ball will slide smoothly down the lane and may not have enough grip to hook into the corner pins. On the other hand, a dull or sanded ball will create more friction with the lane surface, allowing for better control and increased accuracy when targeting specific pins.

For example, using a sandpaper grit of around 1,000-2,000 as opposed to 400/500 on plastic or urethane balls can help increase its hook potential without sacrificing consistency on spare shots.


In conclusion, choosing the best bowling ball for spares is crucial in improving your gameplay. Factors such as weight, coverstock, and core design play an important role in making the right selection.

It’s recommended to go for plastic or polyester balls for optimum spare shots accuracy. With various options available from top brands like Brunswick, Ebonite, DV8, Elite, Hammer, and Columbia – selecting a suitable spare bowling ball is easy using our comprehensive guide.

Remember to use a different spare ball for varying lane conditions to achieve consistent strikes when picking up those corner spares.

Last updated on June 12, 2023