Are Plastic Bowling Balls Good? Pros, Cons, When to Use

Are you looking to elevate your bowling game but unsure of which ball is right for you?

Look no further!

This comprehensive guide will delve into the world of plastic bowling balls, discussing their pros and cons, as well as when they’re the most suitable option for players.

We’ll also explore different aspects such as lane conditions, weight options, durability, grip control, and price while comparing them to other popular types like urethane and reactive bowling balls.

Let’s take a look.

What Are Plastic Bowling Balls And When Should You Use Them?

Plastic bowling balls are a type of ball made from synthetic materials such as polyester, and they are best used on dry lanes with less friction.

Are Plastic Bowling Balls Good?

Yes, they’re good. And one of the best times to use these balls is in dry lane conditions, where there’s less friction between the ball and the surface.

Since plastic balls don’t create as much friction compared to urethane or reactive bowling balls, they tend to slide more easily down a dry lane without losing speed.

Another perfect time for utilizing plastic bowling balls is if you’re a beginner looking to develop your skills in the sport. These affordable and durable options can help novice bowlers learn how to control their shot trajectory effectively before moving onto more advanced equipment like urethane or reactive resin bowls.

Furthermore, recreational bowlers who play occasionally might find it advantageous and cost-effective to invest in a high-quality plastic ball that provides them with adequate grip and control while not breaking their bank account balance.

Benefits Of Plastic Bowling Balls

As mentioned earlier, one of the biggest benefits of plastic bowling balls is their affordability. They are often cheaper than other types of balls like urethane or reactive ones.

Additionally, plastic balls are highly durable and can last for a long time with proper care and maintenance.

Another benefit of plastic bowling balls is that they offer a straighter roll compared to other types of balls. This is because they generate less friction on the lane, which allows for easier accuracy and consistency when aiming for spares.

Limitations Of Plastic Bowling Balls

While plastic bowling balls have their advantages, they also have some limitations that you should consider before making a purchase. One of the major drawbacks of plastic balls is their limited hook potential, which means they may not perform as well on oily lanes.

Additionally, while they are affordable options for beginners or recreational bowlers, they are less durable than other types of balls and may need to be replaced more frequently if used frequently.

Pros And Cons Of Plastic Bowling Balls

are plastic bowling balls good


Plastic bowling balls are an excellent option for beginners and seasoned bowlers alike who want a reliable, affordable ball. They are much cheaper than other types of balls, making them a great choice if you’re on a tight budget.

Plastic balls are also incredibly durable and resistant to scratches and chips, so they can last for many years with proper maintenance.

For those who want to try out different techniques without breaking the bank or investing in expensive equipment, plastic bowling balls offer a safe way to experiment with your game.


When it comes to plastic bowling balls, they do have their limitations. One of the main drawbacks is their limited hook potential and lack of versatility.

Due to their smooth surface and lack of reactive coverstock, plastic balls are less likely to hook or curve significantly on the lane.

Additionally, plastic balls may not be as versatile as other types of bowling balls due to their inability to adapt well to different lane conditions or styles of play. While they can be effective on dry lanes with low friction, they may struggle on oilier lanes where more grip is needed.

Tips For Using Plastic Bowling Balls

Adjust Your Stance For A Straighter Shot

One of the key advantages of using plastic bowling balls is their ability to roll straight. To take advantage of this trait, it’s important to adjust your stance accordingly.

Start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and pointing in the direction you want the ball to go – toward the pins.

Next, make sure you have a good grip on the ball with your dominant hand. Keep your elbow tucked in close to your body and maintain a relaxed but firm hold on the ball itself.

Finally, release the ball smoothly without any unnecessary twisting or turning of your wrist. Focus on rolling it straight down toward the pins just like you practiced during warmups.

Experiment With Speeds And Angles

When using plastic bowling balls, experimenting with speeds and angles can greatly impact your game. For a straight roll, try increasing your ball speed to reduce its hook potential.

You can also experiment with different angles by adjusting your release point or the angle of your wrist at release.

Additionally, using different speeds and angles can help you improve on spare shots as well. By adjusting the speed and angle of your shot when aiming for a spare, you can better control the direction and placement of the ball in the lane.

Remember that both speed and angle must be carefully considered based on the type of ball being used and its weight to determine what works best for each individual bowler’s style.

Focus On Accuracy And Consistency

When using plastic bowling balls, it’s important to focus on accuracy and consistency. Since they lack the hook potential of other types of bowling balls, making spares becomes a crucial aspect of gameplay.

Practicing spare shots regularly can help improve your accuracy and consistency, ensuring you hit your target every time.

Additionally, experimenting with different speeds and angles can help compensate for the limited hook potential of plastic balls. By adjusting your stance for a straighter shot, you can also increase your chances of hitting those difficult spares.

Practice Spare Shots

When using plastic bowling balls, practicing spare shots becomes crucial for improving your game. Spare shots are the second chance to make up for a missed strike and can be the difference between a good or bad score.

One technique to improve spare accuracy is to aim at specific targets on the lane rather than just aiming straight ahead. For example, if you aim at a certain board in front of the pin, it can help guide your ball toward the target.

It’s also important to remember that practice makes perfect when it comes to spare shots. The more you practice throwing specific spares like 7-10 splits or corner pins, the better equipped you’ll be during actual games.


In conclusion, plastic bowling balls may not be the most versatile option on the market, but they certainly have their place in the sport. They offer an affordable and durable choice for bowlers looking to make spares or bowl straighter shots on dry lanes with less friction.

While they lack the hook potential of other types of balls, they are still a reliable option for beginners or those looking to improve their accuracy. When choosing a bowling ball, consider your skill level, bowling style, and lane conditions before making a decision.

Last updated on June 8, 2023