Light vs. Heavy Bowling Balls: We Examine the Pros and Cons of Each

Light vs. Heavy Bowling Balls: We Examine the Pros and Cons of Each

Have you been bowling at Brunswick or AMF for quite some time now? Then you probably know that there are two kinds of bowling balls – light balls and heavy balls. Now if you’re interested to know which among the two would suit you best, here are the pros and cons of each:

Heavy Bowling Balls

Based on the standard set by The US Bowling Congress for drilled bowling balls, the heaviest weight is 16 lbs. Those who prefer a ball heavier than this will have to settle with undrilled balls.

The advantages of a heavy bowling ball are:

1. Better hitting power

A heavy ball enhances your striking ability due to the inertia of the ball being transferred to the pins, which then has a domino effect onto the rest of the pins.

2. Less deflection

Most bowlers would agree that the main advantage to using a heavy bowling ball is that there’s less deflection going through the pins.

3. Free swing

Heavier balls have more pounds for every square inch, allowing you to have more natural swings.

4. Larger hooking

With heavier balls it’s easy to create larger hooking at a more prominent arch. Moreover, since you have a lower ball speed in a heavy ball, you get more time to hook.

But there are drawbacks as well.

  • First of all, you have less control with a heavy ball especially if you’re getting exhausted.
  • Second, it will strain your wrist especially if the ball is new and you’re still not used to the weight.
  • Lastly, you’ll tire much quicker with a heavy ball than a light ball. Imagine having to roll a 16-lb ball repeatedly for hours.

Light Bowling Balls

The lightest bowling ball you can get weighs 6 lbs. You may find 4-lb balls but these are for kids. For competitions however, the minimum weight they would allow is 9 lbs.

The advantages of a light bowling ball are:

1. It’s easy to roll.

A light bowling ball does not need much strength from the bowler as a heavy ball.

2. It’s comfortable to use.

There’s no need to curve your arms when you throw. It also lets you adjust your posture easily.

3. It’s suitable for beginners.

If you’re new to bowling you can start with a lightweight bowling ball. You don’t want to get injured after just a sessions!

4. You have more control.

Light bowling balls are not complicated and they roll at high speeds.

But just like heavy balls, there are also drawbacks to light bowling balls.

  • To start with, using light balls make it difficult to get the perfect ball deflection.
  • There’s also less impact on the pins since it weighs less so you may be at a disadvantage.

Your choice of bowling ball should be based on personal preference, play experience and how serious you are with bowling. In my own opinion, heavier bowling balls offer more advantages compared to light balls.

Apparently there is now a 2-lb bowling ball. Check it out here:

Bowling with the World’s Lightest Bowling Ball (2 LBS)

Category: Featured

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