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June 23, 2021

Bowling is an artistic game to knock down all the ten pins by rolling the bowling ball within ten frames. But many newbies in bowling imagine that it is necessary to knock all the balls in the first frame to win. During the game, each player gets 10 frames to win, in which they are provided with "spare bowling balls" along with the hook balls to play the game.

What is a spare bowling ball?

When we hear the word "spare," we imagine it to be an extra ball, but in reality, it is different. These are the balls made with different materials compared to the hook ball, which makes the chances of winning easy.

Knocking all the ten pins for the first time is called a "strike," which is done with the hook ball, and then the striker uses the spare ball, which is mostly made of plastic or polyester to knock down all the pins, which is called "spare."

Strikers prefer not to use a strike ball as it will hook, but the spare ball, which is light in weight, makes the winning chance more precise.

There are various kinds of spare balls available in the market, and we will focus on the best ten spare bowling balls today.

Top 10 Spare Bowling Balls Comparison Chart

Preview Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball Brunswick Butterflies Glow-A-Viz Bowling Ball EBONITE MAXIM NORTHERN LIGHTS BOWLING BALL elite-star-purple-pearl dv8-zombie-spare HAMMER BLACK WIDOW 2.0 BOWLING BALL storm-ice-storm-blue white-dot-diamond-bowling-ball dv8-just-black brunswick-lizard-eye-glow
Name Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball Brunswick Butterflies Glow-A-Viz Bowling Ball Ebonite Maxim Northern Lights Bowling Ball Elite Star Purple Pearl Bowling Ball DV8 Zombie Spare Bowling Ball Hammer Black Widow 2.0 Ball Storm Ice Blue White Bowling Ball Columbia 300 White Dot Bowling Ball DV8 Just Black Bowling Ball Brunswick Lizard Eye Glow Viz-A-Ball
Brand Brunswick Brunswick Ebonite Elite Dv8 Hammer Black Widow Spare Ball Storm. Columbia DV8 Brunswick
Coverstock polyester polyester Polyester/plastic polyester Plastic Aggression Solid Reactive Polyester Pearl Polyester Polyester Polyester
Core Type Symmetric Symmetric Symmetric Symmetric Symmetric Asymmetric Symmetric Symmetric Symmetric Symmetric
Available weights 6, 9-15 6,8-14 6,8-15 6-10, 12-14 10,12,14,16 12-16 10-16 6-16 6-16 6-16
Finish Crown factory finish Glossy finish High polish High glossy polish Glossy Factory Finish 3500 grit Crown Factory Polish High gloss polish High gloss polish
RG 2.696-2.715 2.696-2.715 2.65 2.696 - 2.715 2.7055 2.5 2.68-2.72 2.716 2.696-2.715 2.696-2.715
Differential 0.019 0.019 0.02 0.019 0.019 0.058 0.005-0.006 0.019 0.019 0.019
Recommended Lane Condition Dry Lanes Any All Lanes Dry Lanes All Lanes Medium to heavy oil Dry and mild oily All Lanes All Lanes All Lanes
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A Detailed Review of Top 10 Spare Bowling Balls

The top 10 spare bowling balls for 2021 are:
  1. Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball
  2. Brunswick Butterflies Glow-A-Viz Bowling Ball
  3. Ebonite Maxim Northern Lights Bowling Ball
  4. Elite Star Purple Pearl Bowling Ball
  5. DV8 Zombie Spare Bowling Ball
  6. Storm Ice Blue White Bowling Ball
  7. Columbia 300 White Dot Bowling Ball
  8. DV8 Just Black Bowling Ball
  9. Brunswick Lizard Eye Glow Viz-A-Ball
  10. Hammer Black Widow 2.0 Bowling Ball

1. Brunswick Tzone Deep Space Bowling Ball

This is the ball that all beginners desire to gain confidence. This ball is made out of polyester that covers the deep spaces and is very durable. The high durability of this ball makes it last for a longer period, and it ends up being worth the money paid for it.

This is well known for its straight-line shots. Many players say that this ball has improved their confidence level in bowling as it gives straight strikes, which makes them feel like a professional. Players with weak strikes or those who cannot bowl straight prefer to use this ball during their practice sessions.

The only disadvantage of the ball is that it is built heavy to create a higher effect on the pins to knock it off. Thus, many weak people or who have less balance in holding the ball find it difficult to use it.

Hence it is majorly made for a striking straight shot, so it does not give any high hook potential, especially on a dry surface. If it is bowled on an oily surface, it might tend to move in a curvy direction to cover a higher number of pins.

Specifications::

  • Coverstock: Polyester
  • Finish: High Gloss Polish
  • Glows under blacklight
  • RG Max: 2.715
  • RG Min: 2.696
  • Differential: 0.019
  • RG Avg: 8.7 (scale 1-10)
  • Hook Potential: 25 (scale 10-175 high)
  • Length: 235 (scale 25-235)
  • Breakpoint Shape: 30 (scale 10-100)

Pros:

  • Durable
  • Fine finish

Cons:

  • Not good in all other lanes
  • Heavy for beginners

2. Brunswick Butterflies Glow Viz-A-Ball Bowling Ball

Here is another Brunswick ball in a row which is not very surprising because this company is very famous for their product and also for being the first one to produce rubber balls in the 80s. The butterflies glow ball is the second best product of Brunswick as a spare ball which has a very unique pattern on it.

This ball is covered in a glowing purple color with different colors of butterflies printed on it. This patterned ball is very eye-catching for the player in the nightclubs as it glows due to its gloss polish finish of the ball.

The coverstock of the ball is made out of plastic/polyester that gives less hooks but perfect straight shots to knock all the pins down. Hence the hook potential of this ball is given as 25.

Specifications:

  • Coverstock: Polyester
  • Hardness: 80-82
  • Ball Finish: High Gloss Polish
  • RG Max: 2.715"
  • RG Min: 2.696"
  • RG Diff: 0.019"
  • RG Avg: 8.7
  • Hook Potential: 25
  • Length: 235
  • Breakpoint Shape: 30
  • 1 Year Complete Warranty

Pros:

  • Recommended for any lane
  • Unique glossy polish
  • Perfect ball for beginners

Cons:

  • Low hook

3. Ebonite Maxim Northern Lights Bowling Ball

ebonite-maxim-northern-lights-bowling-ball

This ball is made out of plastic and polyester mix, which makes it a budget-friendly spare ball. Like other spare balls, it gives a very little hook potential and helps get straight shots. The weight of this ball is so light that it is suitable for all, including children.

TThe balls weigh from 6 pounds to 15 pounds, allowing us to pick a ball that we can personally handle. Thus this ball is very famous during the training programs as well as among the beginners.

The synthetic material which is present in the ball helps in giving straight shots and high performance. This is called the tri-colored ball as it has a perfect blend pattern made of black, purple, and gold colors. This looks perfect in the night bowling club as it looks very highlighted in the dark black light.

Finally, just like other plastic balls, this plastic bowling ball is undrilled, which needs the help of a local store to drill it based on the measurements of the owner's finger size. It is also said that beginners and professionals use these balls as a spare ball due to their flexibility in many situations, like in both oily and dry lanes.

Specifications:

  • Coverstock: Hard Polyester/Plastic
  • Core: Bullet
  • Finish: Crown Factory Polish
  • Reaction: Straight
  • Recommended Lane Condition: Drier Lanes and spare shooting

Pros:

  • Perfect for all lanes
  • Any person can train using this ball
  • Tri colored ball

Cons:

  • Not good for oily lane
  • Low hooks

4. Elite Star Purple Pearl Bowling Ball

This ball is famous for its build which is made for the recreational players in bowling. The coverstock is made of polyester which makes this ball durable and long lasting. Since the cost of the ball is comparatively cheaper than other balls, it is worth the buy.

The start purple ball also has a high gloss polish similar to the last ball on the list which makes it look shiny and attractive during the game. This star ball comes in a total of five colors giving the buyers some variety while choosing the ball.

Due to its glossy finish this ball is preferred to be played in dry lanes and not in oily lanes due to less friction control in the surface of the ball.

Specifications:

  • Coverstock: polyester
  • Core: Saucer Core
  • RG:2.696
  • Differential: 0.019
  • Finish: high gloss polish
  • Weights: 6-14

Pros:

  • Available in 5 colours
  • Perfect for dry lanes

Cons:

  • Low hook
  • Not good on oily lanes

5. DV8 Zombie Spare Ball

This is one of the most famous spare balls among the bowlers. It is very convenient and smooth that bowlers cannot resist when a new version of this ball is released. The weight of this ball is neither too heavy nor too light to handle.

The highlight of this ball is its creepy pattern. If you are a zombie lover or a gothic-looking person, this one is the best for you. It has a zombie head printed on it with only one eye, and it gives a very dark vibe. The background of it is full of black color, and the advantage of this pattern is that even after using it several times, the dirt will not be seen on this ball.

Just like its pattern, this polyester bowling ball is very aggressive while playing with it. Since it is made out of polyester, the speed of the ball is very high on the lane. The rev rate of the ball is 370, and speed depends on the role of the bowler. Thus this ball turns out to be great even in the oily lanes, and it gives you the perfect forward hook.

Whatever the lane total distance can be, even if you throw the ball on the right or left side, it manages to curve to hit the maximum number of pins. With all these features, including its unique look, you can call it the perfect aggressive spares ball amongst all of the other balls.

Specifications:

  • Coverstock: polyester
  • Weights: 10,12,14 and 16
  • Finish: gloss finish
  • Lane Condition: Dry
  • RG:2.70
  • Flare Potential: Low

Pros:

  • good in all lanes
  • high hooks
  • aggressive on lane

Cons:

  • limited weight option

6. Storm Ice Blue White Bowling Ball

Storm Ice Blue White Bowling Ball

The Storm company has made many types of balls which have always been better than the previous ones. This storm ice blue white ball is one of the oldest balls, which has always been at the top compared to other balls from their company. This has always given high performance and shooting straight to the pin like a laser light.

The ball is made out of pearl polyester, making the ball travel smoothly without any random hooks. For some, the light blue color on this ball might not be attractive, but the performance is unbeatable. It does not collect scuffs or dirt regardless of its mild color when played in any lane type.

This versatile ball can be shot in both oily and dry lanes and still gives a perfectly straight shot. In addition, it has a 3-piece core that will help the player deliver a smooth hit, and thus it is highly recommended for beginners.

The overall coverstock of the ball ensures its durability and be shiny for a longer time. Hence, it fulfills the quality to be a reliable spare ball that also has small traction potential to roll on all the lanes even if it is a wet lane.

Specifications:

  • Core: Light Weight
  • Coverstock: Polyester Pearl
  • Weight Block: Symmetrical
  • Ball Finish: 3500-grit Polished
  • Flare Potential: 1"-2" (Low)
  • Durometer: 73-75
  • Core: Light Weight
  • RG: 16#-2.68 15#-2.71 14#-2.69 13#-2.71 12#-2.72
  • RG Diff: 16#-.006 15#-.005 14#-.006 13#-.005 12#-.005
  • 1 Year Complete Warranty

Pros:

  • High performance in all lane
  • Durable and shiny

Cons:

  • Color might not be attractive
  • Low hooks

7. Columbia 300 White Dot Bowling Ball

Columbia 300 White Dot Bowling Ball

This is very popular among beginners and strikers who are trying to get into intermediate level. This ball makes a player feel confident and more stable while bowling. People who doubt their own strength or game tricks prefer this ball for training.

The perfect 2 piece symmetric core gives more stability and increases the efficiency and power of the bowler. But this ball is not used by professionals because this is a beginner’s level ball which helps the player to find their strength and weakness.

Specifications:

  • Coverstock: Polyester
  • Core: Bullet
  • Finish: Crown Factory Polish
  • Reaction: Spare/Straight
  • Recommended Lane Condition: Any

Pros:

  • Stable and durable
  • Perfect for shooting nasty corner pins
  • Best for beginners
  • Helps to find your strength

Cons:

  • Not used by all, especially professionals

8. DV8 Just Black Bowling Ball

DV8 Just Black Bowling Ball

This ball has tiny holes in the polyester coverstock which helps in smooth flow when it is rolled. Since it is made of polyester there is no question about its durability and it is highly recommended for beginners.

TThis ball has tiny holes in the polyester coverstock which helps in smooth flow when it is rolled. Since it is made of polyester there is no question about its durability and it is highly recommended for beginners.

Specifications:

  • Coverstock: Polyester
  • Finish: High Gloss Polish
  • RG Max: 2.715
  • RG Min: 2.696
  • RG Differential: 0.019
  • RG Average: 8.7 (center heavy 1 - cover heavy 10)
  • Hook Potential: 25 (low 10 - high 225)
  • Length: 235 (early 25 - long 235)
  • Breakpoint Shape: 30 (Smooth Arc 10 - Angular 130)
  • Lane Condition: Any
  • 1 Year Warranty

Pros:

  • Recommended for beginners
  • Durable

Cons:

  • No color options

9. Brunswick Lizard Eye Glow Viz-a-Ball

Brunswick Lizard Eye Glow Viz-a-Ball

This is the best ball for beginners or weak players as it gives the perfect grip and shot while playing. This ball has been impressive due to many reasons; it can be shot with 20 pins making all of them fall down one shot. The ball is very versatile in that it can be rolled in any kind of lane regardless of its texture.

Many teenagers have rated this ball with a high score due to its high performance on the lane. This ball has a weird pattern that resembles one eye of a lizard, but the eyeball glows in a dark place. This feature has helped players to play on bowling nights and in any dark areas. The creepy lizard eyeball has always been popular among teenagers, who say that it brings confidence while they play.

The coverstock of this ball is made out of plastic that gives it durability, and in the end, while manufacturing, the ball is rubbed in the single compound buff as a finishing touch. This ball is also not pre-drilled for grip purposes, and it is said to be one of the best balls with fewer disadvantages in it.

Specifications:

  • Coverstock: Polyester
  • Hardness: 80-82
  • Ball Finish: High Gloss Polish
  • Core Dynamics:
  • RG Max: 2.715"
  • RG Min: 2.696"
  • RG Diff: 0.019"
  • RG Avg: 8.7
  • Hook Potential: 25
  • Length: 235
  • Breakpoint Shape: 30
  • 1 Year Complete Warranty

Pros:

  • Can be played with 20 pins
  • Perfect in different lane types
  • Best for beginners

Cons:

  • Low hook
  • Some might hate the pattern

10. Hammer Black Widow 2.0 Bowling Ball

Hammer Black Widow 2.0 Bowling Ball

This is one of the best balls that increase the rate of performance. This is an asymmetrical ball made out of polyester with a gas mask core that is very shiny, which controls the ball's core motion, which helps it slide smoothly. The core is wrapped in a Carbon Fiber outer core which provides durability and power.

This ball is recommended to use on a dry or lightly oiled lane as it does not give more potential hooks in the oily lane. Whereas in a dry or lightly oiled area, this ball gives a higher hook which results in good performance. The coverstock used is the Aggression Solid which is finished with a 500, 1000, 2000 Siaair finish.

Specifications:

  • Coverstock: Aggression Solid Reactive
  • Core: gas mask
  • Core type: asymmetric
  • RG: 2.5
  • Hook potential: high
  • Differential:0.058
  • Lane condition: between medium to heavy
  • Length: Early

Pros:

  • Durable and sturdy
  • Higher hooks

Cons:

  • Not good for beginners
  • Limited sizes available

How to choose the right spare bowling ball?

There are varieties of spare balls; however, the ideal ones are always made of plastic or polyester. Another thing is the coverstock which decides the durability of the ball; the surface should not be absorbent or feel like a sponge. The ideal surface is an extremely solid composition that doesn't work like an absorbent, and hence it should not absorb oils from the surface.

A right plastic or polyester bowling ball should draw a straight line and pin your needed target. A spare ball should contain proper weight; it should not feel too light or too heavy; a pound less than the normal bowling ball ideally is great. Though a spare ball doesn't need the thumb to be drilled, it should go with your hands while ensuring maximum comfort.

Buying the right spare bowling ball doesn't have to be a costly affair, but it should include all the important factors that you should look into before making the purchase. The deal here is to always pick from a trusted brand or compare among the best brands and then buy as per your budget and requirements.

Buying a spare bowling ball this way will surely serve you for a long time without getting cracked or chipped.

Why do bowlers use a plastic or polyester bowling ball for spares?

Professional bowlers often use plastic bowling balls instead of traditional ones. The reason is simple, plastic balls let them play excellently regardless of the type of lane. Different lanes are oiled in different patterns, and with a plastic spare ball, you don't have to worry about absorbing the oil since plastic balls don't observe any of it.

Due to this feature, a plastic bowling ball almost every time hits the pins as you intend, and the ride doesn't depend on how much oil is there on the track. On the other hand, if you use a performance ball, there are about 7 to 9 types of lane patterns that you would have to deal with and adjust your ball accordingly.

Bowling leaves you with very little room to make errors, so you have to be precise at every shot. A plastic ball offers you more chances of hitting the pins right in one single shot. Additionally, they are easily available in different colors and patterns to suit you well in the field. Players can pick anyone as per their style and feel a lot easier to hit the pins as compared to using a regular bowling ball.

How heavy should your spare ball be?

Generally, one formula about the spare ball doesn't suit all. The answer varies, and it depends on the individual. The simple solution is to pick up a polyester or plastic bowling ball with which you feel comfortable. It should work best with your hands when you are on the track.

The goal should be to have more control over the ball and have a more defined aim. Your movement with the ball in your hands should be natural so that you can focus on aiming comfortably.

However, if you want to get a close idea about the weight of a spare ball, then try having one as the same weight as the main ball or one or two pounds lighter. This way, you will have better control and you can make your throw more accurate.

Conclusion

In simple words, the best spare ball should be capable enough to get all your points to work ultimately well in addition to your strike ball. It should be a perfect blend of durability and accuracy that should also ensure comfort while making your move.

All these ten spare bowling balls mentioned are from the great brands that are the leaders in the market. You can use the comparison chart and the reviews to finalize your choice. We hope you find the write-up helpful about choosing the best spare bowling ball.

Frequently asked questions on spare bowling balls

What are the best types of grips to have on a spare bowling ball?

Conventional, fingertip, and semi-fingertip are three types of grips mostly used for bowling.

Conventional gives you more control over the ball, and it feels very stable and gets you an accurate shot.

Fingertip grip is for you if you already have experience with a conventional grip. If you want a more hooking action, then go for a semi-fingertip grip.

How can you improve your bowling performance with a spare ball?

Bowling can be improved eventually when you use a spare ball with the right trick. The first thing to remember is to have consistency while bowling; that is, make sure that every time you swing your arm, it should be done in the same way.

Hooking a spare ball is very difficult, so it is important to have a strategy from the start while playing. Make sure to use curve motion to get higher hooks to knock the side pins down and then, with a spare ball, aim for the centerpieces by giving a straight shot.

The last tip is to practice well because practice is key to improving your performance!

How do you bowl on extremely dry lanes with a spare ball?

Generate more swing velocity during backswing and downswing, and you will perform well on a dry lane. You can also experiment with less to no finger rotation when releasing the ball.

What can you expect from your new plastic bowling ball?

A plastic ball is one of the famous spare balls that has higher efficiency compared to other balls. These balls are very versatile in that they can be played in all the lanes, which includes both dry and oily lanes.

Plastic balls are said to be beginner-friendly because they are not an aggressive ball so that a beginner can learn how to control the speed and can comfortably train themselves for getting a perfectly straight shot. Also, these balls do not absorb oil from the lane, so maintenance of this ball is easy, and they are very long-lasting.