What are bowling balls made of? This is a common question that often arises in your head if you have ever had to pick up a bowling ball. Professional bowlers often just focus on their skills, they never think deeply about the material components of the bowling ball.
Newbies show some interest in the material at the very beginning of their careers. But over time, their focus gets diverted to their skills. That’s a good thing, but you must be aware of every aspect of your career. You can use a bowling ball in a better way if you understand its composition.
The fact is nobody answers your question regarding bowling ball material. Then you shift your focus on its use rather than its material compositions. That’s not a good idea of shifting your interests.
If you have ever compromised on your question of what are bowling balls made then stay tuned. Because in this article we will discuss deeply each aspect of a bowling ball.
Table of Content
- 1 What Are Bowling Balls Made Of?
- 2 The History Of Bowling Ball Material
- 3 Modern-Day Bowling Ball Material
- 4 Bowling Balls For Different Types Of Bowling
- 5 What’s Inside Of The Bowling Ball?
- 6 What Does A Bowling Ball Cover Stock Do?
- 7 Do Bowling Balls Float?
- 8 Do Bowling Balls Go Bad?
- 9 Conclusion
What Are Bowling Balls Made Of?
Bowling balls weren’t designed in the same way from day one. But just like other things bowling balls have also evolved and tempered. The specialists have been using multiple technologies to make bowling balls better day by day.
They have introduced advanced technologies to make bowling balls better and better. Due to continuous advancements, we have the current form of bowling balls in our hands. Before we get to the point of what are bowling balls made of? Let’s take a look into the history.
The History Of Bowling Ball Material
The game of bowling has been around for tons of years in two particular structures, grass bowling, and pin bowling. How long bowling has been around is a wellspring of guess, yet a new grave exhumation of an Egyptian kid covered more than 5,000 years prior uncovered a bunch of stone pins accepted to have been utilized for a type of bowling.
In history Lignum vitae, an amazing hardwood was used to manufacture bowling balls. Wood bowling balls were utilized during the prime of ninepin bowling during the 1800s – a type of bowling that was at last restricted in Connecticut and New York because of its sweeping relationship with illicit betting rings.
To go around this law against nine-pin bowling, bowling path administrators added the 10th pin and made the game as far as we might be concerned today. Right now, hardwood bowling balls were as yet the wad of decision for bowlers around the United States and the world overall.
In 1905 1st rubber bowling ball was introduced in the market and got huge popularity. But the popularity of rubber bowling balls dropped when Brunswick introduced their “mysterious rubber compound” bowling ball in 1914. Then Brunswick ruled the world of bowling ball sport for years.
Brunswick started promoting their Mineralite bowling ball through high-end advertisement projects. Brunswick has spent tons of dollars on the advertisement of Mineralite bowling balls.
Their advertisement policy didn’t bind to commercial ads but they started sending Mineralite bowling balls to YMCAs around the United States. The main purpose behind this step was to let the professional bowlers test their Mineralite bowling balls. Then the recommendation of professional bowlers spiked the fame of Mineralite bowling balls.
Rubber bowling balls were a great achievement when accessed by casual players. The rubber bowling balls were versatile, easy to carry, and designed with great aesthetics.
But the rubber bowling balls didn’t have the core material the modern balls have. Instead of using core material, the balls were used to be filled with some light-density inner fillers. These fillers were used at the center of the ball. A separate weight block was also used along with the light-density fillers.
In 1959 plastic polyester bowling balls were introduced and it caused the death of rubber bowling balls. If we say that modern bowling balls are made up of plastic polyester material, it would be a nice start.
Modern-Day Bowling Ball Material
As mentioned earlier, modern bowling balls started their journey from plastic polyester material. Now a wide range of advanced bowling ball materials has been introduced in the market such, as resin reactive and pearl reactive.
But still market has a separate block of plastic and polyester bowling ball. This is because a huge consumer list such as women, kids, and beginner bowlers often use plastic bowling balls. Moreover, the professional league bowler also keeps a plastic bowling ball as a spare ball for straight shots.
Every rise has a fall the same thing happened with plastic balls. Plastic bowling balls have achieved success over rubber bowling balls. But due to lack of friction and back-end reaction caused the failure of polyester bowling balls. They failed to deliver high-end performance in heavy-oiled lane conditions.
A time came when urethane bowling balls hit the lanes with high efficiency in 1980. With budget-friendly cost and porous material, they took the place of rubber balls in the market.
The urethane bowling balls proved successors of rubber balls with their great lane traction. Urethane bowling balls provided an overall better hook potential. Moreover, the urethane bowling balls also proved a better partner on oil lanes.
The advanced reactive resin bowling balls are also generated from urethane material. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that urethane bowling balls provided the base for reactive resin balls. Urethane bowling balls are also appreciated in modern bowling alleys.
The reactive resin bowling balls started making fame with their lane traction and improved hook potential. The reactive resin bowling balls have better lane reading ability and offer improved hook potential. With porous material and particle coverstock, they have become popular in bowling alleys.
Professional bowlers use the reactive resin bowling balls as strike balls of their choice. Particular cores and coverstocks are making a great advancement in bowling balls.
Bowling Balls For Different Types Of Bowling
The bowling balls discussed above are a result of continuous advancements and requirements of modern bowlers. Whenever a bowler faced a problem regarding lane condition or bowling traction technology always helps.
These unique compositions and advancements converted the defective bowling balls into advanced improved balls. Nowadays bowling balls have become fashion more than just sport. Hence you would find different bowling balls for different types of bowling styles and player types.
Ten Pin Bowling
Most of the above bowling balls are for ten-pin bowling. A wide range of ten-pin bowling balls is constructed with plastic, polyester, urethane, and reactive resin coverstocks. Mostly ten pin bowling ball coverstock is designed with reactive resin material.
A regular ten-pin bowling ball has a variational coverstock (plastic, polyester, urethane, particle, and resin reactive), and three holes are drilled. Three drilled holes are used to hold the ball with a thumb, middle finger, and ring finger.
The material of the coverstock is important as it defined the friction with the lane. Different coverstock materials are used for different lane conditions. Also, the coverstock surrounds the core material and protects it from external damage.
If you visit the market you would find a wide range of ten-pin bowling balls constructed with reactive resin material. But still, you will find some balls made up of plastic, polyester, particle, and other types of coverstocks.
Five Pin Bowling
Five-pin bowling balls are often used in Canada. In every Canadian province, there are lanes for five-pin bowling balls. The five-pin bowling balls are constructed with a rubber/synthetic hybrid.
The ratio of the above material is about four to one or greater. The five-pin bowling balls are often created without finger holes. The size of a five-pin bowling ball is according to an adult’s hand.
In 1909 the five-pin bowling ball was manufactured in Toronto for the first time. The five-pin bowling ball was introduced in the market to cater to users having problems with ten-pin bowling balls. The ten-pin bowling balls required relatively more physical investment than a five-pin bowling ball.
The main genuine guideline for five-pin bowling balls is that there can’t be a metallic part to the bowling ball, driving a portion of the cover stock and manufactured creation components of ten-pin bowling balls into the innovation for some advanced five-pin bowling balls. Nonetheless, the elastic bowling ball stays the overall name of the game for this Canadian strength.
The construction of a duckpin bowling ball is the same as that of a five-pin bowling ball. The Duckpin bowling ball is designed with the same synthetic coverstock. Just like a five-pin bowling ball, it is constructed without drilling the finger holes.
The size and weight of a duckpin bowling ball are also the same as that of a five-pin bowling ball. The fact is that the duckpin bowling ball is often used in bowling alleys made for five-pin bowling balls.
If we talk about the physical properties of duckpin bowling balls then their diameter should be between 4.75 to 5 inches. Where the weight of a duckpin bowling ball varies between 3 pounds 6 ounces and 3 pounds 12 ounces. The size of a duckpin bowling ball is almost 60 percent smaller than a regular ten-pin bowling ball.
You can find duckpin bowling balls in the USA at arcades and entertainment centers. Also, in places in the entire world where miniature ten-pin bowling ball sports exist, you can find a duckpin bowling ball easily.
One of the most unique, candlepin bowling balls is constructed lighter than any ten thin pins. A candlepin bowling ball can be made up of wood, rubber, plastic, or a mixture of these materials. You would find candlepin bowling balls as primary balls in the northeastern United States and Canadian maritime.
Just like the five-pin or duckpin bowling ball, the candlepin bowling ball is also constructed without drilling finger holes. The physical properties of a candlepin bowling ball include its weight and size.
A candlepin bowling ball weighs around 2 pounds 4 ounces and 2 pounds 7 ounces. If we talk about the size. Then the diameter of a candlepin bowling ball is about 4.5 inches which means 0.5 inches smaller than a duckpin bowling ball.
What’s Inside Of The Bowling Ball?
With the end goal of this part, we will move back to the universe of ten-pin bowling – the most broadly played adaptation of the game we know and love!
While each unique bowling ball organization’s particular rundown of materials for the development of its items is thought of as “restrictive advancements that are carefully hidden,” there are some broad synthesis components for both the external and inward centers of a bowling ball.
Deeply, and it, as a rule, is made out of a filler material that uses numerous various sorts of substances, for example, polyester and glass dabs. It’s part of the bowling ball, changed by a producer to obtain general weight and thickness proportion.
Deeply, it’s frequently comprised of powdered metal oxides blended in with sap and a substantial impetus to solidify the aggregate of the center to a nearly mental state. These centers can be formed in a wide range of ways. (Profoundly).
Each unique center shape affects snare potential and straight-line viability, with a balanced center tending to snare substantially less (and with considerably less sharpness) than its lopsided partners.
What Does A Bowling Ball Cover Stock Do?
The coverstock of a bowling ball plays an important role in the overall performance. Without effective coverstock, you cannot achieve the ideal performance on lanes. The bowling ball’s 60 to 80 percent performance depends on the coverstock material. Other 20 to 30 percent performance is distributed among other factors like core material, inner and outer structures, etc.
Whenever you throw a bowling ball on the lane, the coverstock is the primary part of the ball that interacts with the surface of the lane. Aside from contact, it defines the overall hook potential and lane friction. A plastic spare bowling ball provides the necessary friction with the lane and required power for shots.
High-quality bowling ball in the market is constructed with polyurethane and reactive resin materials. The manufacturers keep porous coverstocks to absorb the lane oil.
After absorbing the lane oil, the ball delivers the exact expected performance with lane traction. Intermediate and advanced bowlers need that kind of coverstocks to improve their hook potential, backend reaction, and pin carry.
If the coverstock material and construction principle match the lane requirements then it can deliver an outclass performance. In short words, the coverstock of a bowling ball does most of the hard-to-achieve tasks. A coverstock that is made under the lane condition can deliver an aggressive performance.
Do Bowling Balls Float?
This depends on the density of the bowling ball and water. According to the basic laws of physics, if the density of the ball is less than the density of water, then the bowling ball will float and vice versa. Now let’s see which bowling ball floats.
The density of water is about 1 gram/centime cubed so a bowling ball that is closest to this density can float. For example, a regulation 12-pound bowling ball has a density (of 0.99 grams/centimeter cubed).
Its density of 0.99 grams/centimeter cubed is closest to the density of water which is 1 gram/centimeter cubed. Hence this ball and lighter will float only if there is no modification made to this ball. The bowling ball heavier than 12 pounds will sink as their density is greater than that of water.
Do Bowling Balls Go Bad?
Everything depends on maintenance, whether it’s performance or lifeline. If you do all the necessary tasks to maintain and clean your bowling ball. Then it will live for about 5 to 10 years. But this lifespan is only estimated after considering the primary maintenance factors.
The lifespan and performance of a bowling ball depend on two main factors its coverstock and core material. If you successfully protect the coverstock of your bowling ball. Then you can save it for the next five to ten years. Otherwise, you will lose your bowling ball or their performance down the lane.
The point is that the coverstocks of modern bowling balls are constructed with soft materials. Also, the surface of the coverstock is kept porous due to lane reactivity. So it is prone to get damaged due to clogged pores.
You need to clean and rejuvenate your bowling ball regularly if you want to enjoy its long-lasting performance. Lack of maintenance leads to cracking of coverstock.
Once the coverstock of the bowling ball cracks it causes an imbalance. Because the core object is tightly bound in the coverstock if it cracks the core separates apart. Then you cannot achieve the same performance with an imbalanced core and broken coverstock.
If we wrap the whole story in one sentence then it would be like, technology made your ball keep it balanced. You will enjoy the performance and lifespan of your favorite bowling ball until the technology is balanced.
Finally in conclusion what are bowling balls made of? The answer is simple bowling balls have evolved from wood and rubber structures to modern components and materials. In the past bowling ball were just objects made up of rubber and wood materials to knock the pins on the deck.
In this modern world, everything has evolved the bowling ball also got advanced and turned into a fashionable object. Technology has not only changed the construction material or physical appearance but inner chemistry too.
Now bowling balls are designed according to the lane conditions. There is complete chemistry between a bowling ball and a lane pattern. Hence you may say that bowling balls have become machines rather than normal objects.
The coverstock and internal core materials specify the lane traction and back-end reaction of the bowling ball. Now not only does the bowler’s shoulder need to gain enough strength to throw the ball with aggression, but the ball’s components too. Your bowling ball’s components describe the lane traction, resistance, and overall performance.
Hence keep your bowling ball updated and maintained.