5 Most Expensive Bowling Balls

Scoring strikes is one thing, but how about waltzing into the bowling alley and scoring some kudos points with one or two of the most expensive bowling balls in the country!  You’ll be sure to turn some heads.

And you’re in luck.  We’ve identified the 5 most expensive bowling balls that are available in the US today, and we’ve compiled some short reviews on each.  That’s coming up shortly.  All the bowling balls in the selection cost in excess of $250, with some costing almost as much as a staggering $500.

5 Most Expensive Bowling Balls

We then follow that up with a buying guide, that should help you to establish which of these expensive bowling balls might best help your game.

5 Most Expensive Bowling Balls

OUR TOP PICK

DV8 Vandal Bowling Ball by DV8 Bowling Products

The manufacturer’s tag line for this bowling ball is very fitting: “Do some damage to the competition with the DV8 Vandal!”

A purchase of this particular bowling ball, the most expensive bowling ball in our selection, is actually quite the investment, because it’s a good all purpose all rounder.  It works great on every type of bowling lane condition whether quite oily, or relatively dry.

This comes down largely to its composite pearl reactive coverstock, which allows the ball to react quickly to the high friction back-end of the lane.  In fact, with its Radius of Gyration of 2, it’s got quite the powerful, aggressive backend flip.

It uses an asymmetrical weight block core, which really helps it to roll fast.

It has a very smart and sleek dark appearance.

But what really makes it more unique is that it's no longer being produced by the manufacturer, so if you’ve got the cash you should nab it from the Amazon page while you still can.

Pros:

  • Most expensive bowling ball
  • Worth all $500 of the money
  • Works great on any bowling lane
  • Composite pearl reactive coverstock
  • Powerful, aggressive backend flip
  • Asymmetrical weight block core
  • Smart, sleek and dark

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come ready drilled.
  • There are very few peer reviews around for this bowling ball, probably because no-one's buying it, it’s so expensive.
  • The Amazon page does not tell you the weight of the ball, or allow you to select a particular weight.

EDITORS CHOICE

DV8 Thug Bowling Ball by DV8

This sleek Black / Orange / Silver bowling ball looks great zooming down the lane and smashing those pins at the end.

The ball features DV8’s own Thug asymmetric weight block core, which has a low radius of gyration, for smooth but fast rolling.

But better yet is the coverstock.  It has a hybrid reactive coverstock, which means you get the best of both worlds, the even rolling you get with a solid reactive but with the addition of mica material into the ball’s surface, which really helps game play.

And the result of these components?

The DV8 Thug skids easily through the front and mid-lane, then really flips on the backend for the best breakpoint potential of any DV8 made prior to this one.

It does great on medium to oily lane conditions.

But what really makes it more unique is that it's no longer being produced by the manufacturer, so if you’ve got the cash you should nab it from the Amazon page while you still can!

Pros:

  • Masculine look
  • Asymmetric core
  • Hybrid reactive coverstock
  • Great breakpoint potential
  • Great even on oily lanes

Cons:

  • Doesn’t come ready drilled
  • There are very few peer reviews around for this bowling ball, probably because no-one's buying it, it’s so expensive.
  • The Amazon page does not tell you the weight of the ball, or allow you to select a particular weight.

BEST VALUE

KXDLR Clear Red Rose Bowling Ball Transparent - 14Lbs

This bowling ball has been approved for use during USBC certified competition, so you can rock up to the competition with one of the most distinctive and expensive bowling balls on the market and knock ‘em dead.

The coverstock of the ball is completely clear, and through it you can see a gorgeous red rose in full bloom.  It’s positioned at the opposite side of the drilled holes and in between there’s the white dynamic asymmetrical weight block core.

It’s a very eye-catching design and it looks great from every angle as it rolls down the bowling lane.

It has a specially designed glossy solid reactive coverstock, which works great on any bowling lane, no matter how oily it is.  It will endure any amount of friction.  And you can get the coverstock to last even longer by simply wiping the ball down between shots.

The ball uses vertical cavity technology, meaning you’ll need less force to get it rolling down with plenty of power behind it.

It’s motion is great - it will consistently read the midlane and store plenty of energy for the backend and knock down those pins.

Due to being such a unique and carefully constructed bowling ball, it’s only available in one weight, which is 14 pounds, and has a width of 21.5 cm.

Pros:

  • Absolutely stunning!
  • USBC approved
  • Specially designed coverstock
  • High radius of gyration
  • Dynamic asymmetrical core
  • Great with oily lanes
  • Great with high friction lanes

Cons:

  • There are very few peer reviews around for this bowling ball, probably because no-one's buying it, it’s so expensive.

RUNNER UP

Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane Bowling Ball, 15 lb

Talk about hitting like a hammer!

We love how dark and serious this bowling ball looks shooting those pins!

What makes this particular bowling ball unique is its pearl urethane coverstock.  With this urethane coverstock it’s kind of a throw back to earlier days before reactive coverstocks came about.  But, with an important addition.  By adding a little mica material into the ball’s surface it really helps the ball to react quickly to the high friction back-end of the lane.

These days many bowlers go for balls with an aggressive back end reaction, but that’s not for everybody.  Where the Purple Hammer really comes into its own is that it gives the bowler ultimate control of the entire lane.  And you don’t have to worry so much about any violent hooking, and you can concentrate on straighter rolls and hitting the pins directly.

This makes it a bowling ball that even beginners and improvers can get to grips with.

And to that end it also features a modernized version of the symmetrical light bulb shape weight block core that was so popular back in the day, too.

It’s suitable for medium to light oil lane conditions, and is available in 3 different weights, specifically, 14 lb, 15 lb, and 16 lb.

This time the ball does have some peer reviews on the Amazon page - and they're all glowing, with most customers rating it at a full 5 stars out of a possible 5.

Customers say that it hits hard, and that this ball has converted them over to urethane coverstocks.

Pros:

  • Hits like a hammer
  • Dark and serious
  • Great customer feedback
  • Great for beginners and improvers
  • Great on medium to light oil lane conditions
  • symmetrical light bulb shape weight block core
  • Smooth arc reaction, no violent hooking

Cons:

  • Some customers have been unhappy with this bowling ball, but to be honest we just put this down to not understanding the nature of the ball before they bought it.  Some people tend to make false judgements about bowling balls based on their price.

RUNNER UP

Storm IQ Tour Bowling Ball by Storm

The IQ bowling ball comes from a top brand that dominates the best seller charts in modern bowling balls.

The IQ is very smart (forgive the pun!) and sleek looking but it’s qualities go far beyond that.

What we love about this ball is just how forgiving it is.  That’s thanks to its symmetrical lightweight weight block core.  You get a much smoother change of direction downlane, which is perfect for players who want extra control at the breakpoint.

You can get ample hook with it, if that’s what you’re going for, but with a far more controllable, predictable shape down the lane.  It’s unwaveringly reliable.

It features a solid reactive coverstock that works well in any lane condition.

For an expensive bowling ball, you could argue that this one is quite reasonably priced, coming in at under $300, it’s considerably cheaper than the other ones we’ve shown you in this article so far.

And if that’s not enough, it also has a nice apple crisp scent to boot.

Pros:

  • Smart choice of bowling ball
  • A more affordable expensive ball
  • Really forgiving reaction
  • Super reliable & predictable
  • Solid reactive coverstock
  • Works well in any lane condition
  • In the best seller charts
  • USBC approved
  • Nice apple crisp scent

Cons:

  • There aren't’ many peer reviews on the Amazon page we’re linking to, but we can assure you that people are raving about it elsewhere on the net.
  • The Amazon page does not tell you the weight of the ball, or allow you to select a particular weight.

5 Most Expensive Bowling Balls Buying Guide

If you’re considering buying one or more of the most expensive bowling balls in the game, then we’ll go forward on the assumption that you’ve already developed some skill in the game.  

We won’t however assume that you’re already familiar with the bowling ball specification terminology, and will try to explain it all as we go along.  

What to consider before purchasing an expensive bowling ball

OK, so there’s quite a bit to think about before you part with your hard earned cash.  But don’t worry, we’ll walk you through it all.

How do you like to play?

Many bowlers, especially when they’re just starting out, like to aim their bowling ball in a straight line, directly towards the middle pin.  And this is generally the surest way to build up your strikes.  But the ball isn’t perfect and it will start to arc.

And when players start to venture away from the aim-in-a-straight-line model, they may wish to learn how to do hooks at the backend, and get the ball to turn a little, or a lot, to knock those pins down.  This is generally a more difficult way to play, but remains popular with many players, particularly amongst those who are more experienced.

One the one hand, a ball with a smoother arc gives players more control at the breakpoint, when the pins are hit.  On the other hand an aggressive bowling ball that can deliver violent hooks toward the backend has more power to knock several pins with one shot.

How much a bowling ball will arc or hook comes down to the ball’s overall construction and component parts.

For example, balls with a more symmetrical weight block core can provide a smoother change of direction.  A ball with an asymmetrical weight block core on the other hand is far more likely to deliver sharp hooks at the backend.

Within the Top 5 picks you scrolled through earlier, the Number 4 Pick, the Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane Bowling Ball, and the Number 5 Pick, the Storm IQ Tour Bowling Ball,

are the ones that provide a smoother arc, whereas our Number 2 Pick, the DV8 Thug Bowling Ball, and our Number 3 Pick, the KXDLR Clear Red Rose both feature an asymmetrical weight block core and may be better suited for deliberate hooks.

Our Number 1 Pick meanwhile, the DV8 Vandal Bowling Ball, is seen as a good all purpose all rounder ball.

If you feel you want to try out an aggressive bowling ball, you should check out our other article, 5 most aggressive bowling balls, which is available on this link.

How oily are the lane conditions where you like to play?

Now this is a biggy.  

Different bowling balls are intended in their design for different levels of oil on the bowling lane.  It all comes down to the bowling ball’s coverstock, the outer part of the ball.

Now, we’ll be the first to admit that it can be hard to assess just how oily a particular bowling lane is, so your best bet is to chat to someone who works there and is familiar with the bowling alley’s maintenance, and ask them directly.

If you know or expect that the bowling lane will be a tad dry, then your best bet is to go for a plastic or urethane ball, as these will slide more easily.  One such example can be found in our Number 4 Pick, the Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane Bowling Ball.

If you find yourself contending with an oily bowling lane on the other hand, then you will need a ball with much much more friction from the coverstock.  To that end, you would be well advised to go for a ball with either a reactive resin coverstock or a particle coverstock.  

Of these two, it’s the reactive resin coverstock that’s the most common and readily available.  It has special additives which work to increase the ball’s tackiness.  There are 3 main types of reactive resin coverstock, specifically, reactive solid, reactive pearl, and reactive hybrid.  

For more information about different types of bowling balls and their component parts, please head over to our article Different types of bowling balls, available on this link.

If you’re looking to buy a bowling ball that will be used in rather oily lane conditions, then we can recommend any of the bowling balls in the Top 5 you just scrolled through, except the Number 4 Pick, the Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane Bowling Ball.

Getting the most out of your expensive bowling ball

If you want to get your money’s worth out of an expensive bowling ball, you’re likely to want to use it a lot.  But, with every shot you take, the coverstock of the ball loses some of it’s reaction as it picks up oil and dirt from the lane and pins etc.  That’s the bad news.

But the good news is that this deterioration can be significantly slowed down by way of a little bowling ball maintenance.  And to that end there are several different measures you can take. 

First of all, we strongly recommend that you wipe the ball down between shots with a shammy such as the Brunswick Reactive Shammy.  Then after each game you should clean the ball down with a dedicated cleaner such as the Big B cleaner.  Make sure that you always carry out these two procedures as a minimum.

And to get an even longer lifespan from your bowling ball, we also recommend that you treat the ball every 10 games or so.  Shiny surfaced balls should be polished, whereas matte finish balls should be scuffed.  

Then, after about 60 games, we would recommend a complete resurface.

5 Most Expensive Bowling Balls

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