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Discount Bowling Supply

Feature Story
Reactive, Urethane & Polyester.
Match the ball to the conditions

Let's face it reactive balls are hot. But don't discount the non-reactive urethanes, and polyesters. The key to winning is being able to match your equipment; and bowling ability to the conditions you're facing.

A little history of the coverstock
The last 40 years has seen 4 major changes in coverstock materials. In the 1960's hard rubber balls were your only choice. The 70's saw the introduction of polyester balls. In the 80's a dramatic improvement in the coverstock was made with the release of urethanes. And in the early 90's reactive urethane raised bowling, and scores, to the level it is at now.

When to use Polyester/Plastic Balls
Due to the nature of their composition, polyester balls tend to roll straight with very little hook. Therefore, under today's conditions, they are really only suitable when the lanes are extremely dry and the reactives and urethanes are hooking too much. On the other hand, because the polyester ball is not as susceptible to oil variations, many bowlers use them as a spare ball; throwing it straight with little or no hook. Taking oil as a variable out of the equation, allows the bowler to concentrate on the release rather than having to determine where to stand and which mark to throw at.

Polyester balls are sometimes referred to as entry level balls. Lower in cost, these balls afford new bowlers the opportunity to own their own equipment without a large investment.

Urethanes: Controlled roll
With all of the hype surrounding the new reactive balls, urethanes often get passed over in favor of the former. The urethane ball does though, have its place on the lanes. With a more controlled and predictable roll, the urethane is often the weapon of choice when the lanes are dry, and the reactives are over reacting particularly on the backend.

Like reactives, urethanes can be drilled and finished to suit your particular bowling style, and reaction desired more/less hook, more/less skid, etc.

Urethane balls are an economical choice for bowlers who would like to add to their arsenal, without incurring the expense of reactives. In terms of value, urethane balls are more durable than the reactives. They will last longer, and hold up better, with less maintenance on the part of the bowler.

Reactives: Big backend and hard hitting
Five years ago the first reactive resin ball was introduced and scoring hasn't been the same since. With the increased hooking potential, and greater hitting power of reactives, pin-point accuracy is no longer essential for high scoring. Now days, most bowlers need only keep the ball within an "area"; while concentrating more on speed to get the ball through the heads without hooking too early.

The main characteristic of the reactive ball is its "tackiness". This tacky surface actually grips the lanes, particularly on the backends, which gives it the increased hook potential and greater hitting power. (Click Here for cleaners that increase and restore tackiness in reactive balls)

Although manufacturers design their balls to favor certain conditions over others, different drilling layouts and pin placements can dramatically change the reaction of any given ball. In other words, the same ball can be drilled for maximum flare and greater hook potential for one person, and for more length with less hook for another.

Get to know your proshop operator. By evaluating your bowling style and knowing the lane conditions that you face, he'll be able to offer suggestions on which balls to add to your arsenal.

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