Is It Better to Buy Bowling Balls and Gear Online or Instore?

Bowling is a great hobby or profession.

If you love bowling, you are probably considering buying your own balls and gear.

Having your own bowling ball and gear is worthwhile as it will enhance your bowling experience.

However, most bowling enthusiasts wonder whether it’s better to purchase bowling balls and gear in-store or online.

So, Is It Better to Buy Bowling Balls and Gear Online or Instore?

If you want to purchase a bowling ball, you can go in-store or online. Most big department stores will have a few bowling balls and gear, but we don’t recommend buying from here because they will normally be low quality.

You can also visit a pro shop at the local bowling alley that will have better balls. Pro shops are better in terms of warranty issues where you will simply walk into the shop and have it replaced than buying online.

Moreover, in-store shops might offer perks of purchasing from them, such as putting new grips, resurfacing, and cleaning for free. However, depending on the brand you want, it might not be available in the pro shop.

Online shopping is the best place to buy your bowling balls and gear, where you will find the largest and cheaper selection.

There are several reputable online sites to use, such as

You can select what you need from a variety and narrow your selection by price or discount percentage.

Most new balls and gear online are priced with free shipping and are the price most in-store shops pay on the ball before shipping.

However, the pro shops exceed in service compared to an online site because after buying your ball online, you will need to take it to your local pro shop to have it drilled into your hand.

You will often still save a significant amount of money by buying online. For low-end balls and gears, the savings may not be much.

However, the savings can be huge for a premium ball even after adding the drilling cost.

All shops will provide this service for a relatively affordable fee, and you can talk to the pro about whether you want a conventional grip or fingertip.

Generally, these are some comparisons between purchasing a bowling ball and gears online or at an in-store pro shop.

The major benefit of purchasing bowling balls online is that the cost will be significantly lower than offline pro shops.

On the other hand, in-store shops have on-hand ready drilling services to customize your ball and gear, which is almost non-existent on online sites.

Ensure to shop around, measure the cons and pros of each, and you will be able to make an enlightening bowling ball purchase.

The Six Benefits Of Buying Your Own Bowling Ball and Gear

Now that you know the pros and cons of purchasing bowling balls and gear online or instore, let’s look at the reasons for buying your own bowling ball.

1. Improves Your Game

Bowling is all about consistency. You will eliminate a variable from the game by using a bowling ball with a specific composition and weight drilled specifically for you.

This will enable you to focus more on your technique instead of adjusting to any bowling ball and gear you have picked up.

With your own customized bowling ball, you won’t need to adapt to the ball constantly.

2. Prevents Germs Exposure

Your bowling ball and gear are all for yourself, and you won’t waste any time looking for the ideal ball as you already have it.

Owning your ball and gear will also guarantee that other players won’t use your ball, which minimizes your germs exposure.

3. You Can Customize Your Own Bowling Ball

If you get your own bowling ball, you can have it customized by drilling finger holes exactly right for your grip.

Depending on your style and preference, you can select a ball with particular materials, weights, and colors.

It’s more fun having a ball and gear that reflects your characteristics.

It doesn’t need to be logos, wild patterns, or motifs.

Only having a ball color that you enjoy will boost your mood and experience. After experiencing bowling with your personalized ball, you won’t go back to gambling using an alley ball.

4. Less Risk of Injury

Renting a bowling ball means you will be stuck by whatever is available.

You will have no option other than compromising on weight and finger hole sizes which could sometimes mean nothing more than a blister.

However, bowling regularly with the wrong weight or grip could see you needing to visit a physiotherapist, which is expensive.

5. Saves Time

When you have your own bowling equipment, all you need to do is change your shoes and unzip your ball bag, and you are good to go.

On the other hand, renting equipment needs time to check out all the available balls and test their weight, grip, and finger holes. So, why not save time by getting your own gear.

6. The Cost of Renting Equipment Adds Up

If you only go bowling once in a while, renting equipment is the perfect option.

However, once you find yourself meeting with friends to bowl regularly, investing in your own gear may save you some gear cash in the long run.

What Should You Consider When Purchasing a Bowling Ball?

1. Ball Weight

The first factor to consider should be the weight of the ball. The ball should not be a problem to hold with one hand.

The ideal ball is the weightiest ball you can throw comfortably.

Also, the drilled finger holes should not be too loose or big because they might affect your game.

2. Ball Material

The bowling ball cover material is essential in determining the ball’s reaction to the lane conditions.

The three main types of cover material are;

  • polyester
  • reactive resin
  • and urethane.

Once you know the type of cover stock and the weight you require, you can find a wide range of balls online or inquire with your local pro shop.

Every category has differences, but online research or consulting with a pro-shop operator should be sufficient to get you the right ball type.

3. What Is the Cost of a Bowling Ball?

Depending on the personalization options, you can readily find a good plastic ball for around $50 or less.

Reactive-resin balls begin at around $100 or more, some even going for some hundred dollars. Vanity bowling balls with a unique logo could cost over $150 per order.

You can also get pre-drilled balls that you won’t spend extra cash for drilling. However, having a ball drilled specifically on your hand will give you more control.

Bottom Line

That’s it. Hopefully, we have answered whether buying bowling balls and gear online or in-store is better.

Purchasing your gear online is always cheaper, even after drilling at the local pro shop. However, several non-cost benefits come with purchasing locally.

Make certain to save around, compare the pros and cons of buying online or in-store, and you will be on your way to creating an informative bowling ball purchase.

Additional Bowling Hobby Topics
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