How Long Does A Reactive Resin Bowling Ball Last? (Compared To Urethane)

A bowling ball is the biggest investment a serious bowler will make. Reactive resin balls are the best choice for bowlers who have experience and want to get the most out of their games. Before you make your bowling ball purchase, you may wonder how long the ball will last. Otherwise, you already have a ball and wonder if it is time to get a new one. We've researched the lifespan of resin bowling balls to get the answer for you.

Reactive resin bowling balls have an average lifespan of 5 to 10 years for optimum performance. This works out to 150 to 300 games on average. Manufacturers offer warranties for 1 to 3 years. With proper care and maintenance, you can extend a reactive resin ball's longevity without sacrificing performance; it is still usable as long as it is not cracked, but it will lose its reactiveness. A urethane ball is not reactive and can be used for decades as long as it doesn't crack.

People can bowl with the same ball for a lifetime. As long as the ball is not cracked, no harm is done by bowling with an old ball. Reactive resin bowling balls are made and purchased for the performance it provides. It can grip the lane and hook easier than urethane or plastic balls can. This post will discuss how you can maintain a reactive resin ball to receive the longest life with optimum performance. We will also tell you the best lane conditions and whether a reactive resin ball absorbs oil.

Black and silver bowling ball rolling down the lane, How Long Does A Reactive Resin Bowling Ball Last? (Compared To Urethane)

How To Maintain A Reactive Resin Ball

Man in casual clothes at the bowling alley playing bowling

You will receive the best performance from your ball when it is brand new. To maintain this level of play, you should have a microfiber cloth to wipe off the ball between rolls. The cloth removes any oil or dirt the ball picked up on your last turn. As the reactive resin ball absorbs oil, it begins to lose its grip. Wiping off the surface between turns will prevent the ball from absorbing oil and can extend performance.

It is recommended to resurface your reactive ball every 60 games. This will generally cost $5 to $10 at a bowling pro shop for a basic resurface on your bowling ball. You can keep resurfacing the ball every 60 games to maintain optimum performance. When the manufacturer logo wears off the ball, it is an indication that the ball's life is coming to an end.

You can also help maintain the ball's reactiveness by lightly sanding your ball after six to nine games. Don't use regular sandpaper, but purchase abrasive bowling pads that are designed for this purpose. This is not an alternative to resurfacing the ball every 60 games, but an additional step you can take to improve performance and extend the ball's lifespan.

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What Is A Reactive Resin Bowling Ball?

A reactive resin ball is made with a kind of polyurethane. The ball is made to be porous, which is the most important difference between urethane and plastic bowling balls. The pores provide more grip for the ball as it rolls down the lane. This grip is what gives the ball its reactivity.

Intermediate to advanced bowlers with a hook shot will get the best performance from a reactive resin ball. Plastic and urethane balls can also be used for hook shots, but it is not as easy to accomplish.

Plastic and urethane balls are often used as spare balls. If you have one pin left to hit on your spare shot, then you would prefer to aim straight at the pin without any hook. The same could be said of a reactive resin ball after it loses its reactivity. It can still be used as a straight aim spare ball.

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How To Clean Reactive Resin Bowling Balls?

When you are done bowling for the day, it is good to wipe down the ball with a small amount of rubbing alcohol. The ball will be warm from the repeated friction of rolling down the lane. This opens up the ball's pores, which is the best opportunity to clean off the dirt and scuff marks that occur during gameplay. Scrub the ball with alcohol or approved bowling ball cleaner. Wipe off any excess moisture and put your ball away until your next game.

For more information about different cleaners, check out our post Can You Use Windex On A Bowling Ball.

Does A Reactive Resin Bowling Ball Absorb Oil??

A reactive resin ball does absorb oil. The porous coverstock gives the ball reactivity, and there is no way to prevent the ball from absorbing oil. As the ball absorbs more oil, it will lose its grip and reactivity. It is best to take multiple microfiber cloths every time you go to the bowling alley. You can wipe off excess oil in between shots and switch to a new cloth halfway through your bowling alley visit. It won't prevent the ball from absorbing any oil, but it will slow down the absorption rate while increasing the ball's reactive lifespan.

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Best Lane Conditions For A Reactive Resin Bowling Ball?

There are three different kinds of reactive resin bowling balls. A solid reactive coverstock has the most pores and works best on medium to oily lane conditions. Drier lanes provide more traction and grip to the ball, which may cause your ball to overreact or over-hook if you are using a solid reactive coverstock. A pearl reactive coverstock is better for moderately oiled lanes or drier lanes. A hybrid coverstock tries to get the best of both styles for a reactive ball that is good for all lane conditions.

A shot of bowling alley

Is A Reactive Resin Ball Consistent?

The porous nature of the reactive resin ball means that its performance changes as lane conditions change. This can make it difficult for a beginner or novice to adapt to varying conditions. League bowlers usually complete three games over the course of three to four hours. Since many other league bowlers use the lanes throughout this period, the lane conditions could become noticeably drier from your first game to your last game.

In Closing

Reactive resin bowling balls are the performance ball of choice for league and professional bowlers. This gives the bowler the most ability to control his or her shot. Learning how to control the ball in varying conditions comes with practice and experience. If you are looking to buy your first reactive resin ball, then a hybrid coverstock is a better choice for more consistency. It is also good practice to keep a spare ball that is used to knock down remaining pins on your second shot of the frame.

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