jason belmonte spare bowling ball

Best Spare-Balls for Bowling

Why a spare ball?

Once you get above the beginner level and start hooking the ball, you’ll find it harder and harder to hit your spares. The biggest culprit is the fact that balls that have more hook, also make it harder to throw it straight at a target, Performance balls are also more affected by different oil pattern on the lane. 

Is there really a best-spare ball?

Most spare balls come under the Polyester category. This means they are basically all plastic, and don’t react much to lane conditions. You could put massive revolution on these balls and they wouldn’t hook too much from your target. They also don’t have any type of weight block at the core, making them pretty predictable. In general they all have the same amount of performance.

The spare-ball is the Ball you will use most!

No matter how you look at it, a spare ball will be your most used ball. Mathematically, you will have 2-3 additional high performance balls to throw at strikes, but you will only have one ball for spares. So my theory is that you’d better like the ball you’re throwing. 

Low Budget Balls:

  • Columbia White-Dot
  • Brunswick T-Zone
  • Storm Ice

Balls with more Graphics

Balls made by viz-a-ball usually come with some custom type of graphic on them. Examples are Sports Teams Logos, Anime Characters, or any number of things. Some ball companies also have some custom spare balls available where they print some graphic on the ball. These are definitely more fun and can show some kind of personality.


Viz a ball pretty much corners the market in terms of Bowling Balls with graphics on them.

Custom/Collector type Balls

Some spare balls are made with Novelty graphics or are see-through and you can see some interesting item at the core. Examples of this are a 3D Rose, 3D Tire, or a 3D Skull. Sometimes professional bowlers partner with their sponsor to create a custom ball with their branding on them.


  • Skull ball
  • Rose
  • Belmonte Spare Ball

Some Specialty semi-performance balls:

Just a notch above your regular plastic balls are a few balls that aren’t quite plastic, and aren’t quite urethane. Or they are plastic with an aggressive core inside

Storm Mix

This is a ball with no core that has a ‘mix’ of plastic and Urethane. These go pretty straight.

Hammer Axe

This ball by hammer has a light reactive cover on it. It supposedly goes straighter than Storm’s Ice, I will have to test this out

Hammer Black Widow Spare

This is a VizaBall partnership where the graphic on the outside is a Black widow pattern, but inside it has the classic aggressive Black Widow Weight Block. It’s hooks more than a plastic ball, it seems to have more of a slight curving shape compared to a hockey stick.

Radical The Spy

This is an interesting piece. It has some aggressive blend of plastic cover which gives it a little bite on the lane, as well as an asymmetric weight block. This isn’t too crazy though. 


By their nature…spare balls perform all about the same as each other. There are those slight notable offshoots at the end of this post. A lot of your decision about your spare ball will either be about budget, or about personal pizzaz you want in your bowling game from your bowling balls. 

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