How Long Your Bowling Ball Lasts
How long does a bowling ball last? This is a question I have gotten a lot. I will mainly be talking about the newer reactive bowling balls. I will not go into too much detail about the plastic, rubber, or urethane balls.
I also must note that this is my personal opinion and experience only. This question could go into some detail and I may address it more in later posts. A plastic ball could last for quite awhile, but you will get lots of chipping and cracking.
These balls do not absorb much lane conditioner and have a semi-hard cover even though it is brittle. You could have one of these balls for many years or only a few months. Remember, these are not high performance bowling balls so scoring will suffer.
Urethane bowling balls have some oil abortion and have a durable cover, but usually do not have much track flare. They do not score as well as a reactive ball. These balls could last you a couple years if cleaned and maintained properly. Some problems are there are not many companies that make these balls anymore and they do not score as high as reactive balls. A reactive ball scores higher normally, but the longevity of the ball is short so you will sacrifice performance and scoring.
I have seen some reactive bowling balls only last 30 to 50 games, yet I have seen some work well for a few years. Now the lane center’s choice in conditioner seems to play a factor, but I have no scientific proof of this.
Some conditioners seem to have properties that kill the ball faster. One factor is the oil absortion rate. A lot of these balls are made to soak up oil like a sponge. It only makes sense the faster the ball is designed to soak up this lane oil, the faster it will lose it's hooking action.
My point is a highly absorbing bowling ball will not last as long as one that has a slower absorbing rate. These are a couple factors. The question was how long will my bowling ball last. With the new high performance balls, the one time a week bowler will probably have to get a new ball every year or two because most the time the ball only last an average of 100 to 200 games.
If you bowl a 33 week season at 3 games a night that would be 99 games. Then add probably at least one practise game weekly and you would equal 132 games a season. If you bowl more than that let say 2 or 3 times a week, you are looking at 2 or 3 balls a year for top performance. Proper cleaning and maintaining your ball can help make it last longer. In brief, the more you bowl, the more new equipment you will need.
Good Luck and Great Bowling.