How Long Are Bowling Balls Good For?


It is important for you to be aware that your bowling balls will need to be taken care of in order to be able to use them for a longer period of time. Taking good care of the ball will keep it in optimal shape and condition, and you will definitely get long term value out of your bowling ball in this case.

So, how long does a bowling ball last? What is their average life expectancy for a new ball?

A new bowling ball lasts at least 5-10 years or up to 150 to 300 games on average, and their warranties are offered for 1 to 3 years. Many think that they will be able to use their ball forever without having to do anything with it. You will need to take care of the ball in order to make sure that it does not become too worn down or ineffective after a while.

Signs of Deterioration in a Bowling Ball

Having your own bowling ball is a smart and practical thing to do when you bowl regularly. However, the ball’s reaction capabilities may get worse over time, regardless of lane conditions.

What do you have to pay attention to ensure that your bowling balls last longer?

Oil and Dirt

Oil and grime dull the beauty of the ball’s sheen. It is important to wipe down balls between games so that they remain clean and shiny. Having more oil and dirt on the ball than ideal can wear it out pretty soon. All kinds of gunk can be collected on a bowling lane in a bowling alley and then be transferred to the ball when you bowl.

Losing Ball Hook

Losing the hook when throwing is another sign that you need to replace the bowling ball. Other signs are flat spots on the original factory finish, heavy use on one side, cracks or loss of weight.

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The Sound of Your Bowling Ball

A hollow sound when you release the ball could be a sign that you need to change it as well. Try to compare with other similar bowling balls to get an idea of whether the ball has lost its reaction potential.

If yes, and you tried everything, it is time to replace the ball with a new one or check it at a local pro shop. Even if your ball seems to be working just fine, you should still get a new ball every few years or so to ensure optimal performance. It is an important part of taking care of your bowling equipment and will save you money in the long term.

Proper Maintenance – How Do You Take Care of Bowling Balls?

Caring for your bowling ball is a tedious task that you have to do every time you are finished with your bowling session or even when you throw each ball.

This will ensure that it does not get too dirty over time during the games which could impact its performance later on when you bowl.

There are a couple of simple steps you can take to maintain your bowling ball listed below.

Proper Bowling Ball Storage

Make sure that you take the ball out of your bowling bag after every gaming session. If it is exposed to all kinds of elements such as moisture, dust and dirt while remaining in the bag for a long time, then this can certainly degrade its quality since these agents may get inside easily.

Maintain right humidity and temperature in the storage room for your bowling ball. This will help you keep the ball in great shape for a longer period of time.

Storing a bowling ball in a garage or a warehouse may not be the best idea because of this – you should have a proper ball rack or ball bag for the ball for storage purposes.

Proper Bowling Ball Cleaning

It is important that you do not ever use any harsh chemicals or cleaning solutions when you clean the ball, because this could end up damaging it instead.

A good practice in proper ball care is to simply wipe down the surface of the bowling ball with a hand towel and some bowling ball cleaner.

Rubbing alcohol on bowling balls may not be the best choice, as there are special dedicated cleaning solutions to prevent the wear and tear, and oil absorption.

What is a Bowling Ball Rejuvenator?

There are special products on the market that can help to restore the condition of a bowling ball and make it look new again. This is known as a bowling ball rejuvenator.

The objective of a bowling ball rejuvenator is to heat your reactive bowling ball to a suitable temperature (usually around 120-130 degrees Fahrenheit) in order to remove oil and grime from the deepest pores in your coverstock.

How Often Should You Rejuvenate Your Bowling Balls?

There are several suggestions on how often to de-oil a ball, such as once every 50-70 games, according to Brunswick.

Ultimately, it will be determined by how much you bowl and the circumstances in which you bowl. The number of games will vary, depending on how much you bowl and the lane conditions, but bowlers should try to reduce oil absorption.

If you bowl frequently and/or on more greasy lanes, you may want to de-oil more often.

Resurfacing a Bowling Ball

Perform a full resurface on your bowling ball every 50 games that you play, especially if it’s made from reactive resin. A bowling expert store may do a simple resurfacing on your bowling ball for relatively little money.

It’s a sign for most bowlers that the ball’s life is drawing to a close when the trademark of the manufacturer begins to wear off or when you are starting to lose grip of your ball when throwing.

Why Do Bowling Balls Expire?

Bowlers need to know that their bowling balls will degrade over time. This means that they will become less effective when touching the lane, and they will possibly need to be replaced.

However, some factors will bring the expiration closer for most bowling balls. See the list of causes below that bowlers should pay attention to if they are worried about the life expectancy of their bowling ball.

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Extreme Temperatures in Your Storage Location

It is important to store your bowling balls properly.

The biggest enemy of your bowling ball and its cover stock are wrong ambient temperatures – extreme cold or heat. When you expose it to extreme heat, this can actually cause the balls surface to become rougher and less able to create a good reaction with the lane surface.

This is why you should never leave your ball out in direct sunlight or leave it in your cold garage for extended periods of time because this can make the ball lose its energy and cause dimples in the surface.

Pay attention to this kind of coverstock maintenance, too!

Moisture Around Bowling Balls

Moisture is also something that will definitely end up damaging your ball over time. This can happen when you store it in an area that has high humidity.

Make sure that your case is completely closed when you are not using it, and that you practice proper care after each game or even shot.

Bowlers will see the most damage to their ball when they let it sit in a puddle of water or if they do not wipe it off after each use.

Hook Loss of Bowling Balls

Bowling balls can also lose their hook potential over time. The best way to extend the life of your ball is by taking good care of it. The more you clean your ball and maintain it, the better performances you will get out of it over time during your games to provide that perfect hook.

Remove excess oil and dirt from bowling ball after each game. You can wipe down ball with a towel or microfiber cloth and bowling cleaner, before it could absorb oil.

Finger inserts should be replaced as well from time to time in a bowling ball to improve your grip.

A Bowling Ball Not Being Used

Not being used for a long period of time will undoubtedly affect your own bowling ball. This is why you have to periodically take balls out and throw them around and play with them, in order to keep the strength and power.

The ball surface can be damaged by inactivity. Gravity is to blame for this. All of the pressure on that one single area of the ball over time might cause splitting and cracking, possibly ruining your game.

Proper maintenance is essential for your bowling equipment!

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Playing at a Dirty Bowling Alley

A messy bowling alley will affect your bowling ball, especially if you play there all the time. This can mean that it will not give the same reaction and kind of forcefield over the lane as it would when you play at a cleaner bowling establishment no matter what skill level you possess.

The alley will also dirt your ball and, over time, the grip levels of the ball can diminish to the point where you may start losing control.

How Long Do Reactive Resin Bowling Balls Last?

A high-quality bowling ball will have a small number of defective goods, especially if it is produced by any prominent manufacturer. Manufacturers claim that only around 2% to 4% of all new bowling balls have some fault or defect.

The above mentioned 5 to 10 year lifespan is valid for reactive resin bowling balls, too. But with good maintenance, you may expand your reactive resin balls’ lifespan as well.

Closing Thoughts About Bowling Ball Lifespan

A bowling ball is a very important aspect of your game and should not be taken lightly. Make sure to take good care of it in order to make the most out of the ball on your local bowling alley, and get the best possible experience while bowling. A new ball will last longer if it’s properly taken care of.

So, how long does a bowling ball last?

Bowling balls are not meant to last forever. Like many other sports equipment, bowling balls typically have an expiration date after which it’s time for a replacement.

If you use the same ball regularly, you can expect it to last for a shorter time, not to mention that professional bowlers often own several bowling balls, and there is no problem with owning a spare ball to have a quick replacement.

For the most accurate information about how long bowling balls can be used before they need to be replaced, consult and contact your bowling ball manufacturer or league association or your friends in the bowling community. Pro shops in your area may help you as well.

Take your best shot!

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