How To Build a Bowling Ball Arsenal


With so many bowling ball choices, it can be a challenge deciding which should be in your bowling bag. We understand it can be intimidating, so we’ve created our MOTIV® Ball Guide to simplify the bowling ball selection process as much as we can.  Click HERE for an review of the heat map used on the ball guide. 

The MOTIV® Ball Guide is a great place to start because it illustrates the many different ball motions available in the MOTIV® product line.  For the best analysis to match your bowling style with the right MOTIV® ball, we recommend visiting a local pro shop.  Use our pro shop locator to find the one closest to you.   


When starting to build an arsenal, you will want to begin with finding your benchmark ball.  This can be described as the first ball out of your bag, being used to give you a great read of the oil pattern and an understanding of where the friction is on the lane.   

Typically, a benchmark piece is designed for medium oil conditions and allows you to either ball up or down depending on what you see on the lanes. The Venom Shock has the reputation of being a fantastic benchmark ball due to its versatility and controllability on typical house conditions.  You can read more about finding your benchmark ball HERE.


Moving from your benchmark ball, you will want at least one ball that has a stronger ball reaction and at least one other that is weaker. At this point, you’ll need to understand what type of bowler you are. 

Speed dominant bowlers will typically rely more on asymmetrical, high differential and low RG balls with stronger cover stocks. Speed dominant bowlers won’t use as many pearls as they need stronger cover stocks to generate friction, especially on heavy oil conditions. For example, a speed dominant bowler would be better off with a stronger, solid ball with high differential like a Jackal Ambush or Forge Ember for heavier oil than with a cleaner and more angular ball like the Sky Raptor

Rev dominant bowlers, on the other hand, will tend to need balls with a higher RG that will be able to make it through the fronts of the lanes better, especially as the lanes breakdown or the volumes are low.  Because of their rev rate, these bowlers are much more likely to need pearl bowling balls or hybrids that will give them enough length through the front of the lanes, without overreacting. On heavier volumes, a rev dominant bowler will tend to prefer a ball like the Jackal Ghost or Sky Raptor. On lighter volumes, they would be better off with a Supra Rally.


As you create your arsenal, it is important to avoid overlapping performance because each ball should have a purpose. You’ll want to have a ball for fresh lane conditions that is early and smooth, your medium strength benchmark piece, and a ball for later in the block that is cleaner and more angular.  With these three motions in mind, you can add balls around them as needed to fill the gaps. 


If you usually bowl at the same center and they always put down the same oil pattern, a 3-ball MOTIV® arsenal will be sufficient. If you bowl in leagues at different bowling centers or compete in tournaments, your arsenal will need to be much more diverse.  

You can build a complete MOTIV® arsenal of any size using the Ball Guide and applying the principles of the MOTIV® Heat Map. As new MOTIV® balls are introduced, the Ball Guide will help you strategically select pieces that fit around the balls you already have in your bag. 

Thank you for building a bowling ball arsenal with MOTIV®.

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