Best Bowling Ball for Wood Lanes – Top 7 Options

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Trying to find the best bowling ball for wood lanes? You’re in the right spot. Here’s everything you need to know along with the top options to consider before you make your purchase…

Best Bowling Ball for Wood Lanes

Features That You Must Consider

Hardness of the Ball

Wood lanes are much softer and more forgiving than synthetic lanes are, which means that bowlers are able to use a wider variety of balls without worrying about them breaking or being damaged on the lane. While synthetic lanes require incredibly durable balls, bowling on a wood lane allows bowlers to pull out their old favorite without worrying about it cracking or being damaged.

It’s still important to look for a ball that is durable and not designed to crack or break as this will prevent the ball from being damaged when thrown. Some balls simply have a better reputation for being more durable, which is something to consider.

Coverstock Material

The coverstock of a bowling ball plays a huge role in how well the ball will handle when used on a wood lane. Generally speaking, wood lanes are more forgiving than synthetic lanes are but the amount of oil on a wood lane can greatly impact the movement and control that a bowler has when bowling.

Since wood lanes aren’t as hard or slick, it’s easy to use a bowling ball that has a plastic or polyester coverstock without worrying about a loss of control. Dry lanes are a great time to use these balls and the bowler will still have plenty of control over his or her throw.

Wetter or oilier lanes, on the other hand, will require a bowling ball with a more durable and grippy coverstock. These lanes can cause the ball to slide much as a synthetic lane will so it’s important for bowlers to consider if their coverstock is working for them or against them.


The weight of a bowling ball plays a huge role in how easily the bowler can handle the ball and how far down the lane the ball will travel without stopping. As long as bowlers are able to create ample speed with their balls, then they can easily use lighter balls on wood lanes without any problems. Since wood lanes have so much more friction than synthetic lanes do, even lighter bowling balls can easily grip the surface.

Bowlers who struggle to get the required length from their throw, however, will want to opt for a ball that is a bit heavier. These balls are also a better option for use on oily lanes as they will manage to grip the wood and travel further.

Flare Potential

Flare potential plays a huge role in how a ball hooks and whether or not it is predisposed to hook when thrown down the lane. Generally speaking, wood lanes are much softer, have more friction, and don’t need balls that will hook as hard. This means that bowlers can easily choose balls with lower flare potential and will still feel as if they are in control of the ball when bowling.

Balls with higher flare potential can be too difficult for some bowlers to control when they are used on a wood lane. Unless there is a lot of oil on the lane, it’s best to opt for a ball with a lower flare potential in this case.

Best Bowling Balls for Wood Lanes

DV8 Zombie Spare

DV8 Zombie Spare Viz-A-Ball 12 Pounds

Unlike other bowling balls that are incredibly responsive, this bowling ball was designed to be perfectly thrown in a straight line every time. This makes it great for picking up spares and for beginners who haven’t had enough time to learn how to throw hooks. It’s a great ball for wood lanes but will underperform on synthetic lanes.


  • It is great for controlling straight shots without any hooking.
  • It is designed with a durable polyester coverstock to improve action on wood lanes.
  • Low hook potential is great for bowlers who don’t want a lot of movement.
  • High-gloss polish helps the ball enjoy a lot of speed revolutions.
  • It is ideal for picking up spares due to the way the ball rolls and controls.


  • It is great as a secondary ball but not as easily controlled as other options.
  • Lack of grip and hook can be frustrating for some bowlers.

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Ebonite Maxim Northern Lights

Ebonite Maxim Northern Lights 6lb

Attractive and durable, this is a great beginner’s ball for any bowler who is learning how to throw straight. It will not hook easily, which is great for beginners or for anyone who is going to bowl on a wood lane. The perfectly balanced core allows the ball to easily maintain speed the whole distance to the pins.


  • It is an excellent basic ball that is great for beginners as well as for children.
  • Attractive design looks great in black light and will really stand out.
  • Durable polyester coverstock is sleek and smooth.
  • It is designed to withstand a lot of throws by beginners without showing any signs of damage.
  • It is great for picking up spares as it is very easy to consistently roll straight.


  • It is not a great option for more advanced bowlers.
  • It can easily underperform in medium or high oil conditions on a wood lane.

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Bowlerstone Clear Skull Ball

Bowlerstore Clear Skull Bowling Ball 15lbs, Clear, 15

This is a bold ball that is sure to draw attention at the bowling alley but since it is so easy to throw the ball nice and straight, there’s no pressure. An incredibly durable ball, it won’t easily crack or chip when drilled and has a great core that makes bowling in a straight line easier than ever for beginners.


  • Wild design is sure to attract attention at the bowling alley.
  • Clear ball doesn’t mark up even when thrown regularly.
  • It handles wooden lanes easily and always rolls straight.
  • It is the perfect plastic ball for picking up spares and for use as a secondary ball.
  • It is durable enough to be drilled without cracking or chipping.


  • It is only available in 14 and 15 pounds.
  • It is not a good option for any bowler who wants to learn how to hook the ball.

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Pyramid Pathogen Ball

Pyramid Pathogen Spare Bowling Ball (14)

This high-performance ball has a medium flare potential, making it a great option for bowlers who are on wood lanes and who want to start learning how to hook the ball. When thrown straight, it rolls very true to the pins but is easy enough to hook as long as the bowler throwing the ball has enough speed and power during the throw, making it ideal for beginners and more advanced bowlers.


  • Durable polyester coverstock has an impressive factory finish polish.
  • It easily hooks on dry oil wood lanes.
  • It can be drilled in many different ways to improve a bowler’s game.
  • It is USBC-approved.
  • It has a dual-density asymmetric core but still manages to roll very straight.


  • It can be difficult to hook unless the bowler has a high revolution rate.
  • It tends to slide a little on oily lanes, making it difficult to control.

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Brunswick Twist

Brunswick Bowling Twist Reactive Ball, Sky Blue/Pink/Snow, Size 8

This is a great bowling ball for beginners who are interested in having balls that can do it all on wood lanes. Not only is it reliable enough to throw straight but it can easily hook, especially when used on very dry wood. This makes it a great choice for bowlers who are new to hooking and want something that they can easily control.


  • New twist low-diff core allows for plenty of length.
  • It has a predictable, strong back-end reaction when used on dry wood lanes.
  • Bright colors swirled together appeal to bowlers of all ages and abilities.
  • It is not an ideal ball to use on oily lanes as it will have trouble gripping the wood.
  • It is perfect for any drilling pattern.


  • Coverstock is a bit more reactive than other options, which can make it harder to control.
  • It is not powerful enough for more advanced bowlers.

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Hammer Black Widow Ball

Hammer Bowling Products Black Widow Bowling Ball- Black/Gold, 15lbs

This tough bowling ball is a great option for any bowler who is confident enough to dominate the lanes but needs a powerful ball that he or she can rely on. From the core to the coverstock, it’s strong and reliable, making it a great choice for throwing strikes or taking down spares no matter the condition of the lane.


  • Even though this has an aggressive coverstock, it still performs very well on wood lanes.
  • It is designed to have a lot of speed when approaching and striking the pins.
  • It offers a strong back-end, which is great for bowlers who want to hook the ball.
  • Carbon fiber interior is durable and designed to last.
  • It is ideal for medium or heavy oil but can perform well on dry lanes.


  • It can sometimes chip around the finger holes.
  • Incorrect drilling will cause the ball to be unresponsive on the lane.

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Storm Ice

Storm Ice Storm Blue/White ( 15 lbs )

Designed to perform as well as it looks, this bowling ball is a great option for beginners who are learning to throw straight on a wood lane or for more advanced bowlers to use as their backups when they need to pick up a spare. It’s got a durable and slick coverstock that helps it to roll easily in most any conditions, although it best used on dry or medium-oil lanes.


  • It is great for use on most any lane conditions.
  • It is finished with a 3500-grit polish.
  • Pearl polyester coverstock is slick and smooth, allowing the ball to roll easily on wood lanes.
  • Traditional three-piece core prevents the ball from being difficult to control and adds power to throws.
  • Attractive blue and white swirled design looks great.


  • It is not a great option for throwing hooks.
  • It can be a little temperamental when used on heavily oiled lanes.

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Wrap Up

There are lots of options to consider here, but if you want something super solid, be sure to check out the Hammer Black Widow Ball. It doesn’t have the cool designs that the others do, but it’s reliable, affordable and great for wood lanes.