Ball manufacturers first added resin particles to urethane cover stocks in the early 1990s. Whereas urethane balls already had a better hook potential than plastic, the resin particles made the cover stock even tackier, increasing the hook potential.
Most bowlers at most levels on most lane conditions use a reactive-resin cover stock. If you’re a recreational bowler who always uses a house ball (which is almost always plastic), and you throw a reactive-resin ball, you’re going to be surprised at how much more it hooks (or that it hooks at all).
Bowler, Meet Backend
The resin particles cause the ball to skid on top of the oil more than a standard urethane ball, but they also grip the dry part of the lane much better. So, on a regular oil pattern, the ball is intended to skid out to the break point, then grab onto the lane and hook aggressively into the pins. This is called backend.
Backend is important because it drastically increases your strike potential. With a urethane ball that gradually hooks all the way down the lane, your entry angle to the pocket won’t be as good as that of a reactive-resin ball that skids to the end of the oil and then makes a sharp turn into the pins.
Because of the grip at the end of the lane, a lot of bowlers find it difficult to pick up certain spares with a reactive-resin ball. You’ll notice most pro bowlers use a plastic ball for many of their spare shots.
Especially for a novice or moderate bowler, the corner pins are difficult to pick up (the 10 pin for righties and the 7 pin for lefties). If you’re just learning the game, it might sound odd to find out you’re hooking the ball too much, but it can be the case.
If you’re struggling picking up spares with your reactive-resin ball, you should consider adding a plastic ball to your arsenal.
Increase In Price to Increase In Strikes
Reactive-resin balls cost significantly more than plastic balls, which can intimidate beginning bowlers who just want a ball of their own. But if you’re really going to work at improving your game, it’s worth the extra money to get a reactive-resin ball.
Review Your Reactive-Resin Bowling Balls
Do you have a reactive-resin ball you absolutely love or hate? Maybe somewhere in between? Submit a review of your reactive-resin bowling balls.