The heaviest legal bowling ball weighs 16 pounds. The lightest weight you can usually find at most bowling alleys is six pounds. Within that 10-pound range, which is right for you?
It's Not About Anyone Else
Some people like to impress their friends by grabbing a 10-pound ball and hurling it at unbelievable speeds or trajectories toward the pins. Not only is this potentially hazardous and disrespectful to the bowling alley, but any ball you're able to throw that hard or high is probably too light. You might be able to get a few exploding strikes, but the ball isn't heavy enough to consistently knock down all the pins.
Conversely, some people look for the heaviest ball on the rack to impress their friends with their brute strength. Another mistake. Throwing a ball that's too heavy can cause serious injury, and at the least discomfort. Plus, if you physically can't handle the heavy ball, you look ridiculous trying anyway, so your purpose is defeated.
How Heavy is Heavy Enough? How Heavy is Too Heavy?
Put simply, your ideal ball weight is the heaviest ball you can comfortably throw for an entire night of bowling. If you can throw a 16-pound ball comfortably for five frames but then get tired or sore, use a lighter ball. If you're throwing a 12-pound ball with extreme ease, get a heavier ball.
The more weight you have on your ball, the more force you have with which to knock down pins. However, if you can't get the ball there with any speed, you cancel out all that weight. Therefore, your optimum ball weight is the heaviest ball you can throw consistently.