How is a Bowling Ball Made?

Other than the finger holes and eye-catching colours, bowling balls look simple - deceptively so.  At prices ranging from less than $50 to around $300, the balls are much more than solid spheres.

Historically, most bowling balls were made of Lignum vitae, a very hard wood.  In 1905, the first rubber bowling ball (the Evertrue) was produced, followed nine years later by Brunswick Corporation's rubber Mineralite ball.  Hard rubber balls dominated the market until the 1970s, when polyester balls were developed.

In the 1980s, urethane bowling balls were introduced.  Around 1990, dramatic changes were made in the design of the ball cores (dense blocks within the ball that modify the ball's balance).  Shortly thereafter, reactive urethane was introduced as a new coverstock (the ball's surface layer) option and this has revolutionised the sport.

Check out this great video we found on how bowling balls are made.

Since 1993, bowling ball manufacturers have been using computerized design software to generate frequent improvements in core design. 

Designs have become so sophisticated that even for one model of ball, a different core design may be used for different ball weights.

Some examples of bowling bowl core shapes are lightbulb, spherical, and elliptical.  Click on the link above to follow the journey of how a bowling ball is constructed.