A urethane bowling ball serves a few purposes in today’s competitive bowling environment.
- They offer an affordable entry point for the casual bowler who wants to buy his or her first ball,
- They allow league and tournament bowlers the ability to “ball-down” in light oil, dry, or burn conditions because urethane equipment hooks less than reactive equipment.
- Urethane bowling balls offer rev-dominant bowlers, or those bowlers who have particularly high rev rates, an option for playing straighter lines to the pocket.
Modern Urethane = Mild (Classic) Covers Paired With Aggressive Cores
Back in the 70’s urethane was the modern technology in bowling equipment. It offered bowlers who had previously used rubber and polyester equipment a new option for hooking the ball more than ever before.
These days urethane balls are frequently made for two different purposes:
- They are sold as entry level balls for new bowlers who are just learning the game.
- They are also frequently marketed to high caliber bowlers as an option for increased control of the breakpoint.
The best bowlers in the world tend to throw urethane equipment as a way of controlling the ball motion at the end of a pattern, in short oil conditions, or burn conditions to name just a few.
The equipment is also getting more complex than ever before despite being made largely from the same coverstock material that was used in the 80s.
Most brands since 2010 have made various types of urethane balls including reactive urethane, pearlized urethane, and classic urethane. The reactives and pearlized versions tend to include additives into the surface of the coverstock that allows the balls to hook either a little more than “old-school urethane” or a little later.
Many modern urethane balls also utilize modern cores that help the ball flare, turn over, increase continuation, and drive through the pocket better.
In my opinion this makes many of these balls look and act a lot like some of the weak reactive balls on the market.
Of course there is still some throw-back style urethane equipment that is still made as basic as it gets. Balls like the Brunswick True Motion for instance still use the exact same urethane coverstock mixture as they used in the 80s – the only difference is in the modern core that increases the amount of boards the ball can cover.
Balls like these will react have a very mild reaction to friction, unlike anything else on the market.
Looking for the Best Urethane Bowling Ball For Your Bag?
Aren’t We All? Let Me Give You My Opinion.
Because you’re reading this I’m going to assume that you are looking to buy a urethane ball at some point and that you want to know what current options are available to you… also, I’m sure you want to know what the difference is between all the urethane equipment on the market.
They’re are round aren’t they? What could possibly be different about them all?
In many cases it’s simply not clear to the casual bowler the difference between one ball and another but as you get better it becomes easier to identify minute differences and it becomes easier to understand why one ball might be a better fit for your bag than another… even if they are all quite similar.
The bowling ball manufacturers also don’t always heavily market their newest urethane equipment either (compared to some of their premium reactive options) so there’s just not as much buzz to go by or information to review.
As a bowler I personally throw two-handed (with thumb) around 19 mph. I have a rev rate of about 500 rpms and my track is a full roll.
As a full roller I get a ton of ball surface contact to the boards with each throw – roughly 18 rings per shot – so urethane balls have a dominant place in my arsenal just as they do with many other high-rev pros.
Below you’ll find a list of all the urethane balls currently for sale plus a few more that may have been recently discontinued from all of the brands in the business.
I’ll do my best to not only list them below but compare them a bit so you can make a better informed decision on which one (or two) are right for you.
Lower on the page I’ve got a section where I have tried to list out some of the older urethane equipment that isn’t being produced any more that you may be able to find online, on eBay, at a local pro shop’s used ball rack, or at a random garage sale. If you want to jump to that section you can using this link.
Let’s first look at a quick and dirty list of all the current offerings from all of the bowling brands and then we’ll dive in to short reviews and comparisons of them.
The Big List of Current (2019) Urethane Bowling Balls
The balls and brands listed below are presented in no particular order. Click the link on any of them to jump straight to my comments on that particular ball.
- Brunswick True Motion
- DV8 Tactic Control
- Hammer Black Urethane
- Hammer Black Widow Urethane
- Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane
- Storm Pitch Black
- Storm Fever Pitch
- Storm Mix
- Rotogrip Hot Cell
- Motiv Covert Tank
- Motiv Combat Tank
- Motiv Tank Rampage
- 900 Glabal Boo-Yah!
- 900 Global Honey Badger Urethane
- 900 Global Badger Infused Pearl Urethane
- Pyramid Pathogen Plague Urethane
Brunswick True Motion
Released November of 2017 – This is the old 80s era urethane coverstock formulation wrapped around the modern Magnitude .035 core. This gives it the classic shape and reaction of urethane but with a stronger bite in the mid lane that allows the ball to cover more boards.
DV8 Tactic Control
Released in July of 2018 – Unlike the True Motion this urethane cover is more modern providing a smoother arc but with less overall hook due to the less dynamic core.
Hammer Black Urethane
Released October of 2015 – Early and Smooth – A classic urethane ball motion with added continuation due to the dynamic LED Core. This ball will be similar to the True Motion.
Hammer Black Widow Urethane
Released December of 2017 – Midlane Read with stronger back end. One of the strongest urethane balls on the market due to the Gasmask Asymmetric Core which results in more flare and overall hook compared to the True Motion or Hammer Black.
Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane
Released October of 2016 – Early Read with Mild Backend. This ball has the same LED Core as the Hammer Black but the pearlized urethane cover gives it more length with a slightly more angular shape that covers slightly less boards overall.
Storm Pitch Black
Released May of 2014 – Classic Urethane Ball Motion, early read with mild continuation.
Storm Fever Pitch
Released February of 2019 – This is a pearlized urethane – It should have a more angular motion downlane than urethane balls are typically known for.
First Released July of 2013 – This ball comes in a variety of color combinations some of which are new, others of which have been discontinued.
This is a low flare potential pearl urethane ball from the Ice product line. It’s got a simple 3-piece core (pancake weight block). Many league bowlers use this as an alternative to the plastic spare ball while other bowlers use it for straighter angles to the pocket.
Rotogrip Hot Cell
Released November of 2017 – This is a solid urethane ball with a high-end asymmetrical core. It will flare more than the tamer options on the market.
Motiv Covert Tank
Released June of 2019 – This ball is advertised to be a next generation urethane that glides through the heads, flares more, and has more backend. The strong symmetrical core aids with drive making this ball feel almost nothing like old-school urethane.
Motiv Tank Rampage
Released May of 2017
Motiv Combat Tank
Released January of 2018
900 Glabal Boo-Yah!
Released July of 2015 – This is a low track flare ball with a symmetrical core. It will roll early but won’t burn up in the heads.
900 Global Honey Badger Urethane
Released April of 2019
900 Global Badger Infused Pearl Urethane
Released July of 2019 – This ball is a pearlized urethane ball that is made of 70% pearlized reactive coverstock and 30% urethane coverstock making it feel like your standard urethane ball with some added length and a lot of flare potential.
Pyramid Pathogen Plague Urethane
Released March of 2018
Balls With a Classic Urethane Ball Motion
From the above lists of in-production and recently discontinued balls lets look at the classic (old-school) urethane balls first. Each of these balls fits the description of a new urethane ball that rolls similar to those that were made 30 years ago in the 80s and 90s.
#1 – The Storm Pitch Black
Pearl Urethane Balls – Added Length
These balls are modified urethane coverstocks that let the ball push slightly further down lane before changing direction. In most cases these balls are slightly more angular and hook rough about the same, the difference is the shape. Not quite angular enough to be considered reactive but for urethane they turn the corner much more aggressively.
#1 – The Storm Pitch Blue
Below I’ve Listed a Ton of Older Discontinued Urethane Equipment Sorted by Manufacturer
Click the brand in this list to jump to that section and please note, I highly doubt I have made a comprehensive list. I’ve done my best to list out as much as possible but I’ve probably missed some random ball out there.
Old Brunswick Urethane Equipment
There are definitely a few additional urethane balls that Brunswick put out since the 80s but this is a good list of the discontinued balls that you might be more likely to come across on used racks.
- Brunswick Edge Red Urethane (1981)
- Brunswick Edge II Brown Urethane (1983)
- Brunswick Headhunter Urethane (1990s)
- Brunswick Twister (1990)
- Brunswick Phantom (1991)
- Brunswick Blue Rhino Pro Urethane (1992)
- Brunswick Blitz Black Urethane (1998)
- Brunswick Groove Urethane (2005)
- Brunswick Avalanche Urethane (2010)
- Brunswick Karma Urethane (2012)
- Brunswick Fanatic BTU (2016)
- Brunswick Fanatic BTU Pearl (2017)
- Brunswick Eclipse Reactive Urethane (xxxx)
Old Storm Urethane Equipment
- Storm Natural Pearl (2011)
- Storm Polar Ice (2012)
- Storm Super Natural (2013)
- Storm Pitch Blue (2016)
Old Motiv Urethane Equipment
- Tank (2013)
- Rebel Tank (2015)
Old Hammer Urethane Equipment
- Blue Hammer Urethane (2011)
Old Columbia 300 Urethane Equipment
- The Classic U2 (2012)
Old Lord Field Urethane Equipment
- Old School (2015)
Old Seismic Urethane Equipment
- Desperado (2010)
- Desperado LE (2011)
Old 900 Global Urethane Equipment
- Shadow Ops (2018)