Urethane bowling balls might not hook as hard as a reactive ball, but sometimes it’s exactly what you need.
Over the past few years, urethane bowling balls have made a huge resurgence and even the pros are frequently using them. The stable, consistent hook is unmatched by any reactive balls. When the pattern gets battered, urethane is perfect. It doesn’t overreact, but it will definitely hook enough to get you to the pocket.
Urethane bowling balls don’t even absorb oil! Reactive resin balls need to be frequently detoxed in order to maintain their performance. All a urethane needs is a quick clean and a resurface every so often. Much less maintenance than a reactive ball.
Add one to your bag and I guarantee you will find yourself using it more often than not.
This article covers the best urethane bowling balls on the market, but urethane doesn’t hook very hard. If you want a ball that hooks hard we have a whole article about the hardest hooking bowling balls.
Best Urethane Bowling Balls 
1. Storm Pitch Black
Probably the most popular urethane ball on the market right now. This thing is exactly what you want in a urethane ball. You get a smooth, controllable hook when the lanes are tough. Out of the box, it has a 1000 grit finish, which gives it enough mechanical friction to hook, but not too much. The classic, old-school ball motion is exemplified by this ball You could be on a tricky sport pattern or just a typical house shot and this ball is perfect for an “up-and-in” shot. If it worked in the 80s, it still works now.
Core: Capacitor Core
Coverstock: Controll Solid Urethane
Finish: 1000-grit pad
Ideal Oil Conditions: Dry
Storm Pitch Black Lane Reaction Video
2. Motiv Purple Tank
The Motiv Tank is an especially interesting ball. It’s not actually made of urethane, but a microcell polymer. However, for all intents and purposes, it is a urethane ball. It has the classic motion you expect but with a little more “oomph” than your standard urethane. Whenever your reactive resin ball is just a bit too much, or the pattern is completely battered, this ball fits right in that space. It is controllable enough to get it where you want but retains enough energy to bulldoze the pin-deck. This ball is the epitome of what a modern urethane should be. Lots of techno
Core: Flux Symmetric
Coverstock: Purple Solid Urethane
Finish: 1000 Grit LSS
Weight 14-16 lbs
Ideal Lane Condition: Medium
Motiv Purple Tank Lane Reaction Video
3. Brunswick U-Motion
Brunswick did a ton of R&D to get this one right. Different urethane formulas and core combinations later, they settled on the U-Motion. Very controllable motion, but has an outstanding ability to punch through the pins. Brunswick seems to have done something right with this one. This ball does need to hit some dry to really perform so it thrives on broken down patterns, and dry, short fresh patterns. This ball probably has a little less hook potential than the other balls on this list but it really does drive through the pins in a unique way. The U-Motion isn’t a hook monster, but it fills a useful hole in your bowling ball arsenal. When the conditions call for it, you’re going to be glad you brought it.
Coverstock: Solid Urethane
Finish: 500/1000 Siaair Micro Pad
Weight 12-16 lbs.
Ideal Lane Condition: Dry
Brunswick U-Motion Lane Reaction Video
4. Storm Pitch Purple
The Storm Pitch Purple may seem quite similar to the Pitch Black, but they are quite different. The Pitch Purple will hook a tad later, but quite a bit harder. It still has that typical urethane shape, but it’s just a tad snappier than a regular urethane, like the Pitch Black. This ball reacts much more like the Motiv Purple Tank. Is the fact that they are both purple a coincidence? I’m not sure, but they definitely have similar performance. If you are looking for a ball to fill the gap between reactive and regular urethane, this ball is definitely something to consider.
Core: Capacitor Core
Coverstock: Rev-Controll Solid Urethane
Finish: 1000-grit Abralon
Weight 12-16 lbs.
Ideal Lane Condition: Medium-Dry
Storm Pitch Purple Ball Reaction Video
What is a urethane bowling ball good for?
Urethane bowling balls have a very smooth, controllable hook on the lane. They don’t react strongly or aggressively, but they still hook enough to hit the pocket at a good entry angle. Urethane balls are perfect for a short, dry pattern, or a burnt-up typical house pattern.
Do urethane balls absorb oil?
No! And that’s one of the best things about them! Reactive Resin balls absorb oil and wear out over time. There are ways to combat this in addition to giving your balls regular cleanings such as baking your ball or having the oil extracted at a pro shop. Absorbing and removing oil repeatedly tends to wear out these bowling balls and they lose hook potential and overall performance over time. Urethane however has none of these issues. The surface is not porous and doesn’t absorb oil. Cleaning and occasionally resurfacing your ball is all you have to do to keep it performing as it did out of the box.
What is the best urethane bowling ball?
It’s hard to pick just one, hence the article above discussing four different ones. However, in a desert island scenario, I would pick the Storm Pitch Black. It is a classic, regular, nothing fancy workhorse of a ball that will always be relevant in the sport of bowling.
Is urethane good on dry lanes?
Yes, they thrive on dry, battered lanes. The shape of the hook is so stable and controllable that you get a tad bit of extra leeway in your shot. A highly aggressive, hard-hooking ball may destroy the pin-deck when you hit flush, but they are much more finicky on less-than-perfect lane conditions.