11 Best Bowling Ball For Hooking (Highest Hook Potential)

For the best bowling ball for hooking You should pay attention to surface coarseness, friction, and weight distribution. In this article, I’ll introduce you to what I personally think are the 11 best hooking bowling balls out there.

Out of the list below my top pick is definitely the Hammer Black Widow – This high-end ball has very aggressive mid-lane action that makes it the ideal bowling ball for hooking!

Best bowling ball for hooking

What Makes A Bowling Ball Good For Hooks?

The key things that impact the hook potential of a bowling ball are:

  • Surface coarseness – The coarser the ball, the earlier it will go into a hook.
  • Weight distribution – The less even the weight distribution, the higher the hook potential generally is.
  • Friction – The higher the friction, the earlier the ball will want to hook.

* More on the factors that influence hook potential at the bottom of the article.

Top 5 Best Bowling Ball For Hooking

Pyramid Path Rising Bowling Ball
Brunswick Rhino Bowling Ball
Pyramid Antidote Bowling Ball (12)
Our Choice
Hammer Black Widow Urethane Bowling Ball, 15
Pyramid Pathogen (14 LB)
Core
Era 139 symmetric core
Symmetric lightbulb
Era 149 symmetric
Asymmetric gas mask
Era 139 symmetric core
Coverstock
Reactive pearl
Reactive
Reactive
Urethane
Reactive
RG
2.54
2.524
2.55
2.51 – 2.65 (weight-dependent)
2.54
Differential
0.032
0.030
0.054
0.045 – 0.058 (weight-dependent)
0.032
Finish
1,500
500
2,000
360-500
2,000
Action
Strong back-lane
Smooth with late hook
Smooth mid-lane
Aggressive mid-lane
Smooth with late hook
Pyramid Path Rising Bowling Ball
Core
Era 139 symmetric core
Coverstock
Reactive pearl
RG
2.54
Differential
0.032
Finish
1,500
Action
Strong back-lane
Brunswick Rhino Bowling Ball
Core
Symmetric lightbulb
Coverstock
Reactive
RG
2.524
Differential
0.030
Finish
500
Action
Smooth with late hook
Pyramid Antidote Bowling Ball (12)
Core
Era 149 symmetric
Coverstock
Reactive
RG
2.55
Differential
0.054
Finish
2,000
Action
Smooth mid-lane
Our Choice
Hammer Black Widow Urethane Bowling Ball, 15
Core
Asymmetric gas mask
Coverstock
Urethane
RG
2.51 – 2.65 (weight-dependent)
Differential
0.045 – 0.058 (weight-dependent)
Finish
360-500
Action
Aggressive mid-lane
Pyramid Pathogen (14 LB)
Core
Era 139 symmetric core
Coverstock
Reactive
RG
2.54
Differential
0.032
Finish
2,000
Action
Smooth with late hook

11 Best bowling ball for hooking

1. Pyramid Path Rising

Key specs:

  • Era 139 symmetric core.
  • Reactive pearl coverstock.
  • 2.54 RG & 0.032 differential.
  • Fine 1,500-grit finish.
  • Sharp back-lane action.

Shop now at Amazon.com

The Pyramid Path Rising bowling bowl might be that best bowling ball for hooking if you want a strong back-end action. Its reactive pearl coverstock will restrain the hook at the oily section of the lane and uncover the full hook potential at the very end.

Although some buyers think that this ball is a good choice for a beginner, we don’t quite think it’s the best bowling ball for hook beginners. The violent back-lane action may not be very intuitive for newbies. Read more reviews.

2. Brunswick Rhino

Key specs:

  • Symmetric lightbulb core.
  • Reactive coverstock.
  • 2.524 RG & 0.030 differential.
  • Coarse 500-grit finish.
  • Smooth back-lane action.

Shop now at Amazon.com

The Rhino Brunswick bowling ball has less back-end action and instead is more of a smooth performer. It’s coarse finish along with the solid reactive coverstock will make it hook earlier and will allow for a curvier back-lane trajectory.

Overall, the Brunswick bowling ball should be a little more predictable than Pyramid Path Rising due to the smoother action, and many people have praised it for the predictability. Read more reviews.

3. Hammer Black Widow
(My choise Best bowling ball for hooking)

Key specs:

  • Asymmetric gas mask core
  • Urethane coverstock
  • 2.51 – 2.65 RG & 0.045 – 0.058 differential
  • Coarse 360-500-grit finish
  • Strong mid-lane action

Shop now at Amazon.com

The urethane coverstock of the Black Widow bowling ball may lead you to believe that it has a weak hook, but its asymmetric core actually makes it much more aggressive than expected. Aside from that, with its high flare potential, Black Widow bowling ball will go into hooks much earlier than the two previous balls on our list.

Remarkably, the urethane coverstock will also somewhat restrain the hook of this ball, making it more predictable and consistent in the first half of the lane.

At least, this probably has been the idea of Hammer. And judging by buyer reviews, Black Widow does deliver on its promise, boasting strong mid-lane action with consistency in the earlier portion of the lane. For a skilled player, Black Widow may be the very best bowling ball for hooking out there. Read more reviews.

4. Hammer Rip’D Solid

Key specs:

  • Rip’D asymmetric core.
  • Tough Aggression Solid CFI coverstock.
  • 2.48 RG & 0.054 differential.
  • 500/1,000/2,000-grit finish.
  • Aggressive mid-lane hook.

Shop now at Amazon.com

The Hammer Rip’D Solid bowling ball is dramatically different from the Black Widow. This ball’s Rip’D asymmetric core paired with the Aggression CFI solid coverstock ensure higher flare potential, an earlier hook, and overall aggressive action starting from mid-lane.

Thanks to the coverstock, expect Rip’D Solid to be more aggressive and less predictable than Black Widow. This means that this “hooking monster” (as one reviewer described it) may be less beginner-friendly. Read more reviews.

5. Pyramid Antidote

Key specs:

  • Era 149 symmetric core
  • Reactive coverstock
  • 2.55 RG & 0.054 differential
  • Fine 2,000-grit finish
  • Smooth yet strong mid-lane action

Shop now at Amazon.com

Pyramid Antidote is a bowling ball with quite a strong mid-lane hook patterns. Thanks to its smoother coverstock, it isn’t too prone to hooking earlier. However, with its high flare potential, it will go into a hook mid-lane, while the smooth coverstock won’t allow it to get too aggressive and unpredictable.

With its pretty restrained hook potential, Antidote should be a good option for people transitioning from entry-level to higher-performance balls. Many people have also liked its color scheme, and if appearance matters to you, then this may be that best bowling ball for hooking. Read more reviews.

6. Motiv Trident Abyss

Key specs:

  • Turbulent asymmetric core.
  • Reactive coverstock.
  • 2.49 RG & 0.054 differential.
  • Smooth 2,000-girt finish.
  • Strong mid-lane action.

Shop now at Amazon.com

The Motiv Trident Abyss might seem similar to the Antidote bowling ball – they have similar RG and differential values, as well as the same grit. However, since Trident Abyss has an asymmetric core, it will likely deliver a stronger hooking action in the middle.

And as claimed by Motiv and testified by buyers, The Trident Abyss hooks hard in heavy oil, retaining energy until the end to deliver a stronger blast to the pins. Read more reviews.

7. MICHELIN Storm Phaze III

Key specs:

  • Velocity symmetric core
  • Hybrid reactive coverstock
  • 2.48 -2.65 RG & 0.035 – 0.051 differential (weight-dependent)
  • 1,500-grit finish
  • Smooth mid-lane action

Shop now at Amazon.com

The Storm Phaze III bowling ball has a restrained and forgiving hook potential that should be excellent for newbies. Although this thing has a pretty high flare potential, its hybrid coverstock won’t overreact to the oiled portion of the lane, delivering smoother action.

Notably, Storm Phaze III is also grapevine-scented, and a lot of people liked this feature, though it certainly won’t affect your performance. Read more reviews.

8. Brunswick Twist

Key specs:

  • Twist Low-Diff core
  • Reactive pearl coverstock
  • 2.591 RG & 0.018 differential
  • Rough 500-grit finish
  • Very smooth action throughout the lane

Shop now at Amazon.com

Brunswick’s Twist is a very forgiving ball that is excellent for entry-level players. With its low differential and reactive pearl coverstock, Twist won’t be entering a hook too early. The rough surface evens things out a bit by adding traction and increasing hook potential, but it doesn’t make this ball too inconsistent.

Overall, the Brunswick Twist bowling ball is a great affordable bowling ball that has been praised for its beginner-friendliness. Read more reviews.

9. Pyramid Pathogen

Key specs:

  • Era 139 symmetric core
  • Reactive coverstock
  • 2.54 RG & 0.032 differential
  • 2,000-grit finish
  • Smooth action with late hook

Shop now at Amazon.com

The Pyramid Pathogen ball essentially is a low-diff variant of the Pyramid Antidote. Due to its lower differential and weaker flare, Pathogen will deliver later action than Antidote.

The increased length along with an accentuated hook at the back lane received high praise from the buyers, and maybe you will like the character of this ball as well. Read more reviews.

10. Pyramid Pathogen Plague

Key specs:

  • Era 139 symmetric core.
  • Urethane coverstock.
  • 2.54 RG & 0.032 differential.
  • 1,000-grit finish.
  • Smooth and controllable arc.

Shop now at Amazon.com

Pathogen Plague is a variant of the Pathogen with a urethane coverstock and a rougher finish. What the urethane coverstock means is that this bowling ball will deliver weaker but more controllable action. At the same time, the coarse finish will somewhat increase its hook potential while keeping it predictable.

In dry conditions, Pathogen Plague should be a pretty good ball. In fact, one reviewer claims that their pro shop owner called this ball the best urethane ball around! Read more reviews.

11. Pyramid Pathogen X

Key specs:

  • Era 139 symmetric core.
  • Reactive pearl coverstock.
  • 2.54 RG & 0.032 differential.
  • Smooth 2,000-grit finish.
  • Controlled back-lane action.

Shop now at Amazon.com

Finally, we have Pyramid Pathogen X, which is pretty much identical to Path Rising apart from the surface finish. With a smoother coverstock, Pathogen X should deliver smoother action in the back-end.

As a back-lane ball, Pathogen X may take a while to get used to it. However, it should be more beginner-friendly than Path Rising due to its weaker back-lane action. And judging by buyer reviews, it’s quite easy to get the hang of. Read more reviews.

Things To Look For In The Best Bowling Ball For Hooking

So how do you choose the best bowling ball for hooking? Well, to help you get started, we’ll briefly cover important features to look for when shopping for a bowling ball with good hook potential.

Coverstock

The coverstock is the outer material of the bowling ball. There are three main coverstock types used in bowling balls:

  • Polyester/plastic coverstock – This coverstock is found in entry-level bowling balls. These balls offer very low hook potential, which is why you didn’t see plastic balls on our list.
  • Urethane coverstock – Urethane coverstocks are a middle-ground option between polyester and reactive resin coverstock, thus offering moderate hook potential.
  • Reactive resin coverstock – Bowling balls with this coverstock type tend to have the highest hook potential since they produce high friction with the lane.

We should also talk about subtypes of reactive coverstocks:

  • Reactive solid – These coverstocks have high friction and start rolling earlier, producing a smoother arc and weaker back-lane action.
  • Reactive pearl – Reactive pearl coverstocks have low friction in the oiled portion of the lane. This makes balls with this coverstock deliver a sharper back-end hook.
  • Reactive Hybrid – Hybrid coverstocks tend to be between solid and pearl coverstocks, delivering balanced mid- and back-end action.

Which coverstock would the best bowling ball for hooking have? Well, the reactive resin has the highest hook potential, but when it comes to its subtypes, preferences will start mattering.

Best bowling ball for hooking

Core

The core shape is also very important in bowling ball hook patterns. There are 3 common bowling ball core shapes:

  • Pancake
  • Symmetric
  • Asymmetric

Basically, pancake cores deliver the least hook potential, symmetric ones are somewhere in the middle, whereas asymmetric cores generally have aggressive hooks.

You can’t really determine a ball’s overall hook potential based on the core alone – you also need to count in other factors like coverstock material, RG, and differential. But all things equal, expect an asymmetric core to have more hook potential than other core types.

RG and differential

RG (standing for the radius of gyration) measures the distribution of mass inside the ball. The values of RG go from 2.460 to 2.800. The higher the RG, the later the ball will hook. Thus, a ball with very high RG will deliver a longer straight trajectory and a sharper hook at the end, while a ball with a low RG will hook earlier but will have a smoother arc.

Differential tells us about the flare potential of the ball – the higher the differential, the higher the flare potential is, and the earlier the ball wants to hook. The differential ranges from 0.01 to 0.08.

A ball with low differential will probably have a sharper hook at the end and increased length.

Surface grit

Here, things are simple – the coarser the surface (= lower the grit number), the higher the friction is, and the earlier the ball will want to hook. A smoother ball will thus start hooking towards the end and will have a weaker arc but stronger back-end action.

Weight

Some people may think that there is a best bowling ball weight for hook, but that’s not quite true.

However, the RG and differential values of a given ball may differ depending on weight, altering performance based on weight. Although there is no such thing as best bowling ball weight for hook potential, you should be aware of the specs of the preferred ball weight.

Best bowling ball for hooking

Which Best bowling ball for hooking To Choose?

So which one would be that best bowling ball for hooking?

If you are a complete newbie, then we think that the best bowling ball for hook beginners would be something like MICHELIN Storm Phaze III or Brunswick Twist. What makes these balls great for beginners is their smooth and non-aggressive action.

If you are a little more skilled, then consider something like Hammer Black Widow, Pyramid Path Rising, or Motiv Trident Abyss – these are pretty aggressive balls that can make very fancy shots.

Final Words – Best bowling ball for hooking

That’s it for our reviews of the best hooking bowling balls!

Have you identified your personal best bowling ball for hooking from our roundup? If not, then, as mentioned at the beginning, we would personally recommend Hammer Black Widow due to its wild mid-lane performance.

The Black Widow won’t be the best bowling ball for hooking for every buyer, but if you have the skill, it can elevate you to completely new heights on the lane.

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