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Left Handed Bowling Balls: The Southpaw’s Ultimate Advantage

  • Reading time:14 mins read

For left-handed bowlers, finding the right equipment can be a challenge. While many bowling balls are designed for right-handed players, having a ball specifically crafted for your unique needs can significantly improve your game.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll dive into the world of left handed bowling balls, exploring the factors to consider when choosing the perfect ball, maintenance tips, and top-rated models to help you excel on the lanes.

Understanding Left Handed Bowling Balls

In the world of bowling, left-handed bowlers face a distinct set of challenges. Conventional bowling balls are designed with right-handed players in mind, which means the core dynamics and coverstock patterns may not perform optimally for those with a left-handed delivery. This is where left handed bowling balls come into play, offering tailored solutions to meet the unique needs of southpaw bowlers.

Differences between Right-Handed and Left-Handed Bowling Balls:

  • Core design: Left-handed bowling balls feature a core design that complements the rotational dynamics of a left-handed delivery, allowing for better hook potential and more consistent ball motion.
  • Coverstock patterns: The coverstock patterns on left-handed bowling balls are mirrored or reversed from those on right-handed balls, ensuring the ball reacts properly to the lane conditions and matches the ball’s rotation.
  • Weight distribution: The weight distribution in left-handed balls is adjusted to account for the different spin and axis rotation imparted by a left-handed delivery.

Types of Left-Handed Bowling Balls:

  • Reactive Resin: These balls feature a reactive resin coverstock that provides increased traction and hooking ability, making them ideal for bowlers seeking more aggressive ball motion.
  • Urethane: Urethane bowling balls offer a more controlled and predictable motion, making them a popular choice for those who prefer a straighter ball path or are playing on drier lane conditions.
  • Particle/Solid: These balls contain solid or particle-based coverstocks, offering a balance between hook potential and controllability.

Choosing the Right Left Handed Bowling Ball

With a range of options available, selecting the perfect left handed bowling ball can be daunting. Here are some key factors to consider:

Hook Potential: Depending on your bowling style and desired ball motion, you’ll want to assess the hook potential of a ball. Bowlers who prefer a more aggressive hook should opt for reactive resin balls, while those seeking a straighter ball path may prefer urethane or particle coverstocks.

Weight: The weight of your bowling ball plays a crucial role in your delivery and overall performance. Heavier balls (15-16 lbs) typically generate more pin action but may be more difficult to control, while lighter balls (10-14 lbs) offer increased control but may sacrifice strike potential.

Coverstock: The coverstock material determines the ball’s traction and overall reaction on the lanes. Reactive resin coverstocks offer increased friction and hooking ability, while urethane and particle coverstocks provide a more controlled motion.

Core Design: The core design of a bowling ball influences its overall dynamics and motion. Symmetric cores tend to offer a more predictable and stable ball path, while asymmetric cores can create more flare potential and backend hook.

Recommendations for Different Bowling Styles:

  • Strokers: For bowlers with a straighter delivery, urethane or particle balls with a symmetric core may be ideal, offering a controllable and predictable ball path.
  • Crankers: Bowlers with a more rev-dominant style may benefit from reactive resin balls with an asymmetric core, providing increased hook potential and backend movement.

Cost Considerations:

Left handed bowling balls can be more expensive than their right-handed counterparts due to lower production volumes. However, investing in a high-quality ball designed specifically for your needs can significantly improve your performance and longevity on the lanes.

Drilling and Layout Options for Left Handed Bowlers

Proper drilling and layout are crucial for maximizing the performance of your left handed bowling ball. Here are some key considerations:

Importance of Proper Drilling and Layout:

  • Ensures the ball’s core and coverstock dynamics are optimized for your delivery and desired ball motion
  • Improves accuracy, consistency, and overall scoring potential
  • Reduces the risk of injury by promoting a comfortable and natural release

Common Layouts for Left-Handed Bowlers:

  • Conventional Layout: A standard layout with the pin positioned directly above the fingers, providing a balanced and versatile ball reaction.
  • Dual Angle Layout: This layout features angles on both the vertical and horizontal planes, creating increased flare potential and backend hook.
  • Torque Layout: Designed to enhance the ball’s revs and overall hook potential, this layout is well-suited for bowlers with a high rev rate.

Finger Span, Pitch, and Bridge Recommendations:

  • Finger Span: The distance between the thumb and finger holes should be tailored to your hand size and grip style for optimal comfort and control.
  • Pitch: The angle of the finger holes relative to the ball’s surface can impact the ball’s overall trajectory and rev rate.
  • Bridge: The bridge distance between the holes should be adjusted based on your span and grip to prevent gripping issues or unwanted ball motion.

Weight Hole Placement:

The position of the weight hole (or holes) can significantly impact the ball’s overall dynamics and performance. Common weight hole placements include:

  • Finger Weight: Placing the weight hole near the finger holes can increase rev rate and hook potential.
  • Center Weight: A centrally located weight hole promotes a more stable and controlled ball motion.
  • Side Weight: Positioning the weight hole towards the side of the ball can create an earlier and more aggressive hook potential.

Care and Maintenance of Left Handed Bowling Balls

Proper care and maintenance are essential for extending the lifespan and maintaining the performance of your left handed bowling ball.

Cleaning and Resurfacing Techniques:

  • Regular cleaning with a ball cleaner or mild detergent removes oil and dirt buildup, ensuring consistent ball reaction.
  • Ball resurfacing (using a ball spinner or resurfacing machine) restores the coverstock’s original texture and traction.
  • Depending on your ball’s usage and lane conditions, resurfacing may be necessary every 30-60 games.

Storing and Transporting Left-Handed Bowling Balls:

  • Store your bowling balls in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight or extreme temperatures.
  • Use a dedicated bowling ball bag or case for transportation to protect your equipment from damage or scratches.
  • Avoid storing or transporting your bowling balls in the trunk of your car, as temperature fluctuations can affect the ball’s performance.

Extending the Lifespan of Your Bowling Ball:

  • Rotate between multiple bowling balls to distribute wear and tear.
  • Inspect your bowling ball regularly for cracks, chips, or other damage that may require professional repair or replacement.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s recommended care and maintenance guidelines for your specific ball.

Top Left Handed Bowling Ball Brands and Models

In the world of left handed bowling balls, several brands have established themselves as leaders in crafting high-quality equipment tailored to the needs of southpaw bowlers.


Storm is a renowned brand in the bowling industry, offering a wide range of left handed bowling ball options. Some of their top-rated models include:

  • Storm Phaze III: A powerful reactive resin ball designed for heavy oil conditions, providing exceptional hook potential and backend motion.
  • Storm Hy-Road Nano: A versatile bowling ball with a Nano hybrid reactive coverstock, making it suitable for a variety of lane conditions and bowling styles.
  • Storm IQ Tour Solid: A reliable and consistent performer, this ball features a solid reactive coverstock and symmetric core for controlled motion and precision.


Motiv has earned a reputation for innovative designs and top-performing left handed bowling balls. Here are a few standout models:

  • Motiv Venom Shock: A powerful ball with a Pearl Reactive coverstock, offering an aggressive hook potential and excellent continuation through the pins.
  • Motiv Trident Abyss: Featuring a unique Hexion Coverstock, this ball provides a strong midlane read and controlled backend motion, making it a versatile choice for various lane conditions.
  • Motiv Primal Rage: A high-performance ball designed for heavy oil conditions, with a Frakenberry Solid Reactive coverstock and asymmetric core for maximum hook potential.

Roto Grip:

Roto Grip is another respected brand known for crafting high-quality left handed bowling balls. Some of their top models include:

  • Roto Grip Hustle Ink: A versatile and affordable option, this ball features a Polyester/Particle coverstock and symmetric core, making it a great choice for developing your hook and improving overall consistency.
  • Roto Grip Hustle Camo: With a Hybrid Reactive coverstock and asymmetric core, this ball offers a strong backend motion and increased hooking ability, making it well-suited for medium to heavy oil conditions.
  • Roto Grip Halo Vision: A premium ball designed for elite-level performance, featuring a cutting-edge Nucleus Core and Halo Hybrid Reactive coverstock that provides exceptional traction and a strong backend motion.


Ebonite is another trusted brand that offers quality left handed bowling ball options. Some of their top models include:

  • Ebonite Cyclone: A versatile ball with a Dual Compound coverstock that provides a balanced reaction on various lane conditions, making it a great all-around option for bowlers of various skill levels.
  • Ebonite Millenium: This ball features a Reactor Pearl Coverstock and an asymmetric core design, delivering an aggressive hook potential and impressive continuation through the pins.
  • Ebonite Mission GRIT: Designed for heavy oil conditions, this ball boasts a Grit Hybrid Reactive coverstock and an asymmetric core, providing exceptional traction and a strong backend hook.

These are just a few examples of the top-performing left handed bowling ball models available from reputable brands. When selecting a ball, it’s essential to consider your individual bowling style, desired ball motion, and the typical lane conditions you encounter.

Where to Buy Left Handed Bowling Balls

While left handed bowling balls may not be as readily available as their right-handed counterparts, several retailers specialize in catering to the needs of southpaw bowlers.

Online Retailers:

  • This online store offers a wide selection of left handed bowling balls from various brands, as well as accessories and equipment.
  • Dedicated to providing specialized products for left-handed bowlers, this retailer has an extensive inventory of left handed bowling balls and related gear.
  • In addition to a vast selection of bowling balls, this online store offers custom drilling and layout services specifically for left-handed bowlers.

Local Pro Shops and Bowling Alleys:

While not all bowling alleys may carry a comprehensive selection of left handed bowling balls, many pro shops within these facilities can order or special-order the ball of your choice.

Building a relationship with your local pro shop staff can ensure you have access to the latest left handed bowling ball models and expert advice on drilling and layout options.

Tips for Finding Deals and Discounts:

  • Sign up for email newsletters and follow your favorite brands on social media to stay informed about sales and promotions.
  • Consider purchasing last year’s models or slightly used balls, as these can often be found at discounted prices.
  • Attend bowling expos or tournaments, where manufacturers may offer special deals or clearance sales on left handed bowling ball models.
  • Join online bowling communities or forums, where members frequently share information on where to find the best deals on left handed bowling equipment.


For left-handed bowlers, having the right bowling ball can make a significant difference in your performance and overall enjoyment of the sport.

By understanding the unique factors to consider, exploring top brands and models, and following proper care and maintenance practices, you can optimize your game and achieve your bowling goals.

Remember, the perfect left handed bowling ball is one that complements your individual bowling style, desired ball motion, and the lane conditions you typically encounter. Don’t be afraid to seek advice from experienced pro shop staff or fellow left-handed bowlers to ensure you make an informed decision.

With the right equipment and dedication, you can unleash your full potential on the lanes and experience the thrill of consistently knocking down strikes as a left-handed bowler.