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Thinking about taking up bowling? Here is how much it will cost you


An interesting but little-known fact is that bowling is not a typical American sport, but it has been played and enjoyed alike thousands of years before. Some of the first who invented and started playing this sport were the ancient Egyptians. Over the centuries, the sport has evolved and has been played by the nobles and the commoners alike. Sure, there weren’t too many sports companies back in the days, so it comes as no surprise that the official garments and accessories for this game have also evolved.

If you plan on picking up bowling, you should know that this sport doesn’t come cheap. You will need hundreds of hours of practice in special bowling arenas, and those skills take time to perfect. Nevertheless, bowling is a great leisure activity you can enjoy with your closest friends, family members or people from work. It doesn’t imply too much physical effort, so don’t expect to lose weight, especially since most of the bowling games are accompanied by plenty of beers.

But how much it will really cost you to start playing bowling like a pro? Let’s have a look at the numbers together.

The bowling balls

This is probably the most critical element when picking up bowling as a sport. You should know that bowling balls come in various sizes, shapes, and materials, to meet all of the customers’ expectations.

For starters, you should take a look at the cover material. The coverstock can be made of plastic, urethane, reactive resin or particles. The plastic ones are often the cheapest versions on the market and are perfect for beginners or casual players. The prices range between 20-25 dollars and around 80 dollars, depending on the design, and the size of the plastic ball.

The urethane balls are more expensive than the ones covered in plastic, but they provide a better spin which semi-pro players will prefer. Reactive resin balls provide improved control over your throw but are not as durable as the balls covered in urethane or plastic. They are a great choice for strikers. Brunswick is a reputed manufacturer of bowling balls, and it provides great choices of design, color, style, weight, and material for attractive prices. Bowlerstore Products offer great design for prices around 50-60 dollars.

Last but not least, the particle coverstock balls are perfect for tournaments and are mainly preferred by professional bowling players.

Another important aspect to take into account when looking for a bowling ball is its weight. The weight of the ball should match your own dimensions (weight and endurance). Most bowling balls weigh between 6 and 16 pounds. In addition, you should also check if your fingers match the size of the ball holes. Professional players prefer having their ball holes custom drilled for a better grip.  


The bowling shirt

In case you weren’t aware of, there is a certain type of equipment much preferred by all bowling professionals. This also includes a specific type of shirt that became popular even since the 1950s. This traditional garment comes with a standard collar, a button-down front, and short sleeves, similar to almost all other shirts worn by men during the warm season. Occasionally, the bowling shirt can also feature breast pockets for additional storage. The shirts are mainly made from two types of fabrics – woven and knitted, depending on the season.

The most important feature of a bowling shirt is the right fit. You should properly measure before buying one online, especially if you cannot try it on first. Keep in mind that shirts should run a little bit larger to provide maximum stretch and flexibility. However, they should also stay rather tight and be exactly your size. To find the right size for the sleeves, flex your muscles to the fullest point and then put the shirt on. The sleeves should be large enough to cover your muscles and still allow you to breathe properly.

In terms of prices, it really depends on the design and brand of the bowling shirt you choose. Harriton and Hilton are renowned brands that offer decent prices, meaning you will not pay more than around 50 dollars for a bowling shirt. If you choose to customize its print or design, you will have to take out of your pocket a few extra bucks.

However, brands like Dry Bones will make you pay even more than 200 dollars for a single bowling shirt. We do suggest sticking to the basics, especially if you are a beginner player.



If you’re a beginner or a casual player, the best option would be to rent the bowling shoes. However, apart from not being fully hygienic, most of the renting bowling shoes are quite old and used, and never seem to provide the perfect fit. Whether your feet are too small or too big, too large or too tight, if you’re looking for a good pair of bowling shoes, you’ll have to pay for your own.

Depending on the fabrics used, as well as the brand, a pair of bowling shoes can cost as little as 25 dollars or several hundred. An interesting thing to bear in mind is that bowling shoes are specifically designed for left-handed and right-handed players, as each of the shoes performs a different task. One shoe is for sliding, while the other one is for braking. The sliding shoe is usually the one opposed to the person’s playing hand. In other words, if you’re a left-handed bowling player, your sliding shoe will be the right one.



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