15 Pounds vs. 16 Pounds

What bowling ball weight is best for your game?

15 Pounds vs. 16 Pounds

There is an old saying that reads as follows: “The more things change, the more they stay the same.”

This statement rings true today in the world of bowling, as we are seeing a common topic widely debated that has been discussed for many generations before us: is there a benefit to throwing a 16 pound bowling ball as opposed to a 15 pound ball?

We reached out to several top PBA players to get their input on this matter. Their opinions varied greatly.

What weight do you use and why?

The first thing we wanted to ask when interviewing these players was the most simple and obvious question: “What weight ball do you currently use, and why?”

Jason Belmonte, arguably the best player in the world, currently uses 15 pound bowling balls and says that he has no interest in making any change. “I just can’t see a need for me to change right now,” Jason told me.

With the power that the two-handed delivery generates for Belmonte, it makes sense that he would not deem it necessary to move up in ball weight. Not only is Jason able to create enough pin action with his incredibly high rev rate, but the added wear and tear on his body that throwing 16 pound bowling balls could potentially bring is simply not worth the risk.

Powerful two-hander Jason Belmonte (left) throws 15 pound equipment and sees no need to switch to 16. Bill O’Neill (right) switched to 15 pounds a year ago after throwing 16s for the previous seven years. (Photos courtesy of PBA LLC)

Sean Rash, on the other hand, says he has used 16 pound equipment since high school. “I use 16s to try and help keep me slow and stop me from muscling it,” Sean said.

During my ...

Chris Hester

About Chris Hester

Chris Hester is a lifelong competitive bowler from the Louisville, Kentucky area. He was a two-time All-American on the Morehead State University bowling team and he competes today in many of the top amateur events throughout the Midwest. Chris served as the Staff Manager for Ebonite International from 2012 until 2019, where he provided support to Ebonite's international amateur staff and collegiate programs.