Plastic, polyurethane and resin are used mostly in modern times. Plastic is a good choice for a beginner bowler or for someone who only bowls occasionally.
Urethane and resin bowling balls grab the surface of the lane better to allow for more hook. Urethane and resin are generally preferred by the professional bowler or someone who bowls quite often.
Balls come in a weight from 6 to 16 pounds. Most women prefer 10 to 14 pounds with men going up to 16 pounds. Balls come in a wide variety of colors with swirls and characters such as Betty Boop and Superman.
Inside each ball is a core which makes each ball behave differently. There a three finger holes drilled in the ball at time of purchase. There is a thumb hole, middle finger hole and ring finger hole.
The two types of finger grips are conventional and finger tip. The conventional grip is gripped up to the second joint of the finger and the fingertip is gripped up to the first finger joint. There is a middle grip sometimes used which is in between the conventional and fingertip grip.
A fingertip grip allows for more control but requires strength. There are several measurements taken of the hand and fingers when the ball is drilled to ensure the best fit. Some people have a couple of extra holes drilled for control.