A Look Into a Complete Bag for Tournament Bowlers

A Look Into a Complete Bag for Tournament Bowlers


In a previous article, we took a look at an example of a complete bag setup for league bowlers. Starting with the bag itself, we covered everything that we feel is necessary to set up the average league bowler for success, including bowling balls, shoes, accessories and any extras. In this article we’ll focus on the tournament bowler and take a look inside a complete tournament setup. 


Keep in mind there are tons of products on the market and this is just one example we’ve come up with for the average, but serious, tournament bowler. When shopping for your own equipment, consider your needs based on your personal bowler characteristics and the conditions that you will be bowling on. 

First Things First: The Bag(s)


For this article, we’re going to build a six ball arsenal. In order to fit all of our bowling balls, shoes, and accessories, we’re going to need a few bags. Tournament bowlers are going to want a bag that can easily be transported, therefore eliminating the option of a 6-ball roller. Instead, we look towards 2 triple totes and a backpack.


Triple totes are a great option for the traveling bowler because they are compact, light, and allow you to downsize when you’re bowling an event where you don’t need all of your equipment (just bring 1 instead of both). Most triple totes have an attachable shoe/accessory pouch, but if you plan to travel by plane and check these bags, you may want to opt for an alternative solution. Using a backpack to store your shoes and essentials will keep your checked bags under 50lbs and give you more space to bring everything you need.


Our Choice: KR Fast Slim Triple Tote



The Fast Slim tote is the perfect lightweight bag (weighs under 5 lbs) for easy and convenient travel. Its rear lift handle makes loading and unloading into the car easy, and it’s small/light enough to check with an airline at under $50 pounds loaded up.


Bowling Balls (3)


We’ve compiled the next bit of information based on the assumption that you’re a tournament bowler bowling on all types of patterns.


Ball 1

For ball 1 we’re going to look at high-end asyms that can serve as your first ball out of the bag on medium to heavy conditions. How strong of a ball you want will depend on your bowling characteristics (speed, revs, etc).


3 options for Ball 1:


Columbia 300 Speed: The Speed is an asym hybrid that’s a perfect option for the first ball out of the bag or when your symmetric pieces are too clean. 


Brunswick Defender: The Brunswick Defender is a high-end asym solid finished at 2000 and designed to dig through oil.


Hammer 3D Offset: The 3D Offset is Hammer’s high-end asym pearl finished at 2000, giving it the perfect combination of length and continuation.


Ball 2

For ball 2 we want to stick with something strong, but cleaner than ball 1. This is the ball we’ll go to when ball 1 is burning up and we need something to get further down the lane.


3 options for Ball 2:


Columbia 300 Power Torq Pearl: The Power Torq Pearl is an asym pearl and a follow up to the successful Power Torq that C300 released last year.


Radical Conspiracy Scheme: The Conspiracy Scheme is a high-end asym with a compound finish that allows the ball to save energy for the backend where it makes a big change of direction.


DV8 Damn Good Verge Pearl: The Damn Good Verge Pearl is a symmetric pearl that offers a clean look through the front and mids with a strong motion on the backend.


Ball 3

For ball 3 we’re going to choose a benchmark ball that can fit right in the middle of your arsenal. This ball should be predictable and reliable and can tell you what moves you need to make based on its reaction


3 options for Ball 3:


Ebonite GB4 Pearl: The Game Breaker series has produced the best benchmark balls year after year, and the GB4 Pearl is no exception.


Brunswick Knock Out Black/Blue: The Knock Out B/B is a symmetric solid that’s been highly regarded as one of the best benchmark balls on the market. 


Radical Sneak Attack: The Sneak Attack is a symmetric hybrid with a polished finish that would fit right in the middle of your arsenal at ball 3.


Ball 4

For ball 4 we’re going with a controllable motion that we can use on lighter oil patterns or towards the end of the block.


3 options for Ball 4:


Radical Bigfoot: The Bigfoot is Radical’s logical step down from the Conspiracy Scheme.


Hammer Raw Series: The Raw Hammer is offered in a solid, hybrid, or pearl cover and has been referred to as the best value bowling ball on the market.


Brunswick Rhino Series: The Rhino is a low-end reactive ball featuring Brunswick’s popular lightbulb core that offers extreme control ideal for light oil patterns.


Ball 5

Urethane is a staple in the tournament bag and can get a lot of use on certain patterns. Keep one of these in your bag to give your arsenal more variety.


3 options for Ball 5:


Hammer Purple Pearl: The Purple Pearl is the obvious choice for urethane as its been widely considered the best tournament ball on the market.


Hammer Black Widow Urethane: The BW Urethane is a step up from the Purple combining the cover and core from Hammer’s two most popular balls.


Radical Double Cross: The Double Cross is Radical’s first urethane ball and has already impressed as an alternative to the Hammer Purple Pearl.


Ball 6

No bag is complete without the trusty spare ball. A simple polyester ball with a pancake core is always a good choice for picking off corner pins. You can also look at a polyester ball with a core or a urethane ball if you want something with a little more versatility.


3 options for Ball 6:


Basic Poly (Maxim, White Dot, Tzone)


Hammer Black Widow Viz-A-Ball


Brunswick Crown Jewel


Bowling Shoes


A serious tournament bowler is going to want to have a good pair of shoes. We recommend high performance shoes that come equipped with interchangeable soles and heels. This feature is important when you’re constantly bowling in different bowling centers and need to adjust to the conditions.


Our Choice


Men: KR Maverick

Women: Dexter Pro BOA




Keeping your bag stocked with all your accessories is even more important for the tournament bowler. If you’re bowling in a new place, you don’t want to rely on that pro shop to have what you need when you need it. Come prepared for anything and breathe easy knowing you can just focus on your bowling.


Rosin or Grip Bag

Smooth Slide


Thumbhole Tape

Protection Tape

Ball Cleaner

Abralon Pads

Ball Cup

Shoe Cover

Extra Soles & Heels

Shoe Brush

Kinesiology Tape





Super glue


Nail clippers

Water bottle

Cash (brackets)