First off, print this out, take it with you. Second, avoid the online retailers, you can get these balls cheaper, but they don’t include drilling, you will run into problems. Use a reputable pro-shop. I recommend Fran’s Pro Shop, housed at Maple Lanes 2608 University Ave, Waterloo, IA 50701. Mention that you are with the W-SR team and they will give you 15% off their display prices. You can get everything for about $200 if you try, You need 3 things:
1. Shoes They don’t have to be fancy, I’m not picky here. Once it starts mattering, you will have your first pair worn out anyway. Fran’s has many options and sizes in stock. I may be able to offer discounted shoes through the Dexter high school program, check with me at the beginning of the season.
2. Bag Protect your shoe and ball investment. You can get a bag anywhere (yes it has to be a bowling bag, backpacks and gym bags will break within 2 weeks). Fran’s has a selection of cheep bags for $30.
If I were doing this for the first time. I would spend the extra to get a cheep 3 bag roller. The ball fits in one spot, and the shoes can go in the other 2. This will allow you to continue using the bag once you expand your arsenal in future years. A little more cost upfront, but longer lifespan.
3. Ball I would stick to what you see on this list unless you talk with me. There are cheaper balls, but they are going to leave you dissatisfied. Also, drill it finger tipped, or talk to me first. In general, Rich or Gabe won’t steer you wrong at Fran’s, they are the only one’s I trust to drill my equipment. Balls should be in the 12-14 pound range.
If you just want to get started, the Rhino is you best low-end ball ($140 range).
…If in doubt, shoot me an email or call. You won’t be the first to call me from a pro shop.