I often get asked what brand or model I recommend - and of course, my answer is always “it depends”.
There are so many different types of bowl, all with different purposes. And for every different bowl the is a different bowler it its aimed at.
So in this guide I will go through all of my recommendations for all of the most common requirements.
At a glance
- Best bowls for indoors: Henselite Tiger II
- Best bowls for outdoors: Drakes Pride Pro-50
- Best bowls for short mat: Taylor Lignoid
- Best bowls for beginners: Drakes Pride Professional
- Best bowls for leads: Taylor Blaze
- Best bowls for small hands: Henselite Tiger Pro
Best bowls for indoors
For me, the best bowl for indoors is the Henselite Tiger II. It is a classic model that has been around for an age, but has earned it’s place at the top.
The Tiger II is Henselite’s sits in between the extremely narrow Tiger TX and the mid-biased Tiger Pro, and offers a nice, steady drawing arch to the jack.
For those who like to buy second hand, you’re in luck as the Henselite Tiger II has a great second hand market, and can be picked up for around £120.
Best bowls outdoors
My favourite outdoor bowl is the Drakes Pride Pro-50. The Pro-50 has the same great draw arch as the ever popular Drakes Pride Professional, but it comes with Drakes Prides’ embedded grip.
The Pro-50 is also a decent mid-biased bowl, and is more than at home on indoor runks too.
The Pro-50 isn’t as common on online marketplaces such as eBay, but it is more than worth the investment for a brand new set.
Best bowls for short mat
The best bowl for short mat bowls is Taylor Lignoid. For short mat bowls you want a model with plenty of bend, and you won’t go too far wrong with the Lignoid.
The Lignoid is Taylor’s heaviest biased bowl, sitting just above the Legacy SL. The heavy bend will make sure you are getting around the block with ease.
Whilst something like a Drakes Pride Professional will also do very well, my personal preference is with the Lignoid.
Best bowls for beginners
Without doubt, the best lawn bowl for beginners is the Drakes Pride Professional. As a beginner you want something that will last as well as something that is flexible, as you are yet to find what you like the best about bowls.
This is exactly what you get with the Professional. It is a great mid-biased bowl which means it will be great for both indoors and outdoor play.
Its steady draw arch means it is much easier to control compared to something with a hooked finish - such as the Taylor International.
The Professional model can also be picked up pretty cheaply on second hand marketplaces - The Drakes Pride Professional is actually one of the cheapest bowls you can buy, which is great for newcomers to the game.
Best bowls for leads
It is hard to find a better lead bowl than the Taylor Blaze. As a lead you want a slightly narrow biased bowl, and ideally one that can be used on multiple surfaces and situations. This is exactly what you get with the Taylor Blaze.
The Blaze is the narrower version of the extremely popular Ace model, and is designed as a duel purpose bowl.
If you are looking for something a touch narrower then you might want to look at the Vector VS, but for flexibility I would recommend the Taylor Blaze.
Best bowls for small hands
The best bowl for bowlers with small hands is Henselite Tiger Pro. The Tiger Pro has several features which helps with the grip issues caused by having smaller hands - including the Ergofit shaping and the embedded Mega grip.
Firstly, the Ergofit shaping. The Henselite Tiger Pro is a slimer bowl, similar to the Almark Slimline. This means it sits nicely in the hand, and is easier to get your hands around.
It also comes with the Mega grip as standard. If you have seen my other guides, then you will know I am a huge fan of the modern embedded grips, and the Mega grip is Henesilite’s version of this.
Whilst the Mega grip isn’t as deep as the Taylor Xtreme, it is more inline with the Aero Z-Scoop. In my opinion, I feel like this is a more comfortable grip pattern anyway, as the Taylor Xtreme can be slightly uncomfortable if you don’t run your fingers directly inline with the shoulder of the bowl.
On top of all of this, the Tiger Pro is my favourite Henselite mid-biased models. It is great on all surfaces, and can be used as a duel purpose bowl indoors and outdoors.