Choosing a new set of bowls is an exciting time for any bowler. The endless possibilities of sizes, makes and models is fantastic.
However, many bowlers aren’t able to splash out £200-£400 on a brand new set – or if they are, they may not be confident in spending so much without being certain they are getting the right thing.
For most buying a cheap set of bowls is the way forward. But where can you go for cheap bowls, and how cheap can you get a set? Lets take a look…
Best Cheap Lawn Bowls
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Where To Buy Cheap lawn Bowls
When you are buying bowls on a budget you will quickly learn that buying brand new from your local bowls store isn’t an option.
So, with that option out the window, where can you buy cheap lawn bowls?
Other club members
Most clubs will have a noticeboard. On there you will find any member looking to sell their lawn bowls.
This option is great for the following reasons:
- you can trust the seller – they aren;t some faceless person online, they will likely be someone you know and trust
- you can try them out – most bowlers when selling will let you try them out. This way you know that the “feel” is right for you, and that they bend in a way that you like
- you can get a good deal – when selling within the club the seller will often give a very good price, as they are selling to people they know
Of course, the main drawback is you will be limited to what is currently for sale. If you’re after a certain make, or model then you could find yourself waiting quite some time
Your local bowls store
Sure, you can’t buy new bowls from your local store, but many stores offer second-hand bowls.
If your local store does offer second-hand bowls, then they will likely have a better selection than your club’s notice board. Just be prepared to pay a bit more for them.
The best place to get cheap lawn bowls – at least in my humble opinion – is to buy them online on ebay.
eBay will offer you the best balance between selection and price. You will find hundreds of bowls for sale at any one time.
You will have to pay postage, which will increase the price, but you will find sets from the early 00s for very competitive prices. You will also find “good as new” sets for less than retail price, if you want something a bit fancier.
See my guide on second-hand bowls for more information on buying online.
How To Keep Costs Down When Buying Lawn Bowls
There are a couple of factors that you should be aware of when trying to keep costs down. Lets take a look at the things that impact the cost most.
Make and Model
The biggest factor in the cost of a set of lawn bowls is the make and model. Some models are just cheaper.
This can be for a variety of reasons, but the biggest one is “supply”. Popular models from 10-15 years ago are much cheaper as there are now so many of them available to buy second-hand.
Conversely newer popular makes and models (such as Aero) haven’t been around long enough for the bowls to start coming through the second-hand market.
The age of a set of bowls will also impact it’s price. Newer sets will likely cost more as they will have the latest colours, and are more likely to be within their stamp date (find out what the stamp means here).
Coloured bowls are extremely popular these days – especially speckled or striped patterns. Therefore anything in a block colour, or just plain black, will be much cheaper.
In order to get the cheapest bowls possible try and finds a set that is:
- A popular model from 10-15 years ago – such as the Drakes Pride Professional, or the Taylor Lignoid
- At least 10 years old
- Is plain black
Recommended Cheap Lawn Bowls
One of the main drivers of price is the brand and model you choose, so here is my recommendations for the models you should look out for if you are looking to buy a cheap set of lawn bowls.
Drakes Pride Professional (used)
The Professional model is one of the most popular models of bowls anywhere in the world.
These have been one of the best selling models of bowls for the past 20-30 years, so there are plenty to choose from in the second-hand market.
The Professional is a great all-round bowl and can be played on both indoor and outdoor surfaces. Ideal for beginner and improving players, these were what I bought when i first started out.
Taylor Lignoid (used)
Not one of the main Taylor models, the Lignoid doesn’t sell as well as the Ace or the Vector VS. However, there are plenty to be found online second-hand.
The Lignoid has a wide bias and is ideal for outdoor bowls. Probably not the best choice if you are playing lead, as the bias is strong by modern standards.
Henselite Tiger II (used)
The Tiger II has been a popular model for decades. This has lead to a great supply in the second-hand market.
Similar to the Drakes Pride Professional, the Tiger II is a great duel purpose bowl, and can be used both indoor and outdoor.
If you are looking for a brand new set, then the cheapest you can get is the Almark Slimline.
Almark has declined in popularity over the years, but they still make quality bowls at reasonable prices.
The Slimeline is also a great second-hand choice, as the value is low compared to other more popular makes and models.
Buying a set of lawn bowls doesn’t have to be expensive. By buying second-hand and selecting a set that has a a high supply you can get a decent set of bowls cheaply.