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Ball Review Columbia 300: Vow Hook 51 • Length 15.5 • Breakpoint Shape 16


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“The Vow was our most successful ball on all of the patterns at the PBA World Series of Bowling this year because it’s easy to get through the front, has a great back-end motion and is very versatile,” says Bugsy Kelly of Colum- bia 300. “The versatility and amount of hook in the right part of the lane will make the Vow a great choice for a lot of diff erent styles.”


Core Design: The Vow uses the


popular Capsule 2.47 low-RG symmet- ric core shape. We saw nearly 6 inches of track fl are with both pin-above and pin-below layouts. This core revs easily through the fronts and promotes a smooth to aggressive back-end motion, contingent on player style.


Coverstock: The Vow’s Bend-it pearl coverstock displays a quick and aggres- sive breakpoint shape as it responds nicely off friction. Its limited oil traction allows for easy push through the fronts and midlane. Colors are a mix of black, red and caramel. Box fi nish is sanded with 800, 1000 and 2000 grits, and pol- ished with Ebonite’s factory fi nish. The


Ra value is 2.2, and the surface grit is 5100.


Test Results: The Vow is a “wow” ball, as fast revs, easy length and an aggressive down- lane move are what most player styles will see. It hooked about 5 to 7 boards less overall when compared to a like-drilled Oath (August 2012), which shares the Bend-it cover (albeit a dull solid) and Capsule core. Since the Vow is a polished pearl, the motion characteristics are quite diff erent. We found we could begin play with


the Oath, then switch to the Mass Eruption (November 2012) if we wanted to play near the track area, after breakdown. Later, if we were forced to move deeper inside, the Vow matched up perfectly with its aggressive breakpoint shape.


When to Use: Use on medium and light- er oil volumes, as the Vow needs to see friction areas in order to excel. On heavier fresh patterns, Columbia-heads should consider the Oath or Enigma (January 2013). Track area players can use the Vow, but should play close attention to layout choice in order to achieve the preferred motion shape at the end of the pattern. Using Ebonite’s Blueprint software, as we do during our testing process, can be very helpful.


TIPS AND TRICKS TO MAKE YOU A BETTER BOWLER


900 Global: Bullet Train Hook 53.5 • Length 15 • Breakpoint Shape 16


////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// Manufacturer’s Intent: “The


new Bullet Train features the strongest 900 Global shell (S79), wrapped around our Combustion core and fin- ished at our [NEAT process] 2500-grit A finish,” says Eric Thomas of 900 Global. “It has a stronger shell than that of the Freight Train [August 2012]. To harness that energy, we lowered the differential


quite a bit, producing a very strong, controllable mid-lane reaction with plenty of contin-


uation on typical house shots as well as longer and high-volume conditions.” Core Design: The modifi ed symmet- rical core has a 2.55 RG and a .040 diff er- ential. This lower-fl aring core produced a conservative 4.5 inches of fl are. The taller shape produced some early lane lope, with the revs picking up steam in the midlane and beyond.


Coverstock: 900 Global produces some of the stronger cover formulas available today. The S79 formula is the company’s strongest yet. The hybrid mix of plum and copper pearl is factory sanded with 2500 grit from the neAt system of sanding grits. Response time is quick off friction, and oil traction is slightly above average. The Ra is 5.5. The surface grit is 3400. (Ed. Note: You


may notice we spell “neAt” with varying capitalization. 900 Global capitalizes the letter of the predominant sand- ing pad used from its NEAT system for a particular ball, so this ball has the “A” finish.)


Test Results: The earlier editions in the Train line (Train, February 2012, and Freight Train, August 2012) proved worthy of their premium price points. The Bullet Train expands the motion range shape with a longer and slightly more angular down- lane reaction. The 2500-grit hybrid


cover clears the fronts and midlane more easily. Its quicker response off the friction im- proves the entry angle, which is needed as oil patterns break down. Our carry improved as we experienced more transition and chased the pattern inside. We saw only moderate sensitivity with over/under ball reaction. When to Use: The Bullet Train matched up great on fresh medium-volume patterns and on heavier oil volumes after some breakdown had taken place. Speed-dom- inant types may prefer the Train or Freight Train, with the higher fl aring cores they share, when facing heavier oil. The Bullet Train will complement them on lesser vol- umes and among the higher rev rate types. When polished, the Bullet Train took on the personality of a powerful skid/fl ip product, showcasing an added 3 feet of length.


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February 2013


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