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Ball Review Storm: Super Natural Hook 42.5 • Length 17 • Breakpoint Shape 13.5

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ////////// Manufacturer’s Intent:

“The original Natural [August 2009] and Natural Pearl [January 2011] provided maximum control on the backend without sacrificing hitting power,” says Matt

Martin. “The intent of the new Super Natural is to create a moderately stronger back- end motion than the original Naturals, without the oil and dry-lane sensitivity found

with many reactive covers. We created a ‘super urethane,’ so to

speak, to give us control and predictability with a touch of the aggression on the backend found in our Reactor and R2S coverstocks. This new material, U3S, is Storm’s third generation of urethane and unique in formulation.”

Core Design: Powering this new edition in Storm’s “Hot” lineup is the venerable Turbine core found in the Tropical Heat series and Natural Pearl urethane. This symmetric core has an RG of 2.55 with a .038 differential. An average rev-rate player can expect nearly 4 inches of track flare from this core with standard label drillings.

Coverstock: The Super Natural’s pearlized cover is a new performance formula called U3S urethane. The

uniqueness is the formulation mix, which blends urethane with reactive elements. We found the reaction off friction to be somewhat slow, and oil traction was minimal. The Ra measurement of this 1500-grit polished ball is 1.47, and the effective surface grit measures 5475.

Test Results: When comparing the Super Natural to a like-drilled pearl Natural, we saw an average of 1 to 1.5 feet of added length and one to two boards of added

back-end hooking action from our 300 rev-rate tester. The slightly increased entry angle helped kick out some 10-pins that the pearl Natural often would not. When in the hands of our 450 rev-rate tester, the length was similar but the back-end motion was two to four boards stronger. This ball is a step down from the Storm Breeze off friction, with a more urethane-like motion through the pin deck.

When to Use: On light to light-medium oil volumes, due to the conservative nature of the cover formula. We’d definitely categorize this as a core-dominant ball because the tame cover will not overreact to friction areas, as many reactive covers do. Rev- dominant or speed-challenged players may find many more uses and should apply their favorite aggressive layout to this unique piece.


Storm: Lights Out Hook 48.5 • Length16 • Breakpoint Shape 16.5

////////////////////////////////////////////////////////// ////////// Manufacturer’s Intent:

“The new Lights Out will ease its way through the front part of the lane and provide a strong, clean

pop at the breakpoint,” says Matt Martin. “To enhance the reaction of the original Tropical Heat line, Storm wrapped the Turbine core with a more aggressive cover.”

Core Design: The

Turbine is a symmetric light bulb-shaped core with an

added flip block at the bottom. The RG is medium at 2.55 and the differential conservative for a 15-lb. ball, at .038. We saw up to 4.5 inches of track flare with a 4-inch pin above the ringer layout. Coverstock: The Lights Out is replacing the popular Tropical Heat

Hybrid (June 2012), but this time with the stronger R2S hybrid cover. Coloring is similar, with a mix of charcoal pearls and midnight. The factory surface is smoothed to 4000 grit and shined with Storm’s ever- popular 1500-grit polish. Response time off friction is quick and strong. Oil traction is limited. The Ra value measured 1.55, and the ball has a 5400 effective surface grit reading.

Test Results: The Lights Out was one of our favorite balls tested this

month. It displayed effortless length through the fronts and drier mid- lane areas, and rewarded us with one of the strongest breakpoint shapes ever. This ball proves the theory that when a strong ball

looks weak downlane, a weaker ball will look stronger downlane. We compared the motion shape to that of the new Freak’n Frantic, and saw similar length and back- end aggressiveness. The only

difference: one to two boards less total hook, due to core shape and a lower differential. This lower mid-priced ball provided excellent hitting power and pin carry for all rev rates.

When to Use: Since the Lights Out is designed for light-medium to medium volumes, it will match up great for those with slower ball speeds and/or higher rev rates. Its conservative nature is displayed only in oil, as it is far from conservative once it encounters friction downlane. Players looking to open up the pattern will likely employ Storm’s stronger layouts, utilizing lower pin buffer distances, as this quickens the back-end response. Those looking for a more direct line of attack will have to increase the pin buffer distance and likely need to scuff the surface to help the cover bleed off some of its inherent backend aggressiveness.

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