NO HOLES BARRED BY JOE CERAR JR.
Which Ball Is the‘Next Big Thing’? AT THE END OF THE MONTH, virtually all of the ball manufacturers will show off
their 2013-14 product lines at International Bowl Expo in Las Vegas. That’s why there typically are quite a few balls reviewed in the June and July issues of Bowl- ers Journal, including 10 this month. This affords the industry’s distributors time to analyze new products and de-
cide which ones to order “light” and which to order “heavy.” (I’m sure they also read the “No Holes Barred” column to get a good feel about which products consumers may view as the “next big thing.”) This also is one of the few months during which pro shop operators and cen-
ter owners can take a much-needed vacation to recharge their drained batteries and prepare for the new season ahead.
Each month, bowlers journal interactive will reprint the BJ ball review by Joe Cerar. This issue also includes video demonstrations featuring one or more of the tested balls.
TIPS AND TRICKS TO MAKE YOU A BETTER BOWLER
THE TESTING This month, ball testing was performed at Classic Lanes and Olympic Lanes in Milwaukee. We were able to test on both AMF SPL and Brunswick Anvilane synthetic lane surfaces. Our test patterns included the USBC White and the PBA Viper. We also bowled on fresh and bro- ken-down typical house shots at both centers. My test staff included Scott Stolz and Matt Duty. Our rev rates range from 300 to 450, with ball speeds between 16- and 19-mph. All three of us can change our tilts and axis rotations to modify roll characteristics.
HOOK POTENTIAL 35-45: Balls with lower total hook ranges, best suited for lighter oil concentrations. Players with slower speeds or higher rev rates may also prefer balls in this range for medium oil appli- cations. 45-51: Balls with medium hook ability, best suited for the vast majority of “typical house
shots” and some lower-volume Sport patterns. This hook range should be represented by the “centerpiece” ball in most arsenals. 51-60+: Balls with greater total hook, designed for heavier oil volumes. Players with higher speeds or lower rev rates, who need added lane traction, may also prefer balls in this range.
LENGTH RATINGS 8-12: Earlier rolling balls that read the lane sooner. These products generally come facto- ry-sanded with lower grit surfaces, and match up well with speed-dominant styles and those bowling on longer patterns. 12-15: Medium-length balls that produce easier length through the midlane. Good for most house shots and medium-volume Sport patterns. 15-19+: Balls off ering extra length for those bowling on lighter oil concentrations. Also ben- efi cial for slower speed players, or those with higher rev rates needing added push downlane.
BREAKPOINT SHAPE 10-13: Slower-response balls that read the friction areas more gradually. This range may in- clude balls with a urethane or mild reactive cover, designed for a smooth arc to the pocket. Can also help those with higher rev rates control motion and match up well from outside angles of attack. 13-15: Balls rated for slightly stronger and quicker reactions when encountering friction ar- eas (as when the ball leaves the oil pattern). This range off ers a balance of control and back- end angularity. 15-18+: Balls that respond more quickly and aggressively to friction areas. This range can help those with less hand action create more angularity near the pocket. Also preferred when playing deeper inside angles, which generally require more entry angle for above-average pin carry.
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