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Ball Review

Elite: Alien Abduction Hook 56 • Length 12 • Breakpoint Shape 15

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Manufacturer’s Intent: “With the loyal following the line has had, we wanted to give the Alien faithful a reaction they had yet to see in an Elite product,” says Mike Moran, Sales Manager for Elite Bowling. “With our first asymmetric offering, the Alien Abduction, we have done just that. The strength of this core, matched with the solid cover, gives the bowler the overall hook they expect out of an Alien, with a stronger down-lane move.” Core Design: The internal power is created by a strong asymmetric core shape with a PSA strength of .026. The RG is low at 2.47 and the differential strong at .050. Testing produced nearly 5.5 inches of track flare. Coverstock: The steel blue S74 solid reactive coverstock formula is above average in strength. The factory finish is sanded with 1000 grit. Response time off friction is average, and oil traction is above average. The Ra reading is 20.5 and the effective surface grit measure- ment is 1900.

Test Results: This proved to be one of the more versatile heavier oil balls in this month’s testing. Its ability to control the midlane and display above-average down- lane continuation were two of its more appreciated attributes. The breakpoint motion is smooth and steady, as we never experienced any skid/flip tendencies. It actually reminded us of the Elite Black Label (October 2007) due to the control and predictability it offered.

When to Use: The ball was one of our favorites on the fresh house shots, as it blended out the wet/dry side-to-side ratios present on such patterns. When tugged inside, traction was sure and steady and pin carry was very good. When we missed wide of target, the recovery was slower and arcing, but pin carry was very good. On flatter patterns, we found the oil volume needed to be medium to heavy; on lighter amounts, the ball rolled up too quick for our liking (this may not be the case for speed-dominant players, though). An added plus was the strong PSA, which offered quite a range of motion shapes, contingent on layout choice.


Columbia 300: Smack Down Hook 56 • Length 14 • Breakpoint Shape 15

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Manufacturer’s Intent: “This ball puts the Smack Down on any medium to heavy oil condition, and is versatile enough for so many different styles,” says Columbia 300 Brand Manager Bugsy Kelly. “This ball joins the Enigma [January 2013], Wicked Encounter [July 2012], Oath [August 2012] and Omen [January 2012] for those looking for added hook in oil.”

Core Design: The core is powered by its medium 2.51 RG and its .053 differential. This core has an asymmetric design, but its PSA is only .004, so it can be drilled with symmetric layouts. We saw nearly 5.5 inches of track flare with strong layouts such as our 3.5- and 4.5-inch pin distances.

Coverstock: The Bring It hybrid reactive cover formula provides the lane traction for the Smack Down. The factory finish is sanded with 2x500 grit and 2x2000 grit Abralon. Colors are a mix of purple, silver pearl and purple pearl. The Ra measures 9.25 and the effective surface grit reading is 3300. Response time is quick off friction and above average in oil.

Test Results: The Smack Down performed best on our medium to heavier oil volume test patterns. The roll was predictable in the midlane, with a smooth-arc- ing finish when encountering back-end friction. We did not see any late lane wiggle due to oil carrydown, and as a result we saw extended use through this transition. Pin carry was very good from a multitude of angles and for a multitude of tester rev

rates. The core shape should yield a different look from any other in the Columbia 300 line. When to Use: On fresh house and Sport shots, most bowlers should have good match-ups, providing there is ade- quate oil volume to match the individual’s ball speed. The aggressive box finish helps the ball slow down and not read the fric- tion area overly quickly. When facing the dreaded wet/dry side-to-side oil pattern, the Smack Down controlled the pock- et very nicely. Our best pin carry on this type of pattern was with the 50x4.5x60 pin-down layout. The smoothness of the Smack Down in the midlane provides a very usable motion phase. On severely bro- ken-down lane conditions, the Columbia Disruption (reviewed next) was the obvious choice for my test staff.

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