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Ball Review


Hammer: Amp Hook 50 • Length 14.5 • Breakpoint Shape 15


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“The Amp features our new PowerShot asymmetric core, designed to provide ultra-high mid-lane revolutions with a very defined breakpoint,” says Hammer Brand Manager Jeff Ussery. “Combine that with our new Overdrive hybrid coverstock, and you’ve got one of the strongest rolling upper mid-price balls in the history of Hammer.” Core Design: The PowerShot asymmetric core’s RG is low at 2.49. The differential is strong at .054 and the PSA is .013. We saw nearly 6 inches of track flare with our 4- and 5.5-inch pin distance layouts. Coverstock: The Overdrive hybrid cover is colored in reds and blues. The surface is sanded with 500 grit, then 1000 and finished with Powerhouse Clean n’ Sheen. The traction in oil is slightly above average, as is the response time off friction. The Ra measures 5.0 and the effective surface grit is 4100. Test Results: The Amp is the new centerpiece of Hammer’s upper mid- priced segment of high-performance products. The first thing we noticed


was its fast-revving and smooth-rolling core charac- teristic. The Amp handled fresh house patterns very nicely, but excelled on medium to medium-heavy Sport patterns because of the predictability and control it offers through transition. We never saw a skid/flip motion shape or any down- lane wiggle caused by nasty oil carrydown. As an added bonus, weaker 6-inch layouts positioned below the fin- gers gave us great looks on light-me- dium to medium volumes. Polishing the surface increased typical length a couple of feet and reduced total hook a few boards. Surprisingly, it did not increase the quickness off dry boards during testing. We’re not saying that it wasn’t strong off dry — just that it wasn’t too quick. When to Use: The Amp will be an all-purpose ball for a variety of player styles. Its wheelhouse reaction range is on medium to heavier volumes when a strong mid-lane motion is warranted. It offers a powerful benchmark type of roll. You can get a multitude of motion shapes simply by varying your layout choice.


TIPS AND TRICKS TO MAKE YOU A BETTER BOWLER


Storm: Marvel-S Hook 58 • Length 13.5 • Breakpoint Shape 15.5


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“Prepped with a 3000-grit pad, the Marvel-S’s NRG coverstock handles heavy oil like a beast,” says


Storm Marketing Specialist Matt Martin. “Paired with the amazing Centripetal core, which produces 6 inches or more of flare, the Marvel-S will benefit players of all skill levels.”


Core Design: The symmetric Centripetal core


has a low 2.48 RG and strong .050 differential. Testing showed nearly 5.5 inches of track flare with 4- or 5-inch pin distance drillings (with no weight hole). Coverstock: Providing the needed lane traction is the nanotechnology NRG solid reactive coverstock. Colors are a nature-driven aqua, blue and black blend. The spearmint scent adds to the appeal of this new oil-lover, which comes sanded with 3000 grit. We found the oil traction to be above average and the response time off friction moderately quick. The Ra measures 9.5, with an effective surface grit of 3200.


Test Results: With our love for the Marvel pearl (August 2011), we were anxious to test the Marvel-S. The motion can be summed up as: fast revving,


very strong midlane, very continuous through the pins, excellent


predictability and above-average pin carry. Plus, it smells good. Even though the total hook will be one to three boards less than a comparably drilled Sync (February 2013) or Vivid (April 2012), the motion is smoother, and there is a less-defined skid-to- hook zone. The aggressive nature of the core, cover and surface prep will suit speed-dominant types and match up well on heavier oil for most bowlers. Polishing the surface


will give a more secure mid-lane presence than a like-drilled pearl Marvel.


When to Use: Medium-heavy to heavier oil will offer little challenge to this solid reactive ball. Our 4-inch pin below the finger, with a 4-inch pin buffer, helped the ball read the midlane very nicely and react smoothly and consistently through the pins. Our 5-inch pin positioned with a 2-inch buffer location above the ring finger resulted in the ball reacting, on average, 1 foot later — yet decidedly stronger off friction near our breakpoint. We also drilled a 2.5-inch pin with a 2.5-inch buffer, on the midline, and saw our earliest and tamest down-lane motion. This layout matched up well when we played outside of the 8th board and were looking for a hook-set reaction. One tester threw 18 in a row with this layout.


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