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Ball Review

Columbia 300: Antics Hook 53.5 • Length 14.5 • Breakpoint Shape 14.5

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Manufacturer’s Intent: Columbia 300 Brand Manager Bugsy Kelly says, “It’s always fun to see your ball hook in the backend, and we’re giv- ing you more of it on medium to heavy oiled lanes.” Core Design: The new Hi-Dynamics asymmetric core is designed to provide more mid-lane and back-end motion potential. The RG is 2.50, the differential hefty at .054 and the PSA powerful at .015. Testing revealed nearly 6 inch- es of track flare with strong Blueprint- inspired layouts. Coverstock: A new coverstock formu- la joins the already impressive Columbia 300 premium lineup. This AR300 (Awesome Reaction) is formulated to be cleaner through the fronts and stronger downlane. Colors are an eye-catching fusion of forest, cherry, yellow and royal blue. The factory surface is sanded with 500-grit Abranet and 3000 Abralon, and shined with Powerhouse polish. The response time off dry is quick and the oil traction is moderately limited. The laser scanner Ra reading is 2.0, with an effec- tive surface grit of 4900. Test Results: The Antics delivers the goods on medium to medium-heavy oil

volumes. This appears to be due to the core shape and numbers, which foster an aggressive breakpoint shape. The core also responds well to hand position changes, which can be a benefit for those with good hand control at release. The cover formula helps the ball save its aggression for the friction area of the lane. I won’t call this a skid/ flip motion shape, but more of a skid/strong arc when leaving the oil pattern. Hitting and carry power are very good when enough friction

is present. However, on carrydown, the Antics comes up a touch short. When to Use: The Antics will offer a multitude of uses for a multitude of play- er styles. Down-and-in players will likely enjoy the control that a pin-down layout offers with either a strong (4-inch) or weak- er (5+inch) pin. Power players can opt for quicker response layouts with the pin positioned above the fingers. The Antics matched up well on wet/dry, side-to-side oil patterns, especially with the surface knocked down a bit with light scuffing. Yet when highly polished, the Antics can be a send-it and bend-it ball extraordinaire. In other words, the Antics can play well with whatever you may have in mind — providing you choose the appropriate layout and sur- face prep.


Brunswick: Mystic Aura Hook 54 • Length 14.5 • Breakpoint Shape 15.5

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Manufacturer’s Intent: “Our goal was to create a versatile skid/flip ball motion in the Brunswick product line,” says Product Manager Billy Orlikowski. “We achieved our goal by developing a new coverstock called Optimum-Versatility. This coverstock slips through the front with ease, revving fast in the mid-lane, generating a high amount of angular velocity potential on medium to oily lane conditions.” Core Design: The Aura’s ultra-low RG core has an RG of only 2.48, helping create faster revs. The differential is .052, with a PSA strength of .015. We saw nearly 6 inches of predictable, strong track flare from this core. Coverstock: The new hybrid coverstock, Optimum-Versatility, is colored in gold pearl and black solid. The factory finish is Sia Air sanded with 500 grit, with Rough Buff applied afterward. Response time off friction is moderately quick, and oil traction is average. The Ra reading comes in at 1.7, with an effective surface grit reading of 5100. Test Results: The Mystic Aura is Brunswick’s third edition in the Aura

series. This time, a hybrid coverstock joins the two solid reactive ver- sions. The Mystic handles oil very nicely, and the pearl additive helps increase the length through the midlane. The Mystic did not show any major skid/flip motion on any of the test patterns, but did recover nicely from deeper inside lines, where the other Auras labored. Applying Brunswick’s high-gloss polish created some skid/flip, but also lessened the ball’s ability to negotiate through light and medium amounts of carrydown. When compared to a Paranormal Aura (February 2013), the Mystic hooked a couple of boards less, with about 2 feet of added length. The break- point shape was slightly more angular off the friction at the end of the pattern. When to Use: We had some great looks on both fresh house and Sport shots with the Mystic Aura. Hitting power and roll con- sistency were very good on both pattern types. As the patterns lost oil volume, how- ever, our good looks went away. When this occurred, the Meanstreak series of balls came to the rescue, as they negotiate less- er oil volumes easier and conserve down- lane energy better. As the oil patterns say sayonara, speed-dominant players will likely enjoy more extended use with the aggres- sive Aura series of low-RG products.

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