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Ball Review


900 Global: Hard Drive Hook 54 • Length 14.5 • Breakpoint Shape 15.5


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Manufacturer’s Intent: “The Hard Drive features our one-of-a-kind neat ‘T’ pad surface that provides a more consistent finish, better cut rate and better aesthetics,” says 900 Global marketing representative Tom Restey. “The neaT-sanded surface, matched with our aggressive S74 Pearl cov- erstock and low RG asym- metric Ram core, provides the Hard Drive with great mid- lane read and a strong, arcing backend on heavier oil conditions.” Core Design: The Ram asymmetric core boasts some pretty impressive num- bers with an RG of 2.48, a differential of .053 and a PSA strength of .023. We saw nearly 6 inches of track flare with the 4- and 5-inch pin distance layouts. Coverstock: Supplying the necessary


lane traction for the Hard Drive is the powerful S74 pearl cover formula. (Higher numbered 900 Global covers are stronger overall than those with lower numbers.) Colors are a mix of midnight and steel blues, and the surface is neaT-sanded to 4000 grit. The Ra measures 4.7, and the effective surface grit is 4400. Response time off dry is quick, and oil traction is slightly above average.


Test Results: The Hard Drive will be an all-purpose medium- to heavier-oil workhorse for many players. Its low-RG core helps the ball rev early and quickly, while the strong differential provides all the oil-loving track flare a lane could ask for. An added bonus is the strong PSA of .023, which can help define the motion shape. We found that a 40x4x70 (pin below the ring finger) dual angle layout produced a much earlier and smoother hook shape than a 70x4x40 (pin above


ring finger). We also enjoyed a more angular and decisive motion shape with the pin-above drilling. Usability, hitting power and carry were top-notch. When to Use: As with many strong core/cover balls, oil is a prerequisite for success. Our best looks were on fresh Sport or house conditions with heavier volumes. As these patterns went away, we simply chased the pattern inward and maintained good to very good pin carry. Oil carrydown did not seem to faze the Hard Drive, as it does with slightly weaker balls. Scuffing the surface down to 1000 grit or so will provide a subtle change to the motion shape for lower-speed players, while adding about three to five boards of hook with an earlier breakpoint for speed- dominant types.


TIPS AND TRICKS TO MAKE YOU A BETTER BOWLER


900 Global: Desert Hook Hook 45 • Length 16.5 • Breakpoint Shape 14.5


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Manufacturer’s Intent: “When the lanes are fried, you need something that handles the extreme dry while maintaining carry through the pins,” says 900 Global’s Tom Restey. “With its ultra-high RG and low-differ- ential dynamic symmetric core, the Desert Hook will give you plenty of length downlane without over-re- action off dry.” Core Design: With an RG of 2.61 and a minuscule dif- ferential of .026, one can see why the Desert Hook gets down the lane. Testing showed a maximum 3 inches of track flare, with the 3.5-inch pin above layout. Higher rev rates may see some skid/ hard arc motion; the rest will see skid/ smooth arc.


Coverstock: The S30 pearl cover is one of the weakest formulas made by 900 Global. Colors are a manly mix of copper and royal blue. The surface is highly polished, which produces a Ra reading of 1.5 with an effective surface grit of 5400. Oil traction is limited and response time off dry is moderate to slow. Test Results: The Desert Hook is a condition-specific ball, to be sure, but


what a ball. It displayed effortless length while creating just enough traction off friction for us to make the corner. We did notice some front- and mid-lane core lope, but this disappeared as the ball encountered friction. We never saw skid/flip motions, regardless of the degree of “fry” on the lanes. Hitting and carry power were excellent once we had enough friction to warrant its use. Oil carrydown, as expected, posed some carry


issues. A light surface scuff came to the rescue. (Please remember that during USBC-certified competition, surface sanding is not allowed.) When to Use: Use confidently on fresh light to light-medium volumes, pro- viding your rev rate produces the neces- sary motion needed for acceptable carry power. After transition occurs and the burn is in play, the Desert Hook is at its best. The more friction, the better, as it allowed us to stay aggressive through the release zone, which generally improves our carry percentage. Track players will enjoy the ball’s friction-loving attributes as well, as it was reasonably easy to play in the dry. Speed-dominant types looking for a great dry-lane ball may prefer a smooth, dull finish such as neaT, which is equiva- lent to 4000 grit.


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