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Ball Review


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Make That List and Visit Your Pro Shop THE HOLIDAY SHOPPING SEASON is here. If you’re like me, each year it seems

to become increasingly difficult to find special or unique gifts for our loved ones. This year, try visiting your local bowling pro shop for gift ideas. This is a

great idea, and not just because I’m in the pro shop business. There are many small-ticket items such as towels, ball cleaners, tape and other needed acces- sories that make ideal stocking stuffers. Most shops also offer gift certificates, which can be used for products or services performed by the house pro. Of course, you could also choose bowling balls, based on the reviews you

read here in Bowlers Journal. As we all know, there comes a time when every bowler either needs or wants a new ball. One note of caution: When buying a ball for a loved one, encourage the

beneficiary to speak with a qualified IBPSIA-certified ball driller to determine the layout choice that’s best suited for his or her game. Specs such as ball speed, axis tilt and rotation and one’s PAP all influence the layout choice... and will help make your generous gift a gift that keeps on giving lots of strikes.


THE TESTING JB’s on 41 in Milwaukee and Classic Lanes in Oak Creek, Wis., hosted this month’s testing. We used a fresh house pattern, as well as a fresh Challenge series pattern: Route 66. We also bowled on these patterns after breakdown and transition occurred — after about 12 games of use. The test staff included numerous league bowlers with various skill levels and lane play abilities. Special thanks to Tom Cavey and Eddie Vahradian for their assistance and feedback. Cavey’s physical game specs are: 350 rev rate, 15 degrees of tilt, 70 degrees of axis rotation and 17-mph ball speed. Vahradian’s specs are: 450 rev rate, 12 degrees of tilt, 40 degrees of axis rotation and 19-mph ball speed. Both players average north of 220.

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 applications. 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 “center- piece” 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 factory-sand- ed 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 offering extra length for those bowling on lighter oil concentrations. Also ben- eficial 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 areas (as when the ball leaves the oil pattern). This range offers a balance of control and back-end angularity.

Each month, BowlersJournal interactive will reprint the BJ ball review.

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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