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Ball Review


HAMMER: SPIKE BLACK AND GOLD 47 Hook 17.5 Length 15 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “This is a continu- ation of the Spike series,” says Ebonite’s Rich Hanson. “The core is exactly the same as the previous two [Spike, July 2013, and Spike Pearl, June 2014]. We upgraded the cover from GTR III to the new GTR IV Hybrid, [so the ball] will read the midlane a touch stronger compared to the Spike Black/Blue, launched last season. The Spike Black/Gold is perfect on medium to light oil patterns.”

Core: The Black Widow Nasty symmetric core has a high RG of 2.56 and a high differen- tial of .054. We saw around 4 inches of flare.

Coverstock: The black and gold pearl New GTR IV Hybrid coverstock is sanded with

800 and 2000 grit Abralon and polished with Powerhouse Factory Finish Polish. It has an RA value of 1.29 and effective surface grit of 5510.

Overview: The sharp looking Spike, with nice shelf appeal, brings a stronger roll to the Spike line. The Spike rolled well on our lighter house pattern when we lined up in the track area, playing around 12 at the arrows out to six- board at the 45-foot breakpoint, according to our CATS. The black and gold was smoother than the blue and black Spike on the backend, and read the breakpoint a hair sooner. This ball was predictable off the breakpoint, with strong roll through the deck, keeping the pins low for good carry. We played more direct on Stone Street — around the second arrow with

a breakpoint at seven-board at the 45-foot mark. The ball played better as the pattern broke down, telling us that it would be a good number three ball in your bag for medium and drier lane conditions. On the USBC Open patterns, we were basically able to square up with this shiny hybrid, playing up eight-board at the arrows to seven-board at the 45-foot breakpoint. We actually had a pretty good look on those flat Sport patterns. Bowlers with slower ball speed who need something to get through the front part of the lane with a smoother, stronger motion on the backend will find room for this ball in their bags. High rev players will love the length and strong, but not overly aggressive, motion off the breakpoint. What stands out most for us was how strongly this ball rolled through the pins.

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