Being ever opportunistic, and always looking for a deal when I can, I couldn’t help but jump on something I discovered on the forums. “Domokun,” whom I knew well from his participation in the virtual league from the beginning, recently announced that he was unloading all of his Storm equipment, with the exception of one ball that I’ll mention later, in favor of Ebonite, saying that Storm balls weren’t working where he bowls.
A ball he announced he was unloading that caught my eye in particular happened to be last year’s Bowling This Month Ball of the Year, the Virtual Gravity Nano. Investigating further, he told me this ball had a pin-under layout (he had another one drilled pin-over, but that one was autographed by women’s bowling legend Aleta Sill, so he’s saving that ball in a box in storage), which was exactly the type of layout I wanted if I ever wanted a ball for long oil patterns. After confirming that it was a 15 lb. ball, I told him I’d take it, and I received it via FedEx a week ago last Thursday.
I should note that this is the first ball I’ve ever owned with an asymmetrical core (you can click on “View Core” on the page linked above to get an image of the core’s shape), so there’s an additional position marked on the ball’s surface for the mass bias. I may comment later on how my layout is measured, but I kept the pin-under layout, with the mass bias kicked out. The ball also had a number of scratches on it and it also looked too shiny for a dull ball, so I determined that a full resurface was necessary. When I gave Ray the ball to have the work done Thursday, he told me the thumb would need to be plugged. With grips and a slug, this ball came out to be a $50 job.
I got a quick chance to try out the ball on a pair near the desk tonight (with the house shot) while the Coke league bowlers were practicing, and I must say that this ball is, by far, the strongest I’ve ever owned. I ended up standing around 34 looking third arrow, but if I made a mistake turning just a bit too early and the ball went high, my high pocket hits left a couple of blower 7s. I eventually did throw a couple of good shots consecutively near the end of the test game and carried them both, with a late 10 on a shot that I thought might have left a weak 10 for the last one. I may not use this ball all of the time, but this would certainly be a house shot option for when I want to play the deep-in (which my readers should know from past leagues that I like playing), and I had this ball in mind more for longer oil patterns (like “Route 66”), anyway, so this ball is going to be a good fit in my arsenal.
As a final note, I may make it a summer project to make a post with the pictures of all of my balls (except for my spare ball) so my readers can become acquainted with how I have all of them laid out.