I’ve been planning a post like this for quite a while. I’ve been wanting my readers who don’t normally see me bowl to have an idea of how all of my strike balls are laid out. I have the layout measurements noted on BowlSK, but, for some, seeing is believing, so what I’ve done is take photos of the five balls currently in my strike arsenal and label the major reference points.
I’ll start with the Hy-Road, which is my benchmark (a benchmark ball is the ball first thrown on unfamiliar lane conditions during the process of getting the initial read of the lanes):
This ball has what is known as a stacked leverage layout. It is a fairly low RG ball (tech specs are on Storm’s website, some of the balls for which you may need to find the ball in the “Classic” list by clicking in the top right corner on the main “Balls” page), and I initially got it as a ball that would help me on oil but that I could also use on a THS (Typical House Shot). Although the layout is strong, the hybrid coverstock and the fact that I usually keep the cover polished are what make the ball a decent one on a house pattern.
To point out some differences, I’ll show my Reign of Fire next:
Like my Hy-Road, this ball has a stacked leverage layout, but you’ll notice that the weight hole is actually a bit below my PAP (which I eyeballed and marked on the photo). This points out that the driller also has to take core dynamics into account when laying out a ball, and, really, you can throw core dynamics out the window if the ball has illegal static weights. The Reign of Fire also has a duller solid coverstock, which rolls a bit sooner and helps me if the condition is a little heavier.
For really heavy oil, here is the ball I most recently acquired, the Virtual Gravity Nano:
As I mentioned in my post about it, I acquired this ball previously used, but wanted to keep the same layout, which is pin under the fingers. This layout will allow the ball to roll early, which is needed on longer, heavier oil patterns. I’ve also marked the mass bias (MB) position on the ball to illustrate what I meant when I said it was kicked out (outside of the line formed by the pin and center of gravity positions). It also has the strongest cover of my current balls, the NRG solid at 4000 Abralon.
The next ball I’ll show has claimed a soft spot in my heart:
This ball, my Fast, is the ball I threw for my two best games ever, my 288 league game (which was also part of my first 700 series, my personal best 707) and my 290 open bowling game. I had Ray drill this with the thought of this being my “long and strong” ball, not getting into a roll until after it exits the oil pattern and finishing hard on the back end, which is why it’s often good on a THS. The polished pearl coverstock adds to its length.
Finally, the ball I’ve found I had to use the last couple of weeks, and the ball I finished my second 700 series with, my Tropical Breeze:
Length was the consideration with this ball as well, so it was drilled pin-over and I keep it polished, but I throw this on lighter oil than what I would use my Fast on, with the solid coverstock helping tame down the back end for control on the light/dry when I need it (the solid rolls sooner than a pearl, so it won’t overreact).
I hope this post has helped everyone understand what I’m using out there. 😀