Bowling Forums, Bowling Discussion and Bowling Talk
Sign up Calendar Latest Topics

  Author   Comment  

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 579
Reply with quote  #1 
I am seeking opinions on replacing my equipment completely.  

Here's my ask:   I would like four bowling balls.  Two reactive, One Urethane, and One Plastic for spares (and because I'm going to bowl the Petersen again next year and I need a plastic ball for that).  Open to lay out, brands, you name it.  What would you do if you were me and drilled up four new balls.

My challenge has been on house conditions my ball jumps out of the dry to fast and I get over/under reactions which basically force me to play the shot in the oil and I get pretty bored with how easy that condition is.  

The real challenge is at USBC or other tournament conditions I tend to get the ball hooking about 3-4 feet before the break point I want to get to.  Then, if I force it to the break point, it will shoot through and not recover.   If I move a hair deeper to arc it to the spot, it doesn't get there and I'm through the nose.   Ball speed is mid 14's, hand action unfortunately is still from the old days.  I do have a shot from a couple years ago on YouTube where you can see my release.   My release has too much hand for the equipment and conditions today as I don't paint the floor like you're supposed to so I pay for actually hitting the ball with an over reaction.  Some of my best scores in recent years have been with urethane, including the one Senior PBA Event I bowled, where the last 6 I used urethane playing fall back between 4th/5th arrow with no problem getting the ball to hit and bowled pretty good after wasting 12 games with reactive over/under reaction.  At the USBC if the goal was to line up and hit the nose I could do it every time.  I had the perfect reaction to go flush nose LOL.

Wide open to any suggestions, as this is a clean slate.  I'm going to dispose of everything I have and start over.   Thanks for any thoughts!

Mike Anthony

Posts: 848
Reply with quote  #2 
Well, if your most frequent issue is over-hook, I would steer away from the top of the line stuff. You should be able to tackle any house shot with a pair of mid-range reactives (+/- $160), one dull for early roll and the other polished for a "skid snap" reaction. That will cover from slightly wet fresh conditions to dry broken down lanes. As for urethanes, talk to a pro shop operator, they behave quite a bit differently with modern cores in them. Some can be nearly as strong as mid-range reactives. And just pick whatever plastic ball you like the color of. Those are still pretty much just cheap plasticy rocks. I bought DV8's plastic ball solely because I didn't own a ball from DV8 yet, lol.

I wish I could be more specific and actually recommend certain balls, but I don't have a pro shop nearby anymore and haven't kept up with what is on the market.

Posts: 89
Reply with quote  #3 
My friend had the same problem and the pro shop operator (steve fehr) recommended the same think he said^^^. He actually went with a Storm Tropical Breeze.

Posts: 1,763
Reply with quote  #4 

Why do you need both a urethane and a plastic for spares?  Why not get both in one ball.  I would recommend a Mix (by Storm).  It's urethane and reacts about the same as a plastic.  Won't hook more than a board or two.

Now if the urethane you're referring to is one with a modern weight block (as opposed to a pancake weight block, like what's in the Mix), then a Pitch Black would be a good choice.  I like my Pitch Black a lot.  But I don't carry it that much since I very rarely ever use it.  If I know I'll be bowling on short oil, I'll bring it.  Otherwise, I've got other options for "hooking" lanes.

Plus, carrying both a urethane AND a plastic takes one arsenal option out of your bag.  I would recommend carrying a urethane (not a plastic) SPARE BALL.  You can always use the urethane spare ball as a strike ball if the lanes get ridiculous.  It won't hook much, but isn't that the point?

That would then leave you with THREE other options instead of just two.  And I would recommend going with one of the two following combinations:

Combination 1:  A solid reactive, a hybrid reactive, and a pearl reactive.


Combination 2:  An assymetrical (strong) ball (could be any of the three cover stocks), a symmetrical hybrid, a symmetrical pearl.

Me?  I carry six.  I've got a solid in there (IQ Tour Nano), an assymetrical (Crux Pearl, actually a board or two stronger than the Nano, but because it's a pearl, it reads later than a solid), a pearl that reads the mids a little earlier than my other pearls (Optimus), a pearl that doesn't hook as much and reads later (Sky Rocket), a weak reactive that's made to combat hooking lanes and won't overreact, making it a good choice also on certain over/under conditions (Ride), and a urethane-with-pancake-weight-block spare ball (Mix).

See how the progression gives me options to match up with just about any lane condition?  That's what you're looking for.  You want to cover as many options as the size of your arsenal will allow.  That's why I think carrying both a urethane (with a modern exotic weight block that could, if you wanted it to, serve as a spare ball) AND a plastic spare ball is a waste of one slot in your bag.  Choose between the two.  You surely don't need both.  You leave a gap in your arsenal by carrying both.


Avatar / Picture

Posts: 579
Reply with quote  #5 
Great information and responses and I appreciate you taking the time to share this knowledge with me.  To clarify, the urethane ball is for striking also.  I'm hoping to have 2 reactives and a urethane in progression with the urethane hopefully allowing me to move right and play more of a post up shot on tougher lane conditions.  

I'm typically left of most bowlers, and when I cannot move left and get to the break point with reactive, I'm hoping to move right with the urethane and play where the majority of the bowlers are.  Especially flatter conditions where keeping in play is the primary desire.  
I do think I need a plastic for spares on the right side that don't have sleepers.   3/10, 10, 6/10, 3/6/10 etc.   I can shoot everything on the left very well and don't need plastic for that and actually prefer to roll the ball at those.

Again thanks!  

Mike Anthony

Posts: 496
Reply with quote  #6 
I agree with Randy.  I use a Blue Hammer as a spare ball and for over under on house shots along with some short sport patterns.  I also carry 6 for tournaments including the Hammer.  However I can cover a lot of conditions with my IQ tour solid, my old cobalt Vibe and my Marvel pearl. 

I was going to recommend the Storm Ride to you, but it may be to close to a urethane in a small arsenal.   

Posts: 430
Reply with quote  #7 
I'm not exactly an equipment collector. I only drill up perhaps a ball or two a year, so I cannot make any recommendations for current equipment.

I suffer from many of the same issues as you. I have moderate speed at best, in the upper 15s off my hand. I learned how to bowl when equipment was polyester or rubber, experienced the shift to urethane in the 1980s. I developed a release based on what was common at the time, get late with the timing and kick the ball hard with the fingers. I wasn't really a cranker, more of a strong tweener back then. I track low, and back in the day that allowed the ball to store a lot of energy for a later hook.

I have never fully been able to adapt to reactives. I believe it is because the balls grab so hard that they slow down too much making the turn, and I just don't have the speed to  take advantage of the friction. I cross more boards, but my carry doesn't improve. When I try to increase my ball speed I'm inconsistent with my release, which is even worse unless the lanes give me a lot of leeway.

One odd thing I've noticed over the years is that I almost never bowl really well with the "best" equipment that is available. It is generally the stuff that other bowlers don't like that works out better for me, the lower priced and midline stuff, and the balls that get discontinued after a year because they don't sell. I joke that I don't bowl well with a ball until it is discontinued. With reactives, that means the ball has absorbed some oil and tracked up a bit, enough that it has toned down the "out-of-the-box" reaction. One of the hardest things I've run into in today's game is getting a good ball reaction. It is easy for me to get hook. But getting the right amount of hook, and the right shape, is very tricky. And when I find  ball that fits my game I hang on to it for years (and decades in some cases).

Trying to get equipment that reacts well both on house and tournament conditions is a problem. On a THS you are usually trying to smooth out the wet/dry overreaction. Tournaments held on flatter conditions and sport shots are more often about getting the ball to break at the correct distance (and amount) downlane. You want the ball to read the track/pattern without skidding through it or grabbing early, and the layout has to allow the correct amount of hook at the back. I've found that core shape, RG, and drilling layouts are important for me as a lower-speed player. Asymmetric cores are a real problem because they tend have a very short hook phase, going from a skid to a roll quickly. This means I have trouble getting them to skid long enough, and when I try to just give it room and let it hook it quits early. Maybe there are layouts which minimize this, but that has been my experience. If you find the right combination they work great, but they tend to be less versatile across different conditions. Low RG symmetrics can have a similar issue if the pin is too close to your axis point. Not a very common drilling, but some use it to reduce track flare. When I was younger and my release was stronger I used it to prevent having too much or too late back end reaction.

I agree with Randy that a polyester and and plain urethane ball together is not needed 99% of the time. The 1% exception is the Peterson. You would probably want both polyester and urethane as your two choices there, and leave the reactives locked up. For the other three, whatever surfaces you choose you will need at least two different layouts. One ball must have a smooth-rolling layout for use on outside/direct lines and when the lanes are fresh. One must have more of a skid-flip response for moving inside and going past the pocket and back. Use a higher RG core for that ball, it will retain more hook potential downlane and have a better recovery when you have to give it room. The third ball is a wild card, use whatever your preference is. Surfaces can be tweaked to get an earlier or later read, but I think layouts/RG have to be chosen based on how much you want the ball to hook before it rolls.

Good luck.


Posts: 3,567
Reply with quote  #8 
My wife would say buy the one that's color matches your bowling shirt.
Shake a Vets hand you owe them.
Dearborn Mi. Home town of Henry Ford

Avatar / Picture

Posts: 11,770
Reply with quote  #9 
I just picked up a couple of new balls.  One is the Roto Grip Haywire, which seems to go long and snap hard at the end.  It's a solid ball.  It seems like this is a better ball for wetter conditions.  Not a good ball for transition or burnt out conditions.  I also bought a Roto Grip Hyper Cell Skid (to replace my old Hyper Cell Skid), which is a pearl ball, and it seems to be a better ball for drier conditions, and transition.  So, ideally, I would start with the Haywire, and end up with the Hyper Cell Skid.  I also have the original HyRoad, even though it's my 5th one.  This ball is good on any kind of condition, and depending on how the shot is, this is a good ball to start the night out with as well.  My spare ball is a Columbia 300 White Dot.

Tournament conditions that I've bowled on, ranging from 32' to 47', I've used the HyRoad...on the shorter condition, I do have a IQ Tour Fusion that works well as well on the shorter conditions.  I have not used the Haywire on tournament conditions.  The Hyper Cell Skid does just that...skid's too much on sport shots.

Good luck in your re-tooling!!!!
Previous Topic | Next Topic

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.