by Randy Ooney
My Nickel’s Worth by Randy Ooney
“Silver balls, Silver balls, it’s Christmas time in the city”. I really miss the annual issue of “US Bowler” with the center section in which they analyzed performance and coverstock of the many new bowling products released by the manufacturers that support our sport. Now you have to wait until someone bowls a 300 or 800 set and go to facebook to find out what ball they were using. Some of the touts are from bowlers who receive endorsement advantages from the manufacturers. I am not one of those bowlers so I can play with any pretty color I like. I will give a shout out to Storm however. They once sent me a new ball to replace one I owned that had cracked, even though it was out of warranty. Thank you very much.
Speaking of Storm, they have attracted a lot of attention recently in the west suburbs. Congratulations to my teammate Bob Foote. He recently purchased a Storm LUCID from Smilin’ Carl, and tossed a 770 set a couple of weeks ago. Then for an encore, rolled his first 300 game last Friday at Texa Tonka. Meanwhile, his doubles partner for the night, Lisa Nadeau was twirling 269-297-215 with --- yup, a Storm LUCID. Storm has also come out with an IQ Pearl, strikingly polished gold in color. I have only seen Roger Blad use one so far, but Roger could average 200 with a hockey puck.
Brunswick’s new addition to its line is a Meanstreak. Drock represents Brunswick and owns one, so now he has two. One to roll, and one up his back. I was on a pair of lanes one night when Ben Goede tossed a Hammer Cobalt Vibe and had 597 for his first two games that night on his way to a huge 800 set. The Vibe is also available in Grape and Midnight. When I was a kid, most bowling balls were available in black, black, black, or black with red swirls.
Matt McNiel is our 900 Global guy, and their high performance additions this year are the Freight Train and Bank Roll. Motiv has entered the arena with a Cruel and Primal Scream. Where DO they come up with the names? Ebonite and Columbia 300 used to have a strong presence in the market, and Ebonite continues to persevere with a Persevere. Columbia was well known for their many plastic balls in the 20th century. I expect anyone whoever bowled on wood lanes has a Columbia yellow dot or white dot in their garage or closet. But they are also in the high performance market these days with an Enigma and Encounter.
Sorry if I missed a few, and I can also attest to the fact that even equipment that is a few years old can work well under certain conditions, if you maintain it and keep it clean. But if you’re feeling a vibe to take your bankroll to the nearest pro shop and let out a primal scream to encounter a lucid meanstreak that hits like a freight train, what the heck … Go for it, it’s Christmas!
Have a happy and safe holiday season. Merry Christmas to all!