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#197082 - 03/28/17 08:09 PM Urethane Ball Motion Explained?
nord Offline
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Registered: 10/27/11
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Can someone please explain the difference in the ball motion of a urethane ball vs. a reactive ball?

My experience is that urethane hooks and rolls earlier than reactive, but hooks less and rolls longer with less lateral movement.
Reactive slides much longer and hooks and rolls later, but has much more sudden lateral movement.

Is this correct?

In my own person experience on the fresh of some heavier oil house shots, using a strong reactive and a strong urethane, both at 2000 grit, I have found that my strong reactive ball will slide too long and roll too late and sometimes not even get into a roll at all. When this happens I pull out the strong urethane ball and on the same exact line the urethane ball will roll and often roll very early.

Why is this?
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#197083 - 03/28/17 09:51 PM Re: Urethane Ball Motion Explained? [Re: nord]
champ Offline
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Registered: 11/30/10
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A/S/L: 30/M/AZ
You're on the money nord. What makes reactive, reactive, is its ability to skid through oil, store energy, respond to friction rapidly.

Urethane reads very early and very slowly. That's what give it the trademark smooth roll. Most genuine urethane from the 80s also lacked dynamic cores, and they did not flare, making them even smoother.
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#197095 - 03/30/17 03:39 AM Re: Urethane Ball Motion Explained? [Re: champ]
nord Offline
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Originally Posted By: champ
You're on the money nord. What makes reactive, reactive, is its ability to skid through oil, store energy, respond to friction rapidly.

Urethane reads very early and very slowly. That's what give it the trademark smooth roll. Most genuine urethane from the 80s also lacked dynamic cores, and they did not flare, making them even smoother.


And this is really what I am seeing. But I talked to a coach online who made the statement that "if reactive was not rolling on a pattern then for sure urethane could never roll.
Reactive is always stronger than urethane." But almost every time I can't get a reactive to roll, if I pull out my strong urethane, it will roll and roll early.
It may not carry well once it hits the pins due to the higher oil volume, but at least it is rolling.

But why is this?
Is it because the urethane ball is relying on mechanical friction (the lower grit) rather than chemical friction like a reactive ball?
The deep grit of the urethane can dig in while the reactive will float over the oil?
_________________________
High Game: 259 bowled with The Hardwick Rubber Ball at Poway Bowl.
High Series: 621
House Avg: 177

Arsenal
Visionary Midnight Scorcher Particle Urethane
Visionary The Crow Urethane
Visionary The Judge Urethane
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#197100 - 03/30/17 07:43 PM Re: Urethane Ball Motion Explained? [Re: nord]
82Boat69 Offline
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Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 484
A/S/L: 69/M/California
Something that's getting lost in this discussion is the importance of a weight block. While the weight block may only account for 15% or less of a ball's reaction, the weight block accounts for most of a ball's change of direction. Axis rotation being the same.

Remove the weight block and a reactive ball will roll-out just like a urethane ball does. No flare and a reactive ball will track exactly like a urethane ball.

Having a dynamic weight migrating from unstable to stable is what keeps a ball hooking.

I have an old Faball Hammer and I've thrown the new Storm Natural. On the same pattern the old Hammer has little movement where the Natural has a constant and predictable motion.

Both balls deflect more in the pocket than a reactive ball, but I venture to say if a reactive ball hit's the pocket with the same angle as urethane, and neither had a weight block, the statistical difference in strikes wouldn't be much. I'd say the same applies to the old polyester Yellow Dots.

What makes reactive balls the sports cars of the game are their ability to change direction, much farther down the lane and open up the strike zone. We use to call this the axiomatic weight shift.

Reactive balls also soak up the lane conditioner bringing up the other important factor which is lane surface. Urethane won't soak up oil. However, if a person wiped their ball after every shot, some of that difference would be mitigated.

Still, urethane would move the oil down lane. It's even possible to move enough down lane to have a negative effect on those waiting for a late break from their reactive ball.

In the old days before urethane and before reactive, we would drill our balls to create a dynamic weight with the pancake block. We called them 'floppers'. On a dodo scale they were legal, but once you added centrifugal force, that pancake block made a big difference.

Modern balls are doing the same thing, just with better surface to go along with the weight block.

I'd like to see urethane balls with very strong weight blocks. As I age, I realize I won't always have the speed and RPM's that I have now. Less surface wouldn't be so bad if the ball still would move left without more effort.
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#197104 - 03/31/17 08:02 PM Re: Urethane Ball Motion Explained? [Re: nord]
champ Offline
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Registered: 11/30/10
Posts: 2096
A/S/L: 30/M/AZ
Originally Posted By: nord
But why is this?


The coach you mentioned is pretty much completely wrong if you are quoting exactly what he said. What makes reactive resin reactive is its ability to skid through oil. Urethane has less ability to skid, (and as you mentioned) they often have much lower surfaces put on them, making them more prone to grab the lane surface much earlier than a reactive ball. Chemically speaking, the two materials are different, but a lot of bowlers think urethane simply hooks less; that's not the case.

As is becoming vogue with top bowlers around the world, over the last five years or so, if you've got a good look from outside with urethane you've got a great option.
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#197106 - 03/31/17 08:33 PM Re: Urethane Ball Motion Explained? [Re: champ]
82Boat69 Offline
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Registered: 06/24/16
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I think you have your surfaces reversed. Reactive resin doesn't skid through oil. Reactive resin balls have peaks and valleys in their surface which makes them create more friction not less.

The height of the peaks and distance between peaks is what makes them soak up oil and not skid. A reactive ball will slow down dramatically from it's launch speed due to friction. That is not the case for urethane.

Additionally, the weight block creates track flare which causes a reactive resin ball to rotate on a fresh surface on each revolution. The whole point is to put the aggressive surface of a reactive ball on the lane to minimize the effects of lane conditioner, not skid through it.

As for urethane, it does not read lanes sooner. It will skid further and because it doesn't soak up up or flare much, it will skid further because less friction is created.

Do you have a source for your contention? I'd like to read it.
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#197109 - 04/01/17 10:07 AM Re: Urethane Ball Motion Explained? [Re: nord]
SteveH Offline
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Yeah I thought that too 82. Most that throw urethane play far right and in, and the urethane doesn't read early or it would defeat its intended purpose. Pros that play the far right on short patterns using urethane, because at the breakpoint, urethane won't over react to the friction.
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#197181 - 04/11/17 03:26 AM Re: Urethane Ball Motion Explained? [Re: 82Boat69]
nord Offline
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Registered: 10/27/11
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Originally Posted By: 82Boat69
I think you have your surfaces reversed. Reactive resin doesn't skid through oil. Reactive resin balls have peaks and valleys in their surface which makes them create more friction not less.

The height of the peaks and distance between peaks is what makes them soak up oil and not skid. A reactive ball will slow down dramatically from it's launch speed due to friction. That is not the case for urethane.

Additionally, the weight block creates track flare which causes a reactive resin ball to rotate on a fresh surface on each revolution. The whole point is to put the aggressive surface of a reactive ball on the lane to minimize the effects of lane conditioner, not skid through it.

As for urethane, it does not read lanes sooner. It will skid further and because it doesn't soak up up or flare much, it will skid further because less friction is created.

Do you have a source for your contention? I'd like to read it.


I will have to disagree with the above statements based on personal experience.

I have the Visionary Crow urethane ball at 1000 grit. It has a dynamic core and I have it drilled for max flare.
I also have a Hammer Dark Legend solid, also at 1000 grit with the same high flare layout.

On a house shot, when the Dark Legend will not hook and just slides through the oil, if I pull out The Crow, it will hook and hook early and roll long.

This is on the exact same target line.

The urethane ball flares just as much as the reactive ball and takes oil off the lane because it is always rolling over a clean surface of ball due to the heavy flare.
When the ball comes back with the oil stripes I wipes them off and now the ball is dry again. The urethane ball took oil off the lane.
The only difference is the reactive ball soaks up the oil stripes, but on the urethane ball they stay on the surface.

Reactive balls are designed to skid a real long way and then react suddenly to friction giving them their distinctive back end reaction and hitting power.

True urethane balls are designed to hook early and roll long, with little to no backend reaction. This allows a urethane ball to provide excellent control because it will not jump in the backend.
_________________________
High Game: 259 bowled with The Hardwick Rubber Ball at Poway Bowl.
High Series: 621
House Avg: 177

Arsenal
Visionary Midnight Scorcher Particle Urethane
Visionary The Crow Urethane
Visionary The Judge Urethane
Brunswick Grizz Urethane

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#197182 - 04/11/17 08:57 AM Re: Urethane Ball Motion Explained? [Re: nord]
82Boat69 Offline
Team USA Contender

Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 484
A/S/L: 69/M/California
"What makes reactive resin reactive is its ability to skid through oil. Urethane has less ability to skid"

Other than 'personal' anecdotal evidence, do you have any other sources to support your contention? I've never read anywhere that urethane 'doesn't' skid in oil and reactive resin 'does'.

If I have it backwards, I'd sure like to read what it says. Thanks.
_________________________
14 lb Storm Lock : 50 x 5 x 50 Polished
14 lb Storm Lock : 65 x 5 x 65 Polished
15 lb Storm Hy-Road : 65 x 3-3/8 x 25 Polished
15 lb Columbia Blue Dot: 1979 Version

325 RPM'a @ 16 MPH

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#197183 - 04/11/17 11:53 AM Re: Urethane Ball Motion Explained? [Re: nord]
Dennis Michael Offline
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Registered: 12/11/05
Posts: 9527
A/S/L: M/Barrington, Ill
Here's my take on this.

Resin or reactive resin balls are polyester. Yes, they are plastic. As such, they DO slide more on oil, but react stronger when they hit the dry, at times transition angularly.

Urethane balls DO NOT slide as long as resin balls and react earlier (less slide), but more controllably on the dry.

So, in the 3 phases of a ball path, reactive resin will slide longer. The Urethane will hook earlier. And, the resin will roll more.

It is generally assumed, and may be proven, that the urethane transfers more energy to the pins and is more controllable, even in oil. I don't remember ever seeing a urethane banked of the dry or even roll out.
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