I would like to share my review of the new Hammer Black Widow Urethane bowling ball.
The Short Review: Wow, wow, wow, wow!!!
The Long Review:
I think over the years you have all become familiar with me and my style. To summarize, I am a low rev, low ball speed Full Roller. I have zero tilt and a 90 degree axis rotation. I have tried a lot of balls over the years and never really found one that perfectly suited my style. Because of the way I roll the ball, I have been kinda stuck in the middle of where I want to be. Balls that provide the control that I need usually do not have carry power for me and ones that have the carry power usually do not provide control. As a result my average stays about the same, in the 170’s.
A while back I think I posted on this forum that I was using the Widow Spare on the Poway dry with good success. This early and heavy rolling Gas Mask core I thought would be the perfect core for a urethane ball. In my opinion and the opinion of others, urethane is about early roll and hook set. Many modern urethane balls have very high RG and low Diffs, the opposite of the way I think a urethane ball should be designed. But when I heard that Hammer was putting the Gas Mask core in a urethane ball, it was like my wish had come true.
I purchased the Black Widow Urethane and had it drilled to maximize its abilities. I used the Aggressive Full Roller layout with balance hole for Asymmetric cores. I have attached a photo of the layout.
I went to Kearny Mesa Bowl which uses Brunswick Pro Anvilane surface and the Big Ben oil pattern. When I called the lanes to verify open bowling they told me a party had rented the whole alley for 3 hours. I arrived just as the party finished and I was put on lane 10. When I got to my lane the return was filled with house balls. Not a good sign. I assumed there would be huge carry down and a messy pattern.
I brought my Visionary Midnight
Scorcher Particle Urethane ball as a gauge of the traction ability of the Widow Urethane. The Scorcher will virtually hook in anything, so I wanted to compare them on the same pattern.
The Scorcher is currently at 1500 grit Scotch-Brite and the Widow I left at the out of box stock grit of 360/800/800 Abralon.
I started with the Scorcher and made my first throw. The ball came back drenched! I rolled it until it was well soaked and then did the same with the Widow. There was definitely a huge volume of oil on this lane today! Once both balls were deep black and slick I got lined up with the Scorcher. I finally settled with right foot on 15 and rolling on 11 out to 10. The Scorcher got down and rolled strongly into the pocket for a strike. I then made the same shot with the Widow and it could not make the turn and almost left the 5-7.
Below is a video showing this comparison:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jdn7lqpJauM
Once I saw this, I put the Scorcher away and tried to get lined up with the Widow. I finally settled with right foot on 12 ˝ targeting 9 ˝ at the arrows. This allowed the ball to ride the oil line half in and out. I then rolled my first game. The result was stunning. I could not believe my eyes. The Widow simply could not overreact and yet it hit like a runaway train! I was able to simply roll the ball and it would hold the line and then gently arc into the pins and crush them like no ball I have ever used before. I had two open frames but still rolled a 221!
The Black Widow Urethane is about full control of the target line. For me it was magical, truly magical. I could just play down and in and the ball would go exactly where I rolled it with not even a hint of over/under or late overreaction messing my shot up. Had I finally found the ball that was made for me? It seemed that way. If I made a bad shot then the ball did exactly what I expected. But here is the amazing part, this urethane ball gave me margin for error. I could miss right a couple of boards and be ok and miss inside a board or two and be ok. So I essentially had a 5 board target area with a urethane ball!
Also the other remarkable thing I could not believe was the oil handling ability of this ball. These lanes were flooded this day. Maybe they put more volume down because of the party, but the Widow was soaked to the bone with oil, slick and black. Yet, it did not blunt the power or reaction of the ball. It kept hitting for 5 straight games and I never moved a millimeter from my target line or with my feet. Finally I got tired and left on a real high. You know that high I speak of, the high that comes from bowling at a new level. That is how the Black Widow Urethane made me feel. It made me a better bowler, it taught me how to be smooth and roll the ball and be rewarded for accuracy.
I have also attached a pic of the Widow soaked with oil so you can see I am not kidding about the volume.
Below is a video showing my first session with the widow. Please watch it carefully. Keep your eyes on the 6 pin in many of the shots. I virtually never get a 6 pin to bounce off the side wall and take out a 10 pin. Never. The only ball that has ever done that for me on occasion is my Dark Legend solid. But with the Widow, it was constantly making the 6 pin smack out that 10 pin. I simply could not believe the ball had that much energy at the pins. Pay attention to my bad shots too and how I get a great result out of them. When I miss right, or miss left, or throw slow, or too fast, somehow the Widow has a way of sorting it out. Amazing…
So that is my real long review of the Hammer Black Widow Urethane ball which I believe is a ball that will be winning a lot of tournaments for many players much better than me. Hopefully this review has been of value to you. Take care and good bowling!
My first session with my new Black Widow Urethane:https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AqArAVIvtx0