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#199094 - 02/21/18 08:20 AM Hype Versus Reality
82Boat69 Offline
Regional Pro Contender

Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 599
A/S/L: 70/M/California
It's been pretty quiet lately, so I thought I would commit bowling heresy to get people active again.

After 6 months of trying 14 pound and 15 pound balls from different manufacturers and using varied dual angle parameters, I think most of what we read about new bowling balls is hype and most of what we write is wishful thinking or pure B.S.

I was always under the impression that drilling a ball accounted for 10%-15% of that ball’s motion. I now believe, for bowlers with less than 350 RPM’s, that how a ball is drilled accounts for less than 5% of a ball’s motion. Maybe none at all. I use 350 RPM’s because I get 325 and my experiments have shown that how I drill a ball has virtually zero impact on my overall ball motion.

I’m 70 and maybe a little senile, but whatever differences I’m finding are so insignificant that it can easily be written off by the inconsistencies of my delivery or by the slight variations in oil patterns from one pair of lanes to another.

I think bowlers see what they ‘want’ to see, not what is really happening. If what USBC says is true, then bowlers only need to concentrate on overall speed and RPM’s coming off the pattern. Both of those objectives can be achieved with better technique or simply choosing a ball with more or less surface friction depending on the reaction.

I play golf too and I watch commercial after commercial where some talking-head claims they’ve created the next best gadget or club that will perform miracles. Unfortunately, bowlers are going down the same path if they believe what manufacturers are publishing.

Here are a couple of videos that help prove my point;

This first video shows what effect pin-to-PAP distance has on ball motion. There is a difference, but its so insignificant, that only the desperate would claim it makes a difference.

This second video approaches my contention with a little humor. While it deals with pin-up and pin-down, what its really talking about is the angle to VAL or VAL angle, since the wider the VAL angle the lower the pin will end up in a bowlers grip.

I don’t talk about high RPM bowlers because I can’t produce whatever results they are getting, but my experience can’t be that skewed from other bowlers with lessor games.

There are a number of ways to determine a ball’s surface friction. I use the ‘Perfect Scale’ which rates balls from 0 to 300. Currently, all the top line balls are in the 233-235 range on this scale. From what I’m experiencing and from what I see others experiencing, I would recommend that everyone who can’t generate 350 or more RPM’s and 17 or more MPH of speed, stay away from these ball. I would instead pick balls that rate about 160-180 on the ‘Perfect Scale’.

How you drill the ball is really unimportant. Unstable or stable, what I’m seeing is simply the difference in my delivery, ball surface or lane conditions.

Save yourself some money :-)

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#199095 - 02/21/18 09:41 AM Re: Hype Versus Reality [Re: 82Boat69]
djp1080 Offline
Team USA Contender

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 406
A/S/L: 70/m/IL
I watched what the USBC presented in their Final Study published recently on bowling balls. They concentrated on ball RG, differential, ball layouts and oil absorption.
I wish they would have added topology, oil layouts and getting bowling establishments to adhere to their findings.
I've played with quite a few balls primarily from Storm and Roto Grip. My rev rate isn't high or even medium I guess. My speed was pretty high to start, but now it's somewhere around 15 or 16 mph and high my track rides high (low tilt).
I've found that lower VAL angles are best and pin to PAP distances of 3" to 4" are good for me. Also, I've witnessed the difference between symmetrical and asymmetrical balls. Balls with medium to low RG and medium to high differential work well. As all of this means I'm getting some help from the ball to get it to help me get the reaction I'd like to see at the pins.
Is it all hype? I don't think so.
The reality for me is I need as much help as I can get from the ball. smile

#199096 - 02/21/18 11:41 AM Re: Hype Versus Reality [Re: djp1080]
82Boat69 Offline
Regional Pro Contender

Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 599
A/S/L: 70/M/California
I'm drilling everything to conserve speed and RPM's.

My PAP is 6-3/16 over and down 3/8. I have roughly 12 degrees of axis tilt and roughly 40 degrees of axis rotation. I can change axis rotation if I choose. My ball speed at the pins is between 13.5 and 14.5 MPH. I get between 300 and 340 RPM's. 325 is my median rev rate.

Whether a ball has an RG of 2.49 or 2.57, I don't see any significant difference. If I want to change my release, high RG balls seem to roll sooner, but I can also make lower RG balls roll sooner too, by simply staying more behind them as I release.

Early on, I started with 50 x 5 x 50 and began to play with drilling angles, pin-to-PAP and VAL angle. I've drilled and re-drilled 'Storm', '900 Global', 'Roto Grip' and 'Ebonite' balls.

I've found that drilling angle on symmetric and asymmetric is meaningless. How far my ball skids is simply based on the surface of the ball and how much speed I generate. Drilling an Ebonite Cyclone or a Storm Lock with a 50 degree drilling angle makes no difference in skid. What does make a difference, the Cyclone will have more speed and more RPM's left in the tank and actually carries pins better.

I've also played around with pin-to-PAP and again found no significant difference in motion. Again, a 3-3/8 or 5 inch pin-to-PAP doesn't move differently, but does carry differently. So, I chalk that up again to conserving speed and RPM's.

I just finished testing acute and obtuse VAL angles. Same result. If anything, wider VAL angles seem to conserve more RPM's even if there's a general opinion by most that pin under drillings make a ball hook earlier.

Finding my personal experience not producing any of the effects that I was expecting from all my reading, my latest experiment was comparing a Storm Lock and an Ebonite Cyclone drilled identically, 50 x 5 x 50. I was expecting the lock to hook sooner and more. Just the opposite occurred. The Cyclone hooked more.

I then created videos of me throwing the Lock and the Cyclone. The video was revealing. With the Lock my ball speed was mid 15 MPH. With the Cyclone, upper 16 MPH. With the Lock, 285-300 RPM's. With the Cyclone, 325 to 340. Coming off a 40' pattern, the Cyclone easily performed better. Not because of drilling, but simply because the stronger surface on the Lock reduced both speed and RPM's.

Pin carry was also different. With the Lock, I expected better pin carry. Instead, I left more weak pins and more pocket 7-10's. Again, I chalk this up to my ball running out of gas simply based on too much friction.

My next experiment is going to be a Storm Hy-Road drilled 60 x 5 x 70. I expect to see a similar reaction as I get with a Cyclone, even though I'm using a longer drilling angle and a wider VAL angle.

What I would like to see, is a definitive experiment using 5 different balls, using various dual angle values, thrown by a robot. Then, overlay the videos so the difference in ball reaction can be seen visually. I'm betting the difference will be less than 4 inches in motion regardless of ball or drilling.

Those who throw faster with more RPM's may be able to enjoy something in balls the rest of us will never experience. But, for those of us in the middle of the bell-curve, the latest hype is just that.

#199097 - 02/21/18 01:20 PM Re: Hype Versus Reality [Re: 82Boat69]
mmalsed Online   content
Virtual League Champion

Registered: 10/18/10
Posts: 1374
A/S/L: 43/M/Riverside, CA
I would suggest using an app like Trackmyroll

I get you - I don't necessarily disagree with you. My only problem is that I don't have empirical or objective evidence to this. All I know is that sometimes one ball works better than the other - is it ME? Is it the lanes? Is it mystical forces beyond my control?

I'm betting the third. smile

BTW - if you've watched the Earl's Journey to 900, you'll notice that even Earl is not perfect. Probably as close as we'll get. . .

But I think that we, even us mere mortals, along with something like TrackMyRoll, and a buddy, can get enough evidence for this. With our phones, we can video different shots (like Sk8 does for his comparison videos) and examine and overlay them.

I think it would be a cool experiment. smile
Avg: 206
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#199099 - 02/21/18 01:32 PM Re: Hype Versus Reality [Re: 82Boat69]
djp1080 Offline
Team USA Contender

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 406
A/S/L: 70/m/IL
I just plugged in your numbers into Storm's VLS spreadsheet and selected a Hy-Road 15 lb. ball. Went with slow ball speed, medium rev. rate, low axis tilt and in between axis rotation for medium length lanes with medium oil volume.
Selected a strong reaction with a high RG layout, medium-short transition length and early reaction length.
It resulted in this suggested layout: 58.5 deg x 3 3/8 x 26.4 deg
So 60 x 3 3/8 x 25 would be about right.
My original Hy-Road is my benchmark ball and it gets me out of trouble when I get lost.
Good luck...

Edited by djp1080 (02/21/18 01:32 PM)

#199100 - 02/21/18 03:05 PM Re: Hype Versus Reality [Re: djp1080]
82Boat69 Offline
Regional Pro Contender

Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 599
A/S/L: 70/M/California
I tried VLS a couple of years ago and got numbers similar to you. Back then, VLS only produced PSA drillings. I found the formulas to convert PSA to dual angles. Back then VLS only accepted generalized values, slow, medium, fast or low, medium, high. If its changed, post the URL.

I didn't trust VLS because it coincidently recommended a ball that Storm was hyping :-) I didn’t buy the ball or use the values. That ball disappeared pretty quick. I guess nobody else bought it either :-)

Watch the pin-to-PAP video on my original post. According to dual angle theory, 3-3/8 inches should produce the maximum amount of flare for my delivery. When I look at flare lines on a ball with 3-3/8 or a ball with a 5 inch pin-to-PAP, I get the same number of flare lines, the distance between them is similar and the total flare measured from first to last line is also close.

If pin-to-PAP is supposed to be something special with respect to ball motion, I’m not seeing it, or I’m doing something wrong.

There is one thing I did notice with all my experimenting with pin-to-PAP and that was recognizing the first transition from skid to hook and how long it took for axis-tilt and axis-rotation to return to zero. While the ‘hook’ phase ‘seemed’ quicker with 3-3/8, my ball’s motion didn’t change. My videos proved to me that more RPM’s were scrubbed off with 3-3/8 than with 5, so rather than use those values, I avoid them. Using 3-3/8”, I consistently only counted 11-13 revolutions in about 2.3 – 2.4 seconds. With 5”, I consistently got 14 or 15. While ‘real’ ball motion looked the same, pin carry was better with 5”.

As I watch PBA events, I rarely see anyone with a short pin-to-PAP. Maybe because they have 400+ RPM’s. Maybe not :-) For me, having my ball roll-out early results in more deflection than having the ball go too long before rolling.

If the ‘adage’ dry lanes make strong balls weak and weak balls strong, is correct, it only seems normal that the wording can be changed to say ‘friction’ makes strong balls weak and weak balls strong. Finding balls that create the proper amount of friction then becomes the goal, not how they're drilled. Using my experience, I just need to find balls that react well without losing too much in the process. That’s why I’m going to find equipment 180 or less on the Perfect Scale. The Storm Hy-Road I'm having drilled is 173.

I think too many get mesmerized by how much hook they see and not by what happens when their ball arrives in the pocket. I’m more impressed by where the ball exits off the back of the lane.

I recent read an article that broke down entry angle and pin carry. It basically was saying that a ball entering at greater than 5 or 5.5 degrees begins to require significant RPM’s to carry. That seems to agree with what I’m finding. Who cares if my ball can recover with 7 degrees of entry angle if all I do is leave soft 10’s?

#199101 - 02/21/18 03:25 PM Re: Hype Versus Reality [Re: 82Boat69]
djp1080 Offline
Team USA Contender

Registered: 04/20/13
Posts: 406
A/S/L: 70/m/IL
The VLS version I have is 1.0.
By the way, Blueprint published an article you probably read titled "Bowling Ball Track Flare Explained" from 2012. I read it with much interest.
If you follow their article, the pin to PAP distance doesn't seem to change much from 3 3/8" up to about 4 1/2". You might want to consider a 4" or 4.5" pin then.
The Hy-Road is a two piece ball, meaning that there isn't any filler. It's coefficient of restitution is higher than most balls and it may not deflect nearly as much as other balls you have tried. It may carry a bit better as a result.
I have both the 16 lb. model and the 15 lb. model. The specs on RG and differential are quite different. With me rolling them I can't tell the difference just like you've mentioned about balls you've tested... smile

#199103 - 02/21/18 04:13 PM Re: Hype Versus Reality [Re: 82Boat69]
82Boat69 Offline
Regional Pro Contender

Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 599
A/S/L: 70/M/California
The current version of VLS is the same version I looked at a couple of years ago.

I've never downloaded the 5 day free trial of Blueprint, choosing to actually drill balls with different parameters. This way I get to see what 'really' happens when I throw the ball.

I'm not contending that drilling is a waste of time, but I am contending that drilling represents about 5% or less of a ball's motion.

What I do contend, whatever a person thinks they are seeing, is more likely caused by variations in delivery and delivery speed, not the way a ball is drilled.

I contend 4 or 5 inches of ball motion, stretched out over 60 feet, is insignificant and not worth the extra $40 or $50 a person may spend 'hoping' to achieve it. They would be wiser to spend the $50 on a good lesson to clean up their delivery.

I'm not trying to change anyone's mind or stomp on their hope, but bowling has enough issues without ball manufacturers preying on bowlers by hyping equipment that won't deliver because of the limitations of the bowlers themselves.

As I said, until someone does a definitive study using multiple balls and multiple dual angle configurations, using robots to deliver them, I think we will get a steady stream of hype. USBC should do this, but pressure from ball makers will be intense. If the hype were true, where are all the videos to prove it?

If you're watching the Olympics, you've probably seen the overlays of one skier and another showing both together so that a viewer can see what made one faster than the other. The same thing can be down with bowling balls. If core parameters and drilling can make such a big difference, let's see it. Otherwise, all the hype won't change a person's average.

There are plenty of people making ball reaction videos. After watching a hundred or so, I'm more convinced than ever :-)

#199104 - 02/21/18 05:06 PM Re: Hype Versus Reality [Re: 82Boat69]
Mkirchie Offline
Pro of the Year Contender

Registered: 01/14/07
Posts: 772
A/S/L: 37/M/New Jersey
Originally Posted By: 82Boat69
I'm not trying to change anyone's mind or stomp on their hope, but bowling has enough issues without ball manufacturers preying on bowlers by hyping equipment that won't deliver because of the limitations of the bowlers themselves.

I agree with this, I've watched a low rev/low speed bowler in my league struggle repeatedly in the past using a Motiv Raptor Talon. Moved way too early for him and hit like a marshmallow. I wouldn't even think of buying anything on the perfect scale much above the 180 range where my Danger Zone falls on the scale. I've got a little too much hand for my ball speed.

I think it even goes beyond the limitations of the bowler. You mentioned friction earlier and the high friction surface at my center is why I want to (and a lot of other bowlers should) stay away from balls with a lot of surface. If I had to fight through a flood or didn't bowl on nearly 22 year old AMF synthetics, then I would reconsider.

Current Average - 225

#199105 - 02/21/18 10:01 PM Re: Hype Versus Reality [Re: Mkirchie]
82Boat69 Offline
Regional Pro Contender

Registered: 06/24/16
Posts: 599
A/S/L: 70/M/California
We have a 40' shot which forces everyone outside the 7 board to escape the oil. As you described, for those without enough hand, recovering from that far right in just 20 feet makes everyone think they need more ball or a more aggressive drilling.

What most fail to understand, even if they get their ball back near the pocket, its expended it's RPM's and may have slowed down significantly. Lot's of 1-2-4-10's, 2-10's, 2-8-10's and soft 10's. Everyone howls about the condition, but none take those aggressive balls more inside where they would work much better.

Adjusting left seems to be a lost talent. Has shooting from an inside line gone the way of the passenger pigeon :-) The pros do it all the time, but in beer leagues, everyone tries to just shoots down and in and pays the price for it.

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