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Thread: New Arsenal: Early Failures

  1. #1
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    Post New Arsenal: Early Failures

    My summer season is usually my time to work out the kinks in my new arsenal...which I usually have drilled at the end of fall season.

    This was going to be a challenging one, because it was the last of the "closet of destiny"...the "Island of Misfit Toys" that I collected over the years. But, I also had high hopes for this arsenal:

    1) I was going to be using my first Solid/Symmetric ball since 2015 when I did very well with the Brunswick Lethal Revolver at the top of the lineup.

    2) I was giving Storm a try again, for the first time since I drilled my first ball back in 2014 when I got my Frantic.

    3) I was giving two brands a try that I had never thrown before: Lane Masters and Pyramid.

    4) I was throwing the 900 Global Special Ops...a ball that I had heard a great deal of positive feedback about online and had been anxious to throw since I won it in an auction back in 2016.

    My "issues", however, were many:

    1) The Optimus was a weaker ball than I was used to. After throwing the Reax Pearl, Thug Life, and Grudge Hybrid...the Optimus Solid was a significant step down in manufacturer and differential. I'd need to rely on a slightly lower RG (-0.01) and a solid cover if I was to even maintain my starting position around the 9-board...much less have any hopes of moving inside the track.

    2) The Special Ops got a LOT of hype...but the specs were lacking. A 2.52 RG, 0.044 differential, and a PerfectScale score of 182.3 was very similar to the Vintage Rhino Pro I had been throwing the last couple seasons as my "dry lane conditions" ball. Definitely not a ball I wanted to rely on as my "Ball #2". Now, the Special Ops was asymmetric, hybrid, and had a slightly stronger PerfectScale than the Rhino...so maybe that was enough to make up for the lower differential and difference in manufacturer...but still...I was worried.

    3) The Yeah Baby Sinful (YBS) had specs I usually try to stay away from in a ball. I call them, "competing specs". In other words...a manufacturer makes a ball...with specs that compete against itself. Like, making a race car with a really fast engine...but a boxy design...or a truck designed to haul heavy loads...but with slick tires that can't get traction. The YBS is a solid cover (designed to move early)...with a high RG (designed to move late). And to make matters WORSE...it's not just a "high RG"...it's the highest RG I've EVER SEEN!! 2.62!!!

    To put that into perspective...my Brunswick Slingshot had an RG of 2.586 and my Track 300A had an RG of 2.58. These were essentially spare balls!! They barely moved toward the pocket. The YBS has an even HIGHER RG!! By A LOT!!

    But...I told myself..."Ya know...you said the same thing about the Ebonite Warning Sign...a ball with imperfect specs...and it turned out to be a ball that did very well for you...so give it a chance."

    4) Then there's the Pyramid Force Pearl. A ball I really wanted to try. It's a skid/flip ball...very similar specs to the Thug Life, Reax Pearl, Scandal Pearl, and Fortera Exile...all balls I've thrown very well. It has a little higher RG than those balls...but a little higher diff and a higher PerfectScale rating...so I was actually very excited about this ball more so than worried.

    More shortly...
    In Bag: (: .) DV8 Grudge Hybrid; (: .) Storm Optimus Solid; (: .) Pyramid Force Pearl; (: .) Brunswick Fortera Exile; (: .) Ebonite Maxim
    USBC#: 8259-59071; USBC Sanctioned Average = 185; Lifetime Average = 171;
    Ball Speed: 15.54mph; Rev. Rate: 240rpm || High Game (sanc.) = 300 (268); High Series (sanc.) = 725 (689); Clean Games: 169

    Smokey this is not 'Nam', this is bowling. There are rules. Proud two-time winner of a bowlingboards.com weekly ball give-away!

  2. #2
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    The first thing to go wrong...or "differently than expected"...is that the Special Ops needed to 'switch spots' with the YBS.

    I'm a "progression bowler"...so my bowling balls go in a certain order from strongest to weakest and then to skid/flip if carry down is believed to be a factor.

    It's not uncommon to have to switch a ball...I had to do it with the last arsenal when the Grudge Hybrid turned out to be stronger than the Aura Mystic. But, it's still unfortunate because the Special Ops came so highly touted...and now it was essentially the 3rd ball out of the bag...or ball down option to the YBS...depending on the lane conditions.

    The next problem was the Optimus Solid. As expected...it wasn't bringing me inside of the 10-board. Actually, I was moving right. I tried to add surface to the ball, hoping that would get me into the oil...but all that did was cause the ball to burn out before it hit the pocket and result in weak strikes, 10-pins, 5-pins, or 2-pins.

    I tried to add surface to the YBS to counteract the ultra-high RG...same result...weak strikes, 10-pins, 5-pins, 2-pins, etc...

    And I desperately tried to hold onto the "idea" that the Special Ops was a strong ball...trying to play more aggressive lines than the specs indicated it was capable of...only to be consistently reminded...that the specs don't lie. The Special Ops is a very weak ball...a ball down option for when the lanes have transitioned. To expect more than that is to flirt with disaster.

    The only bright spot has been the Pyramid Force Pearl. However, I've somewhat "messed up" that ball with "creative surfacing"...forgetting that the ball has a bit higher RG than the Exile and Scandal Pearl...so I've sometimes polished it and failed to adjust my line a little...and had the ball sail on me a bit. I usually have to move my feet just a little right and bring my target in (vertaically) just a little to account for that higher RG. But, BOY does the ball carry when you're lined up! Definitely the bright spot thus far.

    So, now...after the summer of experimenting...I think I gotta accept that this arsenal is just weaker than I would like it to be...especially the first 3 balls...and I need to play 5-7...LESS surface rather than MORE surface to keep the balls from burning up/out...and give up on that dream of developing an inside line...at least for now.

    Going forward, no more "closet of destiny". Future arsenals will be put together with much more thought and purpose. Hopefully that will allow me to eventually develop an inside game...or at least get somewhere around the 12-board rather than playing in the dirt.
    In Bag: (: .) DV8 Grudge Hybrid; (: .) Storm Optimus Solid; (: .) Pyramid Force Pearl; (: .) Brunswick Fortera Exile; (: .) Ebonite Maxim
    USBC#: 8259-59071; USBC Sanctioned Average = 185; Lifetime Average = 171;
    Ball Speed: 15.54mph; Rev. Rate: 240rpm || High Game (sanc.) = 300 (268); High Series (sanc.) = 725 (689); Clean Games: 169

    Smokey this is not 'Nam', this is bowling. There are rules. Proud two-time winner of a bowlingboards.com weekly ball give-away!

  3. #3

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    If you mention being a "progression bowler" one more time, I may have to eat my arm!

  4. #4
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobLV1 View Post
    If you mention being a "progression bowler" one more time, I may have to eat my arm!
    I would do it just to see that...

    Wait, your bowling arm?

    I think I could get disciplined by Bowl1820 for causing you to eat your bowling arm...so I better not flirt with that.

    Other than your "misgivings" about a style of arsenal management (that shall not be named for fear of canabalism) that many bowlers...including many at the PBA and PWBA and PBA50 use...do you have any input on the struggles I've thus far encountered with the balls in question? I realize I've chosen 4 balls that aren't likely ones you have much experience with and I don't think you're as active with testing balls as you used to be...but since you're a "specs guy" I figured you'd appreciate the end conclusions of the summer experiment

    1) Specs don't lie.

    2) Surface can enhance specs, but can't transform a ball into something it isn't.

    Point #1: I "wanted" the Special Ops to be the strong backend ball that those guys over at Laneside Reviews droned on and on about. I "wanted" to believe that 900 Global, under the flag of Storm, was this new company with better offerings and the Special Ops was going to be this great ball...DESPITE what the specs indicated it would be.

    Well, as an old plant manager was fond of telling me back when I worked with him..."want in one hand, **** in the other, and see which one fills up first."

    Point #2: I thought I learned this lesson with my Columbia Encounter experiment back in 2015...but apparently I'm a slow learner. I thought I could "surface my way" into a stronger ball. And you can't do that. Adding a 500 or 800 surface to the Optimus Solid didn't make it a stronger ball...it just made it lose all of it's energy before it hit the pocket. It didn't allow me to move inside...the ball was still too weak to play that line...I still didn't have the revs...I still had too much speed relative to revs...however you want to say it. Adding surface wasn't going to change the fundamentals of the problem.

    I'm now faced with an unfortunate reality for fall season:

    1) I will have to reduce the surface on the Optimus Solid if I want to be able to use it in the 7-8 area that seems to work well in that house, with my speed dominant release.

    2) In the meantime, I'll need to probably start most nights around 5-7 with the Yeah Baby Sinful (YBS)...up and in...because that ball with a 1000 Abralon solid cover and ultra-high RG really gives me nothing more than a straight shot with a very late break into the pocket...similar to the line I used to play with my old Slingshot.

    3) I have to accept that the Special Ops is the ball down option to the YBS. The specs line up with that and I have to trust the specs. I can finish that ball with Storm Step 3 and it'll give me a little more length when the lanes start to transition too much for the YBS's sanded surface.

    4) The Force Pearl I have no issues with. I just need to make a slight vertical (toward me) adjustment with my target to adjust for the slightly higher RG versus the Exile. I just threw a 267 game with this ball...if I can hit my mark...the ball really does the work for me rather effortlessly.
    Last edited by Aslan; 08-12-2021 at 08:41 AM.

  5. #5
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    Now, just so Rob doesn't eat any body parts...I left off other "possibilities".

    Yes, there are other possibilities. And, being in a 4-game scratch league...I actually spent the summer FORCING myself to work on things I otherwise wouldn't have done in a 3-game league. I was very stubborn about not switching balls until I threw each one at least 5 frames...instead making "other adjustments"...even if those other adjustments were "outside my comfort zone."

    For example, I spent many games...especially Game 1...trying to flirt with lowering my speed and moving inside. I didn't have a ton of success with this, but it's something that is going to require practice outside of 5 frames on league night each week.

    I also experimented with lofting/vertical targeting...what I called "channeling my inner Mika Koivuniemi". I actually like lofting...but I stopped doing it because I used to do it wrong and it made me a bad bowler. I had to learn to bowl...and then learn to loft the right way. Well, I spent many games...especially if a line was starting to burn up but I didn't want to switch balls or move laterally...trying to extend my target out and limit the time the ball was in contact with the lane. Theoretically, the less time the ball is in contact with the lane, the less the friction can interact with the ball and the more energy will be retained. Therefore, you can defeat transition, just be moving your vertical target outward.

    The difficulty with this is keeping everything in time, not pulling shots, and keeping your accuracy while aiming at a target that is a good 2-4ft further away.

    The summer was also about non-arsenal improvements. Balance, putting my hand all the way in the ball, keeping my head steady, staying down after releasing my shot, watching the ball go through the pins, not falling off my shot, etc...

    And the biggest goal was spare shooting improvement. I was 71% on single-pins last fall. 68% on corner pins. That NEEDS to get better if I'm going to be the 195 average bowler I know I'm capable of being.

    Over the summer leagues I was 74% for single-pins; 72% on corner pins....so I managed to fix some alignment issues.

    I also increased my 6-10 conversion rate from 71% to 75%...and that is my most common multi-pin leave and essentially a "corner-pin" leave as well.
    In Bag: (: .) DV8 Grudge Hybrid; (: .) Storm Optimus Solid; (: .) Pyramid Force Pearl; (: .) Brunswick Fortera Exile; (: .) Ebonite Maxim
    USBC#: 8259-59071; USBC Sanctioned Average = 185; Lifetime Average = 171;
    Ball Speed: 15.54mph; Rev. Rate: 240rpm || High Game (sanc.) = 300 (268); High Series (sanc.) = 725 (689); Clean Games: 169

    Smokey this is not 'Nam', this is bowling. There are rules. Proud two-time winner of a bowlingboards.com weekly ball give-away!

  6. #6

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    "Other than your "misgivings" about a style of arsenal management (that shall not be named for fear of canabalism) that many bowlers...including many at the PBA and PWBA and PBA50 use...do you have any input on the struggles I've thus far encountered with the balls in question? I realize I've chosen 4 balls that aren't likely ones you have much experience with and I don't think you're as active with testing balls as you used to be...but since you're a "specs guy" I figured you'd appreciate the end conclusions of the summer experiment"

    I would seriously question your assumption that any professional bowlers rely on a progression of bowling balls. The word "progression" implies that lanes always transition the same. They don't. Your assumption that they do is based on the misconception that oil movement is still the only contributor to the lanes propensity to change. It isn't. More and more, topography is becoming the major influence in lane transition; as oil is removed from the lane by every ball that is thrown, more and different topography is exposed. Certainly knowing the specs on your bowling balls is important, but it is important based on what you see, not any preconceived notion about what is happening.

  7. #7
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RobLV1 View Post
    I would seriously question your assumption that any professional bowlers rely on a progression of bowling balls. The word "progression" implies that lanes always transition the same. They don't. Your assumption that they do is based on the misconception that oil movement is still the only contributor to the lanes propensity to change. It isn't. More and more, topography is becoming the major influence in lane transition; as oil is removed from the lane by every ball that is thrown, more and different topography is exposed. Certainly knowing the specs on your bowling balls is important, but it is important based on what you see, not any preconceived notion about what is happening.
    1. Who do you think I learned the progression system from?

    2. Everything is about alternatives. It's like the U.S. Presidential elections....if people don't like the person I voted for...I tell them, "well, if the other party would have ran a better option...I'd have considered voting for a different person." If someone comes up with a system that is better than the progression system...I'm listening. But the, "there can be system/Rob's Chaos System/319 Variable System" is not acceptable.

    3. You failed to answer any of the questions.

    In the final night...things didn't go very well. I won't go into how badly they went...except tp say I fear I have two choices going into fall season:

    1. I can surface the Optimus Solid to 2000...move 2:4 left...and throw the ball up the 9-10. In order to do this and not leave a 2-pin combo...due to the inherent weakness of the ball coupled with my speed dominant delivery; I'll need to move up in the approach and lower my speed.

    2. I can do something I've never done before and abandon this arsenal as a "lost cause". I can pull the Aura Mystic and Fortera Exile out of retirement and put together a hybrid 3-ball arsenal where I surface the Mystic to 1500/R. Compound and Exile to 1000/R.compound.....maybe adjust the Mystic surface to 4000 and the Exile surface to 2000/R. Compound. I'll keep the Force Pearl as my skid/flip option surfaced at 800/Step 2/polished. This would prematurely retire the Optimus Solid, Yeah Baby Sinful, and Special Ops...which have thus far been disappointing.

    I just can't seem to find a sweet spot right now. If I move in and try to play the track around 8-12...I don't have a line to the pocket with the Optimus Solid....unable to carry the 2-pin or 5-pin. If I move out to the right with the Optimus Solid...I go through the nose. If I ball down to the Yeah Baby Solid...due to the ultra-high RG...I have to move 1:1 or 1:2 right and can consistently hit my target...but I can't carry the 10-pin and when I strike the ball is deflecting over the 9-pin.

    Sometimes I can move my target out vertically...but that is a difficult shot when you're playing up and in the 5-6 board.
    In Bag: (: .) DV8 Grudge Hybrid; (: .) Storm Optimus Solid; (: .) Pyramid Force Pearl; (: .) Brunswick Fortera Exile; (: .) Ebonite Maxim
    USBC#: 8259-59071; USBC Sanctioned Average = 185; Lifetime Average = 171;
    Ball Speed: 15.54mph; Rev. Rate: 240rpm || High Game (sanc.) = 300 (268); High Series (sanc.) = 725 (689); Clean Games: 169

    Smokey this is not 'Nam', this is bowling. There are rules. Proud two-time winner of a bowlingboards.com weekly ball give-away!

  8. #8

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    You probably learned the progression system from me. That's because 10+ years ago it worked. Since that time, several things happened to make it obsolete: balls became much stronger sucking up more oil, USBC abandoned all oiling restrictions, synthetic lanes continue to age without being replaced. Unfortunately, today you can't approach bowling with any pre-conceived plan. You just have to go in, throw a few shot variations, and figure out what you have to do fast!

  9. #9
    Bowling God Aslan's Avatar
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    After experimenting with lowering my speed in a tournament over the weekend...I've decided to start the fall season with a modified arsenal consisting of two unretired balls and two balls from this current disaster of an arsenal. The reasons are as follows:

    1. I can't establish a line. The Optimus Solid isn't giving me a good look and if I ball down to the Yeah Baby Sinful...that ball with it's enormously high RG is forcing me to play the first arrow...essentially my "B-Game".

    2. By the time I work my way back to second arrow...I'm playing in an area that has been beaten to 'heck' by everyone else. Balling down to the Special Ops has been useless because that ball has been useless. I usually end up hoping there is enough carry down (or whatever) to allow me to use the Force Pearl...which has been the only ball worth a 'darn' out of this whole bloody experiment.

    3. Changes in 'technique' have failed. I know Rob has criticized my immediate need to jump to ball changes...but I have actually attempted to use other means to make these balls work by changing little things in my game. I have changed vertical targeting in hopes that if I can keep the ball from contacting the lane until later...perhaps I can delay the energy loss. That works for a little while...and usually hurts accuracy and timing. I have also attempted to change speed and move left. That messes with timing and would need some additional practice...it's almost like developing a 3-step approach...I find that my feet and swing are "used to" going toward the line at a certain pace and distance. Trying to change that distance tends to get me to the line too soon or make my feet move too slow/fast and then my swing is out of whack.

    So, I looked at the balls that are out there now...and thought, "if I put together the ideal arsenal TODAY...what would it look like?" Then, I compared that to what I have available on the rack.

    What I figured makes the best sense is:

    Unretire the Aura Mystic. Surface it to 2000 matte.
    This was a good ball for me all of last fall, a great ball to start off on fresh conditions even when I had it surfaced with Royal Compound over top the 2000 Abralon. So, having it at 2000 matte should make it more than serviceable as a Ball #1 option.

    Demote the Optimus Solid to a "Ball Down" option. Surface it to 2000/Royal Compound.
    The Optimus Solid with a matte surface tends to burn up outside the oil and has no strength in the oil. But, if I use Royal Compound on it and use it as a "ball down" option to the stronger Aura Mystic...maybe I can still get some use out of it.

    Eliminate Yeah Baby Sinful and 900Global Special Ops.
    Neither of these balls were very useful. The YBS 'sometimes' could put some strikes together from first arrow. The Special Ops seemed to work nicely as a ball down option for a very short period of time. But I didn't have any confidence in either ball.

    Use the Force Pearl as a 2nd Ball Down/Dry Ball option. Change the surface to 2000 (polished).
    Even though the Force Pearl has been doing great as a skid/flip ball...and even though it has a much too powerful core to be an ideal "dry ball"....it does have a rather high RG at 2.53 and if I dummy down the surface to 2000/polished...it could be a serviceable ball down option for nights when I have to switch to the Optimus Solid prematurely.

    Unretire the Fortera Exile. Restore it's 180/240/500/R. Compound/polished surface.
    This ball currently ranks #3 on my Top 10 balls ever thrown. I averaged nearly 191 with this ball and threw 3 games > 240 back in January using this ball. It usually comes out if I feel like there's "carry down"...so sometimes I don't use it and if I do use it...it's usually not until Game 3 or late into Game 2.

    If this arsenal (Arsenal 6.5) works...it'd be my most aggressive arsenal ever created with a PerfectScale score of 226.9...much higher than the next highest (214.8, Arsenal 5)...but thats because the Force Pearl is replacing a typically sub-200 ball in that #3/#4 spot.

    So, it looks like I'll be resurfacing bowling balls tonight. Hopefully the set pin (and God forbid the motor) don't give me trouble. I don't even know what it'd cost me to get all 4 of these surfaced at the pro shop before bowling tomorrow. I do have to stop there though...I need them to glue the VISE IT rings in the unretired balls. Those always come loose if they've been sitting on the rack for awhile.
    Last edited by Aslan; 08-23-2021 at 09:28 AM.
    In Bag: (: .) DV8 Grudge Hybrid; (: .) Storm Optimus Solid; (: .) Pyramid Force Pearl; (: .) Brunswick Fortera Exile; (: .) Ebonite Maxim
    USBC#: 8259-59071; USBC Sanctioned Average = 185; Lifetime Average = 171;
    Ball Speed: 15.54mph; Rev. Rate: 240rpm || High Game (sanc.) = 300 (268); High Series (sanc.) = 725 (689); Clean Games: 169

    Smokey this is not 'Nam', this is bowling. There are rules. Proud two-time winner of a bowlingboards.com weekly ball give-away!

  10. #10
    Member Cdolcejr's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Aslan View Post
    So, it looks like I'll be resurfacing bowling balls tonight. Hopefully the set pin (and God forbid the motor) don't give me trouble. I don't even know what it'd cost me to get all 4 of these surfaced at the pro shop before bowling tomorrow. I do have to stop there though...I need them to glue the VISE IT rings in the unretired balls. Those always come loose if they've been sitting on the rack for awhile.

    So couple questions for you. If you get your equipment resurfaced often, why don't you buy a ball spinner and do it yourself? I got mine a few years back for around $230. It will pay for itself and it's really easy to do. Plenty of YouTube videos out there on how to do it correctly. Polishing is just as easy.

    Also, I noticed that you said when you move in, you're around 8-12 board. To me that is the outside of the lane. Just for some context, I throw around your speed and rev rate and 10-12 is where I start. If I stay there, I burn up quickly as you've seen in my video(s). What is the furthest inside that you play? I think I'm having the same problem as you where I'm playing straight up and just struggling constantly. Up until this point the one constant is that I've refused to move deeper than board 15. Going to change that tomorrow night and will play inside (starting at 15 in warmups) and seeing what's there. One thing I won't do is adjust to the right. Rob has helped me realize that doing that will do nothing but hurt me.

    In the past, I've had great success playing 15-25 with the Force Pearl. Just have to keep the speed under control.
    Last edited by Cdolcejr; 08-24-2021 at 03:22 PM.

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