Danielle McEwan Wins World Bowling Tour Thailand Event

Team Storm Member, Danielle McEwan, defeated Stuart Williams in a two-game match to win the Professional Bowling Association – World Bowling Tour (WBT) Thailand event.

Though she remained in the top 5 throughout most of the tournament, McEwan jumped into the lead after the fourth round with a score of 1381 including 48 pins handicap to earn the top seed for the stepladder finals. As the top seed, her opponent was required to beat her twice to win the title. Williams won the first game 232-218 but McEwan went on to defeat Williams 225-179 in the second game. She will also add 400 WBT ranking points to add to her current lead in the race for the WBT Finals.

“I’m speechless,” McEwan said. “Although I had a great PWBA Season, I was not happy with how it ended with multiple losses in a row on TV. I was super disappointed at the thought of having to wait an entire year until the 2019 season to redeem myself. Being able to put together everything I’ve learned so quickly and have a good result is the greatest feeling in the world.”

Storm Tour Representative, Tim Mack, spent the week working with the Team Storm players in Thailand. Mack who has been traveling the world for many years was truly impressed by the talent of the international athletes in the field at this event. He shared his thoughts about the exciting stepladder match.

“An incredible performance by a superstar that has been great all year,” Mack said. “Danielle is a special talent with a drive and work ethic that demonstrates her greatness.”

McEwan recently started training at the New York Sports Science Lab to prepare for her busy summer on the lanes. Read more about her work in the lab here. Throughout the week Team Storm players shared several achievements with the world including 300 games by Timmy Tan of Malaysia, Marshall Kent, and Francois Lavoie. 30 of the 39 players who made the finals chose to throw Storm and Roto Grip.

“It’s a big win for Danielle!” Bill Chrisman said. “There were many great PBA and PWBA players as well as some of the world’s best international competing this week. It’s been a great week for the Team USA and Team Storm players. Things always work out for best.”

The PBA-WBT Thailand event is the 10thstop of the 2018 WBT Tour. The top three men and top three women in the annual points list will compete in the WBT Finals in January 2019. For more information on the World Bowling Tour, click here.

Next on the schedule for McEwan, she will travel with Team Storm for the 2018 Samho Korea Cup.


Danielle McEwan In The Lab

Tonight at the PWBA Tour Championships the #2 seed, Danielle McEwan, will take on Maria Jose Rodriquez in the Semifinal Match on CBS Sports at 8pm Eastern Time.

Prior to the start of the week, we talked to Danielle about some of the work that she’s been doing off the lanes to prepare for the 2018 PWBA Season. This summer, Danielle spent a lot of time traveling to bowl. During the weeks she was home, she spent some time training at the New York Sports Science Lab (SSL) to better understand ways she can train off the lanes.

You can WATCH some of what she was working on in this video from the SSL.

According to the SSL’s website, “The Sports Science Lab (SSL) is a world-class facility focused on optimizing performance of all athletes through measuring and quantifying the subtleties and complexities of athletic movement using state-of-the-art sports science technologies. Our mission is rooted in the philosophy that every athlete, regardless of age, body type or experience level, deserves to perform at their personal best.”

Find out what Danielle has been up to in our interview below.

What’s your favorite part of training at the SSL?

I love training at the Sports Science Lab for so many reasons. The trainers are awesome, they are so supportive and are always looking for new ways to learn about and help me in my sport.

The facility is so cool, they literally have every piece of technology an athlete would ever need. From training tools for your brain, to physical tools for your body, to recovery- they have it all.

In what ways do you feel it’s improved your bowling game?

The biggest way I’ve seen it improve my bowling game is mentally. In the beginning of the season, I was really struggling with keeping a quiet mind and staying focused.

At the lab, we did a lot of work that focused on the task at hand and eliminating distractions and I instantly saw a change on the lanes.

What types of exercises do the trainers work with you for bowling?

One of the first things we noticed through my physical evaluation was that my hips were really tight and imbalanced. They gave me a bunch of stretches and exercises to add into my normal fitness routine to help focus on this.

What exercises do you do to help with your mental game?

We do a lot of sensorimotor skill exercises that train my brain to focus on the task at hand, avoid distractions and make decisions quickly on the fly. We also do a lot of rhythm drills that are bowling specific. This helps with both timing and keeping a clear mind.

As soon as you start overthinking the situation and get off timing, it’s impossible, just like overthinking a shot in bowling!

What did they discover in their analysis?

One major thing that they noticed on my body is how imbalanced I am, especially in my hips from my left to right side. I’ve know, and have been working on this for years. The motion that our sport demands us to do over and over again makes it very difficult to avoid this issue.

I cannot stress enough to anyone who bowls a lot, at any level, how important it is to take care of you body and to train outside of the bowling center.

It is so important to keep your body as balanced as you possibly can.

What kind of exercises are you able to do while traveling or at home that you learned at the SSL?

I started working with the SSL during the PWBA season, therefore, most of our focus has been on recovery and mental game. They have taught me a bunch of different ways of stretching to add to what I already do that have helped out tremendously.

As the end of the PWBA Tour Season nears, what are your bowling plans for the end of 2018?

Even though the PWBA season is ending, the end of my personal bowling season is no where in sight. I will be going overseas immediately to compete on the World Bowling Tour, as well as a few additional international events, followed by competition for Team USA and then competing with the men on the PBA Tour.

To follow updates on Danielle and all the other #TeamStorm players visit pwba.com.


Liz Johnson Wins PWBA Columbus Open

Liz Johnson was on fire last week at the Nationwide PWBA Columbus Open! She threw 23 strikes over the course of her three matches on CBS Sports to earn her 24th professional title.

Saturday was a great day on the lanes for Johnson. Based on what she saw during qualifying on Friday, she made a few changes to her release. She started the final round of qualifying on Saturday with a 289 and stayed consistent for the remainder of qualifying.

She earned the third seed for the LIVE TV finals. In the first match, Clara Guerrero defeated Jordan Richard. Guerrero would move on to face Johnson. With her Intense Fire in hand, Johnson started the match with seven strikes on her first eight shots. She defeated Guerrero 234-205.

Johnson moved on to face Team Roto Grip player, Rocio Restrepo. Restrepo who earned her fourth career PWBA title at the Twin Cities Open this month had another strong week in Columbus leading the second round of qualifying. Johnson and Restrepo kept the match close through the tenth frame. Restrepo struck twice in the tenth frame forcing Johnson to do the same. She did, defeating Restrepo 224-215.

In the final match against Shannon Pluhowsky, Johnson threw the first nine strikes. She left a 10 pin in the tenth frame but won the final match 278-202.

“I tried to keep it simple, stay with that game plan.” Johnson said in the official PWBA release. “For the most part, I stayed out of trouble, had a couple of big games, got to the show and then made some good shots.”

The ladies of Team Storm will compete in the QuibicaAMF PWBA Players Championship at Plano Super Bowl. Qualifying will air on BowlTV. Visit PWBA.com for the full schedule.

 

 

 


Michael Haugen Jr. Joins Team Storm

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah – Storm Products is proud to announce that Michael Haugen Jr. has joined Team Storm. Haugen has won five Professional Bowling Association (PBA) Tour Titles including one major title at the 2008 Tournament of Champions and several PBA Regional titles. He has also earned three PBA50 titles including one major at the 2017 Senior U.S. Open.

Haugen has been a PBA Member since 1994 and competes on the PBA Tour and PBA50 Tour.

“For me personally, I’m glad to join Team Storm and be on Bill Chrisman’s team.” Haugen said. “He does a lot for bowling – not just the tours. He supports all bowling from youth bowling to military bowling and more. There’s probably not a company or a person that gives back as much as him in our industry.”

Prior to joining Team Storm, Haugen chose to throw Storm and Roto Grip products exclusively on the PBA50 Tour.

“The majority of my bag has always been Storm and Roto Grip,” Haugen said.  “As a free agent, it gives me the best chance to win.”

Haugen recently locked up the PBA50 Player of the Year (POY) honor after his finish at the PBA50 Cup. This achievement makes him the second player to win PBA50 ROY and POY honors in consecutive years.

“Storm is excited to add Michael to our Team,” Gary Hulsenberg, Vice President of Business Development said. “He has been very loyal to our brand over the years as a free agent so it’s a natural fit to make things official. He has a great understanding of our equipment, our culture, and what we stand for. He will be a great teammate.”

Haugen’s love for bowling started at a young age on the weekends with his grandfather. At age 5, his grandfather thought he was big enough to bowl with him. They continued to bowl together throughout his young life and he was a huge part of his support system on and off the lanes.

“My grandfather was the most influential person in my life,” Haugen said. “He just meant everything to me. Not just in bowling but in life.”

It didn’t take long for Haugen to figure out what he wanted to do in his life. He knew that he wanted to be a professional bowler from a very young age. He set his goals high and bowled as much as he could. His family always taught him to work hard for whatever he wanted in life and to go get it.

“With anything you do, whether it’s going to medical school for seven years or anything else, it takes sacrifice and hard work to be successful,” Haugen said. “Very few people get lucky and just fall into it.”

For some time now, Haugen’s goals and plans have been focused on the PBA50 Tour. Though he felt he wasn't as competitive week to week as he would have liked on the PBA Tour, he feels he's competitive every week now.

In 2017, he won one title, made four TV shows and earned the PBA50 Rookie of the Year (ROY) title. After his rookie season, he set his goals a little higher.

“My first goal was to make every cut on the tour,” Haugen said. “My second goal was to win more. I won two tournaments this year. I also made 6 TV shows versus 4 the previous year. My final goal was to be Player of the Year (POY).”

When Haugen has some time off the lanes, he truly enjoys golfing with friends and especially his wife, Phuong Truong. He loves spending the time with her and he feels that when he’s golfing well, it’s good practice for the lanes as well.

“Honestly, if I’m chipping and putting with good touch and feel, that’ll translate to bowling for me,” Haugen said. “I don’t know why it does, it just does.”

Haugen is busy traveling to bowl regional events until the conclusion of the PBA50 Tour at the PBA50 Storm Invitational September 28-30. He is also excited to return to the PBA Tour this fall.

“I love to compete,” Haugen said. “I love to test myself against the best players in the world. I like going to different cities and meeting new people and trying to energize whether it’s the youth or the seniors at the pro-am trying to energize and grow the sport. I really enjoy that.”

 

 

 


Jon Harmon takes home a Silver Medal with SON!Q

Throughout the year, our Storm Ambassadors have been working hard on projects to share the mission of Storm Bowling Products while sharing their passion for bowling with local bowling communities across the United States. Recently, our Ambassadors worked on a special project with a very hard-working bowler. They’ll share their story below.

If you frequent any bowling center in the Boise, Idaho area, you’re likely to bump into Jon Harmon, 37, who spends many hours a week fine tuning his game. Since the young age of 9 years old, Jon has used bowling to help him thrive while living with autism. His determination has helped him succeed on the lanes and bowl two sanctioned perfect 300 games.

For Jon, bowling presents a great way to meet and socialize with new people while providing technical and physical challenges that keep him striving to bowl at higher levels. In addition to bowling in leagues and local tournaments, Jon also competes for Team Idaho as an athlete in the Special Olympics.

“When I first saw Jon bowl in 2015, I could tell within a few shots that he had a solid game underneath him,” Storm Brand Ambassador, Tim Cerami, said. “When I found out he was headed to the Special Olympics this year to compete, I spoke with some of his bowling buddies to see if adding a new ball to his arsenal would help him on this journey.”

From there, Tim and Jon’s friends picked the new Son!Q and made arrangements to get the ball to Boise, drilled and into Jon’s hands so he’d have plenty of practice time before the competition. Scot Archabal,
owner of Bowling Solutions Pro Shop agreed to donate the drilling and the ball was presented to Jon midway through a Wednesday night tournament. Jon was so excited to receive his new Son!Q, he pulled it out of the box and finished the tournament with zero practice. Now that’s confidence!

On July 2nd, Jon and six other bowlers lined up at Kenmore Lanes in Kenmore, Washington to start their three-game competition. Jon chose to start with the Son!Q  and stayed with it for all three games. Jon rolled games of: 201, 156 and 207 to win the silver medal in the men’s high-performance singles category.

 


International Balls - The Truth

Overseas balls have acquired a cult following in recent years. But what makes them so special? They’re round just like any other ball. They can knock down ten pins just as effectively as any other Storm piece. Slightly different names and colors, though. And in Storm’s case, they smell pretty good most of the time. The number of calls and emails we receive asking for more info or how to obtain these international releases is staggering. To interpret their surge in popularity we need to take a closer look at just what they are and what they mean to the rest of the world.

We techies commonly refer to overseas balls as “private labels” or “OEMs” (original equipment manufacturer) – balls that are produced by one company (Storm) but are marketed by another company (overseas distributors).

The international market is significantly different than the US market for several reasons. The primary reasons are differences in customs, sales, and etiquette. For example, in the United States, if a bowler does well with a particular type of ball, it’s not uncommon to find several of the same balls in a league, or even on the same ball return rack. Word of mouth travels fast where we are. International etiquette is significantly different. For example, if one bowler is doing well in a league or tournament with a particular ball, it is bad form to copy that bowler and buy the same ball. As such, if you are the bowler with the ball, you have an advantage. But if you are the bowler without the ball, you are at a disadvantage. I have experienced this firsthand in my travels all across Japan. Therefore, many of our international balls are almost identical to the standard US release with very small variations, if any. The primary differences are simply the colors, logos, and surface finishes. Otherwise, they are USBC approved with very little difference in reaction or performance compared with what is currently available in our product line.

Another key difference is international distributors are usually exclusive to a particular brand. Many of our international dealers only sell Storm brand name products and equipment. As such, they need a larger selection of equipment to sell because they don’t have the same variety available to them since they choose not to associate with any of the other major international brands. Whereas in the US, all of the local distributors have equipment available for sale from any of the major brands. Hence, our product line needs to be expanded for our international customers since they can only sell so many of a particular ball before the market is “saturated”. Storm will release around a dozen balls per year domestically whereas close to 100 different balls get sent to international waters every year. Again, the major differences most of the time are simply cosmetic, with the occasional exception of a core/weight block design whose rights are owned by a certain international distributor that grants them exclusive rights to that shape.

Given these reasons listed above, many of our international partners ask for contractual rights to a particular ball and for a limited quantity. Storm typically runs these exclusive balls only one time and sells them all directly to the distributor that placed the order; sometimes in runs of only a few hundred. Occasionally, a few balls return from the international market to the local market via travelers or returning military, but this number is very low and availability is definitely limited. Once they get poured here in Brigham City, Utah they leave shortly thereafter.

Despite being well-nigh similar in performance to our standard lineup, private label balls undoubtedly turn the heads of many for those lucky enough to pick one up. Be prepared to shell out a few bucks, however. It’s not uncommon for enthusiasts to pay $300+ for one of these rarities. No matter what kind of ball you decide to toss, just be sure that it has that good lookin' Storm logo on it somewhere!

 


We're All Bowlers, But We Do More Than Just Bowl!

On June 1, 2018, twelve Storm employees teamed up to run the famed Wasatch Back Ragnar Relay Race sponsored by Reebok. It's a 200 mile road and trail race that spans two mornings, afternoons, and nights.... it took them nearly 36 hours to complete, without stopping! It was a true test of endurance which could only be completed through perseverance and teamwork. Enjoy the pics!

 

The start of it all at Utah State University in Logan, UT

 

Amy Olsen passing it off to Zach Trevino

 

Corbet Austin having some fun as he passes it off to Paul Oblock

 

We crossed the finish line after nearly 36 hours without stopping

 

Here is the medal we all earned for completing the race!

 

 


Storm Drive | In Your Words

Bowlers all over the world have been adding the new Storm Drive to their arsenal and sharing their thoughts on social media. Check out what #StormNation is saying and then share your thoughts by using the #StormDrive on your favorite social media channel.

"Ball is the real thing! Great early roll and stores so much energy as it goes thru the pins!"

-@microcarmag

"Love my new Drive over all my other Storm balls...been carrying on avg about 30 pins more with it per game."

-Brandon Boyd

"The #stormdrive is my new favorite! #twohandedbowling #stormnation#alwaysbowling"

-@mrtoastyog

245 so far is.my highest game with the Drive best Storm ball ever!!

-Chad Soper

"300 first game of league out of the box last Wednesday. Carries very well."

-Tim Raby

"Just bought the ball today and I love it! It goes well with my Alpha Crux and Ice."

-Bradley Nelms

"DRIVE is my new favorite ball. Definite 1st ball out of my bag now! Only 1 week with it and averaging about 230."

-Stephen Riojas

"I love both Timeless and Drive, both work really well with my style."

-David Saindon

"The Timeless didn't really suit my style but the Drive is everything I want in a ball! 👌"

-Chad Soper

"Storm Drive is a beast! So is the Timeless, but the Drive is all of that, and so much more!"

-Bryan Langston

"Loving the drive!!! Incredible back end drive!!!!!!!"

-Chad Soper

"I bowled with my Drive last night. Very smooth of the back end and is a great ball for the heavy oil. I am so glad that I got this ball as it goes well with the Timeless and Hy-Roads."

-Andrew Henwood


Code X - An Internal Review

The Code X offers performance engineering tuned for enhanced response

 

In the competitive bowling ball market, any ball that doesn’t do better than “good enough” simply can’t compete. Thankfully, this isn’t an issue for the Code X. Although its styling is a bit conservative for this line, the Code X is classically handsome and appeals with strong performance. The colors aren’t the most polarizing, which makes the ball hug the lane for a truer read, but that’s a personal opinion not shared by everyone. If you like your styling more subtle than stand-out with a side of performance that leaves you saying “Wow, I didn’t know a ball could do that…” then the Code X may be in your not-too-distant future.

The big news here is that R2S Solid has come into play for the first time in a long time in a Premier line ball. Not all conditions require wide-footprint coverstocks with high oil displacement ratings. R2S has been a flagship formula for Storm and is synonymous with some of the most successful balls in recent history like the Hy-Road and !Q Tour. Of all the coverstocks Storm has used, R2S responds to dry lane friction better than anything else. When this benchmark type chassis coats a weight block that’s as dynamic as the RAD4, I’d be hard-pressed to find something that offers this much versatility.

Even though it’s a solid ball, for me, it resembles a matte finish pearl the way it turns the corner. The Code X made easy work of the 47’ mid-volume pattern we currently use in our Monday night Storm Scratch league, which is something I’ll admit to having my fair share of struggles on this year. Because this particular house uses super high-friction synthetics, any ball with too much friction built in, chemically or mechanically, would read as soon as I set it down with nothing left downlane. The Code X doesn’t utilize R3S or Nano technology like its Premier line counterparts, so it skated through the high-friction fronts with ease but retained the midlane read and backend change of direction I’ve come to love from my top-drawer asymmetrics.

BOWLER STATS:

Launch Speed: 18mph

RPM: 490

Tilt:

Rotation: 45°

PAP: 5” straight over

Layout Used for Test: 6 x 4 x 3 (55° x 6 x 40°)

Surface Used on Both Balls: 3000-grit Abralon

Oil Pattern: Beaten Path, 41’, 1:4.04, 24.25 mL

THE TEST:

For this study, I decided to use Kegel's 4:1 Beaten Path. I knew this pattern would showcase the differences between these two balls exceptionally well. I tossed 20 shots on SPECTO with each ball, averaged the results, and created composite motion paths for each along with a comparison chart utilizing the hard data SPECTO provided. Both balls were resurfaced prior to the test using a Surface Factory machine with new Abralon pads for each to achieve the most consistent finish possible.

 

THE RESULTS:

If you currently roll the Sure Lock or Alpha Crux, but are hesitant make the commitment on another solid Premier line ball, then rest easy. R2S breathes new vigor into the line which helps differentiate it plenty from its Nano-based cousins. I found this the case both objectively and subjectively. Let’s refer to the former, presented below. The numbers don’t lie. With almost 1.5° more entry angle at impact, the Code X handles the corner like that of a racing-tuned suspension on a car that’s designed to dig in to the curves of a snaky, winding road. That may not sound like a lot, but spread that measurement over the last 15 feet of the lane and that can mean the difference between washing out and a high flush strike.

Telling the story further, this isn’t a case where the numbers deceive. Subjectively, too, I found the Code X carried considerably better from the deep, inside line compared to the Alpha Crux. The engine that is the RAD4 worked just as flawlessly as the cover. With the layout I chose, it transitions smoothly and quickly. On the comfort side of the equation, I was more than confident from far inside with regards to kicking out the corners than I’ve been as of late with balls of the like. The Alpha Crux lost its axis rotation so quickly, it reminded me just why that ball truly is designed for the heaviest of heavy conditions.

CONCLUSION:

If my !Q Tour and Code Black were to fall in love and start a family, their progeny would undoubtedly be the Code X. It’s an excellent blend of power, dynamics, and everyday versatility. It is the bowling ball equivalent of having your cake and eating it, too. Backend responsiveness is immediate and gratifying, without sacrificing what a solid ball is supposed to do up front. I do appreciate the Code X’s quieter exterior as it pirouettes its way down the lane with empyreal grace, yet remains tasteful for what it is. The Code lineage has discernibly paved the way for the Code X, and it’s the Code X that’s going to carry on this sterling reputation for quite some time.

 

Highlights from the test:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=075-SkU9hBA

 

 Storm has a full-time tech representative ready to answer any questions you have about the Code X or any other Storm product. Please call (800) 369-4402 (Mon-Fri, 8am-5pm MST) or send an email to tech@stormbowling.com (anytime).


Selecting an Arsenal for the USBC Open Championships

If you are heading to Syracuse for the OC’s this year, then you’ve probably already started thinking about what equipment you are toting along. And since ball slots are limited and checked bag fees are high, the gravity in your selection process becomes pretty critical. As with any arsenal, variety is key. Sounds easy, right? Obviously, there’s a lot that goes into it that can become a daunting task for even the most seasoned professional. The boundless options that are available on the market should be used to your advantage, but it all starts with the bowler. Knowing the subtle distinctions in how you roll the ball, such as axis tilt, axis rotation, speed, and rev rate, are most crucial.

Once you’ve determined your stats, next comes the ball selection process. As always, variety is key.

The Open Championships have now abstained from announcing the oil pattern prior to the tournament commencing – which is perfectly fine. You can bet on it not being a cakewalk. Balls that exude control and forgiveness are going to be your best friends with any trip to the OC’s. What kind of balls do this? Well, your favorite benchmark should be the first thing that comes to mind. A low RG, solid, matte finish ball that is smooth and brings the breakpoint closer to the foul line would definitely provide this for the bowler. The !Q Tour is the second longest running ball in Storm’s history for this very reason.

After that, building an arsenal is pretty straightforward. Having a good mix of solids, pearls, hybrids with a combination of surfaces and layouts is important. Typically, you won’t see too many polished balls going down the lanes at the Open Championships. The reason for this all boils down to controlling the breakpoint. Sanded balls maximize your room for error by picking up on the midlane better than polished balls and bringing the breakpoint - the most critical part of the lane - closer to you. It’s not a mystery anymore that surface is the #1 most influential factor that dictates ball motion. The bowlers that perform the best every year will almost always bring a wide array of 500-grit to 4000-grit sanded balls. I’m not saying omit polish completely, so reserve one to two spots in your bag for when they get “toasty” later in the day.

Layouts are the last big thing to discuss. Working with your Storm VIP pro shop professional to establish which layouts are best for your style and the arsenal you’ve chosen is imperative. Some of the most accomplished bowlers will use around three of their favorite layouts and let the inherent properties of the balls be the major difference in what they see. Pete Weber, for example, has only used two layouts for years: one pin up above the bridge and one pin down below the bridge. There are enough factors in bowling that are above and beyond anyone’s control, and, no matter how hard you try, you cannot change them. So keeping the variables in check that you can control, like Pete, isn’t such a bad idea after all.

Below is a sample 6-ball arsenal that would cover all of your bases at the Open Championships this year.