Belmonte Wins 10th Major Title

Jason Belmonte won his third PBA Tournament of Champions title on Sunday to earn his 10th PBA Tour major title. This victory tied Belmonte with Pete Weber and Earl Anthony on the all-time major title list.

"I'm very overwhelmed, I'm very honored, I'm very proud of myself and now I'm even more driven to get that 11th and just keep going. It's really pumped me up," Belmonte said.

Belmonte used a combination of the Hy-Road Nano, Roto Grip Idol Pearl and the Pitch Black as the lanes transitioned throughout the week, leading the field at AMF Riviera Lanes. He used a similar lane play strategy in the finals. After testing some reactive balls on the practice pair, he decided that his Pitch Black gave him best motion. He used this ball to defeat EJ Tackett in the finals 225-196.

“It’s madness,” Belmonte said in the PBA Release here. “To work so hard at your craft means the world to be here at this moment. “It hasn’t completely sunk in and to have my name next to Pete and Earl is an overwhelming feeling right now."

Team Storm travels to Columbus, Ohio for the second major of the 2019 PBA Tour Season this week. The players will compete in the PBA Players Championship at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl. Watch LIVE February 13-17 on Flobowling.

 


Honor Scores Galore with Crux Prime

When our Team Storm players heard the Crux Prime™ was coming to their bags, the excitement was overwhelming. They couldn't wait to get their hands on this ball and punch it up. This ball has produced numerous honor scores around the world in the few weeks that it's been on the lanes.

Here's a recap on some of the honor scores and reviews that have been reported by Storm Nation in the first few weeks after the release of the NEW Crux Prime.

January 13: WATCH Jeremy Hunt, shot 300 with the new Crux Prime at the Cape Girardeau Tournament Series.

January 16: Jordan Racke hit perfection the first game out of the box with the Crux Prime in honor of his friend! Watch the 12th shot.  

"300 first game out of the box after leaving Rick Hitt’s celebration of life, Josh Hitt said “go shoot 300 for Pappy.” That was for you Pappy!!!!" - Jordan Racke

What's inside the Crux Prime? With the Catalyst Core, you, too, will bear witness to unprecedented power, increased entry angle, and a greater margin for error with its dynamic asymmetrical design and vertical cavity technology.

"The first two times that I used the Crux Prime (OOB) in my league I bowled 778 & 766. I have been using Storm bowling balls for more than 20 years and have never been disappointed but the Crux Prime is one special ball." - Lew Agius

January 18: Timmy Powell  put together games of 268-278-259 for an 805 fresh out of the box with his Crux Prime!

January 21: Ric Mccormick with games of 278-266-255 for a 799 set for his first set out of the box.

"This ball is unbelievable. Storm really made something special when they came out with this masterpiece. Right out the box i threw numbers of 267,246,225." - Colin

January 23: Billy Wigand IV had a monster set on the lanes with the new Crux Prime! He rolled games of 300-263-279 for an 842 set.

January 24: Harry Shaffer rolled 820 with his Crux Prime. WATCH his 10th frame of the last game here.

"Crux Prime is a must! This ball hits hard and carries the power through the pins!!" - Ryan McGuire

January 24: Christopher Jannazzo put together games of 279-299-278 for an 856 set with his Crux Prime drilled at Mike Machuga's Next Level Pro Shop.

January 24: Ian Willard rolled 300 with the Crux Prime in the Milwaukie Scratch Trios league.

The innovation that comes with the Catalyst Core is evident with every honor score that's posted. The genius the design is in the cavity which lets the driller remove less mass with most layouts.

January 25: Cameron Bechtol put together games of 269-279-254 for an 802 Series with the Crux Prime. Watch the finish to his set.

"I really love this ball it plays the lanes great, glad I have one of these in my bag." - Cameron Bechtol

January 27: Alex Diercks rolled 300 with the Crux Prime in the finals at Greater Iowa Scholarship Bowling Tour.

When this coverstock encounters midlane friction, it digs in harder, unlike anything Storm has produced to date.

January 27: Jalen Mosley shot 1047 for 4 games (shooting 803 the first 3) with the Crux Prime. Watch his 10th frame.

"I’m starting to believe all this ball does is strike..." - Jalen Mosley

January 29: Jeff Williams put together games of 277-279-244 for 800 with the Crux Prime drilled at the High Roller Pro Shop!

The breakthrough has truly begun. SPEC stands for “Storm Performance Enhanced Coverstock”. The intent behind this formula was to create something that withstands the rigors every bowling ball endures each time it takes a trip down the lane; namely, the friction and oil it encounters.

February 1: Luke Rosdahl rolled 255-246-300 for a 801 series with the Crux Prime.

With SPEC, you can expect consistent performance that is as tireless as it is dynamic. It’s bold, definite, and extremely potent.

February 3: Jeff Shadbolt & Chuck Reynolds Jr. roll 300 with the Crux Prime. Watch Chuck Reynolds Jr.'s 10th frame.

February 5: Lee Sandt took a Crux Prime off the press and rolled 280-257-278 for an 815 set.

"I have to say, there is something special about this ball. The scores being rolled by multiple customers with different styles in different center speaks volumes." - Lee Sandt

February 5: Chris Kishbaugh shot his 100th career 300 with the Crux Prime. He finished his set with a 792 series at Skylanes Bowling Center.

February 5: Jimmy Hannay rolled a perfect 300 game at Bowl America Eastern in Richmond, VA.

February 5: Beau Schenk rolled his 33rd 300 with his Crux Prime.

February 5: Jim Hilligas put together games of 268-267- 289

with the Crux Prime.

"This is a must have in your bag if you need some hook on a tighter condition." - Jim Hilligas

The Crux Prime is available worldwide now. Our Tech Team conducted some tests with this new release at Storm HQ. Check it out here.

Still have some questions about this new release? Whether you have burning questions about bettering your game or just want to know how to get the most out of your new Crux Prime, we’re here with answers. The best part is your questions will help us create how-to videos that will be featured on Storm’s YouTube channel. Each week nine lucky winners will have a chance to earn some new Storm products.

Visit a Storm VIP Pro Shop near you to discuss your arsenal and find out where this new release would fit in your bag.


2019 SYC Tour Heads To Las Vegas

In less than two weeks, more than 200 youth bowlers will be heading to Las Vegas for the first Storm Youth Championships event of 2019!

The Storm Youth Championships were created in in 2017 with two events in Reno and Myrtle Beach. These events were designed to be a weekend of learning, competition and fun for the whole family! After a successful first year, we added two additional events in 2018 visiting Nashville and Fort Worth. The SYC Tour will have a total of six events in 2019.

2019 SYC Schedule:

 Feb. 15-17, 2019 - Las Vegas, NV

 Mar. 22-24, 2019 - Rohnert Park, CA

 May 24-26, 2019 - Smyrna, TN

 June 28-30, 2019 - Lincoln, NE

 Aug. 30 – Sept. 1, 2019 - Wichita, KS

 Oct. 4-6, 2019 - Shallotte, NC

The SYC tournaments are small, three-day events where our Storm team works hard to interact with all of the youth bowlers and families. Each SYC tournament has multiple rounds on different lane patterns created by Kegel to challenge the youth bowlers. We crown the top three bowlers in each gender and age-based division for each round with bronze, silver and gold medals. At the conclusion of the tournament we award trophies and medals to the overall champions.

Each year, we hold our major event which this year will take place in Las Vegas where we award the top two overall youth bowlers in each division with a spot on the Storm All-American Team.  These 12 kids earn a custom All-American jersey and jacket provided by our official SYC jersey company, Logo Infusion.

2018 Storm All-American Team

The SYC is more than just tournament.

We kick off each event with registration, learning seminars with our Storm and Roto Grip Pro Staff, a practice session where bowlers can get tips from the pros and our Tour Reps, and a Friday night SYC social.  The SYC bowlers and their families have told us they love the casual atmosphere, getting to know the pros, and hanging out with the Storm Team.

Charity is a very special part of the SYC. Each event supports Ballard vs the Big “C” in numerous ways.  We take $10 from each entry and make a donation to BVBC. On-site at each SYC, Carolyn and Del Ballard bring silent auction items for the SYC families to bid on. Sometimes our families donate their own baskets to help raise more funds. Some of the bowlers have decided to host their own fundraisers at home for BVBC and bring their donations to present to the Ballards at the next SYC they attend.

Since 2017, we have raised more than $50,000 to help fight the war on cancer through the SYC.

We are very proud to award scholarships to our top finishers and in just six events, we have awarded more than $104,000 to the SYC bowlers and look forward to increasing that number in 2019.

The vision for the SYC began as a way to give back to the bowling community, educate youth bowlers, and invite the whole family to participate. Our events wouldn’t be possible without the support of the staff of each host bowling center and the families in each community that we have visited.

Here’s what some of our SYC bowlers had to say about the event:

“What I like best about the SYC is that I get to bowl, meet new people and make new friends from all over the world. I love the seminars where I learn more about the sport. I’d be lying if I didn’t say I didn’t love the social gatherings at the SYC…the mini golf, the beach party and the BBQ. They are all a blast!” - Harley Shene, CA

 

“My favorite thing about the SYC is definitely the level of competition and challenging patterns at each event!  I also really love getting to meet new people from all over the country.” – Caroline Thesier, NC

“Storm Youth Championship events are awesome! They offer young bowlers of all skill levels an opportunity to compete   in great facilities on challenging conditions. Plus, the events involve a lot more than just a tournament - they are a complete bowling experience! There are workshops and fun family activities where you can make new friends and learn lots of good information about equipment and how to improve your physical and mental game performance. I personally like the on-lane sessions with the pros and hearing how they figure out which ball to throw and how to throw it! Also, the chance to interact with the Storm/Roto Grip technical staff is something I look forward to at each event because they are always willing to provide guidance and support to help me improve my game! Thank you Storm Bowling for creating the SYC and helping grow the sport of bowling through the youth of America.” – Mabel Cummins, IL

This tournament would not be possible without the generous support of our additional sponsors, Logo Infusion, Turbo 2-N-1 Grips, Kegel, 3G Shoes.

To follow along with the SYC updates and excitement, please check out the Storm Jr Facebook page. If you are interested in becoming a supporting sponsor of the Storm Youth Championships or would like more information, please visit the SYC page or email Leanne Hulsenberg at Leanne.Hulsenberg@stormbowling.com.

 


2019 Storm Utah Open a Huge Success

The 15th Annual Storm Utah Open was held at Sparetime Lanes in Roy, UT, a 32-lane house just off of I-15. The tournament drew 373 entries from 8 different states. With $5150 in added money from our sponsors, the total prize fund was nearly $24,000. Known for its demanding lane condition and for providing one the opportunity to earn a spot for one year on the Storm Amateur Staff, the Storm Utah Open has been a staple of the Storm Northwest Tour for more than a decade. It is held every Martin Luther King holiday weekend in Northern Utah, and more information about the tournament is available on scratchbowlers.com.

Steve Kloempken presents Josh Blanchard with his first place prize money of $2500

 

Steve Kloempken welcomes Brian Robbins to the Storm Amateur staff.

 

Congratulations to PJ Haggerty on his runner-up finish... $1600 isn't too shabby!

 


Kelly Kulick Joins Storm Tour Team in Lubbock

Team Storm travels to South Plains Lanes for the 2019 PBA Lubbock Sports Open this week.

We recently announced enhancements to the Storm Tour Team for the 2019 season.  PBA Tour Manager, Jim Callahan, has been working closely with the players to organize the equipment in their bag, analyze their physical games during practice sessions, and assist the team with anything they might need while on the road. Callahan also builds the schedule and invites other coaches to join him with the players from week to week.

Joining the Storm Tour Team to help read the lanes and make ball selections this week is PWBA and PBA Tour Champion, Kelly Kulick. Kulick, when not competing on the lanes herself, is on the Team USA coaching staff and travels to assist with coaching seminars around the world. She is excited to join the Storm Tour Team this week.

"I am looking forward to the opportunity to expand my knowledge and education of the bowling balls while matching them to the players and conditions," Kulick said. "Being out here sparks my motivation for the upcoming ladies tour as well as contributing to the PBA Professional Staff."

Follow the action from the PBA Tour live from Lubbock all week long on FloBowling.


Storm and Belmonte Sign Largest Multi-Year Contract in Their History

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah – Storm Products, Inc. announced today that four-time PBA Player of the Year, Jason Belmonte, has signed a multi-year deal with Storm Bowling Products.

“I started my professional and my amateur career with Storm 18 years ago and I’m extremely grateful to Bill and Dave I’m looking forward to continue working with this company for many more years,” said Belmonte. “Inking a deal with a company that holds similar values to me and that prides itself on creating the best equipment on the market is something that I don’t take for granted.”

The 35-year old joined the professional tour in 2008 and was the first two-handed player to earn a PBA Tour title. He has earned eighteen PBA titles, including nine major championship titles, and numerous other achievements throughout his career. Beyond his achievements, Belmonte has worked throughout his career to master his craft on the lanes and share the sport he loves off the lanes with bowlers of all ages.

“It’s hard to imagine me bowling with anything other than Storm,” Belmonte said. “It’s one of the reasons I’ve achieved all of the titles and accolades. One of the things I’m most excited about moving forward is seeing what we can produce together seeing how we can win more together and obviously ultimately how we can grow the sport together.”

This historic contract reflects not only how much Storm respects Belmonte as a competitor but also what he means to the fans of bowling. His unprecedented social media presence within the sport of bowling has helped him connect with fans around the world. In 2018, Keith Hamilton, of the Bowler’s Journal named him one of the most influential bowlers of all-time in his “Leading Off” column sharing that 21 percent of the competitors in the field at the 2018 USBC Junior Gold Championships were two-handed.

"Jason has been a member of the Storm family virtually his entire career and together we've achieved great success," said Dave Symes, President of Storm Bowling Products. "He's clearly one of the most talented bowlers ever and an icon of the next generation of bowlers. We're proud to have our equipment in his hands as he continues his Hall of Fame career."

Belmonte lives in Orange, Australia with wife Kimberly and daughters Aria, Sylvie and son Hugo.


Storm Announces Tour Team Enhancements

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah – Storm Products is excited to announce changes to the Storm Tour Team. In 2019, Del Ballard Jr. will serve as PBA50 Tour Manager and Performance Bowling Consultant, Jim Callahan will be the PBA (Professional Bowlers Association) Tour Manager, and Mike DeVaney will be the Professional Women’s Bowling Association (PWBA) Tour Manger.  Through these new positions, our Tour Team will communicate with players regarding their training and goals throughout the year. 

“We are excited for the changes moving forward,” Gary Hulsenberg, Vice President of Business Development said.

“We invest a great deal on the tours to give the players who choose to throw our products the best chance for success. Elevating proven tour reps to the roles of Tour Managers will allow them the time to cultivate stronger relationships with players on their assigned tours all year long," Hulsenberg said.

Ballard has been bowling his entire life. Though he’s 55 years old, he says that he’s been in the industry for 56 years. His mother was an avid bowler when she was carrying him. Ballard has 17 PBA Regional titles and 13 PBA titles including four major titles. He has been inducted into the Dallas USBC, Texas State USBC, USBC National, and PBA Hall of Fame. He joined the Storm Family in 2005 as the Roto Grip Regional Sales Manager. In 2011, he transitioned to the role of Storm Tour Representative. He has helped countless players earn titles over the years and will continue to assist the greatest players in the world in his new role. As PBA50 Tour Manager and Performance Bowling Consultant, Ballard will be responsible for all the Team Storm touring players on the PBA50 Tour, ensuring they have the equipment they need in place, and will help analyze their games year-round to prepare them for competition. As Performance Bowling Consultant, he will also assist our team at headquarters planning and securing players on all tours.

“I love that Storm is always innovating and increasing the support for our players.,” Ballard said. “I’m happy to take on this new, fast-paced role.”

With more than two decades of experience, Callahan will be a great asset to our Team Storm players competing on the PBA Tour. Since joining Storm in 2007, he has served as a regional sales manager, served as a PBA, PBA50, and PWBA tour rep and also has provided technical support to the Singapore National team. In his new role, he will be responsible for assisting players with equipment during competition, analyzing their physical games, and providing programs year-round to support the growth of the touring players.

“I am really excited to get this exciting new opportunity,” Callahan said.

“I am looking forward to continuing the long-standing tradition of excellence on the PBA Tour, in addition to creating a new culture for our outstanding group of young players so they can achieve their goals as well," Callahan said.

DeVaney, a two-time PBA Champion, joined the Storm Family in 2016 as Tour Representative for the PBA, PBA50 and PWBA Tours. In his new position, DeVaney’s focus shifts primarily to the Team Storm players competing on the PWBA Tour and will be responsible for all aspects of the tour including ensuring equipment is in place for competition and ensuring the growth of the Team Storm players. 

“It is my goal to enhance the tour experience for our staff and to give them more than what they have ever seen from us before,” DeVaney said. “Obviously the goal is to win tournaments, but how we get there is my focus."

"I am honored to be given the opportunity to work with the best players in the world who are using the greatest brands in the world,” DeVaney said.

In addition to their main responsibilities, all three managers will collaborate together and support each tour throughout the season. 

About Storm Products, Inc.

Storm Products Inc. is a leading manufacturer and marketer of high performance bowling equipment featuring the Storm, Roto Grip and Master Brands. For everything thing Storm and Roto Grip visit stormbowling.com and rotogrip.com


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.


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.


Congratulations Alf Lopez. You earned it!

The 2018 Storm Utah Open was an incredible event! Having just concluded and setting numerous records in several categories including entries, prize money, and total bowler, the tournament continues to draw bowlers from all across the U.S. looking to earn a staff contract!

Alf Lopez of Pocatello, Idaho was this year's highest finisher of those entered in the optional $10 side pot.  Runner-up in the tournament, Alf beat out more than 170 other competitors to help fulfill a personal dream.

Congratulations Alf. You earned it!