Pitch Purple versus Pitch Black – Internal Review

The Pitch Purple has enough backend potential to hit steep angles and confidently make it back to the pocket.


In modern times, Storm has been internationally recognized as the brand who emphasizes the later portion of a ball’s reaction. However, the Pitch lineup has been uniquely different from the start. Looking to expand our performance palette, we started exploring different liquid materials (urethanes) that shifted ball performance. Namely, breakpoint distance, backend hook potential, and entry angle. Depending on who you ask, these factors are arguably the most important variables in modern bowling technology. Storm has the “clean with a kick” look covered, as well as early urethane grip which works exceptionally well on short patterns. Believe me when I say: we’ve been burning the midnight oil when it comes to testing. With Alex Hoskins leading R&D, our lanes have been consistently booked more than ever with new formulas and materials to investigate. There’s plenty of balls that fill the void between a Hy-Road and a Pitch Black, but that something special has been curiously eluding our gaze.

What would happen if we took the same benchmark-cozy Capacitor Core and combined it with a new type of urethane material? The result, as it turns out, was nothing short of amazing. Read in oil, stability in friction, consistency from foul line to head pin was the result. This unique fusion lets you dial in key performance parameters, responding to every input with absolute fidelity.


Launch Speed: 18mph

RPM: 490


Rotation: 45°

PAP: 5” straight over

Layout Used for Test: 5 x 3 x 2.5 (35° x 5 x 35°)

Surface Used on Both Balls: 1000-grit Abralon®

Oil Patterns: Beaten Path, 41’, 1:4.04, 24.25 mL; Boardwalk, 35′, 1:2.16, 28.25 mL

Our curiosity keeps us moving forward, exploring, experimenting, and opening new doors.



For this study, I decided to use Kegel’s 41′ Beaten Path and 35′ Boardwalk. I knew these patterns 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 fresh Abralon pads for each to achieve the most consistent finish possible.



Despite being set down two arrows deeper, the Pitch Purple not only covered more boards than the Pitch Black, but still split the 8-9 consistently. Typically, I would never use urethane on anything longer than 38 feet. But the Pitch Purple had just the right balance between the midlane and backend reaction that I could stand anywhere, with conviction, and watch it speed back to the pocket with tenacity. On this pattern, the Pitch Purple produced 17% more entry angle and 23% more length than the Pitch Black.


The most impressive thing about using the Pitch Purple on the shorter pattern was what it didn’t do – which was overreact off of the dry. My optimal line was was adjacent to the line I was playing on the 41′ Beaten Path pattern. The only adjustment I made was moving up six inches on the approach to dial my speed back smidgen. Furthermore, both balls fell into alignment in the last 1/3 of the lane thanks to the Rev-Controll Urethane cover. Had I been in the same area with even a weaker reactive, it would have been so aggressive off the breakpoint, I would have been leaving designs on the deck I’d rather not have to attempt converting. When my house shots get cliffed during league, the Pitch Purple will unquestionably be my go-to ball. On this pattern, the Pitch Purple created about 9% more entry angle and 14% more length than the Pitch Black.


Have you ever been in a tournament where the top qualifier ran away from the rest of the field not by tens, but by hundreds of pins? Ever wondered how they were able to do that? They more than likely had a niche ball giving them insight into the pattern no one else in the building had. In the simplest terms I can depict, the Pitch Purple not only retains the phenomenal control and feel of its predecessor, the Pitch Black, but it also lives up to the iconic backend motion that Storm is renowned for. This high level of control will provide aggressive players with the license to swing for power. Finesse players will find their mark without fuss while the ball maintains ample power at the pins. The Pitch Purple has enough backend potential to hit steep angles and confidently make it back to the pocket. I was able to stay in my comfort zone on the short test pattern as if I was playing on the longer pattern; all I used was a simple change in speed. This rare combination of urethane midlane with reactive backend is a bonus that makes this ball once of the most “maneuverable” balls to date. If I use anything reactive on a short pattern, it would generally be too sharp/quick off the breakpoint. The Pitch Purple provides the cleanliness of a reactive but is undeniably more forward off the spot, but not to the degree a Pitch Black would be. This equals control not only on short and flatter patterns, but longer more demanding ones as well. I’m particularly impressed with how I can feel the mishits with my hand, but don’t see any drastic changes of ball motion down lane. House shots to sport shots, this ball will have a fixed spot in my bag for quite some time.


Highlights from the test:


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

19 thoughts on “Pitch Purple versus Pitch Black – Internal Review

  1. How does the pitch purple compare to the fever pitch? I was excited about the fever pitch but was disappointed how over under it was. Thanks!

    1. The Pitch Purple is overall much stronger than the Fever Pitch. You’ll see earlier read, with more entry angle downlane. Quite the different ball to be sure!

        1. The Pitch Purple will actually create an earlier break point than the Fever Pitch and produce more total ball motion, or change of direction, too. You’ll have to give it a shot but know that it is definitely stronger than Pitch Black.

  2. Is this a good ball for a woman who bowl in league play? My wife has the pitch black and a pitch biue witch she like very well ,but looking to up her avg and get to the pocket better she normaly bowl over 10 on the lanes.

    1. The Pitch Purple will definitely be a step up from both the Pitch Blue and the Pitch Black. If she is looking for more hook, especially if there are times when her two current balls are going too straight and not driving through the pocket, then she should definitely give the Pitch Purple a look!

  3. I am a full roller which of these two would be better. I primarily throw between the 2nd and 3rd arrow

    1. It would depend upon your lane conditions, but typically the full roller release produces a heavy, early rolling shot already…so that would tend one to think that a Pitch Purple would produce a better shape especially through the pins and pocket.

      All the best and thanks for your question!

  4. I love the purple went from hammer gauntlet to the pitch purple went from a 148 average last year to a 166 average this year as the lanes break down I’ll be honest I do not even notice I might have to increase speed by the third game but not by much maybe 0.2 0.4 mph storm has converted me from hammer I can now say i’m a storm person just hope one day I’ll be good enough for a sponsor or to be on tv. THANK YOU STORM

  5. I recently bought the pitch purple and liking it, I would like a recommendation for a cleaner for the pitch purple?
    Is true blue a good choice?

    1. True Blue would work just fine. So would U-Clean U-Score. Whatever you use, it’s all important!

  6. Thank you for this article – wondering what the best choice would be from your current lineup of urethane that would best double as the primary spare ball in a 4 ball bag and be able to use for strikes when the conditions call for it. Appreciate the input if any!

  7. I use my pitch black religiously on fresh but when I move a little inside at the end of the day I lose that back end reaction, causing me to hit the pocket a little flat and leaving those 10 pins. Is the pitch purple going to be my solution with that? Love to stay the urethane route.

  8. Do you guys have any reccomendations for a good spare ball for someone who averages around 170 per game and is looking for a higher average?

  9. when I use my main ball for fresh oil it hooks fine but in the later games my ball starts to hook a lot more and I can’t get the ball to hit the pocket it just curves to much would the pitch purple be a good ball for later in my matches

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