High Performance Asymmetrical

Parallax | Layout Comparison | PSA-to-PAP

Steve Kloempken | USBC Hall of Fame

 

For this article, the second in a three part series, we are going to continue our deep dive into understanding the effect of different layouts with the Parallax™ and its new Aeroflo™ Core.

As we learned in our first article featuring Chad McLean and his demonstration of different Pin to PAP distances, adjusting the distance of the pin from your positive axis point creates a much different ball motion, especially for those with higher rev rates because they have the greater hook potential. One with a very low rev rate and low axis rotation would surely not see as much of a difference between layouts. My bowler stats wouldn’t quite put me in the very low rev rate category, but as we dive into the results, know that, if your rev rate is faster than mine, you may see an even bigger difference in ball motion by adjusting the PSA.

For this article and video, we locked in two of the three measurements of the layout, the Pin to PAP and the Pin buffer distance. As you can see in the image here, doing so positioned the pin just above and outside of the ring finger. If we were to keep with the standards of the warranty requirements, we would have shortened the pin buffer to create more space between the edges of the pin and the ring finger, so please keep that into consideration as you or your pro shop operator select layouts for you.

Before hitting the lanes, we wanted to share the following information which many consider to be highly technical. So, if that’s not you, feel free to jump ahead to get right into the effects the layout adjustments had on ball motion! Many are familiar with the RGs (radius of gyration) and differentials as they are located on nearly every crazy 8 displayed in all pro shops as well as every ball page on every manufacturers website. But what you won’t always hear come up is that these RG values, and thus differentials, change once holes are drilled in the ball. There is no escaping or changing that…it happens whether you like it or not.

In this image you will see that the RG values remained quite constant among the three different drilled balls, with one exception. Can you spot it?

It’s the third number in the 5 x 2 x 2… the intermediate mass bias of 0.021. While that ball remained the closest to the un-drilled ball, you can see in looking at all three drilled balls that the other two balls, the 5 x 4 x 2 and 5 x 6 x 2, were the most similar to each other dynamically speaking.

Stepping up on the lanes, we started with the 5 x 2 x 2 to see what type of motion we would get with it and to use that as the baseline for this test.

*Notice the PSA close to the VAL

We selected Kegel’s 39 foot Middle Road pattern which would typically entice you to position your breakpoint near the 8 board when using Kegel’s “Rule of 31” which says that if you take the length of the oil pattern and subtract 31 that you will get the point at which your ball should leave the oil to have the best angle to towards the pocket.

Sliding 22 and keeping our target at the 12 board gave us a great look to the pocket. This type of layout, with the PSA near the VAL (vertical axis line), is most often preferred by players at the highest level looking to gain a reasonable amount of control on the backend. And if you look at the numbers below, specifically the position at the head pin and the entry angle, you will see that this one, the 5 x 2 x 2, ended up the most light in the pocket and produced the least amount of entry angle.

 

Moving on to the second Parallax, the 5 x 4 x 2 layout, we immediately notice the ball finishing much deeper in the pocket, almost a board and a half!

*PSA just right of thumb

That may not sound like much, but rest assured that it was eye opening since we used Specto to confirm that nothing had changed with respect to our speed and laydown or launch angle. We were strictly seeing the effects of moving the PSA 2 inches farther away from the PAP than in the first test. We also saw our entry angle go up from 3.59 degrees to 4.16, an increase of more than 15%. These are some big numbers where looking at what some view as slight tweaks to the layout.

And finally, we rolled the third Parallax, the 5 x 6 x 2, which positioned the PSA just to the left side of the thumb hole.

*5 x 6 x 2

A layout not typically used or as popular for those looking for a big change of direction, the 5 x 6 x 2 created the latest break point distance of the three. And with respect to the total ball motion, which references the position of the ball at the head pin, and to entry angle, we saw this third Parallax fall right in-between the first two on both accords. It was a fine balance of an aggressive skid-flip motion with ample control. We could see this one working on a wide variety of conditions and surfaces, especially if you’re like me with respect to a lower rev rate and a preference to play the lanes with a more direct line to the pocket.

 

In summary, thanks for your interest in learning some of the finer details with respect to layouts. For more detailed information and understanding, be sure to visit Storm’s YouTube channel and search for the Pin Buffer Layout System. You’ll find three very detailed videos that are sure to help you dial in your arsenal of equipment with ball choices and layouts in no time. To see the video specific to PSA location, watch the video below:

 

If you have any further questions, please contact us anytime at tech@stormbowling.com or call us at 800-369-4402.

 


Five Champions Named At The Storm Youth Championships In The Music City

BRIGHAM CITY, Utah - The Storm Youth Championships (SYC) returned to Smyrna, Tennessee, July 24-26, for the Storm Youth Championships (SYC) Music City event. The youth bowlers competed in three five-game rounds on three different Kegel patterns in five different divisions determined by gender and age (U20 Boys, U20 Girls, U15 Boys, U15 Girls, U12 Mixed Division) for a national title and a portion of the $14,850 scholarship fund. The format of the SYC rewards consistency and the overall champions are decided based on total pinfall.

L to R: U20G - Mabel Cummins, U15B Nate Trentler, U12 - Braden McDonough, , U15G - Maribeth Baker, U20B- Spencer Robarge

The champion in our U12 Division was Braden McDonough of Texas who led this mixed division by 158 pins to earn his second SYC title. Nate Trentler, of Maryland, dominated the U15 Boys division leading the field by 153 pins earning his first title. His best block was the long pattern averaging nearly 234. Maribeth Baker, of Pennsylvania, earned the gold medal on both the short pattern and long pattern to take home her first title in the U15 Girls division. In the U20 Division, two past SYC Champions, Mabel Cummins of Illinois and Spencer Robarge of Missouri outlasted the competition to continue to collect SYC titles to add to their resumes. Cummins, a collegiate player at Vanderbilt University, competing in her last youth event stayed consistent across three patterns to earn her fifth SYC title. Robarge dominated the U20 Boys field leading by 210 pins and averaging 229.5 across the three challenging KEGEL patterns to claim his eighth SYC title. Robarge has earned the most SYC titles of all of our SYC athletes over the years.

In addition to the overall champions, the top three bowlers in each division were presented a gold, silver, or bronze medal after each round.

Overall Medalists: U12 Mixed – Braden McDonough (gold), Henry Hind (silver), Gavin Murray (bronze). U15 Boys– Nate Trentler (gold), Josh Maslanich (silver), Jacob Ballenger (bronze). U15 Girls– Maribeth Baker (gold), Victoria Varano (silver), Katelyn Abigania (bronze). U20 Boys– Spencer Robarge (gold), James Bennett (silver), Brett Lloyd (bronze). U20 Girls–   Mabel Cummins (gold), Brooke Roberts (silver), Kiara Abanto (bronze).

The Medalists on the KEGEL Short Pattern: U12 Mixed – Braden McDonough (gold), Cameron Morton (silver), Matteo Quintero (bronze). U15 Boys– Dylan Murray (gold), Aidan Furukawa (silver), Caleb Zamora (bronze). U15 Girls– Maribeth Baker (gold), Katelyn Abigania (silver), Rachel Moore (bronze). U20 Boys– Spencer Robarge (gold), Kirk Mowl (silver), Brett Lloyd (bronze). U20 Girls– Mabel Cummins (gold), Brooke Roberts (silver), Kiara Abanto (bronze).

The Medalists on the KEGEL Medium Pattern: U12 Mixed – Braden McDonough (gold), Nathaniel Lloyd (silver), Henry Hind (bronze). U15 Boys– Josh Maslanich (gold), Nate Trentler (silver), Carson Barnes (bronze). U15 Girls– Victoria Varano (gold), Katelyn Abigania (silver), Karina Capron (bronze). U20 Boys– Spencer Robarge (gold), James Bennett (silver), Jason Tundidor (bronze). U20 Girls– Mabel Cummins (gold), Brooke Roberts (silver), Michaela Morgan (bronze).

The Medalists on the KEGEL Long Pattern: U12 Mixed – Gavin Murray (gold), Braden McDonough (silver), Mason Heiligenmann (bronze). U15 Boys– Nate Trentler (gold), Spencer Sullivan (silver), Jacob Ballenger (bronze). U15 Girls– Maribeth Baker (gold), Victoria Varano (silver), Karina Capron (bronze). U20 Boys– James Bennett (gold), Ian Dohan (silver), Brett Lloyd (bronze). U20 Girls– Katharina Mente (gold), Jordan Mundt (silver), Molly Marshall (bronze).

SYC Athlete, Victoria Varano rolled a 300 game on the KEGEL Medium Pattern.

Every bowler who entered the tournament received a Storm !Q Tour Emerald bowling ball and had the option to have it drilled by the staff at Bowlers Advantage Pro Shop.

Giving back is an important part of the SYC and bowlers come together to raise funds all weekend long for Ballard vs. the Big “C” which supports continued research in cancer treatment, specifically in head, neck and throat cancer through the sport of bowling. BVBC also raises money for nutritional supplements and treatments for those going through the cancer journey. $10 of every entry will go directly to BVBC to continue to fight the war against cancer.

The owners of Logo Infusion, Ken and Kathy Keegan joined us in Smyrna to provide apparel for the SYC. Logo Infusion is the official jersey partner of the SYC and creates customized jerseys to help commemorate each of our events. They have also created the Dan Keegan Scholarship for youth bowlers to earn scholarship to use towards their education throughout the year. They awarded two scholarships to SYC athletes based on their sportsmanship throughout the weekend. The winners were Erin Klemencic and Andru Blaney.

This tournament would not be possible without the generous donation from all of our sponsors, Storm, Roto Grip, Logo Infusion, Kegel, 3G Shoes, Bowlers Journal International. The event was livestreamed over the two days on the Storm Bowling Facebook Page.

Four events remain on the 2020 SYC Tour. The SYC will travel to Indianapolis for the SYC-Indy event, August 14-16. Fans can watch from their home on the Storm Bowling Facebook Page. IN September the SYC will take place at Northrock Lanes for the SYC – Wichita event on September 12-13. This event is sold-out with a waiting list. Entries open for the SYC – Costal Classic event, which will occur October 3-4 on August 31. The final event of the 2020 SYC Tour will take place in Orlando on November 7-8.

For final results of all rounds of competition and for more information on the SYC visit the Storm SYC page at www.stormbowling.com/SYC.

About Storm Products, Inc.

Storm Products Inc. continues to lead the bowling industry in innovation through our high-performance bowling equipment featuring the Storm and Roto Grip Brands. In addition to creating the highest quality of products that the top athletes choose for PBA and PWBA Tour competitions, Storm strives to continue to inspire existing bowlers, foster and develop new bowlers, and educate those in our industry to provide exemplary service to all bowlers.

About Ballard vs. The Big “C” (BVBC)

BVBC was created out of love for PBA Hall-of-Famer, Del Ballard, Jr., who has survived his battle with tonsil cancer. Since forming, BVBC has raised over $200,000 to help raises funds for continued research in cancer treatment, specifically in head, neck, and throat cancer. For more information visit http://www.ballardvsthebigc.org.

 

 


Parallax | Layout Comparison | Pin-to-PAP

For this comparison test, I selected three different layouts each with the same pin buffer and PSA values but differing pin-to-PAP distances. I will find the optimal line with each ball/layout and roll similar lines with them to distinguish each ball’s unique layout characteristics.

 

The pin-to-PAP is unquestionably the most influential variable in the layout selection process. It's immensely important to not only look at the innate characteristics built into the balls themselves, but the layouts, most specifically the pin-to-PAP distance, as well. For an in-depth analysis of what pin-to-PAP distances represent in bowling ball layout application, be sure to check out Alex Hoskins' thorough column on the subject here.

I’ve maintained the pin buffer and PSA radii with each of these layouts but adjusted the pin-to-PAP separation across the test balls in 2” increments.

 

BOWLER STATS:

Launch Speed: 18mph

RPM: 480

Tilt:

Rotation: 45°

Layouts Used for Test: 2 x 5 x 1.5 (30° x 2 x 50°), 4 x 5 x 1.5 (60° x 4 x 25°), 6 x 5 x 1.5 (65° x 6 x 20°)

Surface Used on All Balls: 1500-grit Polished

Oil Patterns: 1.) Broadway V2, 37', 4.77:1, 26.45 mL  2.) Tungsten, 39', 6.25:1, 25.60 mL  3.) Beaten Path, 41’, 4.04:1, 24.25 mL


The 2 x 5 x 1.5 layout is an option for players looking for stability. When the patterns are short without much hold and urethane isn't an option, shorter pin-to-PAP distances become the go-to choice. In this instance, the Aeroflo Core is almost completely laid on its side which puts it in a lower RG orientation. The lower the RG orientation, the less resistant the ball will be to changing direction down lane. This type of layout rolls early and smooths out the breakpoint shape; smoothness equals predictability here. The 2 x 5 x 1.5 shined on the shorter pattern, naturally. At just 37' and a 4.77:1 ratio, Kegel's Broadway V2 is short with not much hold. The 5" PSA-to-PAP distance ensures sufficient entry angle and the 1.5" pin buffer provides ample roll through the pins, but because it's still a very stable overall core position, this layout may struggle on lengthier patterns. But if urethane is not your "thing", then consider a shorter pin-to-PAP layout to help control those more compact patterns when the ball tries to dart sideways off the breakpoint.

At just over 4° of entry angle, the short pin was able to control the pocket much better than the other two test balls despite being thrown at the same set down and launch angle. The longer pins simply created too much flare and volatility which made it problematic in the effort to keep them on the right side of the headpin on this short, flatter pattern. Instability in core orientation is what makes a ball hook in the first place, but knowing when and where to use such flare potential remains the bowler's responsibility to determine. 

A 4 x 5 x 1.5 Parallax is a versatile layout that provides a player whose speed and rev rate match an all-around functional ball able to be used on a variety of conditions. On the medium 39' Tungsten pattern, this layout shines. With a subtle change in hand position or speed I can navigate to just about anywhere on the lane with this layout and still get the ball to go through the pins the way I need it to. At 4" from the PAP, this pin distance puts the core in a position that's suitable for most house and challenge conditions. It truly is the best of both worlds connecting early roll in company with backend entry angle. The location of the pin falls between a high-RG and low-RG axis orientation which is considerably unstable. Since the core is wobbling vigorously in this position when rolled, this type of setup yields a dependable motion in the midlane which can be useful in many different circumstances. One can avoid getting caught up in a sudden, unforeseen transition because of this layout's ability to read the midlane and blend out the end of the pattern.

Consistent with the shorter pattern, the 4 x 5 x 1.5 layout shaped an entry angle that fell evenly between the long and short pin test balls. On a middle-lengthed pattern such as Tungsten, I could maneuver left or right and still be in the pocket with a subtle hand position or speed change. The 2" pin and 6" pin were either too soft or to sharp respectively on entry and required a complete zone change in order to get back to the 1-3.

An Parallax drilled with a 6 x 5 x 1.5 creates some serious entry angle. On any pattern, any line, it produced the greatest amount of corner to the pocket. In layouts such as this, there is a very specific time and place they should be used. When the pin is 6" from the PAP, the core is stood up on end internally and in a stable, high RG state. This results in the ball focusing its efforts in the later part of the lane since it is tumbling more. When a ball like this is in a higher RG posture, it will be more resistant to changing direction as it rolls down the lane. Longer pin-to-PAP values raise the RG and encourage a slower transition with a beeline shape through the first 2/3 of lane. Because of this, you'll notice more change of direction down lane. For this test I went with the 41' Beaten Path to show just how vast the differences are in these three layouts. The ideal time I would use a 6" pin layout is when the oil is depleted rather than freshly dressed. This is because the ball isn't slowing down as quickly. With every ball, every throw, energy is lost the moment it leaves the bowler's hand. Other factors that contribute to how quickly a ball slows down include surface roughness of the coverstock and lane materials, but this test is solely looking at core properties. When there's a lot of friction on the lanes forcing the ball to slow down too quickly, a longer pin-to-PAP layout can help combat those conditions because the core is allowing the roll phase to happen closer to the pins.

When the pattern is shorter with more friction for balls to react on, everything tends to hook at same spot. How much it hooks is dependent on things like core strength, layout, surface, etc. On this longer test pattern, the differences in the three balls became even more evident with breakpoint distances and entry angles in line with exactly what you would expect from such layouts. The 6" pin had the latest breakpoint and the most angle, with the 4" and 2" falling directly in line behind the former. 

Here's the drilled and un-drilled RG analysis for each of the balls is showcased below. Based on the above ball motion breakdowns on the test patterns, it's understandable why the 6" pin is the most dynamic of the lot. It has the highest combined differential (total and intermediate). The 2" test ball's total differential was comparable to the other two balls, but its extremely stable core position keeps the aggression in check. The 4" test ball's drilled RG turned out exactly as expected: precisely between the 2" and 6". If I was only allowed to choose one ball for a tournament, it would be the 4 x 5 x 1.5 by virtue of it being the most versatile layout of the three. Always remember, it's your job as the bowler to determine when and where to use such layouts. There's a time and place for every ball, every layout.

As mentioned many times before, whenever a hole is introduced to a bowling ball the RG value of the ball rises in that precise spot. Acknowledging that fact, the results from the RG swing test on the three balls aren't that surprising. The pin up Parallax maintained the lowest drilled RG and highest differential thus, making it the most aggressive of the three. It's also objectively true in ball dynamics that an asymmetrical ball becomes even more asymmetrical if the thumb placement is closer to the PSA. And since balance holes are now a thing of the past, being it's important to be mindful and receptive of where the holes may end up in relation to your gripping holes.

 

Knowledge isn't power until it is applied. Now go apply it!

 

Highlights from the test:

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


Abby Ragsdale Joins Team Storm

BRIGHAM CITY, UtahStorm Products is proud to announce that collegiate standout, Abby Ragsdale has joined Team Storm.

“I’m really excited for this opportunity,” Ragsdale said. “It’s something I’ve been dreaming about since I was little. My family raised me on Storm. Now being able to say I represent the best brand in bowling, I’m just ecstatic.”

The love of bowling was shared with Ragsdale by her family, especially her grandpa, at a young age. Her family would bowl together every week as she was beginning to compete. They challenged her to keep learning and she continued to improve as she grew. With their support, Ragsdale went on to compete collegiately at the University of St. Francis where she collected numerous honors including the National Collegiate Bowling Coaches Association Rookie of the Year (2017) and a two-time first-team collegiate All-American (2019, 2020), and Most Valuable Player (2019). She was also named the NAIA MVP as she led the team win the National Invitational in 2017 and Player of the Year in 2019.

“Team Storm is excited to add this top young talent to our national team and we look forward to many successful years,” Gary Hulsenberg, VP Business Development said. “Our national team is an extension of our Storm Family and we look to add athletes who share similar dedication, values and beliefs. Abby is an ideal fit.”


Though her final collegiate season didn’t end as anticipated due to COVID-19 precautions, Ragsdale is proud of her collegiate career and is looking forward to the future.

“There’s a lot of top moments that come to mind as I reflect,” Ragsdale said. “Probably my favorite collegiate moment came as a team. Being a freshman and winning NAIA nationals with all the seniors is something I’ll always cherish. That’s what you go into bowling collegiately wanting to accomplish.”

Ragsdale has continued to stay diligent post-graduation. She has stayed focused on her physical fitness and been working on her mental game. She also has stayed connected with her coach to talk about her mental & physical game. When bowling centers were closed, she put her had in her ball every day and did one-step drills in her backyard.  She will be ready when the PWBA Tour returns.

“I want to make sure I’m representing Storm to the best of my ability.” Ragsdale said. “Rookie of the Year is something I have my eye on.”

About Storm Products, Inc.

Storm Products Inc. continues to lead the bowling industry in innovation through our high-performance bowling equipment featuring the Storm and Roto Grip Brands. For additional information, visit stormbowling.com


Axiom - Layout Comparison

For this comparison test, I selected three different layouts each with the same pin to PAP distance but varying pin buffer and PSA values. I will find the optimal line with each ball/layout and roll similar lines with them to distinguish each ball’s unique layout characteristics.

I’ve maintained the pin to PAP distance with each of these layouts but adjusted the pin buffer in 1” increments. The pin to PAP (most influential variable) was held constant at 5” across all three test balls. The CG placement was selected randomly, at best, to better illustrate that static weight sustains little relevance with my style or the conditions I’m bowling on in this test. However, static weight undeniably does matter with “when”, “who”, and "how" variables clearly defined and under certain circumstances, but that’s a topic for a future article.

 

Spinning a symmetrical core around the X-axis (pin) results in the same overall mass distribution no matter where the CG ends up.

The 5 x 5 x 4 layout places the pin directly beneath my ring finger and would all but be referred to as “pin down” at any level in the game. In a brief summation, pin down has historically been known to roll sooner. This conclusion was drawn from the idea that the more static weight was biased towards the thumb caused the ball to rotate off its axis sooner. The antithesis was also widely accepted for pin up balls.

However, the type of technology that commands the contemporary game of today establishes itself on symmetry, asymmetry, and differentials. When static weight was the only ball motion tuning parameter to boost bowling ball performance, it carried a heavier significance. But modern physics dictate that agreement in dimensions, due proportion, and mass arrangement shall have precedence over static weight in bowling ball performance. And because this core has those physics manufactured into it, where the holes are drilled matters more now than ever.

Anytime you introduce a hole into a bowling ball you are raising the RG (radius of gyration) of the bowling ball in that precise spot. When I place holes above and below the pin, I’m greatly affecting the low RG axis of the ball by making the height of the core more like the width. This put the ball’s axis in a high RG orientation and cuts back on overall differential, forcing the ball to roll later rather than sooner and hook less overall. It responds significantly slower to friction, whether it’s to the outside of the lane or at the end of the pattern and blends out extreme transitions between wet and dry. You may have more room for error with a pin down layout as the flare pattern takes longer to finalize and delays the transitions from skid to hook to roll. I prefer playing straighter with larger pin buffers, or when it's late in the block and there's little oil on the lane left to find.

There was only a difference of 1/2° entry angle between these three balls, but over 2 feet of breakpoint distance (front to back) which resulted in either a flush strike or going too high/Brooklyn consistently. Rev dominate bowlers gravitate towards larger buffers due to the lengthened reaction time of the layout. This maximizes their room for error because transition zones with their ball roll are inherently quite short. This gives further credence to the notion that "when" a ball hooks is more important than "how much" a ball hooks.

A pin up 5 x 2 x 2 Axiom sets the pin above my fingers and more to the ring finger side. It was commonly accepted that pin up balls provided more finger weight and delayed the ball’s reaction. As mentioned above, times have changed. Drilling mostly into the high RG axis (Y-axis) of the ball drives the core's width further away from its height by making it taller. This creates a core height that’s even more different than the width that was manufactured in the ball to begin with. This higher “differential” induces greater torque within the ball and forces it to change direction sooner and more overall. You can visually assess this yourself by inspecting the flare pattern on your pin up ball compared to your pin down ball (assuming they’re similar in dynamics).

Pin up balls typically have a greater core orientation benefit when going through the pins because it will likely be in its final roll phase upon impact. And you’ve heard it all before: a ball that’s rolling into the pins has a higher carry percentage than a ball that’s hooking into the pins. Why? Less deflection. A hooking ball still has a skid element associated to it. A rolling ball doesn’t. But pin up balls can sometimes magnify mistakes because their transition zones are so short. Your window for accuracy is now reduced but is still highly dependent on your speed, rev rate, tilt, and rotation.

I like to utilize short pin buffers when I need the ball to get into a roll sooner, especially on heavier patterns. I also like to use pin up balls with longer pin to PAP distances to stand left and throw right because they're ready for friction when they encounter it. If I pull it too far inside into the heavier oil it can still get into a roll and carry rather well. But if I miss right it will still recover all those boards traveled and find its way back to the pocket thanks to its lower RG core orientation and higher overall differential.

Breakpoint distance relationships for the three balls stayed the same with flare potential playing a crucial role in recovery to the pocket. The balls now have to travel a farther distance to get back to the strike zone so the player has to be cognizant of how much the ball is going to hook. Players with higher axis tilts and higher speeds can benefit from smaller buffers by getting it to tilt off its axis sooner. Pin up balls create a low RG band around the X-axis to help it rotate quicker off its axis to combat the slicker oils of today.

An Axiom drilled with a 5 x 3 ½ x 3 naturally drops the pin in my ring finger. This may look like an “exotic” layout, but in reality it’s as ordinary as the other two. Drilling out the pin is preferred over drilling too close or halfway into it because it helps maintain the integrity of the shell and creates a smaller weak point. This mid-range pin buffer distance maximizes proficiency by using the contours of the core to its advantage. For my ball roll and PAP it places finger holes directly in the X-axis and thumb hole very close to the Y-axis, so they reshape the core more uniformly after drilling. I can get the best of both worlds and have found this layout to be one of the most versatile in my bag. With a subtle change in hand position or speed I can navigate to just about anywhere on the lane with this layout and still get the ball to go through the pins the way I need it to. When deciding the layout of your next ball the pin buffer would surely be the second most important variable of the three right behind pin to PAP distance but in front of the PSA's location.

Breakpoint distances remained consistent with the entry angle values branching apart more due to the deeper set down. A 3" buffer can add great versatility to anyone's bag. It's beneficial for just about any style of play. The transition it creates from front to back isn't too fast or too slow. It can also work well on a multitude of patterns. And if it isn't just right, a quick and simple surface adjustment will get it back on track!

And for all you tech enthusiasts out there, the drilled and undrilled RG analysis for each of the balls is showcased below. Knowing what we know now about RG’s and differentials, it’s logical to justify saying pin up balls hooker sooner and more than pin down balls under similar playing conditions. The smaller the buffer, the quicker the ball gets going forward and you can immediately see it in the video below thanks to the low camera angle. Always remember, it's your job as the bowler to determine when to use such layouts. There's a time and place for every ball, every layout.

 

As mentioned many times before, whenever a hole is introduced to a bowling ball the RG value of the ball rises in that precise spot. Acknowledging that fact, the results from the RG swing test on the three balls aren't that surprising. The pin up Axiom maintained the lowest drilled RG and highest differential thus, making its breakpoint the earliest. It's also objectively true in ball dynamics that a symmetrical ball becomes asymmetrical once it's been drilled into and the PSA positions itself close to the thumb once it's been drilled. I've included the new intermediate differential as well. You can see the pin up Axiom also became the most asymmetrical of the group because we squeezed the Y-axis closer to the X-axis but left the Z-axis alone (no balance hole used). From there, lower pin placements (larger buffers) created higher drilled RG's and lower total and intermediate differentials. Knowledge is power. Now go use it to your advantage!

 

Highlights from the test:

https://youtu.be/WBHNRt7sSOo

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


STORM IT FORWARD 

Co-Owner of Storm Products, Barbara Chrisman, Lindsay Boomershine, one of our Team Storm members, and Elysia Current, one of our Roto Grip Team members, recently introduced a campaign, titled #StormItForward! Watch their live interview from Storm HQ by clicking here.

This campaign encourages all of Storm Nation to support local communities during this time of social distancing due to COVID-19 by asking your favorite restaurants, local Storm VIP Pro Shops, salons, or other small businesses if you can purchase a gift card or pay for a service in advance.

“We hope that you will join our campaign and Storm It Forward in your local community,” Chrisman said. “The most important thing for all of our friends in Storm Nation is to stay safe and stay healthy. If you’re able to help, we hope you’ll consider joining us.”

Once you purchase a gift card either pass it on as a gift to a person you think might need a smile (while maintaining social distancing) or save it to use after the risk from the virus is over. As you’re doing these acts of kindness (if you feel comfortable) post a photo to social media using #StormItForward.

“Storm it Forward!” Boomershine said. “We want to see social media filled with posts of giving gifts and making another person’s day.”

 

 


Seeing The Lanes Like A Tour Rep

Our fans have been submitting hundreds of questions for our LIVE Q&A sessions from Storm HQ.

While we don’t have time to answer all the questions during our Facebook Live shows, we decided to answer some of the questions in different ways. If you have a question that you’d like to submit, send it to us here. 

Each week, some of the members of our Team Storm Tour Reps will be sharing some insight about a question that was submitted. They each have a little different perspective and will help you learn about what the representatives look for in our PBA & PWBA Players bags.

When the ball reps are at the tournaments and watching the staffers how do they figure out which ball is going to fit best for each players?

-Shane Conners

JIM CALLAHAN

Storm PBA Tour Manager

I have a bit of a system I use to determine the right ball for each player.

  1. I look at the shape of the pattern on the lane.
  2. I determine whether I need an asymmetrical or symmetrical ball
  3. I determine how much flare I will need.
  4. I determine how much core I need.
  5. Then I determine the correct cover I need.
  6. After that, I determine the layout we need.

After answering all those questions and determine the new ball, we then have to match the surface to the particular pattern.

I would say in order of importance.

1) Cover stock

2) Core

3) Layout

That is my formula of how I figure out the ball for each player.


DEL BALLARD

Storm PWBA & PBA50 Tour Manager

I watch practice first and start from there. I work front to back. I look to see how much friction there is in the front to determine the strongest ball I can use. That way I don’t have to use so much surface at the beginning.

In addition, I try to watch what type of release works best. I mean that as in keeping your hand up the back of the ball or having a little more axis rotation. Generally, I like for those bowlers who stay up the back of the ball to choose quicker balls and bowlers who have a little more axis rotation to use balls that are slower off the spot.

Scoring pace comes into play when I’m helping players select their arsenal. I might go with a ball that is on the bigger, slower side to keep it in play if the scoring pace is low. If it is higher, I generally will go with balls that might be a little quicker to increase entry angle. Depending on axis rotation, rev rate, and ball speed, I try to see step downs in the arsenal selection.

With the lane always changing, it is hard to make a black and white solution. You make the best decision you can depending on what you see and the tools each player has to work with.


MATT MCNIEL

Storm Tour Representative

That’s a bit of a loaded question. The playing environment in constantly changing lane to lane, pair to pair, different areas of the bowling center have different tendencies so once we put all of that together and understand what the lanes are asking for, we can apply that knowledge to the individual player and their individual style. At Storm, we do the best at creating a catalog that offers a multitude of ball reactions for our bowlers. We are the bowlers company, so we understand the need to have a diverse catalog that helps anyone who uses our products have the best arsenal in the building. Think of golf clubs in a golf bag, every club is used for different situations and creates different reactions. Our team knows what our players have in their arsenals and then uses the information of what we are seeing on the lanes and translates that into what ball the player will need and when.

Watching ball reaction is very much operating in the gray, understanding what makes good ball motion is very difficult and takes a lot of experience / practice. When watching players bowl, I generally ask these questions in my head:

Is the ball reading the lane too soon?

Is the ball responding too quickly or too slowly?

Is the ball getting behind the headpin and not reading the lane soon enough?

Is the player using too much speed, launch angle through the fronts, rotation, roll?

Answering these questions generally points us in a direction that allows for us to zero in on a ball that will allow the players to “see” it. That is, they will be able to see what the lanes are asking for and they can really start making some great shots.


SHAWN RYAN

Storm Tour Representative

While at a tournament what I like to do is step back and watch during the practice session. This gives me an idea of where the players are migrating to on the lane. Once I see this, I watch the front part of the lane a lot next, meaning where the ball gets set down at from the players. The front part of the lane is hard for the players to see since generally they are looking further downlane. If the fronts are hooking this will determine that cleaner bowling balls are required, if the bowling ball gets through the fronts easier than stronger earlier bowling balls will be required. Once all of this information is gathered, determining what players should use becomes more of an educated pick instead of what I like to call “I think this might work” guess. Not every player will use the same ball, but they will use  a similar motion based on ball speed, RPM, axis rotation, etc. Generally if the type of ball they need isn’t in their bag we will go down to the truck and drill the player something that falls in that category.


Tournament Group Spotlight: Elite Youth Tour

Storm is known in the bowling industry as the innovation leader and manufacturer of performance bowling products but our entire team strives to grow the sport of bowling and create life-long bowling enthusiasts.

Our owners, Bill and Barbara Chrisman generously give back to organizations within and outside of the bowling community throughout the year. Their kindness and willingness to support others is something that all employees embrace within the company.One way that Storm chooses to give back is through sponsorship of tournaments and events that occur all around the world. Storm sponsors hundreds of events throughout the year that give bowlers of all ages and skill levels the opportunities to compete and meet friends from different places.

Throughout the year we will feature different events and tournaments that Storm Products sponsors so that you can learn more about these groups and even add them to your calendar.

Our first featured event is the Elite Youth Tour (EYT). Storm Products has been the sponsor of this tournament group since the very first event in 2012. The EYT was founded by Team Storm Players, Diandra Asbaty and Jason Belmonte. Asbaty and her team have dedicated countless hours and spent many weekends traveling to give these youth athletes the opportunity to earn substantial scholarship money while building experience to compete at large-scale tournaments.

“For me, I built this tour with the goal in mind to create leaders through bowling,” Asbaty said. “I had all the tournaments that I grew up bowling that prepared me to be a professional bowler in my mind as I created this tour. At the same time, it’s not just a place to become a great bowler. I want to teach these young bowlers to have impact in the world.”

Asbaty who has had a very successful career on the lanes competed collegiately at the University of Nebraska where they earned the National Championship in 1999 and 2001. She was awarded the 2001 Collegiate Player of the Year. She was a 15-time member of Team USA and 2-time member of Junior Team USA earning numerous gold medals all around the world. She has also earned 1 PWBA Major title and a 2-time PBA Women’s Series Champion. Asbaty uses her experiences and what she has learned to try to teach the next generation of bowlers what it takes to be a successful collegiate athlete and encourage their dreams to be a professional athlete.

 

“Showing them that they can do it is important to me,” Asbaty said. “I knew how to bowl but didn’t know how to do it for a living. I want to teach kids that there is no idea too big. It starts somewhere and they can figure it out along the way.”

Members of the EYT are committed to developing the skills they need to excel in life and in bowling. These young bowlers travel from all over the Midwest to shoe up to compete in tournaments throughout the bowling season.

“I think about the first time I bowled a MJMA” Asbaty said. “It was never on a house shot. The tournament director would go out with an oil spray gun to spray the lanes and that was the pattern. It was frustrating and it was hard. You had to tuck in your shirt, and you had to wear a belt. I want them to bowl in a tournament with rules and to prepare them to bowl like a professional.”

Many EYT players who succeed on the conditions that Asbaty puts out each month go on to a very successful career on the lanes.

Some all-star athletes include:

  • Brandon Biondo - Team USA
  • Karina Capron- U12 Junior Gold Champion
  • Paige Kraushaar - SFA National Champion, All American
  • Ryan Zagar - JR.Team USA
  • Jordan Newham - Vanderbilt National Champion
  • Ryan Winters - Jr. Team USA
  • Nick Kruml - Jr. Team USA, PBA member
  • Taylor Bailey - National Champion - McKendree, All American
  • Giselle Poss - PWBA, All American
  • AJ Chapman: Collegiate Standout, PBA Pro
  • Mabel Cummins: Youth World Champion, Junior Team USA, Vanderbilt, Alberto E Crowe Star of Tomorrow
  • Jillian Martin: Youngest to cash in PWBA event. Junior Team USA
  • AJ Johnson: PBA Regional Pro,
  • Zach Rhoades- Wichita State
  • Abigail Starkey- Junior Gold U12 TV Show 2019
  • Gianna Brandolino- Junior Gold U12 Runner Up 2019
  • Brandon Caruso- Junior Gold U15 TV Show 2019
  • Cameron Crowe – EYT Bowler of the Year 2018 and made Junior Team USA, Adult Team USA and won the National Amateur Championship in 2020

“When I watch the kids succeed at events like the SYC or Junior Gold, I know the EYT made a difference,” Asbaty said. “It is the reason I make them struggle on the tough patterns because it helps them get to the end.”

Most recently, Asbaty says she felt so much pride watching current EYT athlete, Cameron Crowe, win the National Amateur Championships and qualify for Team USA n January. He is the first current EYT athlete to qualify for the adult team.

"Watching Cameron have the confidence to bowl and win against the pros and then go on to make Team USA just fills me up with pride," Asbaty said. "He has no idea what kind of inspiration he is to the younger generation - and he's not even 20 years old yet!"

Asbaty is certain that there are more current EYT bowlers who are on their way to a successful career in the sport of bowling. That’s one reason that she puts an emphasis on preserving the history of the tour especially

through photographs. She believes capturing the photos of future champions as young bowlers competing in their first event is essential. It’s also a fun photo to use as a comparison of then and now.

“You don’t always see everyone competing when they are little,” Asbaty said. “It’s a long process to get there. Seeing these kids grow in front of my eyes every month on and off the lanes makes it all worth it.”

In addition to trophies the champions and those that place are awarded scholarships. In 61 events, Asbaty has awarded $209,759 in scholarship funds.

“Kids get to use this amount of money for their future,” Asbaty said. “Beyond the scholarship that helps them get to college, showing them at a young age that they can make a difference in the world. That’s pretty powerful. I couldn’t do it without the support of the sponsors”

In addition, the EYT is a 501c3 nonprofit that focuses on creating positive youth development and leadership skills utilizing the sport of bowling. The donations contributed throughout the year support the events and activities that allow these young people to prepare for their future. If you are interested in donating, please click here.

“I’ve always been in it to try to help people and to support them along the way. It’s just been my calling. To be able to use this sport as a way of helping other people makes me so proud. I just know that this is what I’m supposed to be doing in bowling. I’m making a difference and that is what matters to me."

Asbaty is always searching for new service activities to introduce to her EYT athletes. In 2020, she has introduced a Mentor Program. She will pair up U20 bowlers with U12 bowlers so that these older players can mentor the younger ones. Her goal is to give the younger athletes tips, things to watch out for at the upcoming event, tricks to do when you feel defeated, and advice for bowling on sport patterns. They will also follow up after the event.

“The goal is to prepare them for their future on and off the lanes,” Asbaty said. “Most recently, I don’t think I’m an overly emotional person but when I gave Mabel her the last trophy she won, her 25th title, I cried. I was filled with the memories of her bowling the tournament as a young girl and not being a champion yet and getting so frustrated. I was so proud of the person she has become. Not just a great bowler but truly an ambassador for the sport. Creating young people that work hard and do the right things like Mabel has always been the intent of the EYT.”

To find out more information about the EYT please visit, http://eliteyouthtour.com/.


STORM AND X OUT BREAST CANCER RAISE MORE THAN $140K FOR THE HUNTSMAN CANCER INSTITUTE

This year, 1,735,350 new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed in the United States.

Throughout the bowling season, the Storm Nation community comes together to raise funds and build awareness for cancer research.  With the help of the bowling community and a generous donation from the Chrisman Foundation, Storm Products presented a donation of $112,599 to Huntsman Cancer Foundation while continuing to spread awareness for a cause that affects millions.

An additional donation of $30,000 was donated from the Striking Against Breast Cancer Foundation was presented by Donna Conners and Carol Norman. Conners who hosts the Storm PBA/PWBA Striking Against Breast Cancer Mixed Doubles Tournament each summer, and Norman, traveled to Utah for the presentation.

“Storm has always been known for innovation and Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI) shows the same spirit in their dedication to the creation and improvement of cancer treatments,” Barbara Chrisman, co-owner of Storm Products said. “With our fans support, through the purchase of our PTLP products, Striking Against Breast Cancer and The Chrisman Foundation's funds we are able to sponsor several treatment rooms in The Kathryn F. Kirk Center for Comprehensive Cancer Care and Women’s Cancers at HCI. The donor plaques on the wall specifically identify that bowling and bowlers care about them.  I truly hope people who are going through the treatment and doing the suffering through this terrible disease know that someone cares and feel something positive through the support from the bowling community from around the world.”

This total donation of $142,599 will continue to improve quality of life for individuals and their families who may experience a cancer diagnosis.  HCI hosts more than 142,000 patient visits annually at its Salt Lake City and community clinic locations. It also serves the largest geographic region of all cancer centers, covering Utah, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, and Wyoming.

The 2019 Paint the Lanes Pink™ campaign featured 300 Limited-Edition !Q Tour 20™  bowling balls, a joint venture between Storm and X Out Breast Cancer to help celebrate the 20th Anniversary of the famous Striking Against Breast Cancer Bowling Tournament held annually in Houston, TX. In addition, we raise funds through our dedicated PTLP products in the Storm Shop which raise funds and build awareness for breast cancer research year-round.

About Storm Products, Inc.

Storm Products Inc. continues to lead the bowling industry in innovation through our high-performance bowling equipment featuring the Storm and Roto Grip Brands.

About Huntsman Cancer Foundation

Huntsman Cancer Foundation’s sole purpose is to raise funds to support the mission of Huntsman Cancer Institute (HCI):  To understand cancer from its beginnings, to use that knowledge in the creation and improvement of cancer treatments, to relieve the suffering of cancer patients, and to provide education about cancer risk, prevention, and care.  Huntsman Cancer Foundation is dedicated to ensuring excellence in these endeavors through the development and prudent stewardship of private resources. All HCI fundraising initiatives happen through Huntsman Cancer Foundation, which is a public, functionally integrated, Type 3 501 (c)(3).

 


Axiom 6 Ways

Watch the video, then read what our employees have to say about it below!

(Yes, we play bowling, too)

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b8fxFpEFY0M&t=

 

THE CAST:

-in order of appearance-


 

"I drilled it like my favorite IQ Tour and Phaze II. This ball definitely picked up stronger through the mid-lane and had more energy off the spot than my Phaze II. As I moved deeper into the pattern, it continued to shape off the back and roll through the pins like no other."

-Hank Boomershine, VP Sales/R&D

 

 


 

"This is the strongest and smoothest symmetrical I have ever rolled. It is definitely going to be the new benchmark symmetrical ball coming out of my bag. The Phaze II has been one of my favorite symmetricals for the past 4 years and this new Axiom cover/core combination is even stronger and more predictable."

-Alex Hoskins, R&D Manager

 

 

 


"The Axiom gives me a motion in heavy oil that I like to see.  Its strong enough to cut through the heavy oil but doesn’t go sideways when the ball finds friction. This will be something I use on flatter patterns with heavier volume oil. A must have for a bowler that encounters different lane conditions."

Matt Martin, Senior Designer

 

 

 

 


"This ball is SICK! As a player with high speed, the combination of the new NeX coverstock and Orbital weight block allows me to still play in the oil without the ball over skidding. This ball will certainly be the new benchmark ball in my bag!"

-Kendle Miles, Technical Service Representative

 

 

 


"It’s a fantastic, high-end ball that allowed me to play more in the oil without seeing the extra skid or glide that leads to poor pin carry. This ball gave me a shape like my favorite ball, the Phaze 2, but with more overall hook and motion!"

-Steve Kloempken, VP Marketing

 

 

 

 


"I've never seen (or rolled) a solid ball that creates this much angle on the backend. I can be literally anywhere from first arrow to seventh arrow and not worry about the ball fizzling out too soon. That fact, combined with all the mid-lane I can handle, makes this an instant staple in my bag."

-Chad McLean, Technical Director

 

 

 


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