How to Read a Lane Pattern Graph

Have you ever found yourself in a situation where you have arrived at your next tournament, paid your entry fee, and notice there is a lane pattern graph? The only problem is, you are not completely sure what you are looking at or how to read that abundant useful information. This article will explain each piece of the lane graph’s importance and how it will impact your lane play.

Pattern Distance:

First, we want to review the pattern graph from top to bottom, starting with the oil pattern distance. For this example, we used the 2020 Storm Utah Open Pattern. We can see that the overall pattern distance is 41ft. This distance falls into the medium pattern category. Now armed with this information, we know there could be multiple attack angles to get to the pocket. Typically, on shorter patterns that fall between 32 feet and 36 feet, bowlers are forced to play the outside part of the lane. In contrast to the longer patterns, 43 feet and longer bowlers are forced to play the deeper inside part of the lane. Therefore, the pattern distance between 37 feet and 42 feet allows the bowler to play multiple angles depending on your ball choice and style.

Pattern Volume:

The next part of the lane graph we will discuss is the Volume Oil Total, better known as the thickness of the oil, applied on the lane. This will be the overall combined volume of oil between the forward oil and reverse oil. As we see in the photo provided, the forward oil total is 20.295 mL, and the reverse oil total is 10.26 for a round total volume of 30.555 mL of oil. Based on today’s standards, this would be considered a higher volume pattern. In comparison, most house patterns have between 22-24 mL of oil. This information will dictate the amount of surface grit to use on your bowling ball, and a good indication of how fast or slow the pattern will break down.

Pattern Ratio:

Moving down the lane graph sheet, we are going to discuss the load structure. This will be a key component of the overall difficulty of the pattern. When using a Kegel lane machine, you have an oil head that moves back and forth at a constant rate and applies that oil to the lane from left to right. As we review the graph for the 2020 Utah Open, we see this pattern has 8 loads of 2 to 2’s. Now, what does this mean? The oil head will apply conditioner on the lane from the 2 board on the left to the 2 board on the right. The more oil applied toward the gutter means the ball will overall hook less as the bowler misses to the outside boards. Therefore, most house patterns will very little 2 to 2’s, if any at all. A typical house pattern’s ratio is around 8 to 1, while this Utah Open pattern ratio is around 1.5 to 1. This means the lower the ratio, the more difficult the pattern will play.

Oil Overlay:

In the last part, we are going to cover the oil overlay of the pattern. The image on the right of the sheet showing an overhead view of the pattern as it would look if the oil had color instead of being invisible.  This effectively shows how the lane machine is applying the oil throughout both passes of the oiling process. The darkest blue is showing the highest concentration of oil in that part of the lane. This is the part of that lane that will create the most amount skid. The teal color box labeled “forward” represents the oil applied during the forward pass heading towards the pins, while the blue box labeled reverse” is the oil applied on the pass coming back to the foul line. The final color is the light blue box labeled “buff.” The buff is once the lane machine stops spraying oil on the lane, the machine rolls out the rest of the oil to correct 41ft distance.


Preparation is key when wanting to better your game and getting bowlers ready for the next event. Having a better understanding of how to read a lane graph will help prepare bowling equipment, surface preparation, and where to start during that valuable practice time.


Proton PhysiX vs AstroPhysiX vs PhysiX

For this test, I drilled one of each of the balls in question and used the same 4.5 x 4.5 x 2 layout across the board. It’s logical to claim they’re going to roll different, but we want to find out just how different.

I tested these balls in three different oil pattern scenarios with the thought in mind that each one would play to a particular strength of each ball. For this test, I will find the optimal line to demonstrate where I would have to play with each ball on each pattern.

Storm is in an interesting position right now. It’s producing relevant and useful bowling balls that all serve a purpose. So how does the company continue to advance the frontier of bowling ball science? Easy: always be at the drawing board. If you’re not at the drawing board, you’re not in the game. You’re something else. By standing at the edge of what is known and unknown, you can create a tried and tested quiver of covers and cores at your disposal. One thing Storm has been particularly good at over the years is evoking memories of previous balls with new releases, which will tug on the heartstrings of bowlers as they fondly remember the gear that they have used over the years.

The Proton PhysiX isn’t only the third representation of the Atomic Core, it comes from a wholly different classification of coverstocks different from its predecessors: the PhysiX and AstroPhysiX. If there wasn’t enough contrast between R2S Pearl and NRG Hybrid on the PhysiX and AstroPhysiX respectfully, throw NeX Solid into the crucible and you pretty much have yourself a full 3-ball arsenal.

As many of you probably know all too well, R2S (particularly in its pearlized form) is the cleanest, most responsive (to friction) coverstock development of this century. NRG itself has been around for nearly ten years and still performs as admirably today as it did a decade ago. When we were first deliberating amongst ourselves which cover to put on the now iconic Atomic Core, the two most noteworthy formulas of our generation were the obvious choices. In typical Storm progression a pearl, solid, and hybrid version of most core types gets introduced worldwide. But rarely, if ever, do we see three balls as diverse as the Proton PhysiX, AstroPhysiX, and PhysiX in such a short timeframe all thanks to their own contrasting chemical elements.

BOWLER STATS:

Launch Speed: 17.5mph

RPM: 450

Tilt:

Rotation: 45°

PAP: 5” straight over

Layout Used for Test: 4.5 x 4.5 x 2 (55° x 4.5 x 30°)

Surface Used: Proton PhysiX: 2000-grit, PhysiX: 3000-grit, AstroPhysiX: 1500-grit Polished

Oil Patterns: Broadway, 37’, 4.09:1, 23.25 mL; Carbon, 42', 10.36:1, 24.60 mL; Statue of Liberty, 47', 3.05:1, 24.73 mL.

 

Highlights from the test:

https://youtu.be/Z22yFF0DR_Q


THE RESULTS

On a condition I would typically use urethane, you can bet that anything will hook on this 37' 4.09:1 pattern. The trick is controlling the ball and the pocket, which is why urethane is a vital resource for anything shorter than 40', depending on lane surface and player style, of course. I did not alter any of the balls' surfaces so the Proton PhysiX stayed at 2000-grit, the PhysiX at 3000-grit, and the AstroPhysiX remained polished. Naturally, the AstroPhysiX played the furthest right with the most entry angle. The Proton naturally had the deepest laydown, but put me in a zone I'd prefer not to be in because it was simply too deep on this shorter pattern. In a perfect world, I would be using urethane on this pattern. But if all I had was reactive, I would drill a Proton PhysiX with a shorter pin, keep it dull, and stay right for as long as I could. The other two balls were just too quick when they encountered friction.

On a 42' 10.36:1 pattern, you can take your pick of what you want to roll. This type of pattern lends itself to many styles, balls, and angles of attack. With this much oil in the middle and friction to the outside, there's a clearly defined breakpoint here and it's going to be outside of 5. The Proton wasn't a bad look, but it started me too deep than I'd prefer. For my style on this pattern, smoother surfaces usually prevail. I appreciated the entry angle the AstroPhysiX was able to provide and I know that as the lanes transition I can stay in this ball the longest while still maintaining great finish down lane.

On the 47' 3.05:1 Statue of Liberty surface will be key. The two balls I would bring to tackle this pattern would surely be the PhysiX and Proton PhysiX. This type of condition is exactly what these balls were built for. As you can see from the graph above the AstroPhysiX struggled to go through the pins the proper way and probably wouldn't become an option for this pattern until very late in the day. I really had to focus on speed control just to be sure to hit the pocket with the AstroPhysiX. However, one of the niceties in the PhysiX lineup is that it's never been easier to adjust between balls. Stepping up to the PhysiX or Proton PhysiX was the obvious choice for this longer pattern.

THE BOTTOM LINE:

The most notable design feature of all three balls is their finish down lane en route back to the pocket. The Atomic Core left me in that confident state of mind where the ball is going to flare when and where I need it to. Because the PhysiX and AstroPhysiX have already been established, it’s important to note the Proton PhysiX has a specific target market of bowlers who are either beginners looking for extra help in hooking the ball, leaguers who need to blend out wet/dry, or high-level tournament players who need the teeth and flare to cut through the heavy conditions they regularly face. You can swing for the fences with this one - there’s no concern of it not making the turn back.

The colors provide instant feedback on just how quickly the Proton loses axis rotation, slows down, and gets rolling forward. This can come in especially handy because of just how strong the ball is and becomes a good indicator when it’s proper time to shell or even ball down. There’s always a bit of a trade-off with midlane read and entry angle when it comes to a ball like this, and you definitely don’t get the same sharp turn as you would on an AstroPhysiX. Understanding the design intent of each ball should make the adjustments between the two that much easier.

The Proton PhysiX was intended to make life easier for bowlers who need to dig in and create some significant motion front to back. The bottom line from this review – that is absolutely true. You can be confident that no matter which “PhysiX” you choose, it’ll have all of Storm’s best research and development technologies packed into it.


Japan's Mr. Subaru Nagano wins THREE Consecutive JPBA Events

Subaru currently works as a pro-shop staff, driller, pro staff and center operation staff for Sagamihara Park Lanes in Kanagawa prefecture.

He is in the top 10 in the JPBA point ranking last 5 years (2016/4th, 2017/9th, 2018/10th, 2019/3rd, 2020/1st) . He often appears in High Sports' ball review videos, providing the viewers with useful information about Storm & Roto Grip products with his immense knowledge.

With his trusty Axiom Pearl... photo credit: JPBA

 

photo credit: JPBA

 

photo credit: JPBA

2.5M Japanese Yen.... that's $24,000 Dollars in the United States... not a bad pay day!!!

He turned a professional at the age of 16. The youngest ever professional then attracted attention for its high-rev style. His first JPBA win finally came in the 39th Japan Open in 2016,15 years after his youngest debut.

For the Champion at the SSS Cup...photo credit: JPBA

 

Loving his Code Dynamic.... Premier Line OEM ball exclusive to Asia photo credit: JPBA
SSS Cup Champion Trophy photo credit: JPBA

 

Many amateur bowlers aspire the powerful ball reaction that 36-year old Subaru, who only weighs 63kg and stands 167cm tall, creates. With his win in three consecutive tournaments in 2020, he proved himself and the superior performance of Storm and Roto Grip products for us.

Thank you, Subaru and congratulations on the 3 consecutive wins. We look forward to your continued success.

High Sports Co., Ltd.

 


Pat Healey, Jr., a Champion Both On and Off the Lanes

WHERE ARE THEY NOW – PAT HEALEY, JR. 

 

If you followed competitive bowling throughout the 1990’s and 2000’s then you know the name Patrick Healey, Jr. In the early 90’s, among his many accomplishments, he was United States Amateur of the Year three times and the World Amateur Bowler of the Year twice. He was my doubles partner when we won the World Championships Gold Medal in 1991 and we were on the same trio’s team, along with Vince Biondo, when we won the Trios Gold Medal also at the World Championships in 1991. In fact, he nearly won the coveted PBA Tournament of Champions title as an amateur in 1995.

 

Many people remember you as a regular on the PBA Tour TV shows for several years, making nearly 30 shows over nine seasons ending in 2007. Tell us about how and when you got started with Storm.

PH: I joined the Storm staff in the fall of 2003. I was a free agent at the time. Bill Supper and Dave Symes gave me a call and invited me to be on the staff. We worked out the details. I was very honored, happy and excited to join Storm. I was a great time for us. I had a lot of success and made many t.v. shows. I won the TOC, a regular tour title and 3 regional titles with Storm equipment. In fact, I used Storm equipment through the 2006/2007 season, my last year on tour.

 

What led to your retirement from the PBA?

PH:  It was kind of strange how my career ended. I had contracted salmonella poisoning and lost 25 pounds in just a few months. At the time, the PBA Tour had deferred my exemption for the season due to my sickness, as my doctors had recommended that I not put any strain on my body as it needed time to heal. The deferment went into the next year. In the meantime, without bowling, I didn’t have a job. In the past, I had worked with Gold Coaches Fred Borden and Frank Buffa, not just on my game but alongside them in clinics and events, and they told me I had a talent for coaching. But this was just a secondary thing while I was competing, and when I had a break from the Tour, I coached full time.

So, I looked first into coaching overseas. My first coaching assignment was with Iraqi National Team. We all met in Egypt. We had a two-week camp. A month later, also in Egypt, I coached them in the Arab games. They won a bronze medal in the Women’s Team Event. It was the first medal they won in Federation History, male or female. They were very happy and I was very happy. It was a successful first dive into international competition.

At that tournament, I met the Kuwait Team Manager and that led to a 2008 head coaching assignment there. I stayed for a year. The players had a lot of success. They were young, talented and driven. In all, they won 5 gold medals, 5 silver medals and 5 bronze medals in tournament competition (GCC Championships, Arab Championships and World Championships).  They were very happy and I was very happy. It was because of the joy I had coaching and the success the players had that I decided to continue coaching in Kuwait and forgo competing on the PBA tour.

 

Wow, that’s incredible. Was coaching now your full-time focus or were you still thinking about competing?

PH:   It was strange … I thought of myself as both a coach and as a player, equally. After returning from Kuwait, I competed in a few small tournaments. I also continued coaching by giving private classes, clinics and seminars. Later that year, 2009, I decided to go to the UAE to bowl in some tournaments they ran during their Ramadan celebration. I was there 17 days and bowled in four tournaments. I remember that I bowled 125 games of competition. I bowled well and felt good. It made me serious contemplate returning to the PBA. During my time there, I was approached by the UAE federation. They asked me if I would be interested to be their head coach. We talked and I accepted the job 2 weeks later. That is when I pretty much decided that I would focus more on coaching than being a player for the rest of my life. I was the head coach there for 1 ½ years. The players were experienced and tournament tough. I had a great relationship with all of the them. They also had a lot of success. In all, they won 9 gold medals, 9 silver medals and 4 bronze medals in tournament competition (GCC Championships, Arab Championships, Asian Indoor Games and Asian Championships). One of the players was named Asian Bowler of the Year for the year 2010. They were very happy and I was very happy.

Coach Pat Healey, Jr.

After leaving UAE, I got out of coaching for a while. A couple of years went by. An opportunity arose to start a bowling academy/school in Mexico City in 2014. I had lived there prior to that and I still knew many of the bowlers there. While I was there, I was contacted by the Guatemalan Federation to see if I would be interested to help their program. It was originally planned to be part time but I ended being there for almost 1 ½ years. It was a different experience than Kuwait and UAE. This was more about teaching and instructing and developing youth players than it was focusing on winning medals and championships. A few of the players did have some tournament experience. Even though it was different, I enjoyed my time there.

 

That coaching experience took me to the end of 2015. After that, I decided that I wanted to look into something that didn’t require a lot of travel and less pressure. I started focusing on giving private classes only. During this time even though I didn’t ever work with the Mexican National Team, among the players I worked with were certain members of the national team. The players I had the opportunity to help did have success, nationally and internationally.

Then, in April 2019, I was contacted by the India Bowling Federation. They were interested in part-time help. That assignment lasted until October 2019. Even though it was a short amount of time, there was success also…. 3rd place Youth Division in the Philippine Open, 2nd place Youth Division in the Hong Kong Open and a Silver Medal in Singles at the Asian Championships.

 

Here I am now a year later and not sure what I’m going to do because of the COVID-19 virus. There is still quite a bit of risk and fear around the world. I am most definitely still interested in teaching and coaching.  Nonetheless, if another opportunity comes up in the bowling world, I will give it consideration. It has been a great pleasure for me to help players achieve their goals and experience that great joy of accomplishment. I feel very content and proud of all the players I have had a chance to work with. I would like to continue that. Once the situation becomes safer and plans can be made, I will look into my options.

 

Who were your first and early coaches?

PH: My first coach was my Dad. He taught me baseball, basketball, bowling, etc.  He had a great eye for sports. He just knew how they functioned. He didn’t know how to express what he saw all that well, though. He just knew how sports worked. I had a lot of athletic ability, played a lot of sports growing up. So, from that combination, I learned a lot from my Dad.

After high school, I went on to Wichita State University. My coaches there were all a huge influence on me. Coach Vadakin, Mark Lewis, Pat Henry, they were all big influences. And my backer, Jim Martino, wasn’t really a coach but was more of a manager; he had an aura or way about him. He was very savvy and I learned a lot from him. Then, of course, there was Fred Borden. Fred was the head coach of Team USA. I was on the team for three years (1991,1992 and 1995) and during those years I had the chance to learn a tremendous amount from Fred. He had a huge influence on my bowling and personal lives. I am extremely grateful to have had all of them as my coaches.

 

What is it about coaching that really drew you in?

PH: That’s a good question Steve. It’s a few things. One, I love helping people. I like to help people learn, get better, and I want them to improve in the sport. I’ve coached so many great students, more than 500 different players in all, through private classes, clinics and seminars in addition to my time with all the players from the national teams across the globe. Two, I want the players to experience that joy and emotion of accomplishment. Whether it be winning a gold medal or seeing their bowling ball roll down the lane exactly as they planned and striking. Or, anything in between. It gives me great joy to see my students experience that. Third, it’s about the challenge. I see what needs to be done to help a player and I make it my mission to help that player improve. I won’t leave that player until they have learned more and improved. I think that comes from my competitive nature and the idea that I won’t quit.

 

What did it mean to you to hear that you were being inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame? 

PH: I have been blessed to have been so successful in bowling. Being inducted into the USBC Hall of Fame is the pinnacle for me. It is the greatest accomplishment and honor of my bowling life. It means the world to me to be included with such great names in the sport of bowling. It has validated all the sacrifices I made and all the hard work I put in.

 

What are your plans for competing again on the lanes? The PBA50 Tour or maybe some of the USBC Senior events? 

PH: I would like to bowl on the PBA50 tour. Even the regular tour again from time to time. That is my goal. I miss bowling and the competition. It will depend on how my right shoulder/neck area improves. It feels better so I am hopeful to start bowling once the restrictions are lifted due to COVID 19. Regardless if I can bowl on the tour again or not, I would like to continue with instructing and coaching. It gives me a different type of joy and sense of accomplishment helping others improve and achieve their goals in bowling. If something else comes up that inspires me, I will look into that.

---

 


Bowling Ball Motion: The Basics

There are many variables that can affect the way your ball rolls, but why should you care? Some are related to the way you release it and your unique delivery. Other variables can be credited to that evil lane man and how he conditions the lane. Then there are factors that are above and beyond anyone’s control, and, no matter how hard you try, you cannot change them. We are going to discuss the subtle distinctions in how you roll the ball and what you can control in your game that play a bigger role than you might think. Understanding these characteristics will help you in choosing your next ball and, furthermore, help your pro shop operator decide a layout for your brand new toy.

https://youtu.be/lh0nWHT9p4I


WHAT IS SURFACE?

The chemical composition in conjunction with the surface preparation of the coverstock matters greatly. A solid coverstock with a low grit surface texture will lose speed at a higher rate than a polished, pearlized coverstock. Friction reduces ball speed, so this actuality is highly linear with that of wood lanes or lanes that have not been oiled in a long time. Harder lane materials usually require more ball surface whilst softer lanes demand less ball surface. Fact: You will never meet a professional bowler of today that dislikes a good amount of texture on their ball. Why? Not only do they recognize the fact that when a ball rolls into the pocket it carries significantly better than a ball that skids into the pocket, but it also reduces the vast majority of any over/under reaction tendencies; a bowler’s worst nightmare. Not saying polish on a ball is a bad thing by any means, just that there's a time and place for both and it's the bowler's responsibility to know when to use it.

WHAT IS SPEED?

Bowlers with high ball speeds and without the revs to match can be considered “speed dominant.” They will typically favor more aggressive surfaces and layouts to help their ball pick up sooner on the lane. “Rev dominant” players with slower ball speeds typically like less aggressive balls, layouts, and surfaces to help prevent their ball from overreacting. Did you know that your ball decelerates as it travels down the lane? Depending on its surface, it can lose 3-5mph every shot. So, when you see the speedometer clock your ball on the scoring monitor, it’s taking that measurement down by the pins, not at your release.

WHAT IS REV RATE?

Rev rate is a calculation of the amount of revolutions a bowler imparts on a ball. The common unit used is revolutions per minute, or RPM. Over the years, bowlers have generalized the RPM gamut into three categories: stroker, tweener, and cranker. Understanding your rev rate (and its relationship with your speed, axis tilt/rotation) is important because it helps to categorize your specific needs as a bowler. Knowing what type of ball to buy, what techniques need to be applied, or the type of wrist device needed all depend heavily on your rev rate.

WHAT IS AXIS TILT?

Axis tilt is the vertical angle at which the ball rotates. Commonly known as spin, axis tilt is determined by the position of the thumb during the release. If the hand turns too early, the thumb exits on top of the ball. Bowlers with a high degree of axis tilt will be able to see the top of their hand during the release and follow through. The resultant path of a ball with a higher degree of axis tilt is extended and the amount of backend potential is reduced. Oily lanes become quite difficult when the core is rotating in a vertical fashion but is actually favored on drier lanes. Being able to have the thumb exit at the bottom of the forward swing minimizes axis tilt. The lower the axis tilts, the sooner the ball will enter its roll phase before making impact with the pins.

WHAT IS AXIS ROTATION?

Axis rotation is the horizontal measure of the angle of the ball’s revolutions, and much like axis tilt, it is also determined by the bowler’s release. Axis rotation is commonly known today as side roll. When the ball has no axis rotation, the fingers exited directly underneath the ball at the 6 o’clock position. End-over-end roll (0° of axis rotation) removes all hook potential from the ball regardless of the amount of revolutions, speed, or lane conditions. High amounts of axis rotation (90° of rotation) will cause the ball to skid further, but unlike axis tilt, will cause an intense hook angle at the breakpoint. Players with high amounts of axis rotation will favor drier lanes, and lower amounts of axis rotation usually like more oil. Higher amounts of friction will cause the ball to lose axis rotation at higher rates. Initial axis rotation, ball speed, axis tilt, and lane friction all dictate when side revolutions become end-over-end revolutions. Generally speaking, balls skid, then hook, then roll. Less rotation will shorten the skid phase and get the ball into the hook phase earlier, while maximum rotation will extend the skid phase of the ball and increase its hook potential down lane. Manipulating your axis rotation is a valuable tool because it will change the ball’s reaction while still allowing you to stay in the same part of the lane and use the same break point. Ideally, you would like to limit lateral moves on the lane because it forces you to make multiple adjust­ments with speed, tilt, etc. and often, particularly on challenging conditions, the zone you’re going to have to play and the break point are pretty defined.


Through practice, you can alter or enhance your ball speed, rev rate, axis tilt, and axis rotation. The best bowlers in the world have the ability to manipulate any and/or all of these at a moment’s notice. Furthermore, having a solid understanding of surface and when to use it is equally as essential. Technology of the sport today only enhances the subtleties of your game. Rubber balls and wooden surfaces did not place an emphasis on shot making versatility. Ball technology and oil patterns of the modern era force quick-changing conditions and different parts of the lane to be utilized that were not in play thirty years ago. Knowing your roll is more important now than ever before.


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.

 


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).


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).


Coach Mike Jasnau at Coconut Bowl in Sparks During 2020 USBC Open Championships

Coach Mike Jasnau is partnering up with Coconut Bowl in Sparks, Nevada and will be offering video analysis lessons from March 23 through July 2, 2020. Jasnau, a PBA Champion and long-time Storm Staffer has been coaching professionally for over 20 years and has done well over 10,000 video analysis lessons. Many of you have probably seen Mike on Lane 81 at The National Bowling Stadium in Reno, where he coached for the last 20 years. Over that time, he's proven himself to be a great coach for all abilities from beginners to the numerous PBA and PWBA Champions that he works with on a regular basis.

"I'm looking forward to being set up at Coconut Bowl and being able to continue to offer my coaching services to the many bowlers competing in the USBC Open Championships and any local bowlers who'd like to get more out of their games,” Jasnau said. “Having the use of the SPECTO tracking system for my sessions is a huge bonus as seeing and knowing the stats can help accelerate the learning process," states Jasnau.

Available lesson times and dates may vary and be limited, so be sure to book your session ahead of time to help ensure that you get to take advantage of working with one of the top coaches in the country.

The 90-minute Video Analysis lesson including SPECTO is $160 and the 60-minute Video Analysis lesson (without SPECTO) is $120. Both lessons include on lane instruction and a flash drive with video and audio of the lesson. All junior bowlers will be given a $20 discount off of regular pricing.

You can book you lesson with Mike now by clicking on the following link: https://mike-jasnau-bowling.square.site/

Follow CoachMikeJasnau on Facebook or contact him through email at bowlbetter@hotmail.com.


Another Winning Weekend For Team Storm

What a great weekend on the lanes for Team Storm!

Throughout the year, Our Team Storm players travel throughout the United States and around the world competing in events. The athletes represent the brands of Storm and Roto Grip on and off the lanes meeting fans and dedicating themselves to the demanding conditions.

The PBA Tour players competed for their third major title in a row at the 2020 US Open. After 56 games, three Team Storm and Roto Grip players Anthony Simonsen, Jason Belmonte, and Chris Via qualified for the championship stepladder.

Ultimately, Jason Belmonte, defeated Anthony Simonsen 226-201 in the title match to claim the green jacket and $30,000 top prize.

“If you watch Anthony bowl as much as I have, he’s a big moment player,” Belmonte said. “Needing three strikes to tie or to win, he’s not afraid of that moment. I didn’t want to give him that opportunity.”

This victory helped Belmonte become only the second PBA Player in PBA History to complete the Super Slam (US Open, USBC Masters, PBA Tournament of Champions, PBA World Championship, and PBA Players Championship).

“My 12th major championship victory and the one I wanted so much,” Belmonte said in the USBC Press Release. “To wear the green jacket and hold the eagle is one of the proudest moments of my career.”

The PWBA Regional Tour traveled to East Providence and Gazmine “GG” Mason defeated Summer Jasmin 238-174 to earn her second career PWBA Regional Title at the PWBA East Providence Regional. She used her Roto Grip Hyper Cell Fused.

“Today, I was really focused on myself and my game plan and knowing my tendencies,” said Mason. “During practice, I made a move in between some shots to see if I had any miss room or if I could be deeper on the left lane. I chose to allow Summer to start the match, which allowed me to finish on the lane that hooked more. I felt if I were to throw one a little faster, it would have a better chance of getting to the pocket in comparison.”

In addition, the Texas State Queens had a strong representation from Team Storm and Roto Grip. Diana Zavjalova claimed the tiara over Team Storm teammate, Stephanie Schwartz.  

“I used Storm PITCH PURPLE and Hyroad Pearl on a very challenging pattern and I am very proud of the clarity I had of seeing the lanes and making the right adjustments.” Zavjalova said.

Rounding out the top 10 were Stefanie Johnson (3) , Genie Franklin (4),  Marianna Noordhoek (6), Carolyn Dorin-Ballard (7), and Tina Williams (8).

Tom Hess rounded out a successful weekend for Team Storm by picking up the title at the Ebonite Fall Classic in Waterloo.

“What started as a very difficult day on the lanes ended up with a win,” Hess said. “I fell from 1st to 3rd during the 6 games this morning. Used an IdolPearl to win my first two matches before switching to this Roto Grip NuclearCell to get the win.”

Though he took a short break from the PBA Tour, he’ll be returning to the action this week at the Indianapolis Open and Roth/Holman Doubles.

As a reminder, you can follow all the Team Storm and Roto Grip players from the PBA Tour all week long on Flobowling.