900 Global: Hook Black/Silver Pearl

by Bob Johnson 0

47 Hook 15.5 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “The Hook series offers big-time performance at entry-level cost,” says Eric Thomas of 900 Global. “The S43 shell (solid, pearl or hybrid) provides bowlers with options to select the coverstock which best matches their individual game and the condition they are bowling on.”

Core Design: The tall symmetric cylinder core powers all six balls in the Hook line. The core has a higher RG of 2.55, with a .046 differential. Testing showed this core can produce 5 inches of track flare with strong layouts and lower quadrant weight holes.

Coverstock: The Hook Black/Silver Pearl has the same-strength cover as the other five, the S43. The pearl version produces maximum length with a strong breakpoint shape. The surface is 2000 grit polished, but can be easily modified to suit both lane conditions and/or bowler styles. Response time in dry is quick, while oil traction is limited.

Test Results: We had great match-ups on all THS patterns as long as we stayed near friction in the midlane or farther down. Our favorite layouts used pin distances between 4 and 5 inches, either below or above the fingers. We actually saw quite a bit of difference in regard to length and breakpoint shape with these layouts, likely due to the Hook core shape. The pins positioned above were noticeably more angular, while the lower pins transitioned slower and more gradually downlane.

When to Use: Balls earning a 47 hook rating, such as the Hook Black/Silver Pearl, generally match up best on light-medium to medium oil volumes. The unique quality of this ball lies in its core shape dynamics. Taller cores can produce slightly more lope and length than shorter cores. They can also encourage a more aggressive and angular move off the spot (breakpoint). This ball will match up best for slower speed and medium to lower rev rate bowlers who desire a longer and stronger backend motion. The S43 cover strength is lower, so stay away from lanes with heavy oil unless you are an extremely rev-dominant player. The entire Hook line offers above-average performance at a lower price point.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.