July 8th, 2011 | Published in Ball Reviews
54 Hook 12 Length 14.5 Breakpoint Shape
Core Design: The Black Panther shares the same low RG core found in the original Pink Panther. The symmetric design boasts an RG of 2.46 and a .043 Diff. We saw 5” of track flare with the 3 and 4” layouts.
Coverstock: The ION reactive coverstock formula craves oil. The surface is sanded with 2000 grit and appears even duller. Response time off drier boards is moderate, while oil traction is above average.
Manufacturer’s Intent: “With the success of the Pink Panther, we wanted a stronger version for heavier oil,” said Lane #1’s head honcho, Richie Sposato. “We surrounded our oversized, patented diamond core with an all new ION coverstock, then finished it with 2000 Abralon, for a stronger bite on heavy oil.”
Test Results: Heavy roll with a strong midlane arc sums up the new Black Panther’s persona. The 2000 matte finish helps the low RG core start its early roll even earlier while tempering the angularity downlane. Speed-dominant players, or those playing outside angles, will find many uses for the Black Panther. When we ventured to deeper inside lines of attack, only our higher rev rate testers saw a quick response to dry and one that also was strong enough. A sanding to 4000k, or mid-polishing, helped the rest of the testers see easier push and and increased back-end motion. When compared to a similarly drilled Pink Panther (reviewed in the November 2010 Bowlers Journal), the Black Panther was 2.5 to 3’ earlier and much more arcing in the last 20 feet.
When to Use: Use when bowling on medium to heavier volumes of oil, and when looking for a smooth, arcing finish. On longer patterns, we felt longer pin distance drillings retained energy better, especially for medium and slower ball speeds. Higher speed players had great looks with stronger 4” pins providing they played well inside the oil line. We also noticed the Black Panther was easy to read as the lanes transitioned, via simple parallel moves inside the oil. The Black Panther joins a long list of fast-revving, oil-loving balls from Lane #1.