July 8th, 2011 | Published in Ball Reviews
47 Hook 16 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape
Core Design: The hour-glass shaped symmetric core has been since the first Vibe we tested — the blue pearl in July 2006. The core is still rated at 2.51 RG and .042 Diff in 15-pounders. Bowlers will typically see nearly 4.5” of track flare with strong 3-4” pin distance layouts.
Coverstock: This new entry in the Vibe series shares the same cover formula found in the 2006 original. Hammer still calls it CT reactive. Colors this time are deep purple and lime green pearls. Response time off dry boards is quick; oil traction is very limited.
Manufacturer’s Intent: Brand Manager Jeff Ussery said this about the ball: “Grape Vibe continues our tradition of reactive balls in the Vibe line. The Grape Vibe uses a CT Reactive Pearl coverstock in combination with the Vibe core to provide length and a crisp, strong back-end move.”
Test Results: The Vibe line-up has served those looking for light-medium to medium oil volume performance. These high-performance products are often the No. 1 sell group for manufacturers due to their performance value. The Grape Vibe tested about one board stronger total hook than a similarly drilled Midnight Vibe (June 2010). Both balls need little persuasion to navigate the fronts and midlane where any semblance of oil resides. Once encountering friction, the responsiveness is both quick and decisive for all but speed dominant player types. Handed players will be able to find more uses from deeper inside angles, especially with longer pin distance drillings. Stroker types should drill this orb with higher flaring layouts of 3 to 4” to get the most out of the cover/core matchup.
When to Use: We had our best looks on fresher patterns playing near the friction line and using a more end-over-end release style. As the patterns broke down, we found that coming around the ball more at release point allowed us to circle the patterns more. On lighter and medium volume Sport patterns, we had great looks with surface grits between 1000 and 4000, which gave us added midlane traction and tempered the move downlane.