July 8th, 2011 | Published in Ball Reviews
Polished Pearl: 48 hook 15.5 length 15.5 breakpoint shape
Polished Solid: 49 hook 15 length 15.5 breakpoint shape
Dull Solid: 50.5 hook 14.5 length 15 breakpoint shape
Core Design: The beefy symmetric core shape boasts some pretty strong numbers at this price point. The RG is 2.51 while the Diff is .056. Testing showed a maximum of 6” of track flare with the 3 and 4” pin distance layouts.
Coverstock: The Hook will be available in three distinct varieties: a dull 4000-grit pearl, a polished pearl and a polished solid. The dull 4000-grit pearl is a blending of medium and dark blue hues. The 2000-grit polished pearl is a mix of purple and orange pearls. The lone solid variation also is sanded with 2000 grit and factory polished. Colors for the solid are a mix of yellows and reds. All three versions share the S-43 cover formula, which displays moderate oil traction with a moderately quick move off dry areas.
Manufacturer’s Intent: Eric Thomas, 900 Global’s Brand Manager, shared the following: “This new entry level series from 900 Global boasts increased core dynamics and coverstock strength, and replaces the Missing Link series by upgrading the coverstock and incorporating a stronger core. With amplified performance and lowered pricing compared to the Missing Link line, the Hook series should reinforce 900 Global’s position in this very competitive price point.”
Test Results: The intent and the findings of the new Hook ball series will satisfy many a bowler looking for strong core dynamics coupled with a versatile medium-strength cover formula. The core strength outweighs the cover strength, so bowlers will likely see most of the added hook downlane instead of upfront or in the midlane. Think of this ball design as comparable to putting a 425-h.p. engine in a Chevy Camaro.; i.e., mean power at a bargain price point.
The 4000 Grit Dull Pearl Hook will easily handle heavier volumes while still clearing the fronts with much forcing. The .056 differential allows bowlers to create as much track flare as needed to match their individual game and oil pattern volume. The S43 cover formula will not tend to burn up as quickly as stronger formulas, thus providing more play time for the consumer.
The Polished Pearl Hook possesses the most noticeable skid/flip motion shape of the three. We also saw the easiest length with this ball as the lane condition began to fry. The PP (polished pearl) created more length, and we also saw the most defined move off cleaner friction areas. Severe oil carrydown will also create some downlane wiggle with this ball, except for those with higher rev rates.
The Polished Solid version of this ball falls in the middle of hook motion, as it will read the lane slightly sooner than the pearl yet still offer a stronger move off drier areas. We felt the solid handled oil carrydown better by providing more traction. Higher ball speed players looking for a wider usability range should consider this version in the Hook series.
When to Use: As with most medium strength (S-43) cover formulas, the most favorable match-ups will typically be on many medium volume house or Sport shots. Higher speed or lower rev rate players can find uses on lighter volumes, provided they utilize longer pin distance drillings from their positive axis point. 900 Global Hook’s stronger core allows for various motion shapes through the midlane and back-end portions of the lane. Players opting for increased launch angles should utilize higher drill-to-VAL angles to insure length through the fronts with a quicker response in the lane’s backend. The three Hooks rolled great from outside angles with higher VAL-to-drill ratios, such as a 30 by 60 dual angle layout. On average, the dull was two boards stronger than the pearl. The polished solid was in the middle. All three worked well on light-medium to medium-heavy volumes. In short, they will match up best for most bowler styles on medium oil.