December 1st, 2009 | Published in Ball Reviews
54 Hook 12 Length 14.5 Breakpoint Shape
Core Design: This ball’s Paragon core preserves the symmetry found in Brunswick’s Wild series. The RG is medium at 2.51 and the Diff strong at .045. 4.5” of flare was common with the 4 and 5” layouts.
Coverstock: The solid reactive ConneXion reactive is sanded with a 2000 Micron pad, which enhances its friction in oil. Coloring is a mix of red and purple hues. Response time was moderate off friction and above average in oil.
Manufacturer’s Intent: Notes Brunswick Product Manager Bill Orlikowski, ”The Wild Card is a solid color alternative to the Wild Thing. Same core (Paragon) same coverstock (ConneXion), with the differences being the solid color and finish of the ball. This ball is also finished first at 500, then directly jumped to a 2000 Micron pad. The Wild Card also is very complementary to the Wild Thing, Wild Ride and Maxxx Zone to create a wide range of ball motions in the High Performance line.”
Test Results: We put the Wild Card directly against a new Wild Thing and Siege, all three surfaced with a 2000 Micron pad. As expected, all three need some modicum of oil in the fronts and midlane, so we chose the PBA Shark and Kegel Dead Man’s Curve patterns. The Wild Card read the lane about a foot and a half earlier than the Wild Thing, and a foot and a half later than the Siege. Total hook also fit neatly between the two. The overall motion was very steady and smooth as the lanes went through the ugly transitional phases. Our testers preferred the 4.5 and 5.5” pin distances compared to the 3.5” the longer pins allowed us to be slightly straighter through the first 35 feet.
When to Use: The Wild Card will match up best on most medium volumes, with some uses on the heavier variety as well. Lower rev rates should utilize stronger pins as higher rev guys will likely like the 5”+ layout choices. Since the response off friction was moderate, we could square up more than one would expect for such a strong-rolling ball. High polishing created more length and lessened total hook, yet the breakpoint shape stayed essentially the same.
– Joe Cerar Jr.