December 6th, 2011 | Published in Ball Reviews
55 Hook 14.5 Length 16 Breakpoint Shape
Core Design: The Predator core is an asymmetric powerhouse. It revs up rather easily with its center-heavy design and low 2.46 RG. The Diff is maxed out to .060 and the mass bias is .015. Testing showed nearly 7” of track flare, which can be obtained with strong layouts; a 300+ rev rate helps as well.
Coverstock: The Raptor’s Formula 7 cover comes with a 4000-grit wet sand. Coloring is black with deep purple. The cover is formulated with a chemically increased Ra value. This increases lane friction off drier boards while reducing friction in oil. The cover had a quick and strong response to dry areas with average oil traction.
Manufacturer’s Intent: “The Raptor P7 features Formula-7™ Reactive coverstock technology. It was engineered with new chemistry and additive packages to provide excellent length with a strong back-end motion and continuation. The new Predator core complements the shell perfectly,” said Motiv’s Scott Hewitt.
Test Results: Knowing the power we held in our hands, we opted to begin testing on a 44’ PBA Shark pattern and a 28 ml. volume house shot. The Raptor ate up both patterns at box finish, playing near the oil line at 14 board. As the patterns broke down, the Raptor continued to make the corner as we steadily moved deeper inside. We were able to play 2-3 boards deeper inside than with a like-drilled Cruel (Sept. 2010), as the Raptor responded more quickly at friction points on the lane. The core design fits the new cover aggressiveness perfectly, so our moves were consistently predictable.
When to Use: The Raptor requires oil up front and in the midlane for proper energy retention and satisfactory pin carry. Lighter oil required surface polishing to add length. We did not see side-to-side targeting friendliness on some of the wet/dries we tested. In this environment, we preferred 1k and 2k sandings to tame down the response off drier areas. Our testers also felt the core design offers a range of motion shapes contingent on layout choice. I also suggest viewing some of Justin Wi’s online videos to fully appreciate the Raptor’s motion range.