March 16th, 2013 | Published in Ball Reviews
47 Hook 16 Length 16 Breakpoint Shape
Manufacturer’s Intent: “When we designed the 503A, we were looking for something that would complement our other offerings in the 500 series,” says Rich Hanson, Track’s brand manager. “The 508A [February 2012] offered the reaction people expect from our “A” series, with a touch stronger read of the midlane. With the 503A, we wanted to go with the traditional skid/flip type of reaction.”
Core Design: The 503A has the same asymmetric Packman core found in the 503C (July 2011) and 503T (not reviewed). The RG is 2.51, with a .057 differential. The PSA is .003, which is rather low, allowing for symmetric drilling layouts if preferred.
Coverstock: The Gen MA (Moderate Angle) coverstock is destined for use on light to medium oil volumes. Colors are a fusion of black, purple and red. The surface is sanded with 800, 1000 and 2000 grit Abralon and finished with Powerhouse polish. The Ra measurement of 1.55 and 5350 effective surface grit reading are great on lighter oil concentrations. Response time is quick off drier areas, and oil traction is very limited.
Test Results: The 503A impressed us with its ability to negotiate the driest of head and mid-lane sections during our testing rigors. We also were impressed with the breakpoint angle it created on broken-down patterns with clean backends. Hitting and carry power also were quite good when presented with this type of lane condition. On heavier patterns and those with carrydown in play, the 503A had some difficulty making the corner for our group. Our options were to lightly scuff the surface or use a stronger ball such as the 718A (February 2011) or 912T (July 2012). Our preferred layouts for a stronger skid/flip motion positioned the pin above the fingers and the PSA marking about 1 inch right of the thumb hole.
When to Use: Use confidently on light or drier broken-down oil patterns with reasonably clean backends. Higher rev rate players may be able to overcome added carrydown, while the rest of the bowling world will simply choose a stronger ball option. The 503A also matched up well on a medium volume fresh house shot when we played in the friction area of the ball track. On that shot, we preferred our pin positioned near grip center. Track has produced some of the better mid-priced choices in the marketplace.