AMF OMG! Pearl

by Bob Johnson 0

48.5 Hook 16 Length 16 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The new symmetric Hula core boasts an RG of 2.57 to create later and stronger revs downlane. The .045 Diff can create nearly 5” of track flare with strong layouts. Note to exercise enthusiasts: the core shape is similar to that of a shake weight.

Coverstock: The quick-responding F73 pearl coverstock is colored with black and yellow pearls. The high factory polish limits oil traction significantly while enhancing dry lane response. Most of AMF’s covers rated F70 and higher are designed for added traction contingent on surface preparation.

Manufacturer’s Intent: Eric Thomas, AMF brand manager, said this: “The OMG! Pearl is designed to complement our extreme hook in the box OMG! released earlier this year. This aggressive pearl version features a different core shape. The Pearl will have more skid/flip than our previous Shredder and Sideways releases, making this our strongest back-endi ball to date.”

Test Results: Benchmark balls are all about control and predictability, typically with a slower response off friction. The opposite holds true for skid/flip balls. With box finish, the OMG! Pearl falls into the skid/flip category, best suited for light to medium oil volumes for most release styles. Total hook is slightly above average for a highly polished pearl, yet quite a bit less than the solid OMG’s 57 rating given in the June 2011 issue. Those interested in bridging the gap could adjust the OMG pearls cover to 1000 sanded with a mid polish added.

When to Use: This ball is best when trying to open up launch angles and provide an angular move downlane. Strong drilling layouts, such as a 4.5” pin above the fingers, will enhance this aggressive motion. The OMG’s cover/core combo rewarded us with well above-average pin carry on any medium volume oil pattern with clean backends. Unfortunately, this was not the case when we encountered oil carrydown. Generally, a light scuffing with a sanding pad can help provide added cover-friction to navigate through these muddy waters. Overall, the OMG offers above-average performance at a modest price point.

Bob Johnson

Bob Johnson has received more national writing awards than any other bowling writer — close to 70 over the course of his 40-year career. He began at age 16 as a staff writer and then assistant editor for the weekly Pacific Bowler newspaper in his native California, and within three years was writing feature stories for Bowlers Journal. He has written for the magazine ever since, except for a five-year span when he was hired as the founding editor of another magazine. He moved to Chicago in 2000 and spent 13 years in the Windy City, including five as Bowlers Journal’s Editor. In 1975, Johnson received the Robert E. Kennedy Award as California’s top undergraduate high school journalist. Five years earlier, on the lanes, he had shared the Bantam Division Doubles championship in the Orange County Junior Bowling Association Championships. Today, he continues to work full-time for Bowlers Journal as its Senior Editor, to write his popular “Strikes Me” column, and to edit Luby Publishing Inc.’s weekly business-to-business Cyber Report.