Brunswick: Alpha-Max C System

by Bob Johnson 0

55 Hook 15 Length 14.5 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The asymmetric core design for the Alpha-Max is called I Block, also used in the popular 3.5 C System. The RG level comes in at 2.53, the Diff is strong at .050, and asymmetry healthy at .017. Use discretion when choosing your layout choice as this core offers a multitude of motion shapes.

Coverstock: The black, teal and blue CFT coverstock provides the traction for the fourth edition of the C System series. This 4000 siaair-sanded cover is also the first solid reactive formula. Oil traction is above average, and response time off drier boards is moderate with all three layout choices.

Manufacturer’s Intent: “Our objective for the C (System) Alpha-Max was to develop a ball with strong pin action on long or heavy oil conditions,” says Brunswick Product Manager Billy Orlikowski. “We achieved this by creating the highest friction factor coverstock for a Brunswick ball that maintains skid through the front, a quick response to friction with a strong, continuous backend.”

Test Results: The Alpha-Max offers vintage “Ultimate Inferno” roll with a modern-day coverstock, which handles the slicker oils found today. We saw no skid/flip tendencies with any layout choice or surface change. The A-M is all about a strong mid-lane motion with very good continuation through the pindeck. Low drill and VAL angles will promote an earlier hook and roll phase, which will help speed-dominant players and those with lower rev rates on longer and heavier oil volumes. Rev-dominant styles can still enjoy this ball, but will likely need higher drill and VAL angles and weaker pin distances to help lessen total track flare.

When to Use: The Alpha-Max is designed for heavier volumes on which your favorite pearl goes too long or is too sensitive side-to-side. The ball handled wet/dry very nicely as it provided adequate oil traction inside the oil line and a controlled move off friction. Most strong solid reactives supply above-average oil traction with arcing breakpoint shapes, and the A-M follows this mantra. A plus: Brunswick covers have a long history of longevity and the ability to control oil transitional changes.

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.