Brunswick Karma Pearl

by Bob Johnson 0

45 Hook 16 Length 15 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The Karma Solid and Pearl share the same medium 2.53 RG, and Brunswick maintains the same .040 Differential rating on all cores in 12 through 16 pounds. This consistency helps players using lighter weights produce enough track flare for stronger back-end ball motion.

Coverstock: The blue and green pearlized version of the Karma is destined for use on high friction areas. The surface is finished the same as the solid version, but appears shinier due to the pearl additive. Response time also is moderate off drier boards, and oil traction is very limited.

Manufacturer’s Intent: Bill Orlikowski said this: “Our intent for the Karma Blue Green Pearl was to add an affordable performance ball that would expand the range of motion in our current product line, especially on medium to light oil.”

Test Results: When comparing like-drilled Karma balls, the pearl edition was 2-3 feet later and had 2-4 boards less overall hook compared to the solid on most test patterns. Both gave us our best looks on light to medium oils regardless of layout. Our choices were 3, 4 and 5” pin distance from the PAP, but none ever gave us great looks on heavier volumes due to the mildness of the coverstock formulation. Brunswick’s design team likes to match cover and core strength, and the Karma line marries a mild cover with a low-medium strength core. The end result is easy usability on shorter and low oil volumes where bowlers can play near the friction areas of the ball track.

When to Use: Playing near the ball track on either Sport or house shots can improve pin carry for lower rev rates by allowing the ball to retain axis rotation longer, thereby increasing one’s entry angle. Less overall ball motion often can improve scorability by increasing hold area in the oil and reducing over-hook if we miss into the dry. Higher rev rates often don’t have these entry angle issues. The Karma line provides benchmark control, which also can help many intermediate bowlers conquer lane oil transitional phases with greater ease.

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.