Brunswick: Meanstreak Brawler

by Bob Johnson 0

52.5 Hook 14.5 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “Our target was a hybrid between the original Meanstreak [December 2012] and C•(System) maxxed-out [September 2012],” says Billy Orlikowski, Brunswick’s product manager. “With its Rough Buff finish, the Meanstreak Brawler skids easily through the front part of the lane, revving strong in the midlane for a strong, continuous breakpoint. This combination of coverstock and core creates an extremely versatile motion on medium dry to medium oily lane conditions.”

Core Design: The medium RG symmetrical core incorporates more mass near the center to lower the RG to 2.53 and provide enough differential, .048. We saw nearly 5.5 inches of track flare with our 3.5-inch pin distance layout, perfect for those who want to increase total hook.

Coverstock: The Meanstreak Brawler’s cover formula is a hybrid, with a 500-grit sanded surface and a Rough Buff top coat. Brunswick calls this cover Addaptive (P+F), which stands for projection and friction. Colors are a vibrant mix of blue solid and gold and bronze pearls. Response time off dry is moderately quick and oil traction is average, yet stronger than the Meanstreak. The Ra is aggressive at 2.6, as is the effective surface grit of 5000.

Test Results: For those who felt the first Meanstreak may have gone a little too long or wasn’t quite aggressive enough through carrydown, your prayers have been answered. The new ball solves those issues with a more assertive mid-lane motion, due to the core and cover mix. Overall motion shape is more rounded (arcing) and plays well into the hands of those with firmer ball speed or lower rev rates. Testing also showed extended usability as the lanes transitioned. Moves inside still carried very well for our low, medium and higher rev rates.

When to Use: We had great looks on both fresh and slightly broken-down house or Sport patterns. The extra mid-lane motion played well into this early good look. As transition occurred, 2-1 moves or parallel moves allowed us to keep this ball in hand and continue to carry. We felt the original Meanstreak gave us a better look through later transition, as the all-pearl cover and slightly higher RG core retained energy better. The Meanstreak Brawler, as with the other three balls in the High Performance category — Meanstreak, C•(System) maxxed-out and C• (System) versa-max (March 2012) — are some of our favorite nuggets from the folks at Brunswick.

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.