Columbia 300: Outburst

by Bob Johnson 0

53 Hook 12 Length 14.5 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The Resurgence symmetric low RG core of 2.46 revs fast and easily, which promotes more midlane motion and an arcing finish. The .043 Diff gave us nearly 5” of track flare with aggressive layouts.

Coverstock: The New Era reactive-plus cover was engineered for medium-heavy to heavier oil concentrations. Oil traction was above average, and response time off drier boards was moderately slow. Colors are a blending of red and silver pearls. Box finish is a mix of 800 and 1000 Abralon pads.

Manufacturer’s Intent: Said Bugsy Kelly, Columbia 300’s Brand Manager, “This ball was intended to be a great follow-up to the Bust and to give bowlers a good 1-2 punch. The Outburst will thrive on heavy oil and be a good first ball out of the bag for most bowlers. We also wanted to produce a strong mid-performance ball.

Test Results: As promised, the Outburst reads the lane early and strong. Our best looks were using slightly more direct lines on heavier and longer patterns. When compared to a like-drilled Burst, the Outburst was 4-5 boards stronger and reacted 2-3 feet sooner. This is certainly a condition-specific ball, but can be used more frequently by players whose ball speed exceeds their rev rate. Our favorite layouts were between 4 and 5” either above or below the fingers, contingent on the length of hook zone desired. The 3-4” pin drilling should be considered primarily by speed-dominant players, or those looking for more of a hook-set reaction shape. This mid-priced entry was just a few boards shy of the total hook offered by Columbia’s High Performance Pure Physics line.

When to Use: The Outburst will perform well on longer and heavier oil concentrations, and for those requiring an earlier hook motion on their intended lane condition. The combination of the low RG core and the aggressive cover nature contribute to this reaction. We also enjoyed the Outburst when higher sanding grits or mid-polish was applied, as this increased the length through the transitions and enhanced the breakpoint shape.

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.