Columbia 300: The Classic U2

by Bob Johnson 0

44 Hook 13 Length 12.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturers Intent: “The Classic U2 is exactly what you would expect out of a urethane ball,” says Bugsy Kelly. “It is smooth and controllable, and devastates the pins in the right environment. The Classic U2 is an excellent choice for higher rev rates, slower ball speeds, and tough and dry conditions.”

Core Design: The Resurgence symmetric core appears in yet another ball from Columbia 300. The low-rated RG of 2.46 will help get things started, while the .040 core will provide enough flare for light to medium oil volumes for most bowler styles.

Coverstock: The Classic’s urethane coverstock is old school, for sure, but the new generations roll better than those from two decades ago. The surface is sanded with 500, 1000 and 2000 grits, which produced ample length and traction on light to medium oil volumes. Oil traction is only slightly below average, while response time off friction areas is slow and controlled. The Ra level is medium-low.

Test Results: So who needs a urethane ball, anyway? High-rev guys (and gals), slow-speed types, those bowling on challenging oil patterns, those needing a spare ball, and those having difficulty on their typical house condition. Kind of sounds like most of us, huh? The Classic U2 can be used in the dry areas, providing one’s ball speed is above turtle velocity. Since urethane covers respond slowly to friction, you won’t see any skid/flip motion from the Classic U2, regardless of layout choice or surface prep. The ball displayed surprisingly good hitting power and pin carry from the third arrow to the gutter. Higher rev rates will obviously allow for uses well inside the third arrow (on the appropriate oil pattern, that is).

When to Use: Since the Classic U2 needs and loves friction, we could play near or in the burn and still see length and a controlled back-end motion. With urethanes, we’ve learned that the breakpoint must occur earlier than when using a reactive due to the slower, more gradual read in the dry. That said, some may need to sand the Classic U2 with lower grits to produce less length and an earlier breakpoint. We found sanding with 1000 grit created a 2-foot earlier breakpoint without causing early hook-stop. This can be beneficial when bowling on oil patterns with moderate amounts of oil carrydown.

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.