Ebonite: Exceed

by Bob Johnson 0

51.5 Hook 14.5 Length 15 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “The Ebonite Exceed is a great heavy oil ball complement to the Innovate [June 2012],” says Ed Gallagher, Ebonite’s brand manager. “We have wrapped the all-new HTR-3.0 Hybrid cover over the Verve Asymmetric core design. Our testers reported the Exceed was an outstanding product across all testing environments with medium to heavy oil.”

Core Design: The new Exceed shares the same mild PSA core found in the Warning Sign (December 2011) and Innovate. The RG is low at 2.49, the differential moderate at .046 and the PSA conservative at .009. Some drillers may treat this as a symmetrical when choosing a layout, while others may treat it as an asymmetric. The flare measures nearly 5.5 inches with stronger layouts.

Coverstock: The HTR 3.0 hybrid formula is factory sanded with 800, 1000, 2000 and 3000 Abralon grits. This produces a 2.90 Ra reading and a 4800 average surface grit reading. Colors are a youthful mix of red, navy and yellow. This cover produces a quick response off friction areas and an average response in the oil.

Test Results: Ebonite has a long history of producing some of the best performing mid- to upper mid-priced products available. The Exceed continues this tradition as the hybrid cover has a rather wide range of usability. At box finish, the ball is best suited for medium or medium-heavy oil environments. When sanded to 500/1000, it will handle the vast majority of heavier oiled patterns. High polishing will naturally lessen oil traction and increase down-lane response, which generally is great on lighter oil volumes. The low RG core adds to the versatility as it encourages fast revs with a controlled move near the pins.

When to Use: When we test a ball with the versatility of the Exceed, it becomes more difficult to describe its ideal environments. The Exceed can be used on quite an array of patterns, and by almost all player styles. The core/cover combination will provide good looks on all but the driest and oiliest patterns that most of us typically would encounter. On all the rest, the Exceed will create adequate oil traction and a controllable down-lane move with above-average pin carry.

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.