Ebonite Mission $250K

by Bob Johnson 0

58 Hook 14 Length 16 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The 1.0 asymmetric core shape offers a low RG of 2.49 with a Diff reading of .050. The mass bias strength comes in at .013. Testing showed nearly 6” of track flare with all three pin distances (3”, 4”, 5”) all with lower quadrant weight holes.

Coverstock: The XL1300 reactive cover is colored in black pearl. The factory finish is 800, 1, 2 and 3K grits. Oil traction is above average and response time off drier boards is moderately quick. The original red Mission used XL1200, while the Mission 2.0 featured XL1250.

Manufacturer’s Intent: Ebonite Brand Manager Ed Gallagher said, “The intent on the $250 K was to create a line extension for the successful Mission Series that enhanced the mid-lane strength and reinforced the back-end continuation. This was accomplished with the new XL1300 coverstock. The strength of the series has also been its 1.0 core design.”

Test Results: With the success of the two earlier Missions, it was inevitable that a third edition wouldn’t be far off. This new oil monger appears somewhat similar to the fast-revving, strong-arcing motion shape of the first two models. The subtle difference we noticed was a touch more total hook and angularity in the back-end portion of the lane. My suggestion to those owning one of the earlier releases would be to utilize a different layout or surface prep so as not to experience any overlap in total hook or motion shape. All three Missions offer a very secure midlane read on medium to heavier oil volumes with a strong arcing motion downlane.

When to Use: The Mission line handles oilier volumes and longer oil patterns easily. To create an aggressive, late breakpoint, bowlers may need to delay the dynamics with higher drill angles or varied pin distances, contingent on your release. It also may be necessary to polish the coverstock due to its aggressive nature. Our favorite layouts had 4” pin distances both above and below the fingers. Speed-dominant players and rev-challenged release styles are perfect fits for the Mission lineup.

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.