Elite: Saber

by Bob Johnson 0

53 Hook 14.5 Length 14.5 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The Attack symmetric core in the new Saber is conservatively shaped, which can produce a smooth arcing down-lane move. The low RG is 2.48 on a 15-lb. ball with a .038 Diff. We saw 4.5” of track flare with the 3.5 and 4.5” pin distance layouts. A 14-lb. core came in at 2.54 and .034. A 16-pounder was 2.49 and .043.

Coverstock: The FX95 is all about a strong mid-lane. This cover is also used on the skid/flip Sabotage (April 2010). Response time was quick off drier boards and slightly above average in oil. Surface finish is 2000 sanded.

Manufacturer’s Intent: The Saber’s all new Attack core with the FX95 Reactive Cover is a winning combination. Out of the box, the Saber will hook a bit sooner and have a smoother back-end reaction than the Elite Sabotage. This is ideal when wanting to keep a straighter line.

Test Results: We were excited to throw this new entry because of the new core design and aggressive FX95 cover formula. In short, the Saber will demand at least medium oil from foul line to breakpoint in order to conserve enough dynamics to strut its stuff. On this appropriate lane pattern, the Saber revved quickly and provided excellent mid-lane traction with a continuous breakpoint shape through the pin deck. Carry power was good for our low and medium rev-rate testers, and well above average for our high-rev guys. We all felt the core shape was very release-friendly; our little mistakes went mostly unnoticed by the pins.

When to Use: Players with higher speed-to-rev ratios will find the most uses, as will those encountering longer and heavier oil patterns. Applying mid-polish encouraged a bit more length, yet the breakpoint remained relatively smooth when encountering friction. On our PBA Experience patterns (Shark and Viper) and Kegel’s Highway to Hell, the box finish was perfect for the entire test group. We saw proper midlane balance and some forgiveness at the breakpoint. Our top layouts for oilier lanes had drilling angles between 30° and 60° with Val angles near 35°.

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.