Hammer: Arson Hybrid

by Bob Johnson 0

50 Hook 14.5 Length 15 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “The Arson Hybrid is the ball that completes the three-ball Arson lineup,” says Hammer Brand Manager Jeff Ussery. “Now you have a steady progression from the original Arson [July 2011] to the Arson Pearl [August 2012]. The Hybrid fits right in the middle and will be the one you can use on most league conditions.”

Core Design: All three Arsons use the same proven symmetric Arson core. The RG is low at 2.48 and the differential medium at .045. Bowlers can see as much as 5 inches of track flare with stronger 3- to 4-inch pin distances with lower quadrant weight holes. This shape is both a release-friendly and very versatile design.

Coverstock: The Arson hybrid, second edition, uses the Max Control cover formula colored in silver, navy and turquoise. The factory finish is sanded with 500, 1000, 2000 and 3000 grits. This ensures a very secure mid-lane read. Response time off dry areas is slow and oil traction is slightly above average. The RA level is 4.30, which creates a secure mid-to-late mid-lane read.

Test Results: The Arson hybrid fits perfectly between the original hybrid with its 2000-grit surface and the polished pearl Arson. The factory finish with the new cover formula slows down the responsiveness somewhat off friction, but adds to the control element on more challenging lane conditions. This ball screams, “Benchmark,” with a very wide usability range for many player styles. The lower RG core numbers and core shape guarantee a smooth, controlled move from start to finish. Our 65x4x35 layout rolled very similarly to our 35x4x65 dual-angle layout, proving the core’s stability and conservativeness.

When to Use: The Arson will be a medium oil product with a controlled arcing motion when leaving the oil pattern. We saw no skid/flip tendencies with any layout or surface tweak. Our best looks were on most light to medium oil volumes, both fresh and with moderate oil carrydown. On severely broken-down patterns, we preferred our Arson pearl or even the Wrench, both of which displayed added length and flip tendencies. Hammer continues to expand its motion variety at different price points.

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.