Hammer: Arson Low Fare

by Bob Johnson 0

47 Hook 14.5 Length 14 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: Jeff Ussery’s press release states, “Arson Low Flare creates an entirely new reaction shape within the Hammer family. We started by removing nearly all the differential from the Arson core shape, creating a low RG/low differential combination. Then we’ve added the Max-Control Reactive from the Arson Hybrid [July 2011] and finished it off with a 500-grit surface. For the first time ever, we’re using Powerhouse Clean ’N Sheen on the surface, giving it a very light polished effect that leaves teeth in the surface of the ball.”

Core Design: Hammer lowered both the differential and RG of the core by eliminating the flip block used on the other Arson varieties. The RG is 2.48, while the differential reads .020. Expect to see no more than 2.5 inches of flare with most layout choices.

Coverstock: The conservative nature of the Max Control reactive coverstock helps the Arson Low Flare play great on light to light-medium oil volumes. The factory surface is sanded with 500 grit, then polished with Clean ’N Sheen, a low-grit mid-shine polish. Colors are a subtle blend of teal, red and blue hues. Oil traction is slightly limited, and response time is moderately slow. The Ra is a low 1.90 and the surface grit is 5300.

Test Results: Hammer has joined the ranks of manufacturers introducing lower differential cores into their mid-to-premium performance lines. The mid-priced Arson Low Flare provided us with outstanding control and usability on many light to medium volume patterns. The main attribute of lower differential balls is that they require fewer moves during transition. They also play well in the hands of higher rev rate players or those in the over-50 group who just don’t generate enough ball speed. When used with an arcing, somewhat slower response cover formula, the ball is easier to stay with, especially on your typical house pattern.

When to Use: Since the Arson LD plays great on lower oil volumes, it stands to reason it can also play well on broken-down and late-shift lane conditions. Hammer has many premium and mid-priced super-hookers to handle the heavier stuff, so we were glad to see the company offer a more controlled motion to complement the Vibe and Nail series.

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.