Hammer: Arson Pearl

by Bob Johnson 0

48 Hook 15.5 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “Arson Pearl takes the mid-lane features of the Arson [July 2011] and pushes them farther down the lane for a more angular backend response,” says Jeff Ussery. “With Hammer’s Max-Corner Reactive Pearl coverstock, the Arson Pearl is the perfect option on medium oil lane conditions.”

Core Design: The Arson Pearl shares the same symmetric core found in the original Arson. The RG is low at 2.48, while the .045 differential is medium. We saw 5 inches maximum track flare. The Arson core remains one of our favorites.

Coverstock: The new Max-Corner pearl cover is colored with red and turquoise. The surface is sanded with 500, 1000 and 2000 grits prior to the factory-applied high-gloss polish. Oil traction is limited, while dry traction response is quick. This cover has a very low Ra reading, perfect for light to medium oil volumes.

Test Results: The Arson Pearl could be classified as a benchmark pearl for many. It possesses all the attributes deemed necessary for this honor: a release-friendly core; a versatile, user-friendly, medium-strength coverstock formula; and above-average hitting and carry power. These attributes, plus the fact that it houses an arcing symmetrical core shape, solidify this badge. When compared to the original Arson, we saw 2 to 3 boards less overall hook, mostly in the first 40 feet or so. After the 40-foot mark, the new pearl responded more quickly and more angularly as well. It also displayed more roll in the midlane due to our test drill layouts.

When to Use: Use the Arson Pearl on fresh or broken-down, medium oil volume patterns. Most players whose rev rate matches their ball speed will find that the ball offers easy push, a strong roll in the midlane, followed by a strong arcing breakpoint shape. Sanding the surface with the same 2000 grit as the original Arson resulted in more mid-lane and back-end hook. The Max-Corner coverstock provides more overall lane traction when in oil and off friction.

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.