Hammer: Infection

by Bob Johnson 0

55 Hook 14.5 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The Biohazard asymmetric core boasts a medium RG level of 2.50. The Diff comes in at .055 and the intermediate Diff is .011. We saw nearly 6” of track flare with the 4 and 5” layouts. The core also is used in Hammer’s heavy oil Plague.

Coverstock: The Infection features an all-new Level 3 coverstock, which is formulated to create added friction in oil and off the dry. The cover’s enhanced porous structure incorporates added texture for increased traction. Colors are fuzed blues, greens and black. The sanded process uses 800, 1k, 2k and 4k Abralon pads. Response time off dry is quick, while oil traction is above average.

Manufacturer’s Intent: According to Hammer’s press release, the new Infection incorporates the Plague Biohazard core with a stronger coverstock formula for a stronger version of the popular Plague.

Test Results: The first pattern we threw the Infection’s way was the Mexico City 45’, 2-1 ratio, heavy oil Sport pattern. With box finish, the Infection played fine with closed launch angles around boards 12-13. Pin carry was very good with pins both above and below the fingers at a 4.5” distance from the PAP. When compared to a like-drilled Taboo, the Infection read the lane about a foot sooner with about 1-2 boards more total hook. Breakpoint shape was very similar between these two superstars. With a 500-grit sanding, we saw an even stronger midlane read, plus an additional 2 to 3 boards of total hook.

When to Use: The Infection will play great on most medium and heavier patterns, as will Hammer’s Taboo and Plague. All three will supply bowlers with a variety of downlane hook motions contingent on layout choice and surface prep. Highly polished, the Infection reminded us of a pearl Black Widow, albeit with a touch more total hook due the Level 3 cover formula. The medium level RG and hefty Diff will undoubtedly help rev-challenged releases open up many house patterns with aggressive drilling patterns. High-rev bowlers can tame down any over-reaction with lower pin layouts and/or weaker pin locations.

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.