Hammer: TNBA Rhythm

by Bob Johnson 0

50.5 Hook 14 Length 15 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “The Rhythm combines our very popular Arson core with the strongest coverstock from last season, Grand Theft Reactive,” says Hammer Brand Manager Jeff Ussery. “This creates an incredibly strong solid asymmetric ball in the Hammer line. A portion of the proceeds from every Rhythm ball sold will go to support The National Bowling Assn.”

Coverstock: The Rhythm’s coverstock was first poured on the original Taboo (January 2011). The Grand Theft reactive formula is factory sanded with 800-, 1000- and two 2000-grit Abralon pads. Coloring is a mix of purple, orange and black. The aggressive surface displays good oil traction with a quick response off drier areas on the lane. The Ra value comes in at 11.55.

Core Design: Hammer’s Arson symmetric core has an RG rating of 2.48 and a differential value of .045. We saw an average of 5 inches of track flare with strong layouts. This core design revs easily, yet still provides some back-end pop.

Test Results: The Rhythm offers bowlers a hook motion similar to the original Taboo, but with a lower-flaring core this time. The core helps usability on lesser oil volumes and for players with high rev-to-speed ratios. We actually felt the Rhythm matched up great on most medium THS and Sport shots. The roll was smooth and predictable, with no sudden change in direction when leaving the oil pattern. When polished, the Rhythm displayed some skid/flip tendencies on fresh patterns. We had good looks with our 3-, 4- and 5-inch pin distance drillings as well. This is another proven performer from the folks at Hammer.

When to Use: Players will enjoy the Rhythm on light-medium to medium volumes when using a polished surface. With factory surface, our best looks were on fresh medium oil volumes with clean backends. Our higher flaring drillings performed very well through carrydown for all but our lowest rev rate tester. Higher pin position layouts quickened responsiveness off drier boards, so choose your layouts after careful consideration. The Ebonite Blueprint software will prove very valuable in that regard.

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.