Lane #1: Bloody Panther

by Bob Johnson 0

50 Hook 15.5 Length 16 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “The Bloody Panther is designed to fill a gap between our asymmetrical core Stealth Bomber series and our lighter oil Ripsaw [October 2012] ball,” says Lane #1’s Richie Sposato. “This is our first hybrid coverstock on our true diamond core.”

Core Design: The Bloody Panther’s symmetric core shape is both fast revving and easy to read as the ball goes through the skid, hook and roll phases. We saw nearly 4.5 inches of track flare from the 2.46 RG and .043 differential. The familiar Diamond shape core returns with a vengeance.

Coverstock: The Bloody Panther incorporates one of Lane #1’s best medium oil coverstock formulas, Bleeder 9.7. The blood red and black colored cover is now in hybrid form. Factory finish is a 6421 compound polish times two. The end result is a glossy sheen, which is destined for use on most light-medium to medium oil volumes. The Ra measures 2.0 and the effective surface grit is 5300. Response time off dry is quick and strong, and oil traction comes in slightly less than average.

Test Results: The Bloody Panther is a medium oil ball that delivers an aggressive back-end motion shape. On some of the test patterns we saw what could be described as major skid/flip. But on most of the patterns, especially after transition, we saw more of a hard arc breakpoint downlane. The core delivers predictability and angularity, while the cover responds quickly off drier areas in the final 20 feet. Usability was above average, as was pin carry. The only pattern that created some control issues was a heavier volume fresh house application. On it, we saw some over/under with box finish, which a light scuffing improved.

When to Use: Use for most light-medium to medium oil volumes when the backend has experienced some moderate oil carrydown. “It’s a great game 2 and 3 ball,” said one tester, as he fired a 300 and 258 back to back. (It was difficult to get him to put the ball away and test the others.) On heavier oil, players can opt to scuff the surface with 1000 to 4000 grits, or simply use a Maxx Curve (November 2011) or Stealth Bomber (August 2012).

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.