Lane #1: Pink Panther

by Bob Johnson 0

50 Hook 15 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The oversized Diamond symmetric core has a 4” flaring .043 Diff rating. The low RG came in at 2.46 and, yes, this core revs fast and easy.

Coverstock: The hot pink bleeder reactive is formulated to handle the newer high viscosity oils being used at many centers. Overall traction in oil was slightly above average with box polish, and response time was quick off friction. I wouldn’t rate this cover as a true skid/flip, but more as a skid/hard arc motion on most of our patterns.

Manufacturer’s Intent: “We looked to create a ball that would cross over to the women’s market, while also sticking to our roots,” says Lane #1 boss, Richie Sposato. “We’ve brought back the hot pink color that was used on our Raspberry Buzzsaw/C2, which drew the women. We also increased the performance of the ball with an all new, beefed-up diamond core. The increased size of the diamond lowers the RG while increasing the Differential, giving the performance that men look for.”

Test Results: I was looking for some testing help from the cast of either movie — the original, or the recent remake — but sadly, that was not the case, so it was back to the original plan, where we found that the Pink Panther rolled great, struck lots and drew plenty of attention from afar. We saw very easy push through the fronts and midlane, with a crisp, hard arc off dry. Hitting power was vintage Lane #1 as it reminded me of earlier releases like the Cherry Bomb.

When to Use: Bowlers will find many uses for this ball. The Pink Panther is designed for most “house” volumes, and even some oilier lane patterns with a minor surface scuffing applied. The low RG core revs very easily and helps smooth out side to side over/under reactions, even with factory polish. Direct line players will have to drill down this core with 5.5 to 6.25” pin distances to promote additional length. Our favorite layouts were between 4 and 5” where the most downlane continuation took place. Boomers will find the Pink Panther accommodating with higher pin layouts above the fingers.

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.