Lane #1 Red Death Massacre

by Bob Johnson 0

58 Hook   12 Length   15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The Red Death’s symmetric Bomb Massa-core delivers an RG of 2.52 with a .038 Diff. We saw 4.5” of track flare with the 4” and 5” layouts, whereas the 6” pin still produced 3” of flare. Available in 13-16 pounds to preserve the core dynamics.

Coverstock: The Red Death’s cover is a hybrid — Pure Grip reactive. Colored in blood red and death black, it is sanded with a 2000 Abralon pad. Response time off friction is quick and above average in oil.

Manufacturer’s Intent: “Most of our balls have a heavy mid-lane roll and smoother backend, which is good for more control,” says Richie Sposato, Lane #1 honcho. “The Red Death is designed for bowlers looking for a more angular backend on oily lanes. The ball comes with the same core as the Chainsaw Massacre, but we put an all-new solid hybrid coverstock on this one to cut through oil with a big backend. Long-time Lane #1 users might recall our Black Cherry Bomb with its red/black solid cover combination and strong angular move.”

Test Results: The Red Death delivered as promised: big backend, big hook and plenty of pin carry thanks to the Diamond-shaped core. The aggressive breakpoint motion compared to that of the Dynamo series, as its move is quick and sharp. This will help rev-challenged players who have carry trouble due to a lazy breakpoint shape. Power players likely will prefer the Dynamo series as these balls tend to react more slowly and predictably to friction.

When to Use: The Red Death craves oil; without enough of it, the ball will roll up far too early for most styles. Higher speed and lower rev players will find many uses with the box finish; others will prefer 4000 or some polish to facilitate easier length and/or more backend attitude. Our favorite layouts were pins positioned above the fingers between 3.5 and 5” from the PAP. For added length, Sposato says balls should preserve at least ½-oz. positive side weight. He also says earlier and smoother downlane moves can be accomplished with near zero or negative side weights.

— Joe Cerar Jr.

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.