Lane #1: Ripsaw

by Bob Johnson 0

47.5 Hook 16 Length 15 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “We needed to fill a gap between our dry lane and medium oil balls,” says Richie Sposato of Lane #1. “To do so, we added a flip block on top of the Chainsaw SOS core, increasing the differential and RG. This enables the ball to cut through carrydown and turn the corner when you have to play on broken-down lanes. This ball will also give you added pop down the lane on fresh conditions with dry backends, if need be.”

Core Design: The symmetric Diamond Cut core shape is a kicked-up version of that in the original Chainsaw SOS (October 2011). The RG is bumped from 2.53 to 2.59 and the differential from .013 to .045. We saw nearly 5 inches of track flare, mostly downlane.

Coverstock: The blue and orange solid Bleeder reactive coverstock is medium in strength when compared to most Lane #1 covers. The surface is sanded with a “T” pad from the neaT system (4000-5000 grit). The Ra value is low. Response time off friction is quick. Oil traction is very limited.

Test Results: The Chainsaw SOS was one of our favorite dry-lane specialties from Lane #1 last season. This season, we are treated to a slightly stronger version due to the cover upgrade and the added flip block. Overall, the total hook was increased three to four boards and length was decreased a foot or so. Hitting and pin carry power are vintage Lane #1 as its diamond-shaped cores are some of the industry’s best available. The bowler-friendly “T” grit surface handles carrydown with ease, yet still will match up best on light-medium to medium volumes for most bowler styles.

When to Use: Since the Ripsaw’s core RG is so high, don’t expect it to start up too easily or quickly. This delay in core dynamics adds length and helps conserve back-end motion characteristics. We saw moderate skid/flip motion on some test patterns, but not when oil carrydown was present. Our best looks were in lighter oil or on broken-down oil patterns when a late, slightly angular backend was needed. Considering all the super-hookers that Lane #1 has, this ball fills a definite void in the lineup.

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.