Lane #1: Stealth Bomber

by Bob Johnson 0

59 Hook 12 Length 16 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “We were looking to create a different look on the lane, so we decided to delve into the high mass bias category with this stealth-shape diamond core design,” says Richie Sposato, Lane #1’s head honcho. “The high mass bias gives the ball a distinctively quicker move off the dry, allowing bowlers to have their ball turn the corner harder. Bowlers seem to like the quick transition they see down the lane, and this ball certainly does that.”

Core Design: The ball features a strong asymmetric core shape for heavier oil volume patterns. The RG is fast revving at 2.48, while the flare comes from the .050 differential. The mass bias strength is sick at a heart-pounding .027. Players can envision 7 inches of maximum track flare with strong layouts and strong releases.

Coverstock: The new High Friction hybrid coverstock is factory sanded with the nEat system at 1500 grit. Colors are a fusion of black solid and silver pearls. Oil traction registers above average, and dry lane response time is moderately quick.

Test Results: After testing the strong midlane-reading Droid series, we weren’t sure if Lane #1 could outperform that duo (Droid solid, February 2012, and Droid pearl, May 2012). Well, they did just that. The Stealth Bomber achieves this through a more aggressive cover, lower grit and a more internally powered core design. High-strength mass bias balls are all about a committed mid-lane read. This mid-lane read, married to a kick-butt coverstock, provides hook and more hook. The Stealth had 1 to 2 boards more late mid-lane and back-end motion than the Droid solid on both medium and heavier oil. When polished, it out-hooked the pearl Droid by 2 to 4 boards.

When to Use: With most of the Stealth Bomber’s hook in the late mid-lane and back-end portions of the lane on heavier volumes, most assertive bowling styles will enjoy this ball. Conservative or down-and-in types may find other Lane #1 options more in their wheelhouse, so to speak. We had great visuals and excellent pin carry when opening up the patterns and playing well inside the oil line. The factory finish was a touch too aggressive at times, so don’t be afraid to smooth with higher sanding grits or apply polish. Lane #1 has added yet another super-hooker to its already impressive stable.

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.