Motiv: Ascent Pearl

by Bob Johnson 0

46.5 Hook 16 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “When we spoke to pro shops across the country about where we have gaps in our product line, the most common response was that we needed something at the entry-level price,” says Scott Hewitt of Motiv Products. “We are very excited to introduce the new Ascent Pearl and Ascent Solid because they provide the performance, price point and a look that will be very attractive to entry-level bowlers.”

Core Design: Both Ascents use the Recon symmetric core design. This taller “golf tee” shape has a high RG of 2.59 with a conservative differential of .025. We saw only 3 inches of track flare with our 4.5-inch pin distance layout.

Coverstock: Supplying the necessary lane traction is the MOTIVator-Z pearl reactive cover. Colors are a bold mix of pink and purple pearls. The surface is polished with 2000 grit. Response time off friction is quick, while oil traction is very limited. The cover’s Ra value is very low.

Test Results: We were very excited to test both versions of the Ascent, as we liked the Motiv QZ lineup, which shares the same cover formula. What we saw, compared to the QZ line, was easier length and less total hook, perfect for burnt patterns. The core’s tall design encourages this front and mid-lane push, and the “Z” cover provides a moderate amount of traction. The Ascent Pearl was one to two boards stronger on most patterns than the original Recon (August 2010), primarily due to the stronger MOTIVator Z cover formula.

When to Use: Use the Ascent Pearl when facing burnt or broken-down oil patterns with moderate carrydown issues. The limited amount of flare and the medium strength cover had no difficulty creating necessary length and back-end motion. We saw a noticeably more assertive breakpoint shape with our high pin drilling above the fingers compared to below the fingers. Both balls had the pin positioned 4.5 inches from the PAP and had no weight hole drilled. The new Ascents offer plenty of performance at an entry-level price point. Kudos to Motiv for this value pricing.

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.