Motiv: Venom Strike

by Bob Johnson 0

53 Hook 14.5 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “The Venom Strike blends the lane with ease,” says Scott Hewitt. “The proven Gear core at the heart of the Venom Strike has a low RG for easy revs and a low differential to tame track flare and retain striking power. The cover on the Venom Strike is very advanced for the category. We modified the Atomix shell that was utilized on the Sigma Tour [September 2011], to develop a specialized cover for the Venom Strike called Atomix Arc Solid Reactive. While the Venom Strike’s natural environment is light to medium oil, some high-level bowlers may like playing a straighter line on fresh medium-heavy oil shots.”

Core Design: The Gear symmetric core shape revs quickly with its 2.48 RG. The .034 differential gives us nearly 4 inches of track flare with stronger 3- and 4-inch pin distance layouts. This core was first used in the Motiv GT-1 (May 2009).

Coverstock: The newly formulated Atomix solid reactive cover responds somewhat slowly off friction while supplying average traction in oil. The factory surface is sanded with a 3000 grit, which is perfect for most THS patterns and medium Sport volumes. Colors are a mix of navy blue and neon orange. The Motiv snake logo is neon green.

Test Results: During testing sessions, we always enjoy balls such as the Venom Strike, which have perfectly matched cover-to-core strengths. We saw extended usability on both fresh and broken-down house shots from a multitude of angles. With the smooth, slow response off drier boards, we could maintain slightly more closed angles at box surface. With Motiv’s Gel polish, players will see added length, but with a more controlled, even read downlane. Pay attention to pin distance to regulate track flare, as our 5.5-inch pin flared only 2 inches, which was perfect for fried lanes.

When to Use: Players looking for controlled power for most medium volumes will enjoy the Venom Strike’s range of use. We easily saw 3 to 5 boards more total hook than from our same-surfaced Ascent solid (July 2012), which is best on lighter patterns. On extreme wet/dry lanes, the Venom Strike will temper any oil or dry under/over reactions with the matched core/cover. On heavier patterns, play more direct or lower the grit to 1000 or so, and you can easily swing it a few added boards. Motiv continues to impress us with each new release.

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.