Radical: Slant HD

by Bob Johnson 0

53 Hook 15 Length 16.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “Slant HD is a strong asymmetrical core ball that uses the soaker additive which removes the oil from the surface 54% quicker than balls without this enhancer,” says Phil Cardinale, Radical’s president. “The Slant HD uses the same booster core as in the original Slant [May 2011], but we have increased the density of the flip block, boosting the differential.”

Core Design: The Slant HD (high differential) core boasts a 2.47 RG, a .054 differential and a .026 mass bias strength. The strong intermediate diff (mass bias) can help shape the motion path dramatically. We saw a maximum of 7 inches of track flare. Our favorite “oil” drilling used a 60×5.5×20 P3 dual angle layout.

Coverstock: The Slant HD (highly defined) soaker cover formula responds quickly off friction. The HD’s colors are a fusion of midnight and light blues. The factory surface is 1500-grit polished. Oil traction is limited with this finish, yet can be altered easily for heavier oil volumes. The factory finish produces a low Ra value.

Test Results: Having been impressed by the three earlier Slant balls (solid, October 2011; pearl, May 2011; and hybrid, January 2012), we were curious what the new HD edition would offer. We used our standard dual angle control layout of 60×4.5×40 for comparative purposes. This layout positions the pin above the ring finger for our 300 and 425 rev rate testers. The Slant HD provided similar length to the pearl and hybrid Slants, but easily flipped harder off the spot. The increased core differential and HD cover formula were the contributing factors for this increased response. The Slant HD is a true skid/flip ball for medium to medium-heavier oil volumes. Speed-dominant types could require a touch of surface scuffing to lessen front- and mid-lane length, though. Total hook was generally 1 to 3 boards stronger than the other balls.

When to Use: Being a true skid/flip ball, the new Slant HD may not give great looks on some fresh or Sport patterns where control and predictability are needed. Radical offers the Times Up lineup for those needing control instead of a dynamic back-end ball motion. Yet on patterns where length and an aggressive breakpoint were needed, we saw that and more — great pin carry, one of the most angular breakpoint shapes and an extended amount of usability as the pattern went south.

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.