Radical: Time’s Up Solid

by Bob Johnson 0

50 Hook 13 Length 15 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “The Time’s Up solid has the same Bull’s-Eye core featured in the Time’s Up pearl [October 2011], but we beefed up the coverstock to give it more teeth,” says Phil Cardinale, Radical’s president and chief ball designer. “[It] hooks a bit more than the pearl but is stronger in the midlane and very continuous. My goal was to create big-time performance for the price.”

Coverstock: The Time’s Up solid’s cover is sanded at 4000 grit to supply a strong mid-lane presence. The responsiveness off friction is moderately quick, while oil traction is above average. The cover is colored in reds and blacks. The Ra level measured in at 18.26.

Core Design: The symmetric Bull’s-Eye core features a medium 2.53 RG with a .041 differential. We saw nearly 4.5 inches of track flare with our 3- and 4-inch pin distance layouts. This core provides just enough track flare for very good back-end continuation.

Test Results: This ball provides a decidedly earlier and stronger read in the midlane than the pearl version, with the breakpoint occurring nearly 3 feet earlier. We also saw a much longer yet smoother breakpoint shape when leaving the oil pattern. The solid played very well on our medium to heavier THS patterns, regardless of length. We also appreciated the friendliness offered by the solid when encountering wet/dry oil conditions. The roll characteristics were smooth, heavy and predictable.

When to Use: Phil Cardinale has been producing balls that match up well on THS patterns for more than 20 years. The Time’s Up solid hooks early and strongly enough on most heavier oil patterns, as long as the player pays attention to ball speed. We had very good looks on all THS and most Sport patterns. Since the ball creates a strong mid-lane motion, players will be able to see the breakpoint on most patterns. Seeing the breakpoint is essential to help read the pattern and score in today’s game, regardless of skill level. For a mid-priced ball, the Time’s Up solid offers high performance.

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.