Radical: Torrid

by Bob Johnson 0

46 Hook 16 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “The Torrid uses one of the most prolific cores ever developed, from the original Heat,” says Radical President Phil Cardinale. “We have taken that core technology and combined it with new coverstock technology to accommodate today’s lanes conditions, so the Torrid performs as well as its legendary predecessor. As an added bonus, we priced it in the mid-performance range.”

Core Design: The conservative symmetric core shape of the Torrid also powered the ball with which Steve Hoskins dominated on the PBA Tour a number of years back. The RG is very low at 2.46, while the differential is medium at .048. Drillings with strong layouts display nearly 5 inches of track flare.

Coverstock: The Torrid’s pearl reactive cover is infused with a mica additive. Coloring is a hot copper pearl, and the ball is 1500-grit polished at the factory. We felt oil traction is very limited, while responsiveness off drier boards is quick and strong. The Ra level is low, which contributes to the ball’s skid/flip motion.

Test Results: Having loved the original red pearl Heat from the last decade, we were excited to see how this 2012 version performed. What we saw was easy length with a quick, hard arc move downlane on most oil patterns. On the lighter patterns, we saw a skid/flip motion from deeper inside angles. When oil carrydown reared its ugly head, we needed to lightly scuff the surface to lessen down-lane oil wiggle. Hitting and carry power were excellent with our 4.5-inch pin distance (from the weight hole) layout, whereas our 6.25-inch layout created too much over/under. After plugging the 6.25-inch layout and converting it to 5.5 inches, all over/under tendencies were gone.

When to Use: Use the pearl Torrid on most light to medium oil volumes with appropriate surface tweaks. The length and strong back-end motion will entice many rev-challenged bowlers, to be sure. Those with higher ball speeds should use stronger layouts and lower sanding grits to ensure an early enough motion in the near and late midlane. Our 4.5-inch layout above the fingers matched up beautifully from game 1 to game 6 on the light THS pattern; we started at 13 and finished near board 23 in game 6. Cardinale is carefully building an excellent lineup of products for his Radical bowling company.

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.