Roto Grip Outlaw

by Bob Johnson 0

50.5 Hook 13 Length 15 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The new slice-of-bread type Caliber symmetric core can add 12% more energy transfer upon impact, says Roto Grip. The flip block and inner ball contribute to stability and back-end motion. The RG is medium-high at 2.57, yet it revs quickly. We saw nearly 5”of track flare from the .048 Diff.

Coverstock: The Inception solid reactive cover base is a new mix for Roto Grip, creating a higher RA value (10% more surface texture) compared to earlier covers. The black and mahogany blend is sanded with a 2000-grit Abralon pad. Oil traction came in above average, whereas responsiveness off drier areas was moderate with box finish.

Manufacturer’s Intent: The Outlaw and Bandit are this season’s replacements for the solid and pearl Nomads, said Roto Grip’s design team The hybrid Nomad Dagger is the lone survivor utilizing the rotary core. This ball is designed to match up on medium to medium-heavy oil volumes when an earlier and smooth hook motion is needed.

Test Results: The Outlaw offers yet another benchmark-type roll, but this time with a more backend attitude. We still saw a very secure midlane read, likely due to the 2k grit and stronger core/cover combo. When compared to a like-drilled Riot (March 2010), we saw 2-3 boards more total hook and a heavier midlane presence. When stacked against the super-hooker Critical Theory, the Outlaw hooked about five boards less, had similar length and finished with a more gradual breakpoint shape.

When to Use: Good match-ups will happen on fresh light-medium to medium-heavy oil volumes. The Outlaw handles the oil up front, clears the midlane and controls the backends. As the midlane oil dissipates and carrydown rears its ugly head, we made parallel moves inside the patterns and maintained good pin carry, despite its lack of angularity. After a dozen games or so, the pearlized Bandit was the better choice; it clears lighter oil concentrations more easily. Also, our best carry was from around third arrow and out, compared to angles further inside. But if you can create hand action like Wes, Ryan or Pete, this may not be an issue.

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.