Roto Grip Rising Star

by Bob Johnson 0

48 Hook 15 Length 15 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The inverted Neutron symmetric core complements the cover formula for light to medium oil volumes. The RG is medium at 2.55, as is the Diff at .042. We saw nearly 4.5” of track flare with the 3 and 4” layouts. Our 5” layout flared 3”.

Coverstock: The final entry in the value-priced Shield line is the Rising Star, a hybrid version. Coloring is a 50/50 mix of black solid and 2k, or an ounce of gold pearl. The box finish is polished with Storm’s 1500 shine. Traction in oil is moderate but not skittish, while response time off drier boards is quick.

Manufacturer’s Intent: The benchmark type symmetric core, surrounded by the hybrid cover, will offer bowlers a predictable ball motion for average amounts of oil. The Shield line offers premium performance at a more modest price point, says Hank Boomershine, Vice President of Sales and Marketing.

Test Results: Medium core, medium cover strength and a medium price point does not always equate to medium performance. We saw above-average pin carry and usability with the Rising Star on all of our Sport patterns except the PBA Shark. On the three variations of house conditions, the Rising Star was able to play inside the oil line and still make the corner, even from deeper inside angles for low or medium rev-rate testers. Yes, we had to keep our angles more closed and our breakpoints more in front of us, but that’s to be expected with this type of product. Fact is, a stubborn 9-pin prevented yours truly from firing a 300 in our state tournament while playing left of fourth arrow. The Rising Star is a step down in hook from the Nomad line, but not a step down in performance.

When to Use: Our best looks were on lesser oil volumes, either fresh or broken down. The hybrid cover handles moderate amounts of oil carrydown providing the layout allows for some track flare. Our favorite layouts were the 3 and 4” pin distances above the fingers for most medium volumes. The 5” pin distance came into play more so on the burn, or broken down and higher friction patterns.

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.