Roto Grip: Wrecker

by Bob Johnson 0

48.5 Hook 15.5 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “We felt it was necessary to create a reaction to complement the Shatter [September 2012],” says Chris Schlemer, Roto Grip’s marketing manager. “That’s how we came up with the idea of adding the new 52ML hybrid reactive cover to the already proven Neutron core in this line. Some will say it’s the Rising Star [April 2011] and, quite frankly, it is far from it.”

Core Design: Storm’s Neutron symmetric core, now called Late Roll 61, powers this HP2 line hybrid. The core produces an RG of 2.55 with a differential reading of .042. We saw nearly 5 inches of track flare neatly spaced ¼-inch apart. This core also is in the Shatter, Rising Star and Shooting Star (November 2011).

Coverstock: The 52ML coverstock formula replaces the Ultimate Vision hybrid cover used on the Rising Star. Colors are a mix of blue solids and white pearls. The response time off friction is quick and strong. Oil traction is limited at the box 1500-grit polish. The Ra measures 1.5 and the surface grit 5400.

Test Results: “The Wrecker will supply bowlers with an extra 3 to 4 feet of length when compared to a like-drilled Rising Star,” says Roto Grip staffer Wes Malott. We agree with his assessment, and would add that we saw added down-lane and back-end continuation. This core revs up hard in the late midlane and will create ample back-end motion for many release styles. Our higher rev testers saw more of a skid/flip motion on fresher patterns, whereas our lower rev guy saw a friendlier arcing move when leaving the end of the pattern. Since the Wrecker is suited more for light-medium oil volumes, most will find even better match-ups on patterns that have seen some action.

When to Use: Even though lower rev and lower axis rotation players may find uses on fresh patterns, we felt we had our best looks on patterns with a definitive friction zone worn in from play. On this type of broken-down condition, we could play deeper and increase our launch angles with success. This plays into the nature of the 52ML cover’s quick response off friction. Since the Wrecker is positioned between the solid Shooting Star and pearl Shatter, it can offer bowlers the best attributes of each.

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.