Seismic: Solaris Blackout

by Bob Johnson 0

44 Hook 16 Length 14 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The new Trailblazer symmetric core design has a low RG of 2.48 and low Diff of .035. We saw a maximum 3” of track flare with the 3 and 4” layouts. The core shape is similar to that of the original Solaris, but this time with a less flaring differential, for added length and less total hook.

Coverstock: Everyone loves a shiny black car and a polished black bowling ball. With gold lettering accents, this solid reactive cover has a clean yet attractive look. Oil traction is very limited and response time off dry is controlled and slow. The cover strength is tame, which melds beautifully with the conservative core design.

Manufacturer’s Intent: Seismic’s Ryan Press offered these details: “The new addition to the popular Solaris line incorporates a low RG, ow/medium Diff symmetric core and the new LNC coverstock to provide the ultimate in control on medium oil and tough Sport conditions.”

Test Results: One would expect “benchmark” performance with the aforementioned specs, an expectation our testing supported. The Blackout can be the first ball out of the bag to help decipher the lane condition. If there’s too much oil, the Blackout will not read the lane nor tip off the friction. That can help us ascertain the oil volume and shape a particular pattern holds in store. The Blackout rolls smoothly and evenly on light to medium volumes of oil. It lets you know quickly if more cover or core is needed, such as with the Aftermath or Solaris Requiem (October 2009).

When to Use: The Blackout needs plenty of friction to strut its stuff, especially true for those with average revs rates (300 or lower). Higher-rev guys will be tempted to use this ball more often as its roll predictability is its strong suit, followed by impressive hitting power. We actually were able to move 5 to 10 boards right on many of the test patterns, and still have little trouble creating enough length through the midlane. This ball lets bowlers play in the burn… providing you have medium to above average ball speed and are not a totally rev-dominant player.

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.