Storm: Fringe

by Bob Johnson 0

48.5 Hook 16 Length 16.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “The new Fringe is all about the backend,” says Storm’s Matt Martin. “The straight pearl blend, combined with the factory-polished 1500 finish, depletes energy at a slower rate, allowing for more entry angle and a wider pocket.”

Core Design: The Fringe uses the NOS symmetric core found in the Frantic and the new Manic. This design has a medium Rg of 2.53 and a 5-inch flaring .045 differential. The core shape can even provide a powerful down-lane move with pin distances between 3 and 6 inches — contingent, of course, on rev rate, axis tilt and axis rotation.

Coverstock: The all-pearl R2S coverstock for the Fringe will offer bowlers a third coverstock option using the same core. The Fringe’s ruby red and yellow color mix is sure to draw attention, but maybe not as much as the Frantic’s orange/lime mix. The surface is factory polished at 1500 grit and scented in a delicious Pina Colada aroma. The Ra level measured in as very low.

Test Results: “Long and strong,” is an easy way to describe the Fringe’s overall ball motion. The combination of core and cover easily supply unbridled push and a thunderous move downlane. The Fringe can complement other aggressive Storm pearls like the VG Nano pearl (November 2011), Marvel Pearl (August 2011) and Victory Road (March 2011) when added length, less total hook and more back-end angularity are required. When pitted against a like-drilled pearl Tropical Heat (June 2010), the Fringe was 3 to 4 boards stronger, with a slightly better mid-lane presence. When compared to a pearl Breeze (July 2011), the Fringe was 5 to 7 boards more aggressive and also handled carrydown much better.
When to Use: Heavier volumes and longer oil patterns will cause inconsistencies for the Fringe, due to its all-pearl cover formula. The Fringe is all about ease of length, followed by a quick, decisive read off friction areas. Players with slower speeds or high rev rates can obviously find more uses, but the ball generally will be best on medium and lighter oil concentrations. Storm has a long history of producing great balls that can be used in a ball-down sequencing system when the pattern begins to deteriorate. The Fringe follows this tradition beautifully.

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.