Storm: Natural Pearl

by Bob Johnson 0

41 Hook 16.5 Length 13 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The Natural Pearl houses the same Turbine core used in Storm’s solid black urethane. The RG is medium at 2.55 and the Diff low at .038. We saw a maximum 4.5” of track flare from our high-rev guy with a 4” pin distance layout above the fingers..

Coverstock: The Pearl Natural’s U2S is sanded with a 4000 Abralon pad. This black pearl urethane blend appears dull, yet does not grab early. We saw similar length with 4000 applied to a black Natural with polished shell. Response time off dry is beautifully slow, while traction in oil is limited.

Manufacturer’s Intent: ”Storm’s PBA success on TV last season was primarily due to the skills of Ryan Ciminelli and the design of this dry lane behemoth,” said Storm. “Urethane formulas of 2010 are not made the same way urethane was made in the 1980s, plus they can handle today’s oil with less squirt. Friction moves off dry are very controlled and predictable, and should be a part of any “handed” player’s arsenal.”

Test Results: I mentioned that either Natural should be a part of any “handed” player’s arsenal because most lower-rev players likely will not see the move they want to see downlane due to a urethane’s slow response off friction. Higher rev rates increase the core’s dynamic, but they also enhance a ball’s move off drier boards. The Pearl Natural is designed to control a ball’s downlane traction, as well as lessen total hook. With good hand action, a two-piece urethane can strike with the best of them… on the right condition, that is. We found the best conditions were light oil patterns between 34 and 40’ with clean backends.

When to Use: Players will find the Pearl Natural will not over-read dry portions of the lane. Fact is, it needs friction to strut its stuff adequately for good pin carry. Oil carrydown or longer patterns will cause problems for most players (friction is limited and the angle of entry subdued). So bring on dry or broken-down oil patterns where even a weak reactive cover is either too much or too touchy. On this environment, the Pearl Natural will provide control and adequate power through the pins.

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.