Storm Super Natural

by Bob Johnson 0

42.5 Hook 17 Length 13.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “The original Natural [August 2009] and Natural Pearl [January 2011] provided maximum control on the backend without sacrificing hitting power,” says Matt Martin. “The intent of the new Super Natural is to create a moderately stronger back-end motion than the original Naturals, without the oil and dry-lane sensitivity found with many reactive covers. We created a ‘super urethane,’ so to speak, to give us control and predictability with a touch of the aggression on the backend found in our Reactor and R2S coverstocks. This new material, U3S, is Storm’s third generation of urethane and unique in formulation.”

Core Design: Powering this new edition in Storm’s “Hot” lineup is the venerable Turbine core found in the Tropical Heat series and Natural Pearl urethane. This symmetric core has an RG of 2.55 with a .038 differential. An average rev-rate player can expect nearly 4 inches of track flare from this core with standard label drillings.

Coverstock: The Super Natural’s pearlized cover is a new performance formula called U3S urethane. The uniqueness is the formulation mix, which blends urethane with reactive elements. We found the reaction off friction to be somewhat slow, and oil traction was minimal. The Ra measurement of this 1500-grit polished ball is 1.47, and the effective surface grit measures 5475.

Test Results: When comparing the Super Natural to a like-drilled pearl Natural, we saw an average of 1 to 1.5 feet of added length and one to two boards of added back-end hooking action from our 300 rev-rate tester. The slightly increased entry angle helped kick out some 10-pins that the pearl Natural often would not. When in the hands of our 450 rev-rate tester, the length was similar but the back-end motion was two to four boards stronger. This ball is a step down from the Storm Breeze off friction, with a more urethane-like motion through the pin deck.

When to Use: On light to light-medium oil volumes, due to the conservative nature of the cover formula. We’d definitely categorize this as a core-dominant ball because the tame cover will not overreact to friction areas, as many reactive covers do. Rev-dominant or speed-challenged players may find many more uses and should apply their favorite aggressive layout to this unique piece.

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.