Storm Tropical Breeze

by Bob Johnson 0

43 Hook 17 Length 14 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “Storm is excited to add two three-color options to the Tropical Breeze line,” says Matt Martin. “With exciting colors and innovative fragrances, the new Tropical Breezes are sure to appeal to bowlers of all skill levels.”

Core Design: The Camber symmetric core is the lowest-flaring two-piece core shape ever produced by Storm. The RG is high at 2.57 and the differential uber-low at .009. We saw only about 3 inches of track flare with a 4-inch pin-above layout and a lower quadrant weight hole. The shorter round shape and low differential both contribute to control and minimal sensitivity when encountering higher friction areas of the lane.

Coverstock: The 2013 editions of the Tropical Breeze line showcase two new tri-colored options: a mix of gold-purple-cherry, and a mix of blue-green-yellow. The scents are cinnamon-streusel and lemon zest, respectively. Both balls employ the Reactor reactive resin formula and are factory surfaced with 1500-grit polish. Response time off friction is moderately quick and oil traction is very limited. The Ra is 1.60 and the effective surface grit is 5475.

Test Results: As with the earlier editions in the Tropical Breeze line, the new tri-colored balls will excel only in dry to lighter oil environments. Too much oil, and we found the Breeze would over-skid or lacked sufficient mid-lane traction to create a desirable motion shape toward the pocket. When compared to the new Super Natural and original pearl Natural (January 2011), the Breeze can create a modicum more entry angle and reward rev-challenged players with slightly better pin carry. Stronger layouts are a good option as well, as this core will not over-flare or create too much flip motion.

When to Use: We loved the Tropical Breeze when the track area blew open and other reactive resins read the area too quickly or too strongly. On this type of lane condition, we were able to play much nearer the track and still see adequate length and minimal over-reaction. The main advantage we saw with the Tropical Breeze line, compared to urethane, was its favorable pin carry for players with lower rev rates. This doesn’t mean a bad release will carry everything; it simply means the Breeze can create a slightly wider pocket and targeting area, which is a big plus.

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.