Storm: Tropical Breeze Black/Cherry

by Bob Johnson 0

45.5 Hook 16 Length 14 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “The new Black/Cherry’s hybrid blend is highly polished, just like the others in this series,” says Storm’s Matt Martin. “While it can be sanded to create a stronger reaction, we’re sure that [bowlers will] love the factory finish just the same. The Camber Core’s inverted light bulb shape powers this new color option, too. It provides ample predictability and control, a must for bowlers with slower speeds or those bowling on dry lane conditions.”

Core Design: The symmetric Camber core has a higher RG level of 2.57. It also boasts one of the lowest differentials for any high-performance reactive ball, measuring a meager .009. Bowlers will see only 2.5 inches of track flare with stronger flaring layouts. Most layouts will produce even less.

Coverstock: Storm’s newest Reactor-based hybrid is cherry-scented and colored in deep cherry red pearl and black solid. The factory finish is polished with a 1500-grit shine, Storm’s standard polished grit. Response time off drier boards is moderately slow, while oil traction is very limited with box finish. The Ra level is very low, which enhances length, followed by a controlled move off friction.

Test Results: As with previous balls in the Tropical Breeze line, the Black/Cherry hybrid loves dry lanes. The major motion characteristic of the entire Breeze lineup is the controllable friction read that the balls produce. Storm created this predictability by taming down the core dynamics (.009 differential) and using a medium-strength coverstock formula (Reactor). This relatively stronger cover formula lessens oil sensitivity and the ball’s aversion to oil carrydown. The Breeze line can be a perfect fit between the Tropical Heat series and Storm’s Natural urethanes.

When to Use: Use the hybrid Breeze when looking for an easy-to-read reactive resin ball designed for dry to light-medium oil volumes. Some players may even prefer the Breeze hybrid to a polyester or urethane ball, as the Breeze ensures a modicum of back-end hook motion. Power players and those trying to play in or near high friction areas may also find that the Breeze creates great looks in such an environment. Regarding layout choice, we saw little difference in total hook and motion shape between a 3.5-inch pin below, a 4.5-inch pin above, and a 5-inch pin below.

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.