Storm: Tropical Heat Hybrid 4K

by Bob Johnson 0

50 Hook 14.5 Length 15 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “The Tropical Heat line of bowling balls raises the standard in performance at a value price,” says Matt Martin of Storm. “This mid-RG and mid-differential core boasts a tighter spin radius for quick revving mid-lane and enhanced entry angle to the pocket. With a 4000-grit finish, the Black/Purple’s Reactor hybrid coverstock is an awesome complement to the Tropical Line.”

Core Design: Powering all versions of the Tropical Heat line is the light bulb-inspired Turbine symmetrical core design. The RG is high at 2.55 and the differential low at .038. We saw nearly 4.5 inches of track flare with high-flaring layouts from this core shape.

Coverstock: This second hybrid Reactor version for the Tropical Heat series is finished with a 4000-grit dull surface, whereas the first (reviewed in June 2010 along with the pearl versions) is 1500-grit polished. Colors are a manly mix of purple solid and black pearl. Oil traction is slightly above average, and dry lane response is moderately quick. The Caribbean scent is somewhat subtle compared to other Storm balls.

Test Results: When a ball’s core strength and cover strength match perfectly, it’s very likely the ball will be a winner. The hybrid Tropical Heat 4K is one such ball. This perfect match will offer extended usability for the vast majority of bowler styles on most medium oil volumes. The hook motion is smooth and steady, with no signs of early read or hook-out. The Reactor cover can still handle some medium-heavy volumes, providing the bowler supplies enough revs or not too much ball speed. The motion shape can be either angular or arcing, depending on layout choice and/or bowler release choice. This ball is a perfect complement for those already using a polished Tropical Heat pearl or hybrid.

When to Use: The Tropical Heat 4K is slated for use on medium volume oil patterns. We feel this range can be expanded some with surface changes or through certain bowler physical traits. This is why it’s paramount to discuss your individual application for each ball with a qualified ball driller. Use lower-flaring layouts for slower ball speeds and/or higher rev rates. Use higher-flaring layouts when looking for added mid-lane motion with a more arcing down-lane finish. The TH4K offers this and more.

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.