Track 505A

by Bob Johnson 0

48 Hook   15.5 Length   15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The 505A’s asymmetric core boasts a fast-revving, low 2.48 RG. The Diff is average at .040 and the intermediate Diff (mass bias) is small at .005. Testing rewarded us with a maximum 4.5” of track flare.

Coverstock: The coloring medley of black, neon green and fire red makes this ball a real attention grabber. The factory finish is sanded with 2000 Abralon and shined with Ebonite’s Factory Polish. Response time off dry was quick, yet limited in oil. With 2000 Abralon and no polish applied, traction in oil was above average, and response off dry was moderate to slow off the dry stuff.

Manufacturer’s Intent: Paul Figliomeni, brand manager for Track, wanted the 505A to fill the void for bowlers looking for a length/flip reaction on light to medium oil volumes. The 505A will complement the 715A and 505C as it fits in between the two for most release styles. The Track lineup is gradually taking shape, creating some excitement among both elite and intermediate players.

Test Results: We received our test balls with a 2000 Abralon dull surface. The motion shape was smooth and predictable with plenty of fast revs complementing this banana-shaped hook. The ball’s real-world ratings would be 51 hook, 14 length and 14.5 breakpoint shape with this 2000 surface. Even high-rev players like Ron Vokes, Track staffer and USBC Open all-events champion, saw a smooth, controlled breakpoint with three different layouts. Next, we applied Ebonite Factory Polish, which is the intended out-of-box surface. That’s when this ball fit its 505A (angularity) moniker, as specified by Figliomeni. With the polished surface, we saw much easier length — two feet on average — through lighter concentrations of oil. We also saw a quicker and more decisive move when encountering friction. This combination of length and angularity with fast revs reminded me of the Track Red Pearl Heat.. When compared to a 715A, the 505A hooked an average 1.5’ later and 2-3 boards less overall with a similar layout and surface. Total hook was 1-2 boards stronger than the 505C, but later and sharper.

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.