Track: 714C

by Bob Johnson 0

51 Hook 14.5 Length 14.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “When we designed the 714C, we were looking for something that would complement our two previous releases, the 706A [August 2012] and 716T [March 2012],” says Track’s brand manager, Rich Hanson. “Our R&D team quickly determined that by modifying a successful core from the past and wrapping it with a brand new cover, they would be able to accomplish the task at hand.”

Core Design: The modified Robot 2.0 is born from the better attributes of the cores found in the 718A (February 2011) and 716T balls. The RG is medium at 2.52 and the differential is hefty at .052. The PSA of .014 solidifies this asymmetric design. We saw up to 6 inches of flare with stronger layouts.

Coverstock: The hybrid Gen XC coverstock formula is a new mix from Track. The factory surface is sanded with 800, 1000, 2000 and 3000 grits. The coloring is a blend of blue, black and gold pearl. Response time off friction is quick in drier areas and average in oil. The Ra measures 2.70 and the average surface grit reading is 4750.

Test Results: The 714C is destined to be viewed as a benchmark-rolling asymmetric. The roll was very even and smooth in the midlane, and there was no sign of an angular breakpoint motion. The 714C has a slightly earlier and more rounded down-lane motion than a like-drilled 811C/T (December 2012). The total hook was similar on lighter patterns, and about a board more on the heavier stuff. Pin carry and usability were above average with both products for our low and medium rev rate testers.

When to Use: With the 7 series Gen XC hybrid cover, we found we had our best looks were on light-medium to medium oil volumes. On heavier volumes or when we encountered longer patterns, we felt sanding the surface helped us create the stronger midlane needed to overcome such patterns. Our higher rev guy did not need to adjust the surface when facing such conditions, but the rest of us did. Another interesting thing we found was the Robot 2.0 core always found its way to the pocket on our more demanding Sport-type oil patterns. We simply needed to feed the ball near our target and watch the core take over.

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.