Brunswick: Karma Purple Pink Pearl

by Bob Johnson 0

47 Hook 16 Length 15 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “With the addition of the Karma Purple Pink Pearl with its Activator Plus coverstock [to the Karma Solid and Karma Pearl from May 2011], Brunswick now offers three distinct proven performers, all using the Danger Zone core shape, at an affordable price point,” says Brunswick’s Billy Orlikowski.

Core Design: The performance symmetric core in the Karma Purple Pink has been used since the beginning of the Danger Zone line. The RG is medium at 2.53 and the differential conservative at .040. We saw nearly 4 inches of track flare with our 3- and 4-inch pin distance layouts. This core shape is release-friendly and reliable for many styles.

Coverstock: The Karma’s Activator Plus cover enhances friction when leaving the oil pattern. We feel the responsiveness off drier boards is moderately quick. Oil traction is very limited with the box finish. The surface is initially sanded at 500, then polished with rough-buff and lastly with Brunswick’s high-gloss polish. The cover’s Ra value comes in very low. This low rating reduces overall lane traction, especially in oil. And, yes, the color is pink pearl and purple.

Test Results: Everyone needs a go-to piece when the oil pattern goes bye-bye. The Karma PP reminded me of the Danger Zone Ice from the late 1990s with its ease of length and controlled arc off dry. The motion of Brunswick-made balls can be a thing of beauty with the control and visual at the breakpoint. The Karma PP complemented the recently released versa-max (March 2012) as it hooked 3 to 4 boards less and had about 1.5 to 2 feet added length. When compared to last year’s Karma Solid, the new Karma was only 1 or 2 boards stronger, but was much more angular in the backend section of the lane.

When to Use: As with most medium-RG, highly polished, symmetric core balls, use when friction rears its formidable head. The entire Karma line can strut its stuff on all light and medium oil patterns. Pay attention to layout choice to fine tune the motion shape you’re looking for. Our higher pin position drillings gave us a quicker, more decisive move when leaving the pattern compared to our pins positioned below the fingers.

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.

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