Brunswick Karma Solid

by Bob Johnson 0

46 Hook 15 Length 14.5 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The light-bulb symmetric core found in the original Danger Zone (1996) returns with tweaks. The RG is medium at 2.53 while the .040 Diff produces 5” of track flare with stronger layouts. The original core’s bismuth nugget has been removed to comply with new USBC standards.

Coverstock: Supplying the necessary lane traction is a solid reactive version of the PowrKoil 18 family of coverstocks. Colors are a conservative blending of dark blues and black. The surface is 500-sanded, then rough buffed and, lastly, high gloss polished. Response time off drier boards is moderately quick and oil traction is limited.

Manufacturer’s Intent: “Our intent for the Karma Black Blue Solid was to bring back the Danger Zone reaction to our affordable performance price point,” said Bill Orlikowski, Brunswick Product Manager.

Test Results: The Karma core/cover combo provides early core lope, with most of the revving action occurring near the breakpoint. The old-school design still matches up well for a multitude of bowler styles and speed-to-rev ratios. Strokers can play more direct lines with a slower response off the friction areas. Power players will love the ease of length and urethane-like control downlane. The Karma will bridge the gap between urethanes and Brunswick’s Anaconda or Damage pearl reactives. It will react slightly stronger than the Avalanche line that it replaces thanks to the higher differential (track flare) offered by the Danger Zone core shape. That ball ruled in the late ‘90s when it was in a class by itself. In today’s highly competitive marketplace, the Karma will be a key player for those trying to keep total hook manageable in higher-friction environments.

When to Use: The Karma Solid will offer controllability with above-average longevity for light to medium oil volumes, contingent on the bowler’s release power. Low to medium rev rates will find many uses near the lanes’ friction areas with little chance of an over-read or early hook. Higher rev rates can use angles slightly deeper inside the oil line and still see ample downlane recovery.

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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