Brunswick Ulti-Max

by Bob Johnson 0

51.5 Hook 15 Length 14.5 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The Ulti Max’s asymmetric Dual Flip I-block core can be drilled to offer many different motion shapes. The RG is medium at 2.53, as is the Diff at .050, and mass bias strength is .017. Strong cores such as this need special attention to detail when determining layout choice.

Coverstock: The red, black and silver pearl will bring back memories of the Twisted Fury’s (Dec., 2008) look. This time, the stronger CFT pearl cover provides added traction in oil and off drier boards. The factory finish is 1500-grit sia-sanded, then rough buff polished. Oil traction was moderate and response time was moderately slow.

Manufacturer’s Intent: Said Brunswick’s design team, “The new CFT cover for the third C System ball incorporates the highest concentration of its friction additive to enhance overall traction and backend hooking action. This cover and the stronger Dual Flip I-block create our most angular C System ball yet.”

Test Results: Having tested the Ulti Max back in Milwaukee, I was curious to see what the U.S. Open’s elite women bowlers thought of it. The pattern in Euless, Texas, was about a 5-to-1 side-to-side ratio and presented quite a bit of friction. Most players using the ball enjoyed the ease of length, the solid commitment it made in the midlane and, most importantly, its angular breakpoint. Back home, my test staff felt that the more downlane friction, the better the carry. Compared to the Massive Damage we reviewed earlier, the UM was 1-2 boards stronger, all at the breakpoint.

When to Use: Our best looks came on Sport and house oil patterns when playing near the ball track, or just inside the oil line. My third game with the Ulti Max was 299, playing up board 8 on a fresh USBC Open pattern, where a stubborn eight pin foiled perfection. We all felt pins positioned above the fingers improved the back-end responsiveness, and improved pin carry on most of our test patterns. My favorite dual angle layout was 65x4.5x35 with a P3 weight hole. Have your favorite driller help you with your layout choice.

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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