Hammer: Taboo Deep Purple

by Bob Johnson 0

52 Hook 14.5 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “With the new chemical formulation of Grand Theft Reactive IV, the Deep Purple Taboo offers more backend continuation than any Taboo we’ve ever produced,” says Jeff Ussery, Hammer’s brand manager. “We’ve been able to create a strong coverstock that still gets through the front of the lane to bring a whole new ball motion to Hammer.”

Core Design: Powering the Taboo Deep Purple is the proven Black Widow asymmetric core. The RG is 2.50, and the differential is the USBC maximum of .060. The mass bias is .016 to help fine-tune motion shape options. We saw nearly 7 inches of track flare with our 60x5x30 P-4 dual angle layout, thanks to help from our Blueprint software.

Coverstock: The Grand Theft Reactive IV pearl coverstock provides the necessary lane grab. This cover is sanded with 800 Abranet, then 1000 and 2000 Abralon. This creates a medium Ra reading, which is best in medium to medium-heavy environments. Color is the expected deep purple. Testing showed above-average oil traction with a moderately quick response off drier boards.

Test Results: This being the ninth or tenth ball using the highly successful Black Widow core, we felt we’d have a pretty good idea of what the Deep Purple would do. Well, we were wrong. We thought we’d see a skid/flip motion, but instead saw a controlled, smooth-arcing shape on most of the test patterns. We felt the ball displayed very easy length through lighter oil in the fronts and mids, and read the friction confidently without being snappy. Pin carry, usability and control will be the major selling points for this ball.

When to Use: The Taboo Deep Purple will match up well for most player styles on medium to medium-heavy oil volumes on both house and Sport variations. The strength of the core will enhance the mid-lane presence, while the pearl cover should enhance back-end motion. When polished, though, we saw semblances of the older Black Widow pearl’s (June 2007) skid/flip motion. The favorite layouts for our test staff used pin distances of 4 and 5 inches from the PAP, either above or 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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