Jet: Maximum Altitude

by Bob Johnson 0

52 Hook 15 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “When we saw the success the Altitude [February 2012] was having, we had no choice but to introduce a pearl version to the market,” says Jet CEO and President Chris Crossett. “Our intent was to produce a ball that kept the same great core with a longer read down the lane. This ball produces the reaction everyone is looking for in a pearl. It’s very clean as it makes an easy transition from heads to the midlane with a continuous back-end motion. The ball features our Strato NF-20 cover, in combination with a very strong core.”

Core Design: The symmetric core shape used in the Maximum Altitude also is used in the solid Altitude. The RG level of 2.48 helps get the core started up quickly. The differential of .052 will max out at 6 inches of track flare for those who crave hook.

Coverstock: Where the first Altitude incorporated a solid cover, the Maximum Altitude features a new pearlized formula called Strato NF-20. The factory finish is polished with Jet’s factory polish. The Ra reading is medium, which suggests a lower grit beneath the polish.

Test Results: Out of the box, the ball displayed average length with no lope or inconsistencies whatsoever. When encountering fiction, it made a strong, hard arc, with no issues overcoming oil carrydown. Later in the session, the strong cover formula did read a touch too soon for our speed-challenged tester, but for the rest of us, carry and projection remained excellent. We also experienced above-average usability on four of our five test conditions, the sign of a good core/cover match. The ball worked well on fresh house, broken-down house, Viper and 2012 USBC Open patterns. It didn't fare so well on the Shark.

When to Use: Use confidently on many light-medium to medium-heavy oil volumes. The ball will create a smooth or strong arc breakpoint shape, contingent on bowler release specs and layout choice. It’s a later hooking complement to the original solid Altitude, but with a slightly quicker move when finding friction. Our favorite layouts used lower VAL angles, which we felt increased both quickness and angularity off friction.

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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