Lane #1: Droid Pearl

by Bob Johnson 0

51 Hook 15 Length 16.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “The Cyborg core has an early ball motion in the midlane,” says Richie Sposato, Lane #1’s top dog. “The solid Droid [February 2012], with its dull 2000 Abralon coverstock finish, is great for fresher head oil, but may labor on the backend when you have to move left as the lanes break down. The pearl Droid is designed to get through the heads cleaner, thus enabling you to retain energy on the backend for better pin carry. The even motion of the Cyborg core, combined with the pearl coverstock, allow you to play straighter through the heads and closer to the shot when the lanes break down.”

Core Design: The Droid Pearl’s Cyborg core boasts an RG level of 2.52 and a differential of .045. It also incorporates an intermediate differential of .012. We saw nearly 5 inches of flare with strong drillings. This design is a beast in the midlane. ’Nuff said.

Coverstock: The Bionic pearl reactive cover is painted in neon green and deep black pearl. The box finish is highly polished and responds quickly off friction. Oil traction is limited with the polished surface. The Ra level is low, which enhances length and helps retain axis rotation longer.

Test Results: The Droid Pearl is a core-dominated ball with a medium-strength cover formula. This combination will give those with limited revs a powerful breakpoint motion when leaving the oil pattern. We saw 3 to 5 feet more length and noticeably less hook while in the oil than with the aggressive solid Droid. We did see added angularity, though, when encountering the friction areas on most of our test patterns. Pay close attention to layout choice as this core responds well to both pin up and down varieties.

When to Use: As with most pearlized balls, the Droid Pearl needs friction at some point to allow the powerful core to unleash its strength. We had great looks on most light-medium and medium oil volumes for our lower and medium rev rate testers. Even our rev-dominant tester needed to back down his ball speed (18- to 19-mph) in order to not over-shoot the intended breakpoint. Players looking for a quick, strong move near the breakpoint will surely love this new Lane #1 ball.

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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