Lane Masters: Widow Maker

by Bob Johnson 0

52 Hook 15 Length 16 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The symmetric Buzz core, was previously used in the popular Green Hornet (June 2007) and Buzz (July 2006), and is all about control with easy revs. The RG is 2.549, and the Diff is low at .031. We saw a maximum of 4” of track flare with strong layouts.

Coverstock: The Venom Hybrid coverstock is Lane Masters’ strongest to date using the Buzz core. A medium particle load also was infused to lessen oil squirt. The surface of the black and violet cover is finished with a 1200-matte grit, but has a slight shine. Response time off dry boards is quick, oil traction is slightly below average with box finish. A light scuffing improves oil traction.

Manufacturer’s Intent: Galen Gentry shared the following: “The Sting Widow Maker is a continuation of our line of releases using the our Buzz core. We have combined the Venom Hybrid cover with the medium Diff core to create a predictable ball motion essential for a benchmark ball. The solid part of the cover stabilizes the midlane, while the pearl assists in retaining energy for increased back-end ball motion.”

Test Results: Hybrids have long been one of my favorite coverstock formulas due to their extended usability traits. Adding a fine particle additive enhances this ball’s control and predictability when on oil and dry sections of the lane. If you’re looking for a skid/flip reaction, I highly recommend you look elsewhere. If you’re looking for a fast-revving usable hybrid that will give you good looks on most medium oil concentrations, the Sting WM is an excellent choice. The fact Lane Masters’ covers are durable and have a history of longevity is a bonus.

When to Use: As stated, the Sting Widow Maker is designed for most medium oil volumes with box finish. We found excellent pin carry from both outside and deeper inside angles as deep as the 25th board. Our group also found the 3.5 and 4.5” pin distance layouts allowed for more open launch angles, while our 5.5” distance played noticeably straighter through the front 40 feet of the lane. The Widow Maker is one of Lane Masters’ best benchmark balls we’ve tested this year.

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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