Radical: Torrid Elite

by Bob Johnson 0

51 Hook 14.5 Length 15 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “For the Torrid Elite, our goal was to create a stronger upgrade to the Torrid line,” says Radical’s Phil Cardinale. “Using a more aggressive cover and core combination, we have created the perfect complement to the original Torrid [July 2012].”
Core Design: The Torrid Elite utilizes a symmetric core that has been slightly modified from the original Torrid. The RG is low at 2.47 and the differential medium at .047. We saw nearly 5 inches of track flare with our 3.5- and 4.5-inch pin distance layouts.

Coverstock: The beautiful cover is a fusion of blue, purple and gold pearl. The factory surface is sanded with a 500-grit SiaAir pad and polished with Rough Buff for a satin sheen. Response time is moderately quick off friction and average in oil. This ball is best suited for medium oil conditions with its 1.5 Ra reading and its 5300 effective surface grit.

Test Results: Having loved the first Torrid, manufactured by 900 Global, we were anxious to throw the Brunswick-poured Torrid Elite pearl side by side with it. We felt both balls revved quickly and provided best results on light-medium to medium oil volumes for our low (220) and medium (300) rev rate testers. Our higher rev rate tester (425+) had better success on heavier volumes, providing he kept his ball speed controlled. When comparing the motion shape, we all felt the new ball read the midlane more securely than the original and also was less affected by oil carrydown. This ball kind of reminded me of the original Inferno pearl, not by looks but by overall roll and hook shape. Be advised, though, that the Torrid Elite is formulated to handle today’s slipperier oils.

When to Use: Who doesn’t like a strong rolling, easy-to-read pearl for everyday lane patterns? The Torrid Elite offers lots of usability on most typical house shots, providing the ratios are not extremely high. We could easily play a few boards inside the oil line, send this beauty to the friction areas and enjoy above-average pin carry. We rarely saw over-reaction to friction or over-skid if we missed a couple of boards inside our intended target line. This was most evident with our pin-down layout pattern. When we encountered mid-lane breakdown and our launch angles increased, we preferred our pin-up drilling, as this created a more angular breakpoint shape.

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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