Roto Grip: Berzerk

by Bob Johnson 0

53.5 Hook 13.5 Length 15 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “When restructuring the Roto Grip product line top to bottom, we felt we needed a hybrid in the HP-3 line,” says Chris Schlemer. “With the success of the Bandit pearl and Outlaw solid [both August 2011], we knew we had a proven core that would benefit from a hybrid shell, hence the creation of the Berserk, designed for medium-heavy conditions. This ball can be adjusted easily to match up on a wide variety of conditions.”

Core Design: The Caliber symmetric core’s RG is 2.57, yet revs up quickly and easily. The differential of .048 will produce nearly 6 inches of track flare with strong layouts. This core shape is Roto Grip’s strongest symmetrical design, rated at 68.

Coverstock: Roto Grip’s new 65 MH hybrid coverstock surrounds the symmetric Caliber core. The factory finish is sanded with 4000 Abralon. Colors are a wild mix of orange pearl and purple solids. The 65 cover rating is just below the 67 rating given the Critical Theory (August 2011). Keep in mind that the Critical Theory’s core is rated at 81, compared to the core strength of 68 for the Berserk. The Ra is medium.

Test Results: The Berserk rolled very strongly in the midlane on our medium to heavier oil volume test patterns. It was similar to last year’s solid Outlaw (2000 grit), but with a tad more push and backend. The Berserk will provide a moderately slow response when encountering friction. It has above-average oil traction with box finish. The Berserk was at least 3 feet “sooner” and about 4 to 6 boards more aggressive than a like-drilled Bandit. Most of this aggressiveness will be evident in the front 35 feet or so on most oil patterns.

When to Use: Dull hybrids often are among our favorite test balls due to the extended usability they offer, as well as the controlled breakpoint motion they provide. The Berserk will surely find a multitude of uses on most medium and heavier Sport patterns, thanks to these features and the predictability needed on more demanding shots. We also loved the Berserk’s friendliness on our wet/dry THS patterns as it masterfully blended the side-to-side oil sensitivity commonly seen there.

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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