Roto Grip: Defiant

by Bob Johnson 0

58.5 Hook 13 Length 16 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: The new MicroBite coverstock expands upon nanotechnology used by Storm with microspheres that add texture and strength to the shell. The Paragon core is an evolution of the Roto Grip core philosophy unveiled in the original Cell (January 2008). This new shape expands the RG planes of the ball to create a more consistent and definable ball reaction, as the ball transitions through its axis migration. There’s a ton of technology here.

Core Design: The numbers for the scary-looking Paragon core are 2.49 RG, .054 Diff and .017 mass bias. We saw nearly 7 inches of track flare with 3- to 5-inch high pin position layouts.

Coverstock: To complement the new core, Roto Grip’s R&D team developed a new solid reactive cover formula called MicroBite. This formula incorporates extremely small particle additives to increase the surface profile texture. Colors are a conservative mix of deep blue, purple and black. The factory finish is sanded with a 3000-grit Abralon pad. Oil traction is well above average, and response time off friction is quick and strong.

Test Results: The Defiant is the first entry in the super premium Royal line of products. We put the ball up against the Critical Theory (August 2011), Theory solid (December 2010) and the hybrid Infinite Theory (April 2011). At first we thought, “How could the new Defiant be that much different?” Well, it is truly unique. Its roll was tighter and more angular than the original solid Theory. Its back-end aggressiveness was on par with the Critical and Infinite, with a stronger read in the midlane. Its pin carry and ability to handle heavier mid-lane oil and carrydown out-performed the others. This ball is better than an aggregation of the best attributes of the other three. Needless to say, we all loved it.

When to Use: The 3000-grit surface allows for multiple match-ups on most medium-heavy to heavier oil volumes. Most players will enjoy the easy front lane push, strong midlane and strong backend that the factory settings accomplish. When sanded with a 500/2000 comboAabralon surface, the Defiant’s real world hook rating reaches the 60+ range of “super hooker.” Thus, higher speed and rev-challenged players may dare to lower the factory finish. Players looking for tamer down-lane motions may want to try pins near 6 inches from the PAP, as this allows for more closed launch angles with excellent traction and pin carry.

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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