Roto Grip: Shatter

by Bob Johnson 0

48 Hook 16 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “Since the Rising Star hybrid [April 2011] and Shooting Star solid [November 2011] have provided such great performance for a minimal price, we felt it would be good to add a pearl version to create a more skid/snap type reaction,” says Chris Schlemer. “This is a reaction that Roto Grip has not had in a long time, and helps expand not only the HP-2 line, but the entire ball lineup as well.”

Core Design: The symmetric Neutron core of the Shatter is also used in the Rising Star and Shooting Star. This core revs easily despite the higher 2.55 RG. The differential is moderately strong at .042, which supplies nearly 5 inches of track flare. The conservative shape can actually hide minor release errors, a great benefit, to be sure.

Coverstock: Surrounding the Neutron core is a pearlized coverstock called ML51. Colors are a fusion of sky blue and emerald green. The factory surface is polished at 1500 grit. The response time off friction is quick, while oil traction is limited at box polish. The Ra reading is low, as this ball is destined for use on light-medium oil patterns.

Test Results: The Shatter will complement the Shooting and Rising Stars in Roto Grip’s HP-2 lineup. The medium RG core, rated by Roto Grip at at 61, pairs beautifully with the pearl cover (rated at 51). We saw very easy length on light-medium to medium volumes, and a mini skid/flip motion when leaving the oil pattern. On broken-down patterns, the polished surface displayed some down-lane wiggle for our test group until we lightly hit the surface with a Scotch Brite pad. The Shatter is the tamest cover of the three balls in the HP-2 line, so slower speed and higher rev rates bowlers should give this ball a serious look.

When to Use: With the polished pearl cover, stay away from heavier oil regardless of your personal rev rate. The Shatter is designed for broken-down and lighter oil patterns when length and a quick response are warranted. For added control off the spot, drill with lower pin positions or opt for the one of the “Star” balls in the HP-2 line. Pin positions with 4- to 6-inch distance from the PAP, positioned above the fingers, will enhance a quicker and more angular response at the breakpoint.

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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