Storm: Crossroad

by Bob Johnson 0

52.5 Hook 14.5 Length 15 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “The intent of the new Crossroad is to identify the best components of the Hy-Road [December 2008] and the Victory Road [March 2011] and combine them, creating a new superpower [ball],” says Storm’s Matt Martin. “The number one factor of ball motion is the coverstock. So when we were looking to expand upon the Victory Road with the proven components of the Hy-Road, we started with the R2S hybrid reactive shell that seemed to match up on every lane condition imaginable.”

Core Design: The Crossroad houses the same symmetric inverted FE2 core found in the Victory Road solid and pearl. This is a fast-revving, smooth-motion core with great down-lane continuation. The RG of 2.56 helps create length, while the .052 Diff creates nearly 5 inches of track flare.

Coverstock: Now, the Road series has a new hybrid which could eventually replace one of the best balls ever, the Hy-Road. The R2S formula is sweetly scented in caramel and colored in shades of purple solids and blue pearl. The box finish is polished at 1500 grit. Traction in oil is moderate, while response time off friction is quick and strong. The Ra is low at 1.5, which is typical for a mid-polished cover.
Test Results: With the Hy-Road being in Storm’s lineup for years, we knew the day would eventually come for an heir-apparent. Could the new Crossroad be this ball? When compared to a 60-game-old Hy-Road, the Crossroad was about a foot sooner and two to three boards stronger overall. The breakpoint shape was similar, but we felt the Crossroad handled carrydown much better for our average rev rate testers. This is likely due to its newness and slightly stronger-flaring core design. The Crossroad will be a viable option when the oil pattern begins to break down, as it requires less oil volume to get to the breakpoint than the Modern Marvel.

When to Use: The Crossroad will be best on light-medium to medium-heavy volumes when players are looking for a smooth move at the breakpoint. We felt that even higher ratio layouts did little to change this arcing motion. In fact, our 70x4.5x40 (pin above the ring) layout rolled similarly to our 70x4.5x65 (pin below the ring) layout. The Crossroad is a great ball to be the centerpiece of any arsenal.

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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