Storm: Don Carter Major 52

by Bob Johnson 0

57 Hook 11.5 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “The Major 52’s core creates more than 7 inches of flare with pin-in drillings and without the use of weight holes,” says PBA Hall of Famer Larry Lichstein. “Core strength is built in, so the pro shop operator can drill this ball even without knowledge of the customer’s rev rate or axis point.”

Coverstock: The factory surface of the RDC solid hybrid is first sanded with 360 grit and finished with 1000 grit. This cover has a Ra value of 26.24. The color is a subdued mix of deep red and dark blue. Response time off drier boards is quick, and oil traction is well above average.

Core Design: The strong asymmetric core shape is called Graduated Density. The RG is low at 2.49 and the differential is beefy at .058. We saw nearly 6.5 inches of track flare from this .019 mass bias core. Even our 6-inch pin distance layout flared nearly 4 inches.

Test Results: The Major 52 is the big-daddy new release from Storm’s Don Carter line. The aggressive coverstock surface prep and strong asymmetric core provide plenty of mid-lane motion and back-end reaction. Testing showed the Major 52’s breakpoint shape was that of a hard arc with pin positions above the fingers, and a sweeping arc with pins below the fingers. After polishing, the Major 52 created a skid/flip motion as the responsiveness off drier areas improved dramatically. Even our 60x5.5x40 layout produced this skid/flip motion when polished. Total hook was at 54 when polished, yet the breakpoint shape increased to 16.5.

When to Use: Layout and surface choice have a profound effect on total hook and breakpoint shape. Since the Major 52 will match up best on heavier oil patterns, speed-dominant players should choose stronger flaring layouts. Slower speed players can choose flare-reducing layouts to help control this beast downlane. On heavier THS patterns, we needed to play well inside the oil line, yet could stay in the pattern at the breakpoint area and still see ample recovery. On our medium test patterns, we preferred a polished surface with weight holes near the PAP to help lessen track flare and keep our breakpoint more in front of us.

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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