Storm: Manic

by Bob Johnson 0

52.5 Hook 14.5 Length 15.5 Breakpoint Shape

Manufacturer’s Intent: “For the new Manic, we were looking to enhance the mid-lane reaction,” says Matt Martin of Storm Products. “CATS testing showed a more than 2-ft. earlier breakpoint, so we know that we achieved our goal. The 4000-grit finish, combined with the solid R2S mixture, created this enhanced mid-lane reaction, perfect for those with higher ball speed.”

Core Design: The massive NOS symmetric core also is used in the popular Storm Frantic (November 2011) hybrid. The top-heavy shape encourages a stronger back-end motion. The Rg is medium at 2.53, while the .045 differential will supply nearly 5 inches of track flare.

Coverstock: The Manic’s cover is a solid version of the R2S reactive family. The surface is sanded with a 4000 Abralon pad, which enhances a strong mid-lane presence. Colors are a mix of blue and pink, and the scent is blueberry. Oil traction is above average and response time off friction is moderately quick. The Ra value is moderately low.

Test Results: We found our best looks for this all-purpose solid were on our medium to medium-heavy oil volume patterns. We also felt players with slight rev dominance could find uses on heavier volumes due to the mid-lane read and powerful core-inspired motion downlane. This is not to say it will hook side by side with the VG Nano (March 2011) or Vivid (April 2012), but it will create a playable look. We also enjoyed using the Manic on our house shot patterns as it easily created added room both left and right of our intended target.

When to Use: Bowlers will find a multitude of applications for this workhorse ball. In fact, the only pattern on which we couldn’t get a look was one with the head oil fried out of it. On most fresh patterns, the Manic handles extra volume in the fronts, easily handles mid-lane oil, and breezes through nasty oil carrydown. Those with lower rev rates or speed dominance can just sand with an appropriate grit and see the desired increase in traction. When polished with Storm’s 1500-grit polish, the shape downlane was similar to that of the Frantic, but with a more secure mid-lane read. The Manic is truly a versatile ball.

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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