Storm Marvel

by Bob Johnson 0

58 Hook 11.5 Length 15 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The Marvel houses the same symmetric shape found in the Prodigy (August 2010). This even-arcing core strongly promotes a smooth motion throughout the entire 60’ of the lane. The RG is low at 2.48 and the 5” flaring Diff is leveled at .050.

Coverstock: The aromatherapy performance scented R2X solid reactive cover formula is sanded with a 2000 pad, insuring an earlier midlane motion. Coloring is attractive with a youthful teal, sky blue and black medley of colors. Response time off drier boards is moderate, while oil traction is above average.

Manufacturer’s Intent: The intent of the Marvel, says Steve Kloempken, was to complement the Prodigy, but with a stronger midlane presence. The combination of the 2000-grit surface and oil-loving R2X cover provides more midlane traction with the same arcing finish provided by the Prodigy.

Test Results: We compared the Marvel directly with a like-drilled Prodigy. On the majority of the test patterns, the Marvel had 2-3 boards more total hook with an average earlier breakpoint of 1.5’. The balls had a similar hook shape with excellent pin carry, providing the midlane oil held up. On broken-down medium volume conditions, only our higher rev guys had good looks when venturing left of the 3rd arrow, due primarily to a higher angle of entry. In short, the Marvel displayed unusually strong midlane motion which tempered the breakpoint angularity. So it will match up well when a bowler needs traction up front with a controlled smooth move off the friction. When playing outside angles on our Sport patterns, all release styles experienced great looks with control and excellent pin carry.

When to Use: The Marvel likely will see many uses at this year’s USBC Open Championships, especially on the fresh team event pattern, where we expect to see the box 2000-grit finish for our stroker, tweener and high-rev testers. On light to medium volumes, players should smooth and/or polish the ball to create easier length through the midlane. Slower speed players can use the Marvel on heavier and longer oil patterns only.

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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