Track 503C

by Bob Johnson 0

47.5 Hook 15.5 Length 15 Breakpoint Shape

Core Design: The new Packman asymmetric core boasts a 2.51 medium RG. The Diff is very strong at .057, while the mass bias is very conservative at .003. Drillers can treat this design as a symmetric when choosing the layout due to its ultra-low mass bias.

Coverstock: The new Gen4 reactive cover supplies the necessary traction for the new 503C. Track color choice of purple, blue and white pearl is sure to attract some envious glances. Factory finish is sanded with 4000 grit and highly polished. Oil traction is limited, while response time is quick.

Manufacturer’s Intent: Track’s Paul Figliomeni felt the need to upgrade last year’s 505C. “(This edition) will supply more length with more control at the breakpoint,” he said. “The overall design is best suited for dry to medium oil lane conditions.”

Test Results: The 503C offers a unique ball motion for medium oil. I wouldn’t classify it as a skid/flip motion, but it doesn’t arc enough to rate as a benchmark, either. The factory finish with the Gen4 cover glided easily through the fronts, but didn’t quite handle oil carrydown until we hit it softly with a Scotch Brite pad. Reaction on the backend is more of a hard arc finish, which held true with our lower rev tester (220), our medium guy (me at 300) and our blur guy (450). The core is what separates this ball from the 505C it replaces. This design is taller and its mild asymmetry encourages the stronger backend shape compared to its 505C predecessor.

When to Use: Being a slightly stronger than average benchmark ball, the 503C will naturally be a great choice for many styles on fresh light to medium volume house or Sport patterns. Down-and-in bowlers will be able to play nearer the friction areas as that style generally doesn’t create as much bounce off dry portions of the lane. We saw great looks on softer lane surfaces, like Guardian or urethane-coated wood, due to the ball’s ability to clear the fronts. Our favorite layouts didn’t necessarily utilize the full flare potential of the core, though, as our favorites incorporated longer pin distances of 4.5 and 5.5”.

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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