Bowl Expo Product Showcase

By Michael Cousins

Well, just like that, another Bowl Expo has come and gone. Another year seeing all of the upcoming releases in person and getting the opportunity to test them and compare them to other company’s releases.

And this year, more so than maybe ever, I noticed that the gaps that used to exist between the major manufacturers is closing, and fast.

These balls are good. All of them. From all of the companies. Every. Single. One. Of. Them.

Today we’re going to be going over some of the Expo releases that most impressed me. These releases were impressive and I believe that they warrant a look when you’re considering your next purchase.

Starting off with the new HP2 ball from Roto Grip, the Show Off. Wrapped in the powerful Micro DNA cover, this ball was STRONG. Stronger than any HP2 ball that I have ever seen. And probably stronger than any bowling ball ever introduced into this price point. The Show Off offers tremendous value at the price point, and it is sure to be a hit when it is released.

There weren’t many Storm balls in attendance, but, of the two that were there, though it is already out, the Code Red impressed me the most. I just love this bowling ball. Tremendously clean and quick for an asymmetrical bowling ball. I was a huge fan of the Code Black and this one is just no different.

Up next, and arguably one of the balls of the week, in my opinion, the Track Kinetic Ruby. I was personally a big fan of the Legion Solid, and this felt like a cleaner, more continuous Legion Solid. I was able to use this ball all over the lanes and with ease. It was predictable/smooth enough to keep my angles closed on the fresh, but, yet, strong/continuous enough to chase it in with it, as well. All-around, a great piece that is worth adding to any arsenal.

Sticking with the Ebonite International family, the Ebonite Matrix also caught my eye. When I first arrived at the showcase, the pairs had been bowled on quite a bit and one of the Ebonite guys recommended I give the Matrix a shot. And boy were they right. This ball motioned tremendously well on the burn. Exceptionally clean with just enough downlane motion. This one was sneaky good.

Honorable mentions would have to be the two new Vibes. They didn’t have them to throw, but, I mean, they’re Vibes, so you know they’re going to be impressive. The Blue Vibe is one of my personal favorite balls ever. And while I don’t know that the re-release will rival the original, I am anxiously waiting to see them go down the lane a bit more.

Another ball that really impressed me was the new Vintage Inferno from Brunswick. Anyone that knows me knows that the Infernos are one of my all-time favorite product lines. I have been waiting for this re-release with anticipation. And, I must say, after throwing it, I wasn’t disappointed. The ball wasn’t exactly what I was expecting it to be, honestly, but, that being said, I was pleasantly impressed. Honestly, the ball was just a little stronger than I expected, but when is that ever a bad thing? The ball offers tremendous value in the Vintage line. And those colors remain, to this day, some of the best colors I have seen. I personally love the shelf appeal. The new Brunswick line for the upcoming season is sure to impress.

In addition to the general releases, Storm and Ebonite International had some test balls at the showcase. These balls were unmarked, and we weren’t told much about them, honestly. But, having thrown all three of them, I must say that I was impressed.

The green Storm ball was a very predictable, even rolling ball that I can see myself using on the fresh when I want to keep the ball in play and in front of me.

The green/blue Ebonite International ball really impressed me, though. All I know is that it was asymmetrical. I threw five-six shots with it, moving left on each shot, and every single one of them struck. I was impressed with its ability to move left and continue.

The other Ebonite International ball was very, very sharp looking, and very, very sharp down lane. For sure the cleanest/quickest ball that the Ebonite International family had to offer. I could see myself using this particular ball later in blocks when I need to move in and open up my angles.

All-in-all, like I said earlier, every company offered some really impressive products. And that is a really good thing for the industry, as a whole. As an industry, we are only as strong as our weakest link, and when a particular company is lagging behind, it hurts all of us.

I am very impressed with these releases and I am excited at the direction that all of the brands are headed in.

One thought on “Bowl Expo Product Showcase

  1. Mark Thomas says:

    Hey Michael! We’re launching a new mobile app for bowling on July 13th called ZenSports. Would love for you to write about our launch. Send me an email at [email protected] if you’re interested, and I can provide you with further details. Thanks!

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