This article is the third and final part of our three-part series where we are looking into the effect of different layouts with the Parallax and the all-new Aeroflo Core. The previous two articles have shown that changing the pin-to-PAP and PSA-to-PAP distances can cause tremendous change in ball motion for particular styles of players. The final question is… What effect will large changes in the pin buffer distance have on ball motion?
To find out, I drilled 3 different Parallax bowling balls. I used a consistent pin-to-PAP distance of 5 ½” and a consistent PSA-to-PAP distance of 4” on all 3 balls. The only difference between each of the 3 balls was that they utilized a different pin Buffer distance. I went with 1”, 3”, and 5” pin buffer distances to showcase the differences the pin buffer can make in ball reaction for my particular style. When looking at any layout comparison, it’s extremely important to keep your bowler statistics in mind. Ball speed, rev rate, axis rotation, and axis tilt will all play a large role in what ball motion you will see out of certain layout combinations and how much difference you will see between different layouts. For this article’s sake, it’s important to keep in mind that I have slower ball speed of approximately 15mph combined with a slightly higher rev rate of 350rpm. I have a medium amount of axis tilt at 18° and slightly higher axis rotation at approximately 60°. This combination of bowler statistics allows bigger differences to be seen between each of the balls. Another bowler who is more speed dominant with less rotation might not see as big of a difference in the reaction. The differences will always be unique to your particular style so it’s important to understand who you are as a player.
I split the testing up into 3 separate tests. For test #1, I lined up to strike with 5 ½ x 4 x 1 Parallax, then threw the other two in the exact same place to see how they would compare. For test #2, I lined up to strike with the 5 ½ x 4 x 3 Parallax, then threw the other two in the exact same place to how they would compare. For test #3, I lined up to strike with the 5 ½ x 4 x 5 Parallax, then threw the other two in the exact same place to see how they would compare. Overhead lane graphs for each of the tests are shown.
Results from test #1 show that I was forced the farthest left of any of the tests to strike with the 1” Parallax. Shorter pin buffers cause the ball to transition from skid to hook to roll faster as they transition down the lane. Because of this quick transition, the 1” Parallax was the only ball that was able to get back to the pocket and strike. Both of the other test balls transitioned from skid to hook to roll too slowly to make it back from that deep of an angle. They needed more friction to accomplish what the 1″ Parallax was able to do on the fresh. The 1” Parallax created the most entry angle at 5.2° and finished the highest of the 3 balls on the head pin at 16.50.
Results from test #2 show that I was forced back to the right in order to strike with the 3” Parallax since it transitioned slower than the 1” Parallax used in test #1. Utilizing this medium pin buffer distance made the ball transition very smoothly down the lane and gave a very benchmark type of ball reaction. As expected, the 1” Parallax thrown in the same place hooked more and earlier overall because of the faster transition caused by the shorter pin buffer. The 5” Parallax hooked less overall and transitioned even slower causing it to not have enough time to change direction and get to the pocket from that deep of an angle. Similar to the previous test results, the 5” Parallax gave the least amount of entry angle and hooked the least overall because it’s the slowest of the 3 balls transitioning down the lane. More friction is needed to get the 5″ Parallax to see the lane the right way.
Results from test #3 show that my feet needed to be the farthest right of any of the balls tested to strike with the 5” Parallax. Utilizing longer pin buffers will cause the ball to transition much slower. They need to encounter enough friction to help them get from skid to hook to roll quick enough to properly get through the pins. This typically makes longer pin buffers better when playing straighter as opposed to hooking the entire lane, unless there is a significant amount of friction on the lane. As expected, both the 1” Parallax and 3” Parallax test balls both out-hooked and created more overall entry angle compared to the 5” Parallax thrown in the same place.
Moving into the dynamics of the drilled bowling balls, you’re going to notice that there isn’t as drastic of a difference in RG’s, total differential’s, or intermediate differential’s as one might expect with such large changes in pin position from the different pin buffers. This really shows how the Aeroflo Core is unique. It maintains its dynamics through multiple drilling combinations. The Aeroflo Core does this because of the elliptical cavity found on the inside. In my 5 ½ x 4 x 1 Parallax, the thumb goes straight into the elliptical cavity. Since the thumb hole is removing lighter core material far from the pin, the total differential doesn’t go up as much as one might expect. In contrast, on the 5 ½ x 4 x 5 Parallax, the thumb goes straight above the elliptical cavity. Since the thumb hole is removing heavier weight block material and it’s still more than 3 ⅜” from the pin, the total differential doesn’t drop as much as one might expect. The key takeaway here is that the Aeroflo Core is extremely driller friendly and easily accepts many different layout combinations to suit any style of player. Even though we don’t see large changes dynamically through drilling, there will still be distinct differences in ball motion because of the initial orientation of the mass and migration of the weight block as it transitions down the lane. Let’s take a closer look at some on-lane performance testing.
Overall, we saw some very consistent results across the 3 different tests from the 1”, 3”, & 5” pin buffer distances. The shorter the pin buffer, the stronger both front-to-back and left-to-right the ball motion was. As we started increasing the pin buffer distance, we saw less and less overall performance. We were forced more and more to the right in order to strike. As we talked about in the beginning these differences could be magnified or minimized depending on the player’s style and what they are bowling on. Simply understanding what is happening when you change the Pin Buffer distance is the first step into translating it into how it’s going to affect your particular game on whatever you are bowling on that day.