find out what the hype is all about - 900 global zen in depth review by luke rosdahl
The 900 Global Zen is Everything Anyone Has Ever Wanted in a Bowling Ball
Hello and thanks for joining me for a detailed look at the 900 Global Zen. In the few short months since its release, the Zen has taken the bowling world by Storm, pun intended, like few other balls I’ve ever seen. We’re going to find out exactly what makes it so popular and if it is indeed one of those special balls that has staying power like a Phaze 2, IQ Tour, or Hyroad. Everyone I’ve heard from loves it, it was one of the first Global balls the Storm and Roto staffers drilled in January when the brands merged, the pros adopted it quickly and it’s seen a lot of air time so far. It looks and sounds sexy, it hooks a lot for a shiny ball, but it’s really controllable and versatile, it just seems to be one of those balls that’s always in play and always does everything right, so I had to drill one, I couldn’t avoid it any longer.
My Layout On The Largest Core Global 900 Has Ever Used
I chose a 4 ½ pin to pap and a 2” pin buffer for the Zen, PSA to pap doesn’t matter on a symmetric ball of course, but I really wanted it to be all purpose. I laid this ball out with the new Storm arc ruler, the blend of simplicity and precision makes this a really handy tool. I like big core symmetrics to begin with, but some of my 5” stuff can be a little too long and quick sometimes, and the 4” ones are just too much too early, so I split the difference. If this is all Greek to you, in the description I’ve linked the Storm Pin Buffer Layout trilogy, Alex Hoskins did an amazing job with those and it’s all you’ve ever wanted or needed to know about layouts. The symmetric Mediate core that we see here in this incredibly cool half ball is the largest core that Global has ever put into a ball, and the language on the website says that increases hitting power and gives the ball a more consistent reaction. Hit I think is more a product of being lined up and matched up well, but bigger and stronger cores do create more consistency, that’s why people like big core stronger symmetrics like the Phazes, Axioms, Idols etcetera, you get the strength without the extra torque that asyms have. Numbers are 2.49 RG and an .051 differential in 15 pounds, very close to Idol and Phaze numbers.
A Shiny Bowling Ball That Hooks & Is Controllable
I’m going to leave the Zen shiny, I actually like factory shine, for some people it can make the reaction inconsistent, but that’s where I’m going to start. A big point to add here too as we start taking a look at ball reaction is that I don’t think many people are knocking the shine off or having to knock it off. The cover feels really strong and even with the shine on it, it’s still digging or getting traction earlier and blends the lane front to back better than nearly any ball I’ve ever thrown. The S77 Response cover is still pretty quick, if I get it outside too far or too quick, it’s going to “respond,” but I do have a pretty good amount of miss room inside. The strength of both the cover and the core pretty well maxes out it’s consistency and forgiveness. Usually on a shiny ball you have to break that shine if you want it to be more consistent or forgiving, but the shine balances the strength of the cover and puts the ball reaction in all the right places on the vast majority of typical conditions.
How This 900 Global Zen Coverstock Matches Up To Others From Storm / Roto
I don’t know where the Global covers land on the Storm and Roto cover spectrum, the number in the cover name indicates its strength, but there’s a big difference between for example R3S hybrid strong on the Phaze 3 and Traction X7 hybrid strong on the Parallax. There are distinguishable differences between their stronger covers like R3S, R4S, NRG, NeX, SPEC, so just having a number associated with the cover strength doesn’t really tell me anything on paper. It feels a lot like the Traction X7 pearl cover on the Parallax Effect and NeX pearl on the Axiom Pearl, and the best way I can describe it is that it’s near Axiom Pearl strength and friction response with the shape of the Trend. The Piston core in the Trend is pretty naturally continuous, it creates more of an arcing shape on the lane. The Axiom Pearl wants to be a little straighter and is better suited for more precise directional control off the end of the pattern, but NeX pearl is really strong, blends the lane crazy good front to back, and still manages to be responsive enough. The Zen is what I’d imagine NeX pearl on the Piston core would look like, but even a bit stronger than that, which is what makes me think Traction X7, but the strength of that giant core might be the bit “extra” that I’m reading. Either way, that’s the zone it’s in, it’s definitely in Axiom Pearl territory, and for those of you overseas equipment fans or experts, the stronger covers on the Marvel series like a Marvel Maxx SE are somewhat familiar here too, NRG pearl creates a little more chug than the Zen has, and Angel actually has a Trend SE which is NeX Pearl on the Piston core, so we might have to take a look there.
The 900 Global Zen is a Cheat Code
Now while I’ve been rambling, the Zen has been striking at will. This is quite possibly the most comfortable I’ve felt throwing a ball on the left side of the lane so far. It’s so naturally continuous that I don’t have to worry too much about coming up the back of it, it’ll pick up and drive. It’s easy enough up front that I don’t have to worry about shoving it or pushing it to get it down the lane. It’s forgiving enough that I’ve got a good amount of room, now I think playing to miss inside is the smarter play, with as strong and blendy as it is, it’s kind of deceptively strong, several of these shots I thought oops, got a little firm or fast with that one and it still pulled up and got through the pins well, even if it WAS a little late and had to kick a 7 or mix them up, it still did it, those are the small things that separates it from other balls.
The Zen Likes To Wheel The Lane
Other balls have limits at some point, some just refuse to get down the lane from straighter and some kind of hit a wall as you get deeper. The Zen wasn’t necessarily comfortable from straighter, it’s pretty strong, but it worked. I continued to chase it deeper and deeper and it just kept coming. I made the necessary adjustments of course, I got slower, got around it more, upped the rev rate, but that’s not enough for some balls, some just aren’t really built for angle and you just have to go too far out of your way to manufacture ball reaction rather than just making the adjustments and executing a still good and comfortable shot. This center is definitely a benchmark house for me, I get my best read on the ball here, I feel the most comfortable here, but the Zen just doesn’t stop, if I had the ability to whomp on it a bit more, I could have done some serious heck, but the last shot of the video isn’t one you want to miss.
The Zen Is The Real Deal!
For me, the Zen lives up to the hype and I can see why it’s been on backorder and backing plant production and other new releases up for months now. Usually I’m one of the first if not THE first to get reviews out for new balls, and in that situation I can understand that some might be hesitant or skeptical and want to see real world application and how many are actually on the return at league and what they look like in other hands before buying in or believing what a staffer has to say or what’s in a promotional video. The script has been flipped and this video has only come after the craze for this ball, it’s singlehandedly delayed new releases and put several other balls on backorder that usually aren’t, and in my opinion, it deserves all the attention it’s getting. The best part is that I don’t have to feel like I’m going to get called out for being a staffer hype guy trying to drive presales, this thing has been everywhere in the 6 months since it came out, it’s become one of those balls that’s an automatic in the bag to go everywhere for the staffers, it’s all over league racks across the country, it’s on tv all the time, and I think it’s still going to be around 5 years from now. It’s a Phaze 2, Hyroad, Venom Shock, Black Widow line type of ball, and that still doesn’t mean literally everyone is going to match up with it, but I think it’s going to be more of a fluke if you don’t.
My Ratings For The 900 Global Zen
Finally, for my ratings, I give the Zen an 8 for hook potential, a 6 for length, and a 7 for backend strength. It’s closest to the Parallax Effect on hook potential, the Axiom Pearl on length, and the Trend on backend strength. Select the next comparison you’d like to see from the links on the screen or scroll down to the description to find links to other choices. Thanks for watching and may the strikes be with you.
900 global zen bowling ball
The S77 Response™ Pearl Coverstock was the obvious choice to follow up on the success of the S77 Response™ Solid coverstock. The Pearl version of this cover will provide the most skid/flip reaction we have ever put in the 800 Series. The Zen™ will be a great ball to open up your angles with on medium-heavy patterns.
The Meditate™ Core is the biggest core we have ever put into a bowling ball!! A bigger core means more hitting power combined with a more consistent reaction. Throughout testing the Meditate™ Core provided that wide “footprint on the lane that all bowlers love to see. The Zen™ pushes the limits of core dynamics.
Coverstock: S77R™ Pearl
Weight Block: Meditate™ Symmetric
Factory Finish: 1500 Polish
Flare Potential: 4-5″
Radius of Gyration (RG): 15lbs – 2.49
Differential (Diff): 15lbs – .051
Intermediate Differential (Diff): 15lbs – N/A