Bowling Ball Arsenal Building Concepts – The Classroom #7 – Luke Rosdahl

building a bag of useful bowling balls to conquer multiple conditions

Bowling Ball Arsenal Building Concepts 

Hey everyone and welcome to classroom video number 7 where we’ll be talking about arsenal building concepts.  In the first 6 videos we’ve talked about a lot of heavy stuff, but I know you all remembered every word and understand all about ball reaction now, and definitely don’t need any alcohol for this one.  BowlersMart, Coolwick, Turbo, SRGBBFS and of course Storm Products keep these coming so you can either thank or blame them, your choice, but I’d think if you didn’t like the videos you wouldn’t be watching, so you might as well just like the video, follow the links and use my code, I’m gonna make you want to buy all kinds of stuff here anyway.  

Building A Bowling Ball Arsenal Is Difficult

Arsenal building is tricky, and this video isn’t likely to be very helpful if you’re expecting me to just give you a list, I’m going to try to help you create your own list.  That said, I’m going to work from a couple lists.  There are a few different ways to create an arsenal in my opinion, and I’m going to hit it from both sides of the lane too because arsenal building is quite different on each side.  There’s a few different reasons to create different arsenals, and you can’t just latch onto an idea and run with it, you have to think and plan and adjust.  

You Want To Have A Balanced Selection Of Bowling Balls

The first idea is a balanced arsenal, you want a group of balls of different strengths and shapes because that creates versatility.  With a balanced arsenal, you should always have SOMETHING that fits what you need, even if it’s not the perfect fit, you shouldn’t be just flat shut out.  I’m about to update my sport essentials collection again once we get to the end of the year and see where balls like the Idol Helios, Rubicon UC3, and the newly announced Alternate Reality and Wolverine fit, but I’m going to use this concept to build my personal 5 ball plus spare arsenal out of the currently available catalog.  There’s a couple balls like the Pro Motion and Idol Synergy that I’d have in there if I were to make it out of what I own, but I’m going to stick with stuff you can still buy . . from BowlersMart using my link in the description or at the end of the video.  Disclaimer, your list could vary quite a bit from mine depending on your speed, rev rate, conditions, and general needs.  You might end up with something like a Rubicon or Phaze 2 in your 3 slot if you’ve got higher speed and or lower revs, or it might be your 1 ball if you don’t need any help getting the ball to hook.  

Bowling Ball 1 In Your Arsenal Should Be A Strong Bowling Ball

In the 1 ball slot which is the strongest, you basically start at 1 with the heavy oil stuff and work your way down to 5, we have stuff like the Proton PhysiX, Reality, RST X-1, Incite, Axiom, Phaze 2, and Zen Master.  My choice here would probably be the Reality, it’s the best blend of strength, shape, and versatility.  The Proton is so strong that it’s rarely in play, the X1 and Incite can sometimes not be QUITE enough dig, while the Axiom, Phaze 2 and Zen Master especially can lack the torque needed.  The Reality is big strength, a nice blend of shape and control, and is super versatile, I can play anywhere on the lane I need to.  The drawback with the 1 ball slot is that you’re rarely going to use it period, but the balls I find I can use even if I don’t quite have the oil for them are the Reality, X1 and Incite, mostly because of their versatility.  

Bowling Ball 2 In Your Arsenal – A Few Different Possibilities

In the 2 ball slot we have a mix of some weaker asyms, big shiny asyms and a couple stronger symmetrics, like the Rubicon, Rubicon UC2, RST X2, Parallax Effect, Zen, Phaze 3, IQ Tour Nano Pearl, Dark Code, and UFO Alert.  Pretty wide range of stuff to pick from, and I’ll throw the wrench in on the next build concept, but for now I could pick 2 balls from this zone and use one as a 2 ball and one as a 3 depending on what I pick, I won’t for the sake of the video, but it’s a viable option.  If I want to go strong I could go Rubicon Zen or Parallax Effect Rubicon UC2, or if I want to stay with the straight up balance, I’d probably pick the RST X-2 or UFO Alert.  Both shiny asyms, but with medium to medium strong covers.  Core for the torque, cleanish cover with decent shape.  With the shine knocked off these can reach up to be a good step down from the Reality while still having the asym torque, I like pairing a strong asym with a cleaner asym so that you have two asym looks, when you drop down to symmetrics, it can be too big of a gap, even if you go with a stronger one, and you might not want to try to bridge that gap with a stronger symmetric if what you find yourself needing is torque and shape but not dig.  You could go Reality Rubicon or Reality IQTNP with your first two picks but you’re really handcuffing yourself if you need something cleaner up front, because if you have a cleaner 3 ball, you just might not have enough core, so I’m going Reality, RST X2 for the first two picks.  

Bowling Ball 3 In Your Arsenal – A Versatile All Around Bowling Ball 

In the 3 ball zone there’s not a lot to choose from, mostly because we just lost the Trend and Idol Synergy, but with my first two picks I could pull from some of the symmetric balls from the 2 ball spot depending on what I’m going for. I think the Axiom Pearl is down here even though the numbers say it shouldn’t be, but it is, along with the Honey Badger Intensity and Revival, Hyroad Max, and Trend 2.  The Trend 2 is kind of a unicorn, it could be a 2 or even a 4 ball depending on what’s going on, so for me it’s the easy pick in this zone, especially because I picked a cleaner 2 ball.  If I’d have gone something like Parallax Effect or Dark Code, I might have picked the Phaze 3 or IQ Tour Nano Pearl, but I’m sticking with the versatility theme here, Reality and X2 are big on coverage, they aren’t locked into any zones on the lane, they can cover a pretty wide range of conditions, so Trend 2 is the natural fit here.  Stronger cover than the X2, but quite a bit weaker core, so we’ve got a couple strong revving high torque cores in the Reality and X2, quite different covers though, and the Trend 2 kind of flips that, so with these 3, I’ve got a lot of versatility, condition and zone coverage that intertwine pretty interestingly.  

Bowling Ball 4 In Your Arsenal 

In the 4 ball slot we’re looking at stuff like the IQ Tour Solid, Hyroad, Hustle RAP and Hustle PBR, Hyped Pearl and Hybrid, and the Electrify Solid.  So far we’ve been going the versatility route, trying to cover as much ground as we can from as many different angles as we can.  Once we get down here though, I want a couple safety nets in the 4 and 5 spot.  Despite still being pretty controllable and versatile, all 3 of my picks so far are on the sharp side, definitely not wanting for any shape 1-3, even if I knock the shine off the X2 and T2, so I’m going to pick the IQ Tour Solid.  I think it’s a better look on the left side than it is on the right side honestly, there’s extra shape over here, so while it can be a little too smooth and slow on the right sometimes, it’s virtually the perfect lefty ball.  On the right side I might go PBR or E Solid with the shine knocked off because I’ve got one sanded ball and two factory polished balls so far, Hyroad is the sexy pick, but with that I’d be getting into friction response overlap.  With one of the smoother and slower solids, I’ve got a bail out ball, and one that’s still pretty versatile if we’re being honest.  It’s the one that’s the most zone limited on the right side, but I can bend it just fine on the left.  

Bowling Ball 5 In Your Arsenal 

In the final spot with the 5 ball, we’re looking Hustle Wine and Hustle Camo, Electrify Pearl, Hyroad Pearl, Burner Solid, Burner Pearl, and the urethanes, Pitch Black and Fast Pitch because that’s just where urethane falls, not because it’s weak.  The Pitch Black will outdig the Proton if you’re wanting raw traction, but definitely won’t out shape or out torque it.  Generally speaking I’ll rule the urethane out, even on the left side unless I’m looking at stuff under 38 feet, or that’s really flat, that’ll get covered in the different ideas.  This is an easy pick for me, the Hustle Camo is one of my favorites for ball of the year, we’ll have a stream at the end of the year doing a fundraiser and giveaway for our local dog rescue that’s paired with a 2021 recap and picks for ball of the year.  I’ve hardly put the Camo down since I got it, I shot my second lefty 300 with it, it’s bailed me out a bunch of times, and was what kept my head above water at a super dry tournament a few weeks ago.  It’s a slightly weaker IQ Tour Solid with more shape and zone coverage, so it’s the best blend of shape and friction management from any zone I want to use it from out of any of these.  With the shine knocked off, it might also be the most versatile, I don’t know.  

Bowling Ball 5 In Your Arsenal – Spare Ball

For my spare ball, I really like the Off White Mix, it’s very stable rolling.  Some plastic can skate too much or actually kind of back up on some conditions, and the Off White isn’t actually plastic, it’s kind of a urethane blend so it’s a nice balance between just going straight of course, but rolling true.  This is why some people either use urethane for spares or stronger balls, they’re early, smooth, and stable, but you’ve gotta flatten your hand and throw them straight.  The Mix is a good compromise, and it’s my choice for spares.  

These Are My Arsenal Bowling Ball Picks – What Are Yours? 

Ok, so all that self importance and monologuing aside, what were your picks and why were they your picks?  So from just a theoretical standpoint, those are my picks, but if I’m putting together an actual usable bag, I take two of those, the Hustle Camo and Mix, the first 3 are just too strong and or too sharp to see much lane time at all, and the IQ Tour just overlaps the Camo too much.  This is the next idea, a usable arsenal.  How often do you find yourself putting stuff in your bag for diversity on paper, but you never pull it out and never use it, and it really doesn’t look that great for you anyway?  I typically build my bag based on a certain idea that I like with balls that I like that vary somewhat on traction with a focus on different friction responses.  I very rarely get along with medium to higher RG balls, the Camo is as high as I go without running into issues.  I like staying inside stuff and floating, pushing, or fading the ball, this is pretty important to managing the friction and shape on the left side of the lane.  Doing that on the right usually results in a lot of flat 10s, but if you circle the middle or rev up the ball and let it float and play the big backend, that’s a nightmare on the left side because of the abundance of shape.  Jakob Butturff has virtually the perfect lefty game, push it at the breakpoint and let it climb, that uses the shape to your advantage rather than going overboard.  On the right side, things generally look good in practice, but then the backends soften up and the track starts to burn.  On the right side I would pick shapes I liked and vary the hook potentials because transition makes you adjust faster.  On the left side, I pick shapes I like but don’t vary the hook potentials much, I vary the friction responses more because with the left side transitioning much more slowly, getting the shape right is more important than getting the amount of traction right.  

Your Bowling Ball Arsenal Might Look Different For Right Hand VS Left Handers

In the past, on the right side I’d run a bag like PhysiX, Astro PhysiX, Phaze 2, Phaze 3, Idol Pearl, and Hyroad Pearl.  All pretty round shapes, continuous with varying degrees of hook potential.  On the left side, my bag is usually something like Pro Motion, Idol Synergy, Phaze/G which is kind of like the Phaze 3, UFO Alert, and the Hustle Camo.  Those are all fairly on top of each other, Alert has torque on the rare occasion that I need it, but a clean medium strength cover.  Pro Motion has a strong cover but it’s really smooth and symmetric.  Idol Synergy has a strong symmetric core and is cleaner but still really round, the Phaze/G is an overseas ball in Phaze 3 territory, pretty strong and sharp, and the Hustle Camo is my kind of lighter oil bail out ball.  On the right side it was pretty balanced, a 1 ball, couple 2 balls, 3 ball and a 5 ball.  On the left side, I have 3 2 balls, a 3 ball and a 5 ball, similar overall hook potentials but with several different friction responses.  

Last Tips For Building A Bowling Ball Arsenal 

The last idea I’m going to talk about for this video because while I do love to hear myself talk, I also hate waiting on longer videos to render, is the targeted idea for either a condition, center, or combination of both, which is really the way to do it.  If you ask me what you should take for a certain condition, I’m not going to answer, because conditions can play wildly different from center to center.  You can’t just say oh I’m going to bowl on Chromium, I should take this, because from personal experience, it can take a Pro Motion at one house, an IQ Tour Nano Pearl at another, and a Hyroad at another to beat it depending on the lane surface and topography.  Most of your questions, I can’t really answer.  I CAN tell you how certain balls relate to each other, we can talk cover formulas and core strengths all day, but I can’t tell you how to layout a ball, I can’t tell you what to take to bowl on a certain condition, and I can’t tell you what surface to put on your ball, it’s all relative and related to how you bowl and what you bowl on, and there’s literally millions of variables to consider.  This idea comes down to you, pay attention to what works on certain conditions or in certain centers.  If you seem to always score well in a certain place with a certain ball regardless of the condition, pay attention to that, or if your local centers are all fairly similar, you might have one ball that always kills a certain condition.  You have to pay attention, you have to think, you have to gain and trust your own experience.  I can give you information, my wife and I throw everything, we have tons of experience and knowledge about the Storm brands’ covers and cores, but then you have to take that information and apply it yourself.  

Think For Yourself When It Comes To Advice On Bowling

This classroom series is about teaching YOU how to figure out this stuff, because not only are most people out there clueless, they all have their different opinions and ideas.  My advice could be great for you or absolutely awful, I’d like to think I’m pretty smart and pretty knowledgeable, I do choose to spend all my free time making bowling videos though, so I can’t be THAT smart, but I’m also naturally going to offer my perspective or thoughts or way of looking at the game, and it may not make any sense to you whatsoever, or if it does make sense, it just might not work because you might be on a different wavelength.  I hate answering questions that people could have found the answers to on the website, google, or one of the billion videos on YouTube because all that does is tell me that I’m not going to be able to help them.  If you ask me how the Zen compares to the Phaze 3, that’s an intelligent question.  Super similar numbers, both strong cover formulas, both polished, so what’s the real difference, that’s something you either have to ask someone with experience, or spend the few hundred bucks to find out.  If you ask me what the difference is between the Trend 2 and the Reality, we’re done here because you obviously aren’t paying attention.  However, at the same time, don’t let this dissuade you from asking questions because it’s a complex game, people are at all stages of learning, and there’s a lot of really bad information out there.  The frequent commenters know that I’m not going to get pissy or jump down your throat, I’m going to try to help you out if I can, but sometimes the answer is going to be that I have no answer because it has to be answered by you or your pro shop, provided they actually know what they’re doing, and that’s unfortunately a big crap shoot there too.  There’s a lot of information you can figure out on your own, if you do happen to compare the Trend 2 to the Hyroad, and don’t understand cover formulas, that’s fair and I’ll help.  If you look at the numbers and ask how much difference there really is between a 2.54 and a 2.57 RG, that’s also an intelligent question that shows me you at least made an effort.  Asking me how one ball compares to another ball on a video that I literally spent hours writing, filming, and editing to feature that specific comparison in because you can’t be bothered to watch a 5 minute video all the way through might make me spit out my Laphroaig, and at that point we’ve got problems because I do love my Laphroaig, it’s a major contributor to maintaining my sanity.  

Layout Advice For An Arsenal Of Bowling Balls

One final piece of advice because I know it’s a big consideration is layout, and that’s super open ended, but at a basic level, ball design will always dominate layout.  Trick or special layouts usually give you very specific and not terribly forgiving ball reaction, and I don’t think there’s anything dumber than picking the wrong ball and trying to trick it with a layout because you want to be abstract.  Pick the right ball for what you want and put a normal or usable layout on it, it’s a very rare situation for someone to need specialized layouts, especially if you average under 230.  If you average 180, you don’t need to short pin a Trend 2 because you’re trying to produce a certain look, you’re just going to push yourself into a corner, maybe what you need is just a 4 inch pin on a Hyped Pearl.  Don’t complicate it, however, you have to understand the details in order to simplify it the correct way, not ignore the details or call them outliers so you don’t have to learn the details.  Thanks for watching and may the strikes be with you.  

storm trend 2 bowling ball

For a ball to be emblazoned with Jason Belmonte’s insignia, you know it must be special. After all, his 13 majors and multiple PBA Player of the Year accolades is no small feat. This man knows what he’s talking about, so we’ve enlisted his help in designing some of the highest performing balls on the market, balls which reflect his career.

Now it’s time to set another TREND with the Trend 2.

“Of all the Signature™ line balls Storm and I have created, Trend 2 has us the most excited. With a stronger cover and a redesign of the weight block, we have created an absolute monster for any style of player,” said Jason. “Trend 2 will give you the ability to move deeper on the lane without losing entry angle into the pocket. If you are in need of throwing that big couple games, Trend 2 is going to have your back.”

Color: Indigo/Space Black/Rosé
Coverstock: NRG Hybrid Reactive
Weight Block: Piston Core
Factory Finish: 1500 Grit Polished
Flare Potential: High
Radius of Gyration (RG): 15lbs – 2.52
Differential (Diff): 15lbs – 0.049
Fragrance: Orange Meringue



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