Solid Reactive And Pearl Reactive Vs. Hybrid Bowling Balls
Understanding the differences between solid reactive and pearl reactive vs. hybrid bowling balls
will help virtually everyone choose which type of coverstock options are available in the bowling ball purchase process. The differences in solid reactive and pearl reactive vs. hybrid bowling balls
are key to matching the right coverstock for you on the various lane conditions you encounter during competition. A little knowledge about your options in coverstocks can go a long way in choosing the right bowling ball.
First, in general terms, reactive bowling balls
triggered the movement to highly aggressive coverstocks. Reactive coverstocks were initially designed to react a certain way on oily portions of the lane surface and another way on the dry back ends of the lanes. Reactive coverstocks are composed of similar materials used in regular urethane formations, however, they are blended with different additives. The net effect is that reactive coverstocks with resin additives cause the ball to skip or hydroplane over the oil portions of the lanes and thereby provide useful and controllable skid distances in the front ends of the lanes. Reactive balls also provide the "tacky" feeling which translates into additional traction and usually a strong back end reaction on the lane. Sub-categories of reactive coverstocks we are targeting in this article are the solid coverstock, the pearl coverstock, and hybrid bowling balls.
Solid reactive coverstocks have the greatest amount of microscopic reactive pores on the ball surface compared to other reactive coverstocks. The solid coverstock comes in a polished finish, sanded finishes, and with a rubbing compound buffed finish so the degree of surface friction can be controlled within the sub-category of solid reactive bowling balls.
Solid reactive coverstocks typically provide a higher coefficient of friction than pearl coverstocks. Because of more surface friction, solid reactive balls tend to hook sooner than pearl reactive balls and also experience a reduction of energy as they travel down the lane compared to pearl reactive coverstock balls. As a solid reactive ball leaves the oil pattern on the back third of the lane surface, it tends to hook less sharply at the break point to the pocket than does a pearl reactive ball.
Recent releases of reactive solid or Matte finished coverstock balls are the C (System) alpha-max
and the Virtual Gravity NANO
bowling balls, both of which are very aggressive coverstocks and usually are selected for use in heavy or medium-heavy oil conditions.
Pearl reactive coverstocks emerging in the early 1990's were manufacturered with the addition of resin or mica particles and materials blended into the reactive coverstock material. The inclusion of these additives roughens out the microscopic pores causing the ball reaction on dry lanes to be extended in length on the front ends of the lanes. With the ability to skid decisively on the front end of the lanes and store energy, pearl reactive balls produce stronger hooking ability on the back ends of the lanes than do solid reactive coverstock balls.
The coefficient of friction in pearl reactive balls is lower than in solid reactive balls
which generally results in less loss of stored energy as the ball travels down the lane and a sharper reaction from the break point to the pocket compared to solid reactive balls. In short, the pearl reactive balls have the ability to react quickly to high friction portions of the lane. Examples of pearl reactive bowling balls are the Bank Pearl
and the Victory Road
, both popular choices in bowling balls with pearl reactive coverstocks.
Hybrid reactive coverstocks are a combination of solid and pearl reactive covers with the purpose of taking advantage of the benefits of both type coverstocks. Hybrid coverstocks offer the mid-lane reaction of a solid coverstock and the back end reaction of a pearl coverstock. Hybrid balls will give you the front end glide you seek on Medium oil conditions and respond at the break point to the pocket similarly to pearl reactive ball coverstocks. Hybrid coverstocks allow for adjusting surface textures in the same way as do pearl and solid reactive balls and some experimentation with your Hybrid coverstock ball
surface is recommended so you will know precisely when to make the switch in bowling balls. New releases of hybrid coverstock bowling balls are the Infinite Theory
, the Reign Supreme
, and the Cruel C51
, all of which offer the versatility of friction match-ups on the lane surface that the hybrid coverstocks are designed to accomplish.
Entry level bowlers seeking a useful bowling ball should discuss their needs with a pro shop operator or a certified bowling instructor before making a purchase. The goal is to match the coverstock to the lane conditions where entry level players bowl most often. Experienced bowlers averaging between 130-180 should strongly consider owning both a solid reactive ball and a pearl reactive ball to use during competition and to match to the amount of oil most frequently encountered in league or perhaps tournament play. Switching to a pearl reactive ball when lanes dry up during given sessions on the lanes is an important adjustment to maintain the ability to score well, another good reason to own both solid and pearl reactive bowling balls. Players more skilled and averaging 180-200 should most definitely invest in multiple bowling balls including solid reactive, pearl reactive, and hybrid coverstock bowling balls. Making changes in equipment at the right time is one reason highly skilled players are successful.
All players, and this is extremely important, should learn as much as possible about the ball surface adjustment
processes used in providing the right amount of friction on a given ball surface to match with the modern oil patterns found in bowling centers across America. By use of Abralon or Siaair screening pads, it is now possible to choose as an aggressive of surface texture as desired without the cheese grater finish on the ball surface. Abralon pads use silicon carbide particles which are precision sifted to consistent grain sizes, then bonded evenly on a fabric face pad providing very even scratch patterns on the ball surface.
Not only are these pads capable of leaving the ball surface cosmetically appealing to the eye, they are available in a variety of abrasive textures. Abralon pads can be found generally with very textured patterns such as P180 grit for the deepest scratches, P360 for deep scratches, P500 for medium scratches, P1000 and P1500 to return balls to most factory sanded finishes, P2000 for a mild luster underneath the texture, and P4000 for a high luster with the smoothest texture of all pad options.
Every serious bowler should own a solid and a pearl reactive bowling ball as well as a hybrid ball at the very least and become adept at understanding surface preparation strategies with use of Abralon pads which are available in pro shops everywhere. Remember, it is permitted by USBC standards to alter the ball surface during practice before competition begins in order to make fine tune adjustments affecting skid control or for carrying the corner pins. Certain cleaners and polishes
are available at bowlingball.com
which are cleared for use during USBC competition and should be accessory items in everyone's bowling bag
Manufacturers have spent endless resources over many years time in developing sophisticated coverstocks so the variety of classifications from all manufacturers combined offer bowlers choices in versatile coverstocks which can be altered or modified to control length and hook potential on a variety of oil conditions. bowlingball.com
highly recommends you also familiarize yourself with our Perfect Scale®
rating feature at our site which is useful in providing comparisons of the latest bowling balls in today’s market against our sophisticated rating scale system. The Perfect Scale® can be easily accessed from our home page by clicking on the button and then browsing the information provided at the Perfect Scale®. Our goal is to simply make it easier for you to compare products and feel confident in your purchase selection process.
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