Radical Katana Bowling Ball Review

The Katana Slices the Competition…

Radical Katana Bowling Ball

First Impressions
The Katana rolls really nice. An interesting motion on the micro scale and on the macro scale, it’s clean, starts to roll late midlane and punches really nicely for everyone downlane.

Our Testers:
Sean Jensen (Righty)
Style: Power player
RPM: 475 rpm
PAP: 4 3/4; 3/8 up
Average Speed: 19 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: low
Axis rotation: medium
Test Equipment: 14 Pounds
Layout: 65 x 5 x 40
Intent: Medium/long roll with a medium transition at the breakpoint

Dave Staboleski (Righty)
Style: Speed/Rev Matched Stroker
RPM: 315 rpm
PAP 4 3/4 & 1/2 up
Average Speed: 17 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: low
Axis rotation: low
Test Equipment: 14 Pounds
Layout: 65 x 5 x 40
Intent: Medium/long roll with a medium transition at the breakpoint

Bryan Hoffman (Righty)
Style: Higher Tilt Stroker
RPM: 280 rpm
PAP: 4 1/4 & 1/8 down
Average Speed: 17.5 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: high
Axis rotation: medium
Test Equipment: 14 Pounds

Thanks to Greg Bickta and Perfect Aim Pro Shop for drilling our equipment.
Thanks to Limerick Bowl in Limerick, PA.

Buy the Radical Katana at PerfactAimBowling.com.

“Keep in mind that coverstock accounts for 70% of ball reaction, but the core creates the dynamic shape of the reaction. Your driller will alter the shape to suit your game.”

Test Pattern:
THS: 40ft, 26ml
Sport: 46ft, 24.5 ml, 3:1 ratio

Value
B+
The Radical Katana is priced with the high end pieces but it appears to have a good amount of versatility being a strong pearl asymmetric ball.

Specs
The Radical Katana uses the Katana Asymmetric core inside the Forged pearl reactive coverstock.
15 pound = RG of 2.503, diff of .050, Int Diff of .020
14 pound = RG of 2.521, diff of .050, Int Diff of .020

Overall
THS: B+
Sport: B

The Katana brings a new core and cover so we didn’t know what to expect. We were pleasantly surprised how every bowler liked the ball pretty quickly and that bodes well. The cover gets downlane without a fight as you would expect from a pearl. You then see the core starting to rev up late midlane and finally get into a heavy roll. All of our bowlers could play this ball fairly direct on this heavier volume house shot. But each bowler saw shape. We thought it would be tougher to test some pieces on this house shot but really didn’t have much of an issue.
Sean starts with a weaker hand position to play up the boards and he struck very easily. The ball really shapes nicely going through its transitions and carry was great. Once he stepped in, you could more easily see the more defined transitions from the asymmetric core with the ball sometimes standing up a little too soon. These strong transitions are expected from asyms. Sean loves strong pearl asyms and this ball fit nicely in that mold.

Knowing how slick this house shot plays, Dave came back with that, “whoa” look on his face. He was surprised to see the Katana make that move downlane. It’s not skid/flip but it has that heavy trucking roll. He really had no trouble striking on the house shot once he found the “zone”. And he had some forgiveness in both directions but not way out as nobody had forgiveness there. No test ball made it back from way out so this is more the pattern than any ball.

Bryan struck right out of the gate but he actually realized he didn’t need to be quite as direct as he expected. The ball definitely had some juice as he found the ball moved more than he thought it would. So that made him more comfortable to just let it go without “help”. The Katana really seems to match Bryan’s game well as did the Reax 2 and Reax 2 pearl previously.

On to the 46ft sport shot, it’s not surprising that Sean liked this ball and found it easy to get to the pocket. If you’ve been following us, you know Sean likes pearl asyms. This was no exception. Again, you see the transitions very clearly. There was a touch over/under in terms of how the ball is entering the pocket but getting it there was surprisingly easy.

Dave took a few shots to figure out what’s the right line to get to the pocket with this ball since it has more motion in the last 1/3 of the lane than initially anticipated. Since the ball has some reliability to make the turn, that relaxes a bowler and once Dave got there, the “zone” to get to the pocket was relatively open for a tough shot. However, the ball was a bit over/under again at the pins so sometimes it overdrives and sometimes a bit light.

Bryan had zero problem getting the ball to the pocket and carrying. His line was really close to other test balls. However he took advantage of the punchy nature of the Katana to drive really nicely through the pins and high carry.

Final Thoughts
In the end, the Radical Katana looks to be a pretty versatile piece. It has a nice downlane motion that isn’t skid/snap but punchy in a way that a lot of bowlers will enjoy. That motion will be accentuated on the typical drier conditions many are facing but at the same time, we found it very nicely usable on the tough stuff as well. Every tester liked what they saw.

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