Storm Crux Prime Bowling Ball Review

The Crux at its Prime…

Storm Crux Prime Bowling Ball

First Impressions
The Crux Prime is a heavy forward rolling piece we’re used to seeing in the Roto Grip lineup. We’re going to like this one. This may be the the worthy successor to the Alpha Crux.

Our Testers:
Tamer Elbaga (Lefty)
Style: Tweener
RPM: 375 rpm
PAP: 5 & 3/8 up
Average Speed: 18.5 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: low
Axis rotation: medium/high
Test Equipment: 14 Pounds
Layout: 65 x 5 x 40
Intent: Medium/long roll with a medium transition at the breakpoint

Sean Jensen (Righty)
Style: Power player
RPM: 475 rpm
PAP: 5 1/2 & 1/4 up
Average Speed: 18.5 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

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
Layout: 65 x 4.5 x 35
Intent: Medium roll with a slow transition at the breakpoint

Thanks to Jeff Smith and Pure It Bowling for drilling our equipment.
Buy the Storm Crux Prime at PureItBowling.com.
Thanks to Limerick Bowl in Limerick, PA.

“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, 23ml
Sport: PBA Dick Weber: 45ft, 23.45 ml, 3:1 ratio

Value
B+
Despite being a top line strong solid asym, this ball feels like it will be pretty usable for many bowlers on a lot of conditions, earning it decent marks.

Specs
The Storm Crux Prime uses the Catalyst asymmetrical core inside the new SPEC Solid coverstock.
15 pound = RG of 2.50, diff of .052, mb of .017
14 pound = RG of 2.54, diff of .050, mb of .015
Coverstock finish: 2000 abralon

Overall
THS: B+
Sport: B+

Storm brings back the Crux line that used the very reliable Catalyst core. It really was a pretty forgiving and heavy rolling core shape. With the Crux Prime, Storm is also releasing a cover they call SPEC or Storm Performance Enhanced Coverstock. In short, Storm claims it will hold up longer. Time will tell and we will likely have to performance a longevity test. For now, I can somewhat understand why this might be the case. Firstly, the Crux Prime is not the strongest ball out there and I don’t think it’s intended to be. The strongest snow tires have no chance to hold up the way Storm claims. The cover strength is matched to provide just enough strength to allow the bowler to see the benefits of the heavy rolling core. Meaning, it’s not so strong that you have to significantly open up your angles. When you do that, a ball drains energy going side to side. Instead, you get a good balance of grit while still having great punch and continuation. Strong solid asyms sometimes struggle to have this balance on all but the heavier shots. Not the case with the Crux Prime.
I had a great look with it. For those who watched the livestream, shot after shot went through the pins with no doubt. Just excellent amounts of energy retention for no doubt strikes. This ball gave me the ability to open up the angles a bit but what was more telling for me is the carry when my breakpoint was in. Remember house shots tend to be flooded inside about 10 to 10. But this ball crushed the pocket on those shots and this lights up my eyes when I can have that type of forgiveness. House shots need blend left to right because of the cliff and the Crux Prime did that for me extremely well. This is all about midlane control.
Comparing to the Physix, the Physix is a bit longer and a bit more angular. The Physix core has a bit more defined asym turnover and the hybrid nano cover has tended to compliment that with good length. I had to make a small move right to give it a bit more room.

Sean was next with the Crux Prime and he had a pretty good look with it. Generally doesn’t use solid asyms on anything, let alone house shots. However, the Crux wasn’t difficult to use. Again, because it doesn’t display max snow tire like reaction, he doesn’t have get very deep. Near the 4th arrow was fine and the ball displayed that same midlane control and heavy roll through the pins. It just plows through and didn’t deflect much. It’s the same I saw and more on that when Bryan is up. Missing in wasn’t the best idea as it is not likely to hold for Sean. He tried using lower axis rotation as he occasionally does that to control side to side motion but the Prime stood up too hard and he couldn’t really get settled with that. With the Physix on the same line, it went longer and deflected through the pins. He made a small 1 and 0 move to move the breakpoint in a touch and then he was seeing the strong motion from the Physix.

On to Bryan and he was lined up straight away. Bryan is not a stranger to strong solid or hybrid asyms as he benefits from the midlane control and more defined angularity of the asyms. Everyone can strike on flush shots. But the telling sign was how the ball plowed through the pins with the half pocket hits. That happened enough times for Bryan to feel very confident throwing the Crux Prime on this pattern. He was set up just inside the friction line bouncing off of it and the Crux Prime made a hard aggressive move off of it early enough but still retaining energy. He made incremental moves in and kept striking. He really felt like he had a wide pocket. Remember that Bryan is a huge fan of the Lock and had two of them. He also has a Sure Lock for the heaviest conditions. This gave him a similar shape to his Lock. When comparing to the Sure Lock, that ball will handle more oil but on the house shot, the difference is more subtle. Because it’s stronger, it doesn’t quite retain energy as well as the Crux Prime and is smoother downlane. Comparing to the Physix, oddly enough the Physix never really created that aggressive turn the rest of us saw from it. It just didn’t seem to match up for him and it shows. So it gets more length but not really more pop compared to the Crux Prime.

Sport Shot
We’re testing on the 45ft Dick Weber Pattern. I like to play this shot near 5-6 straight up or a very small belly until it opens up and I had a reasonable look. From there I want the ball to dig in just a bit more fronts/mids. This would be a ball I would use when the “edge” has been taken off the pattern a bit. I tried a couple of different looks from just inside the 2nd arrow as well as 4th arrow. The ball is pretty versatile but again, I would want a touch stronger shape on fresh.
For Sean it’s a bit of the opposite. He doesn’t need this much ball on this pattern. So he had definitive hook and had to be careful. He had to move in and give it enough room through the heads without missing the breakpoint out on this 45ft pattern. He left a 9 pinfill and a couple of high 4-10 crumblers. It shapes very nicely for him but he can use a pearl symmetric on this pattern so this much ball is not needed.
Finally Bryan. He will benefit from an aggressive solid asym as we mentioned previously. He had a decent look but also had to take care not to open up the fronts too much as it would not quite make it back.

Final Thoughts
I think the Crux Prime will be a popular piece, partly because of it’s provenance, partly on its own merits. This is the heavier rolling piece we had been accustomed to seeing in the Roto Grip line but hey it’s the same family. Even at 2000 grit, we didn’t feel like we had to try hard to get it downlane. It didn’t hook at our feet but gave nice smooth but arcing midlane and backend control. The ball carried so well on the half pocket shots and that was awesome to see. As usual heavy handed bowlers will want to also have some speed as this ball will hook up hard if you are rev dominant. I think rev dominant bowlers will still see great shape out of the Crux Prime. We gave this ball the benefit of the doubt on sport as well given how nicely this Catalyst core rolls. All in all a good offering and a nice compliment that will fill a small hole in the Premier line for Storm. Stay tuned for a future review on the cover longevity.