Welcome back. This time I want to talk about my favorites for 2019-2020 in the Mid Control category. This category is essentially your middle of the road benchmark. This could be the ball that tells you what’s going on with a pattern. It’s not too strong. It’s not too weak. It’s not too angular or too soft. But whatever it is, it’s the ball that to your eye tells you what’s going on. I don’t want to box you into this category always being “benchmark” because the more important characteristics is that is it medium strength with good control. Spoiler alert, there’s going to be a tie here.
#4 Hammer Orange Vibe
Let’s start with #4 the Hammer Orange Vibe. This is another old EBI ball that is out of production but still available. This is the type of ball that can be a house shot killer. The proper length to avoid falling into the Mid Late category and have that easily controllable and understood smooth motion. It’s limited in its ability to go up my list because of its availability.
#3 Track Triton Elite
#3 is the Track Triton Elite. This is another ball I will be sad to lose from the market. The rerelease has been an excellent fit into this category. Again, a ball that fits squarely into this category. It’s versatile enough to use on sport and house shots. Nice smooth reliable read and punch. The only call out was this ball seemed to hate surface done on the spinner for some reason. Surface by hand was perfect.
#2 Columbia 300 Black Chaos
What do you know, another ball we are losing. The #2 goes to the Columbia 300 Black Chaos. I have to admit I love black bowling balls and solid colors in general. But this ball has the perfect blend of clean and angular. And perhaps out of box with that high shine, it maybe more of a Mid Late type of ball, take that shine off and you have a great Mid Control ball. I really enjoy this ball and consider stashing a couple. It’s just the type of motion that you trust will go down lane without feeling flippy. That’s the definition of Mid Control.
#1 Roto Grip Idol Pearl, Radical Squatch Hybrid
Well at some point we have to get to balls that are actually still being sold by their manufacturer. We are finally there for the #1 slot. Since I spoiled this before, the #1 is a tie between 2 balls that probably couldn’t be more different but yet strangely fit in the same category. Those are the Roto Grip Idol Pearl and the Radical Squatch Hybrid. At this point you might be confused but let me explain. The Idol Pearl has a strong enough cover even while being a pearl to fit in the mid control. A touch of surface makes it fit smack dab in the middle of this category. It may have a perhaps a touch more backend making it somehow straddle the Mid Defined and Mid Control category but it’s smoothness makes it more easily controlled which pushes it easily into the Mid Control category. Again, this is another ball that you see all the time on TV. It works and is very versatile. Left side, right side, doesn’t matter. The other #1 is the Radical Squatch Hybrid. It’s doesn’t turn as hard as the Idol Pearl down lane. It doesn’t allow as much left to right flexibility. But when you have a slot that works, it makes that area wide and carries very well. That’s what makes the Squatch Hybrid special. It tells me what I need to know. It blends pretty well.
Ultimately for any individual, selecting one or the other in your arsenal will likely shape your other options so that they relate well. Even for me, if I was bringing the Squatch Hybrid for example, the other balls in the bag are likely different than if I were to bring the Idol Pearl.
I’m sure someone will say I missed something out there. There are still Hyroads, Gamebreakers, Venom Shocks, you name it. But for 2019-2020, these balls are my personal favorites that actually have a shot to be or are in my arsenal currently.
So that covers the Mid Control category. Next will be the Mid Late category so if you missed the Strong Defined, Strong Smooth, or Mid Defined, go check them out. See you in the next episode!