Motiv Jackal Ambush Bowling Ball Review

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First Impressions
The Motiv Jackal Ambush is clearly another big piece that continues to take advantage of the Predator V2 core and has the gusto to cover some boards.

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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: 50 x 5 x 45

Bryan Hoffman (Righty)
Style: Stroker
RPM: 280 rpm
PAP: 4 1/2 & 1 1/2 up
Average Speed: 18.5 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: high
Axis rotation: medium
Test Equipment: 14 Pounds
Layout: 50 x 5 x 45

Tyler Church (Righty)
Style: Power Player
RPM: 450 rpm
PAP: 5 1/2 & 1/2 up
Average Speed: 19 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: med
Axis rotation: medium
Test Equipment: 14 Pounds
Layout: 50 x 5 x 45

“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.”

THS: 42ft, 23ml
Sport: TBD

The Motiv Jackal Ambush uses the Predator™ V2 asymmetric core inside the Leverage™ Solid Reactive coverstock.

15 pound = RG of 2.47, diff of .054, mb of .015
14 pound = RG of 2.51, diff of .049, mb of .014
Coverstock finish: 1000 Grit LSS

One Minute Review
Welcome to the one minute quick review of the Motiv Jackal Ambush. The Motiv Jackal Ambush is Motiv’s latest “strongest ball on the market” part of the bag. They say it’s a step up from the venerable Jackal Ghost. It continues using the now venerable Predator V2 core which I have no argument with whatsoever. A new strong solid cover. Tech blah blah doesn’t mean too much to me. The easiest and most obvious thing we can see is the Ambush is definitely in the Strong Defined category, same as the Jackal Ghost. With it being 1000 grit vs the Ghost’s 3000 grit OOB, it should be a bit more diggy, meaning a touch earlier and rounder. What I can say is I was happy to see a ball that I didn’t feel was so strong that it simply stopped. It did push me in and I am a little slower than usual in the early days post hip replacement but it didn’t quit. What I can not immediately tell is if it will really distinguish itself from a Ghost set to 1000 grit. For the amazing versatility the Ghost had, I always felt Motiv can afford something a touch stronger for the highest volume conditions. The Ambush sets its sights on replacing the Alpha Jackal and Jackal Legacy in that spot.

The formula is somewhat simple but always tricky to get right. Having a “strong ball” that actually looks strong is more difficult than bowlers think. We’ve discussed this previously and I will always refer bowlers back to my arsenal building to better understand shapes. You need to know how to build your bowling bag like you would a golf bag. Why would you need 2 drivers? Or 2 putters? And while we are enamored with having the latest and greatest, I really think people can look at balls when they need to fill a spot because what they have has lost its mojo. In the case of the Jackal Ambush is meant to be the “strongest” ball in Motiv’s current lineup. Indeed it is. It’s got grit and giddyup. We’ve tested many strong balls and results vary. Strong means handles more volume, not necessarily covers more boards. So there are sometimes the strong balls that find a good blend of being able to handle volume while somehow managing to still have a big move downlane. Then there are those that are so strong that it bleeds lots of energy. So when you try to use it on your standard conditions, it just pukes. The Jackal Ghost is a master level ball. It does the business. Now trying to find a ball that is a little stronger (and there is room for that) that will still retain the angularity is tricky. I feel Motiv was effectively able to accomplish this with the Ambush. I really enjoyed it because I always trusted it would turn the corner, even while I can see it grip the lane early. Yes it’s smooth but that term is a bit deceiving. It reads earlier so to the eye it looks like it climbs a little slower back to the pocket but it seemed to always make it.

With Tyler he saw the same thing. He really enjoyed throwing the Jackal Ambush as well. Yes it’s strong but it didn’t feel super chuggy in the sense that it was angular enough you felt good that it was going to make the turn. For sure Tyler needed to give it room but that’s when you know a ball that fits into the “strong” category is going to be good, when you trust it’s going to make it back. The Jackal Ghost is also one of those balls and it along with the Ambush fit in Strong Defined in my arsenal but there were definitely times where the Jackal Ghost was simply not strong enough. I feel that it’s amazingly versatile but in the wettest of wet, it was a little lacking that last bit of strength to manage those conditions. Now we have the Ambush and this one is very similar in shape but really covers that little extra I feel needed for those conditions. So you could theoretically have both balls if you face heavier conditions, house or sport. Now generally Tyler doesn’t need a ball this strong but he still really liked it. That’s a glowing endorsement to be honest.

Bryan was up next and what can I say that hasn’t been said. He really liked the Ambush as well. The way the Ambush rolled gave Bryan a ton of confidence. You can see it read somewhere near 35-40 feet and that start up is super confidence inspiring. Then it just smoothly rolls heavy through the pocket. He just had a very good look and he was throwing it really well. We even discussed how having a reaction that lights up your eyes loosens your swing. So it’s a positive cycle that feeds itself. Even as he moved in, the Ambush continued to work. He didn’t instantly see a cliff where the strength of the ball made it just quit. So as he edged left he still had reaction but even when it was light, it carried well which again opens up the lane. We’ve seen this with a couple of other balls for Bryan where it just works supremely. What I can say is that this look was unforgettable.

Just to wrap up, as I said, the Motiv Jackal Ambush is clearly a Strong Defined ball in my arsenal building methodology. So is the Jackal Ghost. However, you can fit them side by side where the Ambush is the Strong Defined + or the Ghost is a Strong Defined -. Each and every one of us loved this ball reaction. Can I say this ball is a must? Well nothing is absolute. What I would say is if you are a power player, have a Ghost, and it can cover the highest volumes, then you may not need an Ambush. For the rest of us, if you have a Ghost, I would suggest an Ambush if you at times find you need just a bit more ball than the Ghost on certain conditions. If you don’t have a Ghost, well get an Ambush…better yet, get a Ghost!

Thanks for watching.