Roto Grip Duo Bowling Ball Review

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First Impressions
Spoiler alert, all testers liked the Roto Grip Duo.

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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 Roto Grip Duo uses the Mentor™ Core  symmetric core inside the Microtrax Pearl Reactive coverstock.

15 pound = RG of 2.49, diff of .046
14 pound = RG of 2.53, diff of .047
Coverstock finish: Reacta Gloss

Let’s get the usual out of the way, for now I continue to prep our Storm Reacta Gloss test balls with a hard 1000 then Step 2 compound, then slight scuff with a 3000 pad. Everyone seems to be happy with this finish and the balls look much better than the Reacta Gloss so we’re sticking to it. Surface finish is very important.

The Duo is an interesting piece. It joins the HP3 lineup as a strong symmetrical pearl. Microtrax so it’s supposed to be a stronger earlier pearl. It also has a larger core that you may expect it to be a little rollier. What I can say is it is definitely a “stronger” pearl ball. So it will fit in the “Mid category”. However, it is way to strong to be in Mid Late. It’s too angular for Mid Control. So that kind of leads it towards the Mid Defined slot which typically have shiny asyms although not exclusively. It does create decent length and creates a pretty good angular backend. It certainly isn’t as rolly as the Exotic Gem’s Defiant LRG core which gets into a roll sooner but has the same cover. So they can compliment each other in some way. As you can see in the video I was able to play it fairly direct but also get in and wheel it. There is a point where the more I got in, the more it turned over so it took very well to increased axis rotation. I thought it might be a little slower with such a big core but I think the timing of the cover response and core turnover match up really well to make it capable of big angle. When I get past 4th arrow, I don’t quite have the hand to make it turn over strong unless there’s a bit more friction but that’s a “me problem” as they say.

A really quick look with my 2-hand style and the strength downlane is obvious. Being a slower rev dominant 2-hander, this much downlane movement is hard for me to control. A matched 2-hander who has more speed will likely really enjoy this as it really hooks up, grabs, and really drives through the pins. But again, this is definitely not a Mid Late type ball. It has it’s angularity but too strong for that slot. It’s even possible that some find this type of ball a benchmark, as hard as that might be to believe, more from the characteristic of trust.

Tyler was next and I can tell you immediately he really enjoyed the Roto Grip Duo. It flat out worked. It’s nice when you have a ball that matches up to a bowler and condition but let’s dig in a little bit. Tyler is a slightly rev dominant higher rev bowler so he will tend to see a bit more angle and the Duo does that. Sometimes he finds angular balls just too much for his style but for some reason he didn’t feel that way about the Duo. I think part of it is because it is a heavy rolling core. But he could throw it between 3rd and 4th and split the 8-9 pretty often. He did try a bit beyond the 4th arrow and did leave a corner where it was enough of a signal to say hey, no point in being way out here on this condition. But I think when a condition calls for it, the Duo is probably capable but that may be Mid Late ball territory. He had miss room out as the ball just se emed capable of storing enough energy. He had a little room in surprisingly but if he wasn’t careful about spinning it up with extra revs, it can jump.

I had Tyler do a quick comparison to his Idol Cosmos. I’ll preface by saying it’s fairly lane shined so not as gritty as the OOB finish. However, you can still immediately see the Cosmos is way smoother and a little less ball. To be frank, it’s crystal clear why this ball has become his benckmark and fits in his mid control slot. I would say if it was still the factory finish, it would still be smoother but stronger.

I wanted Tyler to compare to his 900 Global Zen as the formula is similar in terms of big core with a strong pearl cover. If you recall I placed the Zen in Mid Control mostly due to it’s versatility. It handles medium volumes and can be used on lots of pattern shapes. It probably generates more angle than most balls I slot in the Mid Control but I still like it there. What happens is the Duo looks to be Mid Defined (-). The Zen turns out to be a stronger ball overall vs the Duo. It has a slightly rounder booming response where the Duo comes off a touch more stand up and forward. But it’s a touch. Zen also had forgiveness from out and maybe a little less from in. Not clear if I would have both in the bag but there is some separation.

Finally we have Bryan testing the Duo and as we prefaced, he had a good look as well. As expected it’s a bit more arcy but it had a pleasantly punchy backend for Bryan. He could play it more direct and closer to the friction as well as moving in a bit. So 2nd arrow gives it an earlier heavy roll through the pins. When he moves in, it gets a bit more length in the oil and is more angular which gives it a nice versatility. Bryan struck plenty as he moved around to find what the Duo is capable of. Various angles and boards and it seemed to work well. He got in as deep as the 3rd arrow and it worked from there as well but was just about at the limit. However, that is plenty of room for Bryan and therefore he is seriously considering whether this might replace something more mid late for him. I think it’s a little stronger from most of his Mid Late balls but he doesn’t feel it’s quite Phaze III strong for him. However, it is something to think about for sure.

Now I had Bryan also compare to his Zen. We tried to nitpick what the differences were, that’s how close they were playing. Sometimes I felt the Zen was rollier. Sometimes he felt the Zen was more angular. Part of it I think is the color swirls allow you to visualize the transition on the Duo whereas the blended colors on the Zen make it look a little smoother. But truth is, for Bryan, then may have too close of a use case.

Final Thoughts
The Roto Grip Duo was a ball all 3 of us enjoyed but I always look at it like, where would it fit in an arsenal. I know some people like a look enough they fit it in. I try to just give objective feedback so you can decide if you have a slot open, does it fit, So I go back to what I said it isn’t squarely in Mid Defined nor is it squarely in Mid Control. For higher rev bowlers, it’s closer to Defined shape for sure. For matched lower rev bowlers, it will arc more, giving it an opportunity to be more control or even Mid Late. Anyway, you see what we saw and thought. Now time for you to make your own decision.

Thanks for watching.