Roto Grip Magic Gem Bowling Ball Review

First Impressions
The Magic Gem is very colorful, but more importantly, it does what they say it does.

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Tamer Elbaga (Lefty)
Style: Tweener
RPM: 330 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: 425 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 Magic Gem uses the Defiant LRG Asymmetric core inside the MicroTrax Hybrid Reactive coverstock.

15 pound = RG of 2.50 diff of .042, mb of .010
14 pound = RG of 2.52, diff of .043, mb of .011
Coverstock finish: 2000 grit LSS

Tweener’s Take
So what do they say? Well this is the third installment of the Gem line with the original solid Gem, the pearl Exotic Gem, and now the Hybrid Magic Gem. This ball does come at 2000 grit like the original Gem as opposed to the ReactaGloss on the Exotic. Theoretically this ball could be the goldilocks but since it’s got surface, it’s really closer to the original than the Exotic out of box. The major characteristic to be aware of here is that it is a touch longer and a touch more angular than the original. I would put it in the same Strong Defined box but a little weaker but a bit more angular than the original. Since it’s in the same box, I feel it’s hard to justify having both. What I will say is that there is a very good chance the average bowler gets this, let’s it laneshine, and it kind of becomes almost like a strong benchmark. It has the heavy reliable roll of a big asymmetric core. Gives us lower rev guys better hit when we can use these type of cores. Just a little bit about how it specifically rolled for me. It was too strong to play on top of the friction and needed a bit more than just a small belly on this pattern. However, once I got in closer to 3rd arrow, I had a lot of room to strike and I struck a lot with the Magic Gem. Although I don’t typically get into the 4th arrow, it’s nice to know the ball is still capable of some angle, even for me. It was also the type of ball that gave me miss room in and out. When missing out, the low RG revving nature got it going. When missing in, the same core got it to hit even while floating in the oil. Credit some surface here as well. Overall it looked pretty versatile on this fresh house shot for me. I’m not usually a huge fan of all the swirls but the colors wrapping around my PAP actually look pretty interesting.

Tyler is next and the short version is he saw the same thing. He had to open up the lane a bit as I did. The ball is too strong to play more direct. Once he does, the Magic Gem works pretty well. The basics is that even with the 2000 grit, it provides a bit more length than the original Gem while providing a touch more angle downlane. The thing is the Magic is still a pretty strong ball so as I said fits in the strong defined category. You can put them side by side and depending on your game will say, the OG is a touch too strong and rolly, let’s go Magic or you’ll say I kind of want the ball to start up sooner and go original Gem. That might be the case for a speed dominant bowler. Rev speed Matched might edge towards the Magic. Alternatively, and I think many will do it, let the Magic lane shine and it will be even more usable for the typical house shot. For Tyler, the strongest ball he keeps around is an RST X-1 and it’s a little tired now. In comes the Magic Gem with the hybrid MicroTrax and we are in the similar realm. This may just be the ball to replace the spot for him. I think the challenge, which might seem a bit irrelevant, is the color. Believe it or not, some people don’t see multi-colored balls as benchmark types. I personally also prefer my reliable balls to be a solid dark color. Some may relate to this. Others might think it’s crazy. What I can say is that Tyler liked the ball but whether or not it replaces his RST X-1 remains to be seen.

Now we have Bryan tossing the Magic Gem. I’ll have to say the Magic Gem continued to impress. Bryan hasn’t been too impressed with recent crop of balls. He will admit he had some physical game issues he’s sorted through recently. However, The Magic really offered some more versatility than many of the recently tested balls for him. He had a pretty good look in the track. Being further right than the 2nd arrow didn’t make much sense as it’s too much lane friction. Just inside the 2nd arrow was ideal. As he edged in, he maintained the pocket while the entry angle started to decrease. However, carry stayed fairly good. The other thing he found was that if he moved in and got around the ball, the Magic Gem really responded well which means the ball is capable of some more angle for a big ball.

At the end of the day, the Roto Grip Magic Gem acquits itself very well in the Strong Defined category. The surfaced hybrid MicroTrax with a big cover offers some good lane management while still feeling like it’s not super hard to push it through the lane. It’s a nice goldilocks in the strong defined category in that it’s not the strongest, not the roundest but offers a look I feel several bowlers will like. I guess you’ll have to decide if the bubble gum color style is your jam.

Thanks for watching.