Roto Grip X-CELL Bowling Ball Review

First Impressions
The Cell is back!

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: 4.25 x 40

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: 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: 5 x 50

“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 X-Cell uses the Gear Nucleus +AI asymmetric core inside the eTrax Ultra Solid Reactive coverstock.

15 pound = RG of 2.50 diff of .056, mb of .019
14 pound = RG of 2.55, diff of .048, mb of .016
Coverstock finish: 2000 grit abralon

Tweener’s Take
This one was immediately exciting, I have to admit. Seeing the Nucleus core back in a solid with dark colors, chef’s kiss. The X-Cell returns the Nucleus core with AI technology, yet the specs are still different between 14 and 15. Kind of wierd to me but I’ve never had any trouble with 14lb version of this core historically. With the cover, we have something in between the diggy Microtrax and the cleaner and snappier eTrax, theoretically making it a bit more usable. My first thought is Roto Grip nailed this. As soon as the first roll, I can see a ball reaction shape I am going to really like. It’s strong but not diggy. It doesn’t feel lazy like the really strong balls can sometimes. It’s mid early, not super early in terms of hook. The cover seems to maximize the core’s dynamics. A really good match up of cover and core length and that tends to lead to good motion that doesn’t appear to fight itself. If you’ve had a chuggy piece and sometimes can’t tell if it’s rolled out or never actually rolled, you know what I mean. It gets into that roll smoothly and predictably and then climbs to the pocket, appearing to actually accelerate. I’m not going to use those ridiculous superlatives but I have to say this thing just matched up so nicely, pocket hits were excellent. I couldn’t do much outside the 2nd arrow unless I launched it but I could strike anywhere fron 2nd to 4th arrow. Something to note is as usual with bigger cored strong pieces, you have to watch the really open angles as they don’t retain as much energy. They are typically better with more closed angles and this is true of the X-Cell. Don’t get me wrong, you can cover some boards but just keep in mind you’ll find the limit. When I started to get in, I move my breakpoint in as well. It’s great to get that strong hit when your breakpoint is in and you are creating angle. Sometimes balls hit flat in that area but not the X-Cell. I was finally able to break the shape just at 4th arrow but that’s just for demo purposes. I had an excellent look and it also did very well on Kegel Titanium Challenge shot which I may do a separate video for.

Power Player’s Perspective
Tyler is up next and he immediately liked the shape as well. Really not a ton to add as what he saw was very similar to me. On the right side of the lane, there seemed to be a dead spot around 5 at the breakpoint that no ball would return from so we had to negate those shots since they wouldn’t be a fair assessment of the ball itself. With that weird out of bounds taken into account and moving the breakpoint in a bit, the X-Cell looked great. Again, it created that nice heavy continuous roll. It didn’t appear as forward as some of the stronger pieces. He still has an RST X-1 and the type of shape the X-Cell creates could allos him to replace that or even compliment it with surface variations. The X-Cell is probably a touch stronger than what Tyler might use out of the gate on the house shot but not by a lot. It didn’t feel like one of those big balls we’ve tested where he just said, yeah it’s cool but not likey to make it in my bag due to being too strong.

FInal Thoughts
We’ll come back with another video for Bryan but honestly, I feel like it was going to be tough for Roto Grip to go wrong reigniting the Cell line with a ball close to the OG. They nailed it. I will say it’s a strong defined shape in the bag and while it may not be the strongest ball out there, it can likely serve as the top line ball for most people on the typical volumes we see.

Stroker’s Stance
We are now looking at Bryan testing the new Roto Grip X-Cell. I had a lot of excitement for this ball but I’d say Bryan was pretty tempered. He never threw the original Cell so has no particular baseline. But he does have his favorite strong defined ball the Lock to compare to. Ultimately, they are not similar enough for him. Essentially he had a bit of a heavy rolling ball as you can imagine with the Nucleus core but it doesn’t feelt very early. It gets downlane and reads the later part of midlane and has medium pop for Bryan. For context, he quickly threw the Lock a couple of times and you see it is a little cleaner with more pop which generally helps him carry better. X-Cell is probably more in the benchmark territory for him as it’s just a bit rounder and very controllable. Overall it’s a fine Mid Control + to Strong Control – for him. It doesn’t do enough downlane for him to be in the Strong Defined category that his Lock fits so well still.