Storm Hy-Road Max Bowling Ball

Storm Hy-Road Max Bowling Ball Review

Storm Hy-Road Max Bowling Ball
Storm Hy-Road Max Bowling Ball Layout
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First Impressions
The Max is bright. More importantly, it’s strong up front and smooth down lane. It’s unclear if the market will take to this or if it will go the way of the Hy-Road Solid and All Road.

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Tamer Elbaga (Lefty)
Style: Tweener
RPM: 350 rpm
PAP: 5 & 3/8 up
Average Speed: 18.5 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: low
Axis rotation: medium/high
Test Equipment: 15 Pounds
Layout: 40 x 4.5 x 35

Sean Jensen (Righty)
Style: Power player
RPM: 475 rpm
PAP: 5 1/2 & 1/4 up
Average Speed: 18.5 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: low
Axis rotation: medium
Test Equipment: 15 Pounds
Layout: 60 x 5.5 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: 40ft, 23ml
Sport: TBD

The Storm Hy-Road Max uses the Inverted Fe2 Core (Asymmetrical) inside the NeX™ Solid coverstock.

15 pound = RG of 2.57, diff of .046
14 pound = RG of 2.58, diff of .037
Coverstock finish: 3000 grit abralon

So we throw the green blob. I guess there will be various opinions on the color, that will be subjective so we’ll go past that part. The Hy-Road Max is obviously using the well known Inverted Fe2 core with the NeX cover from the Axiom. This is one of those cores that I don’t see Storm ever having a lineup without, like Motiv with the Predator core. It has a clear place. The Axiom has gotten to that place where it’s very close to taking over for the Phaze II. The solid cover is very reliable. It can bite early and still be responsive enough down lane. You can adjust the surface quite easily. On the Max, ultimately it looks exactly as you would expect this combination to look. The strong cover controls the front to back reaction which is always important, more so on sport shots than house shots. The backend is a controlled smooth motion that covers less boards than say the Axiom. It is a clear step down. A few nuances I found. This is a ball that more or less lets you pay in the track. I think the fresh 3000 cover is maybe a touch too strong for that but as we all know, lane shine happens very quickly so I wouldn’t worry about that too much. Fresh, misses in don’t hold as well. Misses out made surprisingly big moves back and that may be the key to this ball being more successful than the previous Hy-Road Solid and All Road. For my game, 13 to about 17 at the arrows is playable but I have to be careful with angles. If I play 13, I can’t get to the friction too early or it won’t hold. If I play 17, it works surprisingly well pushing it to the friction with ope angle. Beyond that, I start to leave soft 7s or even a 7-10.

On to my 2-hand test. I kind of expected the Max to be a good ball for this style, with lots of angle for my rev dominant style and more direct for matched or speed dominant styles. Once you get in this deep, it’s not extremely hard to get the ball to push through this volume of oil in the middle. But I will say I was rather surprised by the down lane turn the Max had. There were good shots that surprised me going right. Then there were whiffs that I missed outside and was totally shocked it made it back strongly to the pocket, even high occasionally. I think this is the type of ball that could be a benchmark for 2-handers.

Sean is back testing the Hy-Road Max. I was slightly surprised by what we saw. I expected it to be strong through the oil and smooth downlane which it was. But it was probably a little smoother than I was thinking Sean would get. Ultimately it’s not a surprising reaction. Maybe it’s chasing a bit of that Venom Shock formula with a strong cover and moderately weak core which seems to benefit higher rev bowlers quite a bit. To be fair lots of bowlers liked the Venom Shock. The Max however feels a bit smoother with somehow a little less downlane. I’m not sure it’s a bad thing but I think this thing will actually make more sense to lane shine a bit for a typical house shot. This will still allow bowlers to take advantage of the underlying strength of the solid cover while still allowing decent length and a bit more pop off the end of the pattern. It was very clearly less ball than the Incite and Axiom for Sean, which isn’t surprising. I think as the cover settles, this ball will be a bit more effective.

Sport Shot

Final Thoughts
The Hy-Road Max fits into the Mid Control category. The cover strength out of box may sort of straddle on the stronger side so Mid Control +. I typically have cleaner reactions for my benchmark. However, the cover will lane shine or you can bring it to 4000 and more clearly slot it more squarely into the category. The ball strength will always depend on the bowler. For a rev dominant style, this gets close to Strong Control type of shape. For a speed dominant, Mid Control. For Rev/Speed matched, Mid Control +. It will be interesting to see where people slot this ball. I think this was a similar issue with the All Road but I think the NeX cover is a bit more responsive and therefore has the potential to be more versatile.