Welcome back. Hopefully you’ve had a chance to watch the recent review on the IQ Tour 78U as I discussed a bit about these balls and the whole urethane drama in the PBA. Long story short, PBA will now require all balls classified as Urethane (through speed of oil absorption) to be manufactured at 78D hardness so as they soften in time, they never get below 73D. USBC will still allow 73D urethane to be manufactured.
So in this video, I am doing the inevitable comparison of the new 78D IQ Tour 78U and the venerable Purple Hammer which is still manufactured to the current 73D standard that the USBC allows. Here are 10 shots, 5 with the IQ Tour 78U and 5 with the Purple Hammer. I’m trying different lines to see what will work. These are all back to back straight 10 shots. The highlight is that the Purple actually hooks earlier and continues more. The IQ Tour 78U seems to really struggle to pick up at all for me unless I use some significant amount of friction. But at the same time, I’m fighting the lane to find the right amount of friction. The other thing I will mention before we get to the video is the fact that IQ Tour 78U lane shines way faster than any traditional urethane. Look at it here. This is just from testing which is 4-5 games max. This Purple probably has 10 games since I last touched it with a pad and when I did touch it it had 20 games before that, it literally looked no different so it would last on it’s own a lot longer.
I’m going to try something live here. This purple looks to be about 1000 -2000 and the IQ maybe 3000 now? Purple Hammer is 2000 OOB. So I’m going to dry rough the Purple Hammer with 2000 and then the IQ.
First shot I try to use 7 to 4 at the breakpoint to get it going and it just about does. Second shot is trying to use more of the “track” going 10 to 7 and it just doesn’t have any drive. Shot 3 is trying to trick it by moving further left and using more of the friction to the outside. This one is 9 to 6 and it actually goes high leaving an 8 pin. Yay, 1 for 3. Shot 4 I try to execute again and it goes through the face, hmmm. Shot 5 is going back to the only line that seemed to strike, 7 to 4 Sorry for the cut. 2 for 5, meh.
Now on to the Purple. Shot 1 is a bit of a miss going 10 to 9 where I intended 10 to 7 but the surprise here is that it goes high leaving a 6 pin rather than gliding 60 feet like the IQ did in other shots not shown here. Shot 2 is a very similar miss but with a quicker release so this one does glide more but deflection in this case is a 7 pin as opposed to a 5 pin. Still not a strike though. Shot 3 is finally what I want 10 to 7 and it leaves an 8 pin, not very different from shot 3 of the IQ. Shot 4, I try to catch a touch more friction by going 10 to 6 and this one is just about the only perfect shot in 10. Shot 5 is 11 to 7 since shot 3 was a touch high and I catch the light strike. Again, 2 of 5.
So verdict from my perspective. The IQ Tour 78U was more reliable in the heavier friction so like 7 to 4 as opposed to the Purple Hammer that worked well from 10 to 6. With the added softness and earlier roll, the Hammer is more continuous allowing it to actually be played closer to the standard track on the house shot. Now while I didn’t have a ton of strikes, if I had to choose, no question the Purple Hammer made me more comfortable.
Alright let’s look at Tyler’s comparison. He’s playing somewhere near the 3rd arrow and looking for the breakpoint that will consistently hit. So it’s high, light, perfect with 3 shots that are pretty darn close. Shot 4 hits flat with a 10 pin. Shot 5 slaps the 10 out. Then shot 6 is just about a bucket. Last shot uses too much of the inside oil and doesn’t grab anywhere. Just highlights the sensitivity of urethane on house shots. Same zone with the Purple and shot 1 is flat 10. Shot 2 is perfect. Shot 3 is a touch high. Shot 4 is telling for me. This is similar to shot 6 with the IQ 78U and instead of just floating it actually reads enough to kick the 10 out. Main point here is those 2 shots were the ones that were floated more in the oil. But long story short, urethane is far from ideal either way. The verdict for Tyler is if he had to pick, he’d probably go Purple by a small margin but ultimately both are urethane reactions and niether are ideal for the house shot.
Now let’s see what it looks like for Bryan. Shot 1 tries to play it in the friction and it takes off. Shot 2 is 10 to 9 and it splits the rack. Shot 3 is 11 to 9 and he still carries albeit with no real drive. Shot 4 is 10 to 8 and it goes high. Shot 5 is 11 to 8 and it hits flat. so not amazing. All close but on a house shot, you don’t want safe, you want strikes. Now onto the Purple and 10 to 8 is a touch high. Shot 2 is almost identical maybe 10.5 and it’s a trip 4. Shot 3 is 12 to 8 and it hits flat. Shot 4 is 11 to 9. Bryan looks disappointed but it winds up perfect. Shot 5 is 10 to 8 with Bryan giving a bit too much and it takes off. SO the Purple has maybe an extra half to one board room vs the IQ Tour 78U but ultimately still a urethane reaction. Verdict for Bryan is very tight but I think he chooses the IQ Tour 78U by the tiniest margin.
Bottom line is this. Urethane can have a spot for house shots but in our case on this house shot, it really doesn’t give us enough. When people are shooting 250s, you don’t need a “safe pocket” shot. Objectively, the Purple is more a true urethane whereas the IQ Tour 78U lane shines meaning there has got to be some reactive material in there. With that, as you throw it more, it goes longer. I have to give the nod to the GOAT, the Purple Hammer.