Storm Match Up Pearl Bowling Ball

Storm Match Up and Match Up Pearl Bowling Ball Review

These Balls Match Up…

First Impressions
It has been a long time since I found a Storm ball that is “lower end” that actually plays the way I want it to, an actual “ball down”. The Match Up Pearl is really a ball down and that’s a great thing in my book. The Match Up solid was just about the same thing but a little stronger and more defined motion with the solid cover stock.

Our Testers:
Tamer Elbaga (Lefty)
Style: Speed/Rev Matched Tweener
RPM: 375 rpm
PAP: 5 & 0
Average Speed: 18 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: low
Axis rotation: medium
Test Equipment: 14 Pounds

Wayne “Guy” Porr (Righty)
Style: Cranker
RPM: 625 rpm
PAP: 5 1/2; 1 up
Average Speed: 20 mph (at release)
Axis tilt: low
Axis rotation: medium
Test Equipment: 15 Pounds

Thanks to Greg Bickta and Perfect Aim Pro Shop for drilling our equipment.
Thanks to Limerick Bowl in Limerick, PA.

“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.”

Test Pattern:
40ft THS, 22ml, 12:1 ratio

Match Up 9/10
Match Up Pearl 9/10

These new Storm balls easily offer strong value with entry level pricing and very good performance.

The Match Up and Match Up Pearl both use Stinger 2.0 core with the well known Reactor solid and pearl, respectively. These balls offer a minor increase in RG and a decent increase in differential to tweak the ball motion a bit.

Match Up 8/10
Match Up Pearl 8.5/10

These two Storm balls sum up what entry level balls can be. Ultimately, they may be a bit much for a true novice but fit the bill nicely for more experienced bowlers when you want step down balls or if dealing with medium/lower volume patterns. Guy tested the Match Up solid and he just simply chewed up the pocket with this ball. I realize the vast majority of us don’t have that kind of hand but if you watch closely, you can pick up the characteristics of the ball. What Storm did was release this ball with the 1500-grit polished out of box finish. This offers a nice shelf appeal, but ultimately completely distinguishes this Match Up from the previous Match with its 2000 grit sanded OOB finish. The Match was kind of a specialty ball for tournament bowlers because it offered the rare ball that offered great front to back control reaction. The Match Up finish makes it more of a side to side ball. I don’t honestly know if you sanded the Match Up if it would turn into the Match but this is one that will be easier to throw for many people on your typical house shots. It will obviously store more energy and have a nice readable but strong motion down lane.

I tested the Match Up Pearl. For me, I loved the fact that this is the first Storm ball since the Lights Out that I can personally control front to back rather than side to side. I was able to more or less keep the ball in front of me with a simple 12 at the arrows to 7 at the breakpoint look. When I can be there, my life is good. Don’t be deceived. Many video reviews cut out the bad shots. I threw 8 of 9 strikes straight out of the gate on this fresh shot, it was so easy to throw. It has easy length as you would expect with a nice muted but strong arc to the pocket. I totally loved it because I carried everything. I had an opportunity to test it on a lower volume pattern with wood backends and it reminded me how aggressive Storm covers are. This thing moved more than I thought it would.

For Guy with the Match Up Solid, he could create a little over/under due that factory shine. It was strong so he would see over at times. Then he would just force it a touch and then experience under. Take that shine off…
For me with the Storm Match Up Pearl, if I grabbed it, I could make it overhook. I also found that as the pattern broke down, this oil tends to create a “carry down” type of look. That meant this ball would skid if I was in but was touchy if I got too direct. This seems to be a common trap with the more modern self-preserving oils. Like I said before, crack that out of box shine and it will smooth things out just the right amount.

Final Thoughts
The Storm Match Up and Match Up Pearl sell themselves. They are inexpensive, high performing, and easily could suffice as a 1-2 punch for most THS conditions. Both Guy and I would prefer to knock that polish off with maybe a light 4000 grit pad to get rid of some of that over/under but we could easily see these balls are a nice addition to the lineup.