I frequently mention that I typically like to “crack the factory polish” on many out of the box polished balls. This is not an exclusive thing to Storm just to be clear. With this ball, it is long and crazy sideways with the factory polish. The downlane angle is impressive to be completely honest but my initial thoughts was if I can break that factory shine, the ball will not wait until after the end of the pattern to make it’s turn. Typically you do smooth it out when you put surface so you won’t see as angular a move necessarily but when a ball has this much natural capabilities downlane, I usually have good results taking the shine off. It’s especially important from the left side since it’s not all that frequently I need something that goes 50 feet before it turns.
So I worn a 2000 pad by hand to remove that factory shine. I didn’t get very aggressive to make it very dull but you need enough grit to remove the shine. So this is a bit of a unique test in that I’m not specifically trying to get it to 2000. I just don’t want to see my reflection in the ball so it has some teeth. My guess is that comes close to 3000-4000. But it doesn’t have sheen a 4000 pad would have off a spinner for example.
Right away you’ll see that on the same initial line, it’s still angular but a little too early to hold. I made about 3 and 2 move to find the pocket. But I think as you watch I found more shots where the ball wasn’t completely sideways through the pins. Had much less risk for 8 pins and the ball was now going through the 8-9 more frequently. Again, it didn’t lose it’s angularity. You can see if I decelerated it still going to hook up hard. But now I no longer felt like I was watching the ball go past the breakpoint before making a violent turn. Starting up maybe 2 feet sooner meant I wasn’t as worried the thing it’s just going to nose up. Not that it can’t but a little less concerned. There was an actual chance to tighten up the breakpoint and catch the high hard one instead of a guarantee you have no shot. What I will say is the more “normal” entry angles mean a bit more of a chance of a corner over an 8 pin.
And the nice thing is it’s still in a nice spot under the Phaze II. The Phaze II is still more traction and earlier. Hopefully it’s obvious on video, even though it may only be a couple of boards deeper, the Phaze II clearly has more traction and smoother midlane.
Bryan also had an opportunity to test with both surfaces. Same concept. For him, he actually saw something a little different. With the factory finish, he had a nice ball reaction. He saw a moderate strength pearl ball, stronger than his Idol Pearl. He liked the angularity from the Phaze III and thought using a little surface would help give added traction. Well it was definitely earlier. As you would expect, the surface makes it start up earlier and also calms some of that late angularity. For Bryan, that actually meant the ball covered less boards on the house shot. He moved 2 and 1 right. It may have been a little bit of a surprise but once he settled with the reaction, he had a nice smooth look. But he felt opposite of me in terms of his reaction to the surface. He felt like the factory surface gave him a better look because he is already on the more direct side so having that extra punch downlane is something he is looking for. The surface took that away for him. For me, I felt like it calmed it down enough to make it that much more usable from the left side.
With that said, I feel like the Phaze III is so good with some shine or having it just knocked off that I probably would not consider more surface. Could it be good, sure. But when you have a ball like the Phaze II above it, I’d let the Phaze III stay in its zone as it’s so good there. I do think when it comes into play, it will have a wide zone of usability, even with some shine. It’s one of those balls I think will be spectacular with lane shine which is essentially what I was trying to emulate by removing the shine.
There you have it. Thanks for watching and see you in a future episode.