Storm The Road Bowling Ball Review

First Impressions
Storm releases a new ball in the Road series, I kind of feel this one may struggle with an identity crisis.

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 x 35

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 40

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 45

“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 Storm DNA Coil uses the SuperCoil asymmetric core inside the Exo Pearl coverstock.

15 pound = RG of 2.47 diff of .053, mb of .023
14 pound = RG of 2.53, diff of .048, mb of .020
Coverstock finish: Reactagloss

OK look, on paper I see what Storm is trying to do. Sticking with the concept of the Inverted Fe2 weightblock concept from the Hyroad but changing 2 things. One, adding the new AI core, eliminating the 2-piece design and two, bring the R2S Hybrid up to the REX Hybrid. I’m not getting into marketing hype about the AI core but the important outcome for me is that 14 and 15lb specs are now identical. This was one of the rare balls in the almost 15 years of testing where the 14 and 15 balls were so different, they did not fulfill the same needs adequately. With the cover, I believe Storm is trying to bring the Road up to manage the current volumes and oil viscosities to play the same role the HyRoad used to play. All that said, to my eye, it doesn’t remind me of the HyRoad. In fact, I’d say the Roto Grip TNT Infused and 900 Global Zen Gold Label remind me more of it in terms of shape. (I will preface right now that this is the initial impression with about 7 games worth. There are a few balls out there that change characteristics significantly after the initial games, not sure if this will be one of them.) Yes it’s still clean and theoretically it straddles the line of Mid Control and Mid Late are similarities yes. However, the HyRoad had a controlled booming move downlane. The Road kind of feels a little tumbly midlane, a bit more heavy, making it a little more forward. The new cover seems to have more midlane traction and it again sounds good on paper to match the OG, but it just doesn’t. It’s really it’s own thing. OG I feel used to roll like round like a lower diff ball. This one rolls much more like a higher diff ball. A little stand uppish and forward as compared to the OG. What I’d like to do is really make a significant change to the cover and perhaps bring it down to a 2000 and let it lane shine to try to bring it closer to the OG. Intent-wise, it fits in the same mid-control, mid late overlap but I feel like the new The Road might work better if brought to square mid-control slot via surface. We will have part 2 and 3 with Tyler and Bryan but stay tuned for some surface adjustments and additional tests.

Power Player’s Perspective
Welcome back to the power player review or part 2 of our Storm The Road test. If you haven’t watched part 1, please check that out to get some of the big picture stuff out of the way. Long story short, we have the Road attempting to usurp the OG Hyroad. Initial feeling is that it falls short of meeting the same motion to the eye, although that doesn’t mean it’s a bad ball. It just has the inevitable comparison given how Storm appears to want to market it. Ultimately now vs then, ReX has a little more traction than R2S then, even when accounting for the oil viscosity and volumes. The Road plays a little more mid lane heavy and more forward than the OG Hyroad is the bottom line. That was true for me as it is for Tyler in the test. On the merits, The Road is pretty clean, and a little mid lane shape with pretty good backend. It’s like I said, more forward to the eye vs the Hyroad which appeared very round. So some shots looked good but I feel like that bit more forward roll led to a bit more deflection part of the time. There was almost a bit of inconsistency in how it read the midlane. Of course the pattern will matter and this one plays a little slicker without as much of a defined track yet. However, that doesn’t change what we see. The Road feels like more ball than the HyRoad was but at a cost of some of that sweet round shape from the OG. It’s somewhere in that Mid Control to Mid Late shape which was true of the HyRoad as well. So practically speaking they fit in the same slot but organically feel different. I feel like a surface change test is warranted to see where the Road will lead.

Stroker’s Stance
Here we have part 3 of our testing for the new Storm The Road. Again, I’d recommend watching part 1 to get the details but the basics is that The Road seems to want to replace the OG HyRoad in the modern era. A little more traction, a bit more ball, to combat the current bowling conditions. With that said, just as we saw with other testers, this doesn’t really come off feeling like a HyRoad. It’s not as round and a little more forward. For Bryan, the difference is a bit more subtle but her works with those subtleties in his game so he still is looking for them. Bryan sees the same, a bit of a heavier forward tumble form the ReX on the Road vs a HyRoad with the R2S cover. Of course it goes off the dry in the fronts but once he gave it enough room, just inside the 2nd arrow, it was a bit of a slow arc with a heavy tumble. Hate to beat a dead horse, but the reality is he saw the same characteristics. Sometimes, that heavy tumble started up and the ball dove. Sometimes it would stand up, roll forward, and deflect. Where it really shined for Bryan was when he slowed it down a bit more and gave it a little room. When given some time in the oil, the ball really looks better. And this is some of the point, the ReX cover is maybe a bit too strong when compared to the R2S which means it needs oil or it can make the ball look lazy. That’s almost opposite of R2S in this respect. With normal speed and line, he had this inconsistency I mentioned earlier and hence why I feel a cover stock finish change is warranted to see where this ball really wants to be, mid control, or mid late.