If you haven’t watched the intro video, suggest you do first to understand what we are doing with the categories this year. This first installment will cover the “highest” category if you will, the Strong Defined group.
Very briefly, this category is for the strongest pieces or the top of the bag. The 2 characteristics we are looking for are 1: the ball is strong enough both cover and core to read before the end of the pattern AND 2: it has a fairly defined visible move downlane.
I have 6 balls I’ll be talking about today but only 1-3 ranking It will make sense as we go on so let’s jump in.
#3 Storm Physix
The #3 Strong Defined ball for 2019-2020 is the Storm Physix. This ball was #5 on my asym hybrid list last year and there are 5 balls still ahead of it for me this year in this newly defined category. However this is still available and it continues to make the top list. This year, it’s #3 in this newly minted category mostly because it is the weakest of this particular bunch. It has a great shape which is recognizable and syncs with many bowlers. I really like this core. It’s not quite strong enough to be the top of my bag but not quite weak enough to be more usable on house shots as often as I would like. For me, I have to keep the cover fresh quite often.
# 2 Storm Omega Crux, Motiv Jackal Ghost, Ebonite Choice
The #2 spot has a 3-way tie and let me get into it. Firstly, I am keeping a focus on currently available balls. I don’t think I discussed this ball previously but the Ebonite Choice is truly one of my personal favorites in this category. The issue is while it is still in the lineup technically, it is no longer really available to the general public with the Brunswick acquisition of Ebonite International. The second ball in this category is the Motiv Jackal Ghost. This was my top pick last year. It’s #2 with a tie for a few reasons. One is it is still available but older now. I also no longer have it in my personal arsenal but one I loved so much I have no problem recommending it to anyone for this category. So that brings me to probably the true #2 simply because it is the latest available ball that ranks this highly and that is the Storm Omega Crux. I’m not going to rehash the ball’s characteristics but this is the precise example of why I wanted to get away from the previous pearl asym categories and use the new ones. This comes out of the box from Storm designed to be one of the top balls. I’ve personally put lots of surface on strong pearl asyms because it was one of my favorite reactions. You can use surface to get the early read necessary for this category but you also get the more defined move from the core and the pearl in the cover.
#1 Roto Grip UFO, Motiv Alpha Jackal
The #1 spot is truly a toss up for me and this bodes well for the 2 brands with the top spot. They are both current balls and if you are a fan of either brand, it’s easy to recommend either ball. The tie for #1 is the Roto Grip UFO and the Motiv Alpha Jackal. These 2 balls are very similar overall. Colors aren’t even that different. The main difference is that the UFO has a bit more of the typically sharper move off the friction while the Alpha Jackal has more of the quintessentially smoother Motiv motion. Motiv has made a bunch of really good solid covered bowling balls and it shouldn’t be surprising that the Jackal is at the top of my list. I can say that if you are looking for the top dog in your bag, even though Motiv has monopolized the name, both the Alpha Jackal and the Roto Grip UFO can be it.
That’s the first group called the Strong Defined. So if you’re building an arsenal and you are looking for the top of the bag, these 6 balls can definitely be strong options but they are my personal favorites.