About me: See my profile
About the ball: 15 lbs, 5" x 3 1/2", 2 7/8" pin, Pin just above ring finger, CG right and up from grip center.
What it is: The Lane Masters Hornet is a unique ball on the market; a special tool for specific situations that every tournament bowler needs from time to time. The Hornet is similar to the Lane Masters Buzz in that it features a medium RG, low differential RG core surrounded by 11 or so pounds of high quality reactive urethane resin. Where it differs from the Buzz is in the hardness of the pearl polyurethane mixture, adding roughly five hardness points on the Shur durometer D scale. Where the Buzz checks in at 73 to 74 hardness, just a point or so above the USBC minimum of 72, the Hornet checks in around 78 to 79, not quite spare ball territory, but much milder in reaction to dry than any of the Hornet’s Lane Masters counterparts (with the exception of the 3-piece Straight Flush).
What it is not: The Hornet is not a spare ball at least not in the sense of a 3-piece polyester piece that hardly sees the lane at all: And it sure isn’t an oiler. The Hornet is not at home on heavy to medium-heavy patterns unless the back ends are dry. Even with dry back ends, the Hornet is not in its element on heavy to medium-heavy patterns. Also, the Hornet will squirt in carrydown.
The Hornet flat out shines on second shift shots, in minor events such as doubles following singles. The Hornet also shines on low volume conditions, short patterns, lighter Christmas tree patterns, etc. When the mid-lane starts drying out, you can move deeper with your benchmark ball and, sometimes, lose carry at the deeper angle, or you can switch to the Hornet and maintain your angle to the pocket.
Like most other Lane Masters pieces, the Hornet is a true two-piece ball: Only core and a high quality shell of the finest high durometer reactive polyurethane that one can buy. Keep your towel with you. This piece does not absorb conditioner. If you want to maintain consistent reaction with the Hornet, you need to wipe it off each shot otherwise it will create its own carrydown
The Hornet can be a little jumpy off the dry in its factory polished condition. I’ve had excellent success using a white scuff pad to calm the reaction a little: No appreciable loss in length, but it reads in the midlane a little sooner and still finishes well on the backend. P2000 or P4000 abralon also work well but the white scuff pad, by hand or spinner, really gives this ball a great look on dry to medium-dry synthetics. My Hornet works best on wood lanes with the factory polished finish.
In summary, the Lane Masters Hornet is a great arsenal ball for dry to medium-dry conditions. It excels as the second or third ball in your long-format progression and is a fine late-second and third game ball as the sponges “eat” conditioner during league play. The Hornet also excels on shorter sport patterns.
Edited on 1/1/2011 at 10:28 AM