Back in December, I posted an 'indirect' review of the ball, based on several we'd drilled for others. This is my own follow-up review of the ball in my own hands.
Test ball: 15 lbs., pin 2-3/4"; drilled stacked-leverage, balance hole on PAP
Bowler: RH, senior, stroker, "rotationally-challenged"
Condition: OLD wood lanes- heads freshly re-coated. Fresh league "house" shot.
Having seen what others were doing with this thing, I couldn't wait to get mine. When it finally arrived, I had no chance to practice with it after laying it out and drilling it. Therefore, I used it for the first time in league without ever throwing the ball before, which is something I NEVER do.
I needn't have worried. This ball is RIDICULOUS.
On fresh oil, the ball scoots 45 feet, turns smoothly and controllably, sets up and accelerates in a TOTALLY predictable line. If you miss right, it sets up a bit earlier and moves a bit more; if you tug it, it holds and sets up later. Either way, it's FLUSH. And the pins never travel more than about 3"-4" off the deck-- it holds them REALLY low. Carry is amazing. First game, lots of people shot big numbers, but that's normal for this house. For the first game, the shot is VERY easy. Once things start to transition, that changes.
As the lanes broke down this night, things got very interesting-- because the heads were freshly re-done, the carrydown made the mid-lanes get spotty and weird, and people struggled on both sides. Lots of corner pins, lots of hook-fade-hook-fade reactions, lots of strange leaves. Except with the LRG. It IGNORED the spottiness in the midlane. It just kept itself in the pocket and in control. By third game, most people were really fishing, and I did have to move left to stay with the oil-line, but carry didn't decline appreciably with the LRG. As the back-ends broke down, it became obvious I couldn't keep using the ball once things got too dry-- when it hits dry, it does move, and move decisively-- but on almost anything up to totally dry, it works beautifully.
Final result: First time, out of the box, I shot 722 with PREPOSTEROUS ease. I used the one ball all night, something that's unheard-of for me in that center. For two games, I didn't need to move my feet or target more than a board-- also very unusual. And even in the deeply-weird 3rd game, the moves were minor and the ball stayed predictable and controllable. With the very low-Rg core, this ball doesn't waste ANYTHING on big moves or major transitions out on the lanes; it saves EVERYTHING for the pins. The only 10-pins I left, and there weren't many, were richly-deserved weak 10's on bad shots; and the only surprise was a ringing, blowout 7 on a flush hit in the first game.
The Banana Ball gets a SOLID 10 from me.