VIRTUAL GRAVITY NANO PEARL review by Storm staffer Jeff Richgels
This is a fairly easy review to write. The bottom line is simple: if you loved the original NANO you will love the PEARL NANO because it has the same Shape-Lock HD Core that produces such a strong fast-revving action but (as the name makes obvious) with a pearl NRG coverstock instead of the solid NRG coverstock in the original NANO.
That means is also will be a great ball for those who liked the NANO's motion but either had too much hand and/or too little speed and/or rarely found enough oil to use that super strong ball.
As Storm states: "This pearl version of the NRG coverstock will glide through the heads more easily than the original Virtual Gravity Nano yet still handle heavy oil."
What I find interesting – because it seems counter intuitive – is that Storm found that "adding mica to this shell material created a cleaner glide through the heads without sacrificing any of its ability to handle larger amounts of oil. You’ll see increased entry angle with the new Virtual Gravity Nano Pearl with simultaneous amplified oil traction usually reserved for textured solids."
In other words, it's a shiny pearl ball designed so it won't squirt in oil.
I drilled my first NANO PEARL exactly as my favorite NANO, which was the ball I used the last two games when our Turbo 2-N-1 Grips team won the 2011 USBC Open Championships team event.
The review of that ball can be found here:
The pin to PAP distance is 4 1/2 inches. The key to PAP distance is 3 7/8 inches. The pin buffer is 2 3/4 inches. The pin is above my ring finger and the mass bias is kicked to the right at about a 75 degree drilling angle. The NANO PEARL required a small weight hole near my VAL (about P1) because the CG is in line between the pin and key whereas in my NANO the CG was left of the line from pin to key and therefore ended up near my grip center.
This is a mega powerful drilling that in the original VIRTUAL GRAVITY was my go-to on heavy oil shots, especially easier conditions.
I still use this NANO often on heavy oil, especially easier conditions with a puddle up front and in the middle, but also high volume Sport shots where it's necessary to get the ball into an early roll.
This NANO PEARL performs exactly as I expected: rolling in almost the exact same motion as the NANO I copied but with an easy clean guide down the lane.
It debuted on Sept. 22 the first game of our league on the Team USA Athens 40-foot Sport pattern, which I found similar to the PBA Viper pattern. It gave me some room right that other balls didn't but also gave me no room left because of its super strong core. It crushed the pins a couple of times and plaque-10'd a couple of times once the track started drying. Clearly there isn't enough volume in the Athens pattern on a fairly hooking Brunswick synthetic surface.
I used it again the first game of match play of the MAST tournament on Sept. 25. I had led qualifying with 1,072 for four games using a pin down REIGN SUPREME on a very soft house condition at an old wood lanes center. That got me a first round bye and when it came time for my match the REIGN SUPREME was simply too early/too much or too late/too little.
The NANO PEARL was perfect as I was able to get into the oil deeper and just roll it to the breakpoint. When I got it in the puddle, it rolled strong through the oil and through the pins. When I swung it, it's rolly shape prevented it from jumping through the face. The pearl cover made it get down the lane without any problem, while the strong core gave it a strong and continuous motion.
My game was 237 with one weak 10, two ring 10s and a 4-pin on a shot that seemed more high flush than 4-pin high. Unfortunately my opponent had eight of the first nine strikes and spared the 10th for 258.
But the NANO PEARL performed as advertised.
So, if you're someone who liked the NANO, or if you someone who wanted a NANO motion but with more skid, the NANO PEARL is for you.
The only people I would steer away from the NANO PEARL are those who don't like fast-revving, strong and continuous motion – or who bowl only on conditions with little oil in the heads and/or middle of the lane.
The No. 1 source for bowling news, analysis and opinion is my blog, The 11th Frame, which is here:http://host.madison.com/sports/recreation/bowling/