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Author Topic: Espionage  (Read 16097 times)


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« on: November 26, 2012, 12:03:32 PM »
Ball NPS Score: 100.00
Description: Covertly eliminate the competition with the Epionage bowling ball from Elite. They'll never know what hit 'em!
- Coverstock: E85M Reactive
- Color: Purple/Orange/Green (Actual ball color may vary.)
- Ball Finish: Abralon 2000 Matte
- RG: (16# 2.538) (15# 2.527) (14# 2.544)
- Diff: (16# 0.042) (15# 0.048) (14# 0.045)
- Best Lane Condition: Medium - Heavy Oil



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Re: Espionage
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2013, 12:20:32 PM »
I am about a 220 bowler, and last year I was in the top 30 on the NEBA bowling tour last year.  I drilled up an Elite Espionage about 2 weeks ago because I was looking for a nice smooth reaction I decided to try a company I've never touched before.  I was skeptical at first because where I am from, no one throws Elite, but after putting holes in this ball (put the pin next to my ring finger, CG at about 6 o'clock from that) I realized that I had made an excellent choice.  After my first two nights of league with it, I had 2 270 games and 2 250 games.  I've thrown it plenty in practice games and I have determined that it is a fantastic ball in medium volume of oil.  I've tried it in practice on a higher volume THS and its just not enough ball, seeing as it is one of the lower end balls coming out of the Elite factory.  But anywhere you have fresh back-ends or a non flooded gutter, this ball is a monster.  It took a lot of human error out of my game, where my misses were still knocking all 10 pins down.  I would recommend this ball to anyone.


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Re: Espionage
« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2013, 10:48:18 AM »
Ball: 14 lb. 6 oz.
Pin: 2.5"
Top weight: 3.5 oz

Drilling: 75 x 5.5 x 60
Surface: stock 2000 grit

Release Specs:
Right handed
RPM: 300 +/-
Tilt: 17 degrees
Rotation: 45-60 degrees
Ball speed: 14.0 - 14.5 mph Qubica
PAP: varies from 5" x 0"  to  4.5" x .75" down

Oil pattern: Kegel's Beaten Path
Lane Surface: AMF HPL (approx. 3 years old)
Description: The amount of oil applied in this house for this pattern would
qualify for what I call medium+ to medium-heavy oil. (The house shot is
light to medium-light with a wet/dry look.)
The ratio is, I believe, a 4:1 ratio, much tighter than ours and most house
patterns. I see the result on many faces when the ball dives Brooklyn or through
the nose when they "ONLY" missed their target by 2+ boards. They're used to
striking dead flush when they normally do that.

My Impression of the "Beaten Path":
Before this league I had not bowled on this pattern. It is very different from
the PBA patterns I have bowled on in 2 major ways. One, it caters, to some
degree, to the old style house bowler, who stays on the "down the 2nd arrow"
shot, never changing once, until the shot comes to him. Two, Even though this
is a 5 person league, the breakpoint virtually cannot change in maybe 98%
of the cases and times, from 1st game through the 3rd. 

Most times, the breakpoint area (6 - 10 board) gets drier and you have to move
cautiously or change balls or releases. Unless you have very slow ball speed,
you cannot swing the ball. Even our league average leaders, who have 450 - 550 RPMs and 17.5 - 18.5 mph ball speed (at the pin deck) have learned that. I did see one guy use an old Black Widow and slow-rolled it to swing it, but that's one out of 100 bowlers.

Where I have been playing:
I usually use a 3000 grit matte Karma Solid drilled 65 x 5 x 40 for the first 2 games.
3rd game is a 3000 grit RG Scream with a similar drilling. The 3rd game can get
ferociously dry depending on how well the oil machine has been tuned and prepped
for our oil pattern.

As a comparison, with the Karma, I usually stand around 25 and try to hit the 8 board at breakpoint (I have very little drift) in the 1st game, and finish the 3rd game standing around 30. By that time the controlled backend of the Karma is no longer "controlled". Then I have to shift to the Scream.

Surprisingly, I started standing around 25, with a breakpoint of about 8/9 board.
By the end of game 3, I was standing on 27, aiming for 7/8 board. I was happy
and amazed. The ball never got less than exceptional length, which makes suspect
that the cover may not be 2000 grit, at least mine, anyway. And I had to make sure I hit the ball. I fluffed one when I lost focus for a moment and I probably lifted more with my thumb than my fingers. The 5/7/10 was standing for a half second but the 5 & 7 both fell. How embarrassing!!

Another positive note: I pulled a couple of balls inside of target, hitting 10 or 11.
Each time I left just the 2 pin; the 4, 5 and sometimes the 8 kept falling down.

By the 3rd game, my thumb hole got a little sticky and I had to play around
with the tape and clean the hole over the course of 4 or 5 frames. Also around
that time some carrydown developed and the 9/10 area became too slick. I left
a number of weak 10 pins that disappointed me. But I guessed right, & you had
to move your breakpoint out to 7/8 board area. 

I (& the Espionage) also kicked out a number of 7 pins that I will often leave
because I don't have high ball speed. I think I only left one ringing 10 pin,
which is always a good sign for me.

While the Espionage went a lot longer than the Karma, it always arc'd, never
flipped. I always felt in control. Except for that one almost accident, 5/7/10,
The ball always turned the exact amount of lift and revs I put on the ball.
I had a good feel for what the ball was going to do, even if it did it further
down the lane.

I was going to polish it for the house shot league tonight, but I liked it so much for the sport pattern. and I'm not sure I can replicate the finish that is on it now. I will eventually play with the surface.

I apologize if the above comments were long and windy.

Let me say this: I am very happy and surprised that I was able to use this ball for all 3 games in this sport pattern league. I have not done that all year with any ball I have tried on this pattern, since September. This was also my highest scoring set in this league, more surprising since I have never used this ball anywhere before,

I think this ball has amazing potentiality. I am sorely tempted to buy another immediately.
« Last Edit: April 01, 2013, 10:34:54 AM by charlest »
"None are so blind as those who will not see."


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Re: Espionage
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2013, 11:55:36 PM »
I need to mention that my previous estimate of the surface was mistaken.

The look and feel was very smooth. I estimated it to be in the range of 4000 grit.
For the 2nd usage (league session), I roughened it by hand with a 3000 grit Trizact pad and it reacted a little less "grabby" in the midlane. For the 3rd usage (league session) I fully sanded it smooth to 3000 grit. It was even less "reactive", getting more length and less aggressive in the backend, until the 3rd game, when it came alive.

For the 4th league session, I will sand it to 2000 grit and hopefully return it to its full potential for me, on this Beaten Path oil pattern.

I am not sure what they sanded it with at the factory but its look and feel was what I am used to seeing and feeling with a 4000 grit Siaair or Abralon pad. But its ball reaction was that of 2000 grit. That was proved to me by my 2 subsequent uses on this oil pattern. Live and learn.
"None are so blind as those who will not see."


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Re: Espionage
« Reply #4 on: August 02, 2013, 08:59:45 AM »

Length: 41'

Volume: medium

Type (THS, Sport Pattern etc): Modified Stone Street

I used a dual angle layout of 40deg x 3-3/4" x 70deg which place the pin below my ring finger and a weight hole 2-1/2" from my pap down the val. The ball is very smooth and not jumpy, which is what I was wanting! It gets thru the heads with ease and picks up in the mid lane for a not strong arc at the break point! I was trying to play to close to the friction, playing 25 to 8 and I fought early hook and splits. When I finally trusted the ball and moved my feet 4 more boards left and keep my break point the same, I could just about strike for days! I did shoot 289 last night of league when I let it do what it wanted to do all night! This is a great ball to get a read of the lanes and first out of the bag!! It doesn't over reaction when it hits the friction, but has a nice strong arc that's very readable!! This is a great ball from a company I didn't know much about, but will in the future! Just my $.02, Bruce

Likes: Smooth rolling and very controllable with great pin carry! The ball really drilled like cutting butter with a hot knife!!

Dislikes: None so far, just use it on the condition it's intended for! That and I didn't have two to drill!!!

Bruce Campbell
Coaches aren't born, they are made!
USBC Silver Certified Coach

Changing bowling, one bowler at a time!


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Re: Espionage
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2013, 03:50:22 AM »

450-500 RPMs

17-18 MPH



Wasn't sure exactly what to expect when drilling the Espionage. This, along with the Gold, were the first Elite balls I had ever drilled.

WOW. There aren't enough words to describe just how in love I am with this ball. It has the absolute perfect combination of read in the fronts, strength in the midlane, and backend reaction. It seems like I can throw this ball on almost every pattern I come across. Of the two, the pin up ball is my favorite. It gives it that extra little *pop* on the backend to make this ball really shine.

I have thrown this ball on multiple patterns in tournaments since I first got it, and the way it smoothens out the transition to friction is remarkable. This is one of those balls that you know is going to get you out of trouble no matter what. Never at any point have I ball changed to my Espionage and been disappointed. And if that isn't enough, this thing hits the pins like a ton of bricks.

This ball really opened my eyes to that fact that great balls don't have to come from the biggest company. If you have ever doubted the quality and performance of Elite products, one shot with this ball will completely change all your previous thoughts.

Drill an Espionage today. You might not know it, but trust me. You need it.


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Re: Espionage
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2013, 03:45:57 PM »
 Finally was able to get the Espionage drilled up. This ball is a very "sleeperish" type ball, in that it will compete well with much better known manufacturers and be able to hold its own very well.

 Had a very wet/dry look on lane 2 (we drew lanes 1 & 2 the first night). Tried to go with an "up the boards" shot, only to find the conditioner was heavy in the wrong spot for that, so the other option was go with a more aggressive cover, and use the dry part of the THS as a bumper. Seemed to work well.

 The ESPIONAGE, with its stated factory 2000 grit surface, was perfect. The ball would get good length in the oil, but would read the midlane just enough to let it have a strong arcing type read off the breakpoint without being unpredictable. As long as I performed well, so did the ball, turning the corner time after time.

 The ball didn't seem to "explode" the rack, as many people have come to expect, but it did hit plenty hard. Always seemed to have a very "solid" sound in the pocket, and moved the pins around very well. Didn't throw as many messengers as I did with the ECHO, but this ball was much "rollier", and seemed to be VERY predictable.

 All in all, this ball would probably be really good at controlling the breakpoint, yet giving you the predictable power and performance we like to see, along with a solid "whack" sounding hit when it entered the pins. Maybe not a THS killer, but probably really nice on sport shots where control and predictability pay back a premium price!
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