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Author Topic: Critical  (Read 25071 times)


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« on: November 09, 2015, 03:20:29 PM »
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Description: Roto Grip is recreating the Critical Theory and putting a modern spin on it with the Critical bowling ball.  The Triliptic core is versatile and offers constant motion to variety of bowlers.  The modern 67MH Hybrid coverstock is finished with a 3000-grit pad and is a little stronger than the original Critical Theory cover.  This ball is best used on medium to heavy oil conditions.


- Color: Purple & Green Pearl/Grey Solid (colors may vary from the picture shown)
- Core: Triliptic (14-16#)
- Coverstock: 67MH Hybrid
- Finish: 3000 Grit Pad
- RG: 2.49 (for 15# ball)
- Diff: 0.058 (for 15# ball)
- Recommended Lane Condition: Medium to Heavy Oil



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Roto Grip Critical Review by Casey Murphy
« Reply #1 on: November 23, 2015, 03:25:02 PM »
Orientation:  Right Handed
Rev Rate:  375 RPM
Speed:  16-17 MPH
PAP:  4 5/8 straight across

Location:  Enterprise Park Lanes, Springfield MO
Pattern:  High Volume THS
Layout:  50, 5 ½, 40

The Critical Theory has returned in the form of the brand new Critical!  The covers differ slightly, as the Critical Theory was a sanded pearl and the Critical is a sanded hybrid, but the overall reaction is very similar.  The low RG, high diff core provides a motion for Roto Grip that’s not been seen in quite some time.  The Critical revs up quick, hits the breakpoint very sharp, but still smooth, and has a good deal more continuation than traditional Asymmetricals.  When you compare the Critical’s performance to the price, it’s clear to see it’s the best bargain on the market!


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Re: Critical
« Reply #2 on: December 03, 2015, 01:59:49 PM »
Roto Grip Critical         50 x 4 x 50

Coverstock Name         67MHâ„¢
Coverstock Style         Hybrid
Coverstock Type         Reactive
Weight Block         Trilipticâ„¢
Color               Purple & Green Pearl / Grey Solid
Finish               3000-grit pad

Test condition:

41FT THS with KEGEL FLEX machine with cleaner ratio 4:1 and Ice oil in both tanks

Used this with fresh THS and also sitting all day and night THS and found very similar looks and reaction than my Hyper Cell with little extra length before it change motions and a little harder kick in the backend. Reminds me of the original Roto Grip Critical Theory with about 2-4 boards stronger. I changed the surface to 1500-grit and it smoothed out the backend more to my liking. Next step was to polish it and I was able to square up more and play left of the track area on the fresh and used THS conditions. I think I will leave it at the 1500-grit and use it as my benchmark tournament ball for 40ft and longer patterns.


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Re: Critical
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2015, 03:20:39 PM »

Pin Length: 3 1/2"

Starting Top Weight: 3 oz.

Ball Weight: 15lbs.


Pin to PAP: 5 3/8"

CG to PAP: 3 1/4"

Pin Buffer: 3"


Rev Rate: 430rpm

Ball Speed: 16mph

PAP/Track: 4 1/2" x 1/2" up


Grit: 3000

Type: (Matte, Polish, Sanded): Box Finish


Length: 42'

Volume: Med/Heavy

Type (THS, Sport Pattern etc): Various


Just when we thought the incredible HP3 line couldn't get any better....Roto Grip dropped this bomb on us just in time for the holidays! The new Critical not only adds a Hybrid option to the line but also an asymmetric core that is truly the definition of "continuous". I'll be honest, I thought that my eyes (or the colors) were playing tricks on me when I first threw this ball because it revved up so well in the mids but didn't check up and quit. The shape is truly unique in the sense that the Triliptic Core gets into motion so soon but doesn't compromise the balls energy or skid. The 67MH hybrid cover glides effortlessly through the heads and handles surface changes quite well. I've tried 2000, 3000, and 4000 grit finishes and have found that (as expected) the ball can definitely handle higher volumes with a little rougher surface. I think that is the biggest upgrade from the famed Critical Theory. For tournament bowlers, this ball should be a benchmark staple for 38-43' patterns alongside the Haywire. For league play, this ball will allow players to be left of the track on these 10:1 or higher house shots while maintaining superb read in the oil which translates to continuation and a smooth consistent flip downlane. #OwnIt   

"Luck is what happens when preparation meets opportunity"

Zach Trevino
LAB ProShop
Georgetown, TX

Storm/Roto Grip/VISE Staff Player


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Re: Critical
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2015, 02:08:52 PM »

Pin Length: 4.5

Starting Top Weight:3.25

Ball Weight:15


Pin to PAP: 4.5

CG to PAP: 5

X Hole (if there is one):none


Rev Rate: 350

Ball Speed: 17 off hand

PAP/Track: 5 over 3/8 up


Grit: Factory

Type: (Matte, Polish, Sanded): Factory


Length: 41

Volume: ~30

Type (THS, Sport Pattern etc): USBC White Pattern


Length: End of Pattern

Back End: Strong

Overall Hook: More than the Critical Theory

Midlane Read: Earlier

Breakpoint Shape: Angular


Likes: Revs up fast when finding friction. Does not seem to stop. I left 3 9 pins  (and I typically dont have enough ball) that surprised me (first night 749). Very easy to read when the ball stands up. It kept on hitting when moving deeper. Eventually got to 27 to 8/10 never lost carry. But I shelled down to a HyRoad hybrid and moved 10 and 5 right and continued to strike.

Dislikes: Volume is key for this ball. It will hook too much on thinner or shorter patterns.

Sponsored by:

Chasing pins for 45 years.


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Re: Critical
« Reply #5 on: December 21, 2015, 07:30:19 AM »

Length: Various Medium and Long

Volume: Medium and Heavy

Type (THS, Sport Pattern etc): Various patterns

The newest release by RotoGrip into their HP3 line up is the Critical.  The weight block is the Triliptic weight block that was used on the Critical Theory…  Again using proven weight block wrapped around by strong Hybrid cover stocks will lead to higher scores!  The coverstock used by the Critical is the 67MH Hybrid Reactive. The Critical is the first asymmetrical bowling ball in the HP3 line.  The layout that I used for the Critical is Pin over the fingers with the mass bias roughly 2 inches from center line with no hole or 60 X 5.5 X 45 for the dual angle people.  My coordinates are 5 5/8 over and ¾ up for my PAP, Ball speed is medium, Rev Rate around 300 and I am right handed.

I threw the Critical on various conditions along with the unhinged and the Haywire.  The Critical fits in between the 2 other bowling balls in the HP3 line perfectly.  The Critical starts up quicker than the unhinged and is more continuous.  The Critical gets down the lane farther than the Haywire and is stronger on the backend.  On the longer patterns the Haywire was in play until the fronts started to dry up and if you switched to the unhinged it would not have enough in the mid lane to make the turn.  The Critical will be able to read the mid lane and make the turn.  The real difference occurs when you bowl on medium patterns the Critical is in its element…  Gives you enough length mixed with enough power to throw some pins around!  Another thing that I noticed is how it blended out the over under that occurs when the lane is transitioning especially front to back.  I did not throw the Critical on any of the shorter or dryer patterns.  From experience the unhinged would be the bowling ball of choice because of the pearlized coverstock.  The Critical is more suited to the heavier medium length patterns or a heavier house pattern condition.  The price point on the Critical is in the HP3 line with HP4 technology… This is a bargain for the customer!



Daniel Schaden
Storm/RotoGrip Pro Shop Staff
Vise Grip Staff Member since 2002
Bowlers Corner Pro Shop since 2002


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Re: Critical
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2015, 10:22:30 PM »
The new Critical brings the ball motion and overall strength of the popular Critical Theory into the affordable HP3 price point.  Very rarely does any ball under the high-performance price point feature an asymmetric core, but this ball does, as it is powered by the dynamic Triliptic core.  Combining that core with the strong 67MH hybrid cover produces a ball that digs in heavy oil about as well as any ball on the market.  This ball shines on fresh or longer oil patterns and higher oil volumes.  It has a great amount of midlane roll which continues through the back end and into the pin deck.  The predictable roll also makes the Critical a great choice for heavier oil volume sport conditions.  The only time where this ball will not be optimal will be on lighter oil patterns and broken down conditions, which the Critical was not designed for.

I find this ball to be a few boards stronger than the Haywire, which had an impressive amount of hook in the first place.  The asymmetric core gives the Critical a more angular ball motion when compared to the Haywire.  I compared the Critical to the new Hectic in my review video, and the difference between the two is stunning - the Hectic pushes five to six feet further down the lane before unleashing a strong backend flip.  The Hectic is a great option to use when the Critical starts to hook too early.

Video Link -

Mike LeViner

PJ Haggerty

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Re: Critical
« Reply #7 on: January 18, 2016, 03:10:28 PM »
Roto Grip Critical Ball Review by PJ Haggerty

The Critical is the newest addition to the HP3 line and fits perfectly underneath the bigger cored, assymetrical balls, but stronger than the HP4 line.  If you drilled a Haywire, the Critical is quite a bit different.  My personal opinion is the Haywire is significantly stronger.

I’ve drilled one Critical so far and have used it mostly as a benchmark piece.  I drilled my middle finger through the pin, with a slight shift and a hole two inches under my axis.  I didn’t adjust the surface out of the box, but with some lane shine, it has a decent shine to it creating more length, but still a relatively slow response time.  The Critical is a nice step down from your Eternal Cell, Hyper Cell Skid, and Haywire for the transition periods of tournaments.

I could see using the Critical on medium and shorter patterns.  As mentioned before, the response time is on the slower side, and if you were to add some surface to the Critical, I think this would create an even smoother shape.  All in all, a very versatile ball that players will be able to use on several different patterns.



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Re: Critical
« Reply #8 on: January 21, 2016, 11:02:01 AM »

Length: 42'


Type (THS, Sport Pattern etc): Stone Street and 38' THS


I have to concur with what PJ Haggerty says.  I drilled one 5.25 x 4 x 3 which puts the pin in my middle finger and the MB almost on the VAL.  The Critical is smoother than you would expect from a ball with its numbers (2.49 RG, .058 DIFF).  The Hybrid mix they used has produced a clean early look with a mid-midlane read.  Good finish and continuation?  Yes.  Snap? NO!!  Pins seem to have a propensity to stay on the deck, as I have thrown some messengers with it which is uncommon for me given a lower rev rate of about 300 and avg speed of 15mph.  Hey, I'm old, OK?

This is a nice step down ball.  It doesn't need a shine to clear the heads.  "Surface is my friend."

« Last Edit: January 21, 2016, 11:06:51 AM by wburr835 »
Warren G Burr, D.D.
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« Reply #9 on: January 29, 2016, 02:56:02 PM »
Weight:  14 lbs.
Pin Length:  2.5”
Drilling:  30 X 3 X 20
Pattern Length: 39 ft.
Pattern Volume:  Medium
Pattern Type:  House
Right Handed

The CRITICAL has the Triliptic Core surrounded by a hybrid reactive  67MH coverstock, with a 6” flare potential, and an asymmetrical core.  This ball comes out of the box at 3000-grit.  The cover can be changed by sanding to a lower grit, or polishing, to suit a variety of lane conditions.

The CRITICAL is the newest release in Roto Grips popular HP3 line, which included the popular Disturbed, Hysteria, and Haywire.

I have used the CRITICAL on our local house patterns. 

I’ve used the CRITICAL at the box 3000 grit finish, 1000 grit finish, and 4000 grit, polished, and found it to be much stronger reacting than I’d expected.  It reacted for me, more like a high performance ball, but in the mid performance price range.  I found it to be very even rolling and arcing, and continuous through the pins.  At box finish, it was a good starting ball for me.  It got through the heads, and had a strong, even finish.  With the 4000 grit polished, I was able to go to the CRITICAL later in the set, with more length, and snap on the back end.  At 1000 grit finish, it started up earlier, and would be great on a little heavier oil pattern.   If you were a fan of the Critical Theory, you will be a fan of the CRITICAL. 

Carol Teel
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Re: Critical
« Reply #10 on: February 01, 2016, 10:19:25 AM »
The Roto Grip Critical, which is part of the HP3 line, has the same asymmetrical Triliptic weight block that the Critical Theory had but has the 67mh hybrid coverstock.
I chose one of my favorite asymmetrical drillings for my Critical. 4” x 5” with a 3.5” pin buffer with a large P2 hole. This put my pin just outside of my ring finger and the mass bias just left of the thumb (left-handed).
I have used the Critical on a few different house shots as well as the 2014 USBC Open Championships team pattern. I quickly saw how good this ball could be. The cover is strong and slightly early for a hybrid, and the core was strong without wanting to rev up at the arrows.
The Critical is strong down lane but needs some oil (or ball speed). The core doesn’t rev up as fast as say the nucleus core in the Cell series. That gives it more shape down lane than most solid or hybrid asyms. For me, the Critical is more responsive in oil than the Eternal Cell (out of box), but makes a stronger move than the Haywire.
This ball will make a great addition to my bag and I see being a great companion to the Haywire and Zero Gravity. I would recommend The Critical for anyone looking for a good ball for oil that still wants a strong motion on the back.


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Re: Critical
« Reply #11 on: February 02, 2016, 01:24:46 AM »
The Critical has become my benchmark ball.  I have been able to use it on any pattern longer than 38 feet.  The Critical has worked best on sport/challenge patterns that are medium in length. 
Compared to my Crux, the Critical is earlier and smoother.  When the Crux is too angular, I can use the Critical to smooth out the pattern. 
What impressed me the most was the Critical never lost hitting power as I moved left.  It always seemed to pick up in the right spot.  I am very impressed with the Critical and highly recommend one for any bowler looking for a benchmark ball.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2016, 01:31:22 AM by Eoff »


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Re: Critical
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2016, 11:59:50 AM »
Layout = 75 x 5 x 40 - This is a base layout I use when I want to see a ball for the first time and experiment with the shape and motion. I didn't have much luck with my Theory and Infinite Theories, which scared me off the Critical Theory. Quite a few folks who threw the Critical Theory loved it and drilled several as compliments or when they wanted fresh covers. With that being said, I didn't have an objective or desired place in my arsenal for this piece. That is not always a good way to approach arsenals but I wanted to see what I might have missed before.

I have been seeing a smooth response motion at the breakpoint. The cover with 3000 abralon out of the box can be early which puts it near my Lock except my Lock is more continuous down lane at the break point. My Menace is smoother due to a pin down/low hole layout so the Critical gets further down the lane than it. My Eternal Cell is sharper off the spot with more push thru the front. Due to where it fits in with other balls that I have, I think I am going to plug and redrill it with the pin in the ring finger and mb shift to the right around 45* and try to use it as a benchmark ball to read the pattern with and for transitions from my stronger equipment to my more mid-line balls that get more length and later read.

I see the Critical as a good first ball out of the bag if you do not have a defined strong ball in your bag. It also compliments when your "big dawg" is getting too early of a read. Plug a Critical into that spot and keep on plugging away. 

Don't be afraid to use the abralon pads to get you separation in your arsenals. Even just hitting the cover lightly with 4000 can eliminate the over/under that shiny factory finishes sometimes cause. 2000 can make a ball read early enough to get a better look than your hook monsters.
« Last Edit: February 07, 2016, 12:04:34 PM by Bigmike »
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Re: Critical
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2016, 09:17:50 AM »

Christina Hardee Critical Review

I have lots of love for this ball. For me it has its very own unique shape. I'm a pretty big fan of the shape of most asymmetrical equipment. Smoother motions and less angle allows me to keep my feet right a little longer and up the right is a stronger point in my game.

The Critical is everything I would hope for in a asymmetrical mid performance ball. It keeps the over all smoother shape of the HP equipment but is cleaner and just slightly more angular. So when the big HP stuff starts working to hard and leaving me 10pins this is my next go to ball.

Or this is a good option in centers with a med/heavy oil pattern. Where a hp might be just a little to strong the Critical would fit right in.

Plus on top of great performance the colors on this ball are fun and very neat looking.

Overall this is a winner in my book. Awesome performance, great looks and mid range pricing make this one a big bang for your bargain
Christina Hardee
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Re: Critical
« Reply #14 on: February 29, 2016, 05:28:33 PM »
Roto Grip Critical Review by Roto Grip Staffer Joshua Tajiri

Roto Grip brings back the Triliptic core from the Critical Theory in the New Critical! The Critical features 67 MH Hybrid cover at a 3000 grit abralon finish. This ball works well on medium-heavy oil lane conditions.

I drilled my Critical with a 65°x5"x55° Dual Angle Layout. This layout gives me a very continuous ball motion. The won't hook early nor go too long.

This ball reminds of the original Critical Theory. It is a good step down from the higher end balls like the Menace or Lock. This ball works very well to surface adjustments. If you want it to hook a little earlier just add more surface, or if you want to see a little more length polish it up to 1500 polished. Out of the box, I was very impressed on this ball. I threw it a lot and scored very well with it.

Based on performance, I give this ball an "A+." Based on the cosmetics of the ball I'll give it a, "B+."
Thank you for reading this blog and hope you stay tuned for future blogs,

Joshua Tajiri

Storm/ Roto Grip Amateur Staff The Best Deals in Bowling
Joshua Tajiri (Technician)