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Author Topic: Slate Blue Gargoyle  (Read 12120 times)


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Slate Blue Gargoyle
« on: December 31, 1969, 06:00:00 PM »

When the lanes are too dry for reactive bowling balls, the Slate Blue Gargoyle feels right at home. Designed with fried lanes in mind, this hard urethane will get past those burnt heads and make a smooth, but powerful arc to the pocket.

Most information gathered from Manufacturers promotional material.
* All bowling balls less than 13 pounds are ABC/WIBC approved for sanctioned competition.


Line Gargoyle
Color Blue
Coverstock Urethane
Core 2-piece Asymmetrical
RG 2.59
Differential 0.038
Factory finish 1500 Polished
Lane Conditions Light Oil


Rodney Evans

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Re: Slate Blue Gargoyle
« Reply #16 on: August 10, 2005, 06:22:22 PM »
This ball is great for me on drier stuff.  I have it punched up stacked with Pin under Ring.  2" pin, and 2.4 oz of top (15lbs.).  

At JOG this ball worked awesome from the 2nd game on at Western on the drier shot ( I'd say 21 buffed to 32ft.)  As long as I stayed behind the ball and didnt jerk up, or drop my thumb (come around the ball) It cleared the heads very well and gave a readable arc to the pocket. It carries very well for a urethane.

This ball has a tendency to be a little snappy off oil to dry, and it doesn't like carrydown at all.  But that isn't what it was designed for.  When the lanes dry out, this ball is great.  I am very happy with my slate blue.  It also works well on wood lanes, as they tend to hook earlier as well. Thanks Visionary!!  ((Will update with pics of drilling in the future when I have time))


Rodney Evans
Visionary Bowling Products
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Re: Slate Blue Gargoyle
« Reply #17 on: September 17, 2005, 04:33:44 AM »
I think my quest for the perfect ball for my style has ended. I am a stroker with low revs, med speed, who likes to play the outside line down-and-in. My problem has been overreaction with resin balls when playing this line. Plastic will often make it to the pocket but will not carry. IMHO, Visionary has produced a winning combo with the asymmetric core and pearlized urethane coverstock. I can't describe how smooth rolling this ball is and how beautiful an arc this ball makes as it walks in from the outside into the 1-3, it is simply awesome. Yes the ball can leave a few 10 pins, buckets if you fail to get all of it and/or throw it too fast, but it makes you want to throw it well because it is a thing of beauty when it is thrown properly. Ok, enough of the gushy stuff...sorry, but I really love this ball.

I bought my Slate Blue used off of eBay, and I don't know the technical specifics of the drill but the pin is slightly above and to the right of the ring finger, and the cg is near the center of the balance hole. I have used it so far on mostly synthetic lanes with typical house shots and dry boards outside 10. Lastly, this hard urethane shelled ball is very durable. It hardly has any visible marks on the track after the 20+ games I have already put on it plus whatever the previous owner used it for....I can't say the same for any of my resin or particle balls. This is nothing but quality stuff from Visionary.


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Re: Slate Blue Gargoyle
« Reply #18 on: December 24, 2005, 06:01:01 PM »
Ball Specs: 15 lbs
Drilled: Pin above the bridge/ CG swung to the  right about 1 1/2"
Pin: 3"
Cover: OOB

Wanted this ball to be mellow.  Again that is what I got.  This is one of the only balls that I have ever been able to play straight up the boards with out having to put a lot of speed on the ball.  I can go up 5 or move in alittle and set it down on 10 and go out to 5.  The reaction of the ball is strong on the backend and is smooth.  Being a pearl the ball stores a lot of energy for the pins.  And when I do use it for other than a ten pin it hits very hard, but is not explosive.  The pins tend to stay low and go out to the sides very well.  This would be a good ball for someone that does not have a lot of speed or has some hand in the ball.
J. Pedersen
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Re: Slate Blue Gargoyle
« Reply #19 on: January 12, 2006, 06:16:47 PM »
I bowl with allot of hand around 15 to 17 mph, pap is 4 3/4 over and 5/8 down.
Right I've had this ball for two weeks now so here's my findings.

Drilled this 15lb 3 inch pin 4 1/2 pin to pap, with the c/g smack in the middle of span.
I wanted a ball to fit between my plastic XXXL and my pure hammer, it did, this ball goes long because of its urethane cover, but this thing is incredible on the backend, on a THS, throwing 3rd arrow out too 8 board, with a late break, this ball hits very well.

I think anybody with big revs should consider this ball.

Stevie T
Perfection is NOT attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence...


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Re: Slate Blue Gargoyle
« Reply #20 on: April 08, 2006, 08:37:49 AM »
Ball Specs: 14 lbs.
Drilled: Pin above and inbetween bridge, CG stacked below
Pin: 3"
Cover: OOB

I have been searching for a dry lane ball for a loong time, and I decided to try the slate. The ball is AMAZING on dry shots, I wanted to use it when the backends were a little to dry for the Green Gargoyle, and this ball filled the slot perfectly. Started with the GG playing 20 to about 7 and the ball was burning up a bit and not finishing leaving flat 10's, I pulled out the slate, and moved about 5 boards and started playing 20 to 10 ball came in dead flush. Now the thing that suprised me about the ball is the strength it hooked alot more then I expected with the drilling I put on it, even on this dry shot I figured it would skid alot more, but infact it got just about the same amount of length as my green gargoyle, its just smoother on the back. The ball carries high flush shots beautifully, rarely leaving 7 pins or 8/9s. so if your a slower speed/ higher rev player I would suggest the slate blue, great cover/core combination, and it looks cool too.
Visionary Test Staff 2005-06


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Re: Slate Blue Gargoyle
« Reply #21 on: July 27, 2006, 01:13:58 AM »
This is my third Visionary product and every time I buy one I find myself wondering why I don't buy more.

My ball is a 14-pounder, 3.5-inch pin, drilled with the pin over the ring and the CG in the palm.

I got this ball for very dry lanes and shooting spares, and found it a great match for both things. The surprising part about this ball is that it's much stronger than you'd expect, but extremely smooth and never jumpy. The best feature is that it has an actual core, and carries well when used as a strike ball.

The ball offers a continuous arc motion, good drive through the pins and it's a good cross-lane ball for spares when you seem to be pulling everything else. There's not a lot to say about a ball built to be a arcing, dry-lane ball, other than it does its job much better than I ever expected it would. A great ball to pick up if you can still find one.



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Re: Slate Blue Gargoyle
« Reply #22 on: October 08, 2006, 12:21:02 PM »
The Slate Blue Gargoyle in a nutshell
  • One of a kind: urethane pearl with a core - too sad it's gone!
  • Great ball for dry lanes and short patterns
  • Low speed/higher rev players will love this piece
  • Arcing, whatever you do with it
  • Beware of carrydown or longer oil. It skids!
  • Very durable coverstock (hard urethane)

    Why this ball?
    The Slate Blue Gargoyle (SBG) is the epilogue of a (very) long personal quest for a “working” dry lane ball, especially for summer league with less oil and higher grip levels due to temperatures and air humidity.

    I made several attempts so far with used and NIB balls in a 2 years’ time, including:
    - a Reaction Rip, 5x5 pin above bridge
    - a TPC Shooter, 4x3 pin under ring
    - a Sahara (all too much ball for the purpose…), 4½x5 pin above ring
    - a Power Groove Dry/R (5x4 pin above bridge, but a 2nd hand dud with killer top weight and negative flare - basically nice, would give it another try)
    - a Red Pearl Urethane Hammer (4½x4½ pin under ring – nice on the dry, but no roll), and
    - a black Pure Hammer (5x5 pin far above bridge, an this one goes into the desired direction).

    Some might say this is ridiculous, and they are probably right. But unless you try, you won't find the solution. So, finally, enter the SBG with its hard (D-Scale rating of 78-80 – like a polyester ball!) pearl urethane coverstock and its “true” medium RG/medium differential core. On the paper it appeared to be the perfect fit after my trials and ongoing experience.

    Since the SBG is the only production ball currently available with these features, I finally imported one “by hand” from the US since Visionary is totally exotic for Germany. BTW, the SBG is my first Visionary ball and even the first I ever held in my own hands.

    About me:
    Style = Stroker/mild Tweener, right-handed
    Speed = 14-14,5 mph
    PAP = 5" & 7/8"^
    Axis tilt = 18,7°
    Revs = 250-300 RPM at release
    For more details, check out my profile, please.

    The ball and its setup:
    As all of my equipment, I had the SBG drilled by Michael Kraemer in Duisburg, Germany, Brunswick staffer and national team player for Germany. Again, many thanks and credits for his drilling support and expertise. My luck was that he had seen some SBGs in action during the recent Bowling World Championship 2006 in Korea on short oil (and wondering what these balls were?). Special greetings go additionally to Florian Streppel because of his curiosity about this ball - a short German review has already been posted on a local site

    My SBG specimen is 15.15 lbs. with 3.6 ounces top weight before drilling, and a pin distance of 2¾”. We were unsure how to set this ball up, since none of us knew its strength on local lanes or the strength of Visionary coverstocks in general. Finally, we decided to set up the ball strong and keep it polished, just to make it move for sure even with some head oil.

    Consequently, the ball was drilled stacked leverage, with the pin being placed under the fingers, 1” away from my ring finger hole in a 4 o'clock position. The CG was positioned at 90° from PAP, ending up at 2 o'clock from the thumb. To get the ball’s static weights back to legal due to the huge top weight, a 3” deep and 1” wide X-hole was added under my PAP and slightly moved towards the thumb, shifting top weight to the fingers.


    * = Pin
    # = CG
    x = X-Hole under PAP, towards thumb

    Clear silicone oval finger inserts (match the glassy ball surface nicely!) and a black urethane thumb slug completed the drilling job. Surface remained OOB: 1.500 grit with high gloss polish.

    The SBG in action:
    This is an updated version of the video I had original posted in the Visionary forum, including some added sequences with white tape markers on the ball between PAP and ring finger. I hope you get an idea how this ball moves - it does not look spectacular at all (and me rather awkful...)!


    And another, later video, where I compare several urethane pieces (SBG vs. black Pure Hammer vs. original Faball Blue Hammer from 1993):


    The testing program in detail:

    32-35' long, 6:1 ratio gutter-to-gutter crown pattern:
    First test and "virgin flight". Lane surface was a new, 2005 Brunswick AnvilLane at Knippis Bowling Palace in Oberhausen. I tried the ball after some games had been done and my new SR 300 and the Sahara were already moving a lot on deeper lines. Yet, there was still some head oil left, not a true dry lane. Medium-dry at best.

    I needed some attempts to find a good line with the SBG - since it is drilled strong, I was not sure what the ball was capable of. Finally, on this medium-dry shot, I found that an outside shot across 2nd arrow yielded the best results. I was able to stand initially at 21st board with my right shoe tip and play the SBG with good hand and normal speed to the pocket with good carry. It cleared the head area with no problem at all and would start to move already after 30', thanks to the strong and rolly drilling with the pin under the ring finger and some dry boards there.

    The core stabilzed the ball well: it goes into a nice midlane transition and stabilizes on the back end for a powerful forward roll. Deeper lines were not that successful, but I blame it on the oil volume in the middle of the lane which was still high enough to prevent secure spare shots at 2-8 or 2-7 leaves across the lane (see also below).

    After a couple of games with the SBG on this pattern I recognized that the ball would not finish well anymore. Margin for error also eroded - hits outside the pocket would yield high hits with buckets, 1-2-4-10 or 1-2-8 leaves. The ball would also not recover well anymore. I had to move 1 board deeper outside with my feet, to the 20th board, and that fixed the problem.

    I think it was simply carrydown which the ball created by itself: The hard and glossy urethane coverstock does not suck oil well, so I guess the ball distributes leftover head oil onto the midlane and even into back end, and is therefore victimized by its own design!

    Additionally, the urethane coverstock with its 1.500 grit polished surface really skids. Or, on the other side, needs clean and dry boards to build up friction and make the ball predictable. Carrydown is not a favorable condition for this ball, and I am not sure if some scuffing would change this considerably since the coverstock material is so hard.

    38' medium to medium-heavy shot, buffed to 40-42', 1994 Brunswick AnvilLane:
    My club house and frequent venue for training. Current main oil is 22 units between 12th and 27th board, with a 3 board wide, sharp oil edge and super clean back end when fresh and a buffed outside zone up to the gutter which does not yield much grip.

    On a fresh shot, the SBG was hopelessly overstrained - but this was to be expected. It slid hopelessly in the oil with a rather erratic finish on the back end.

    In later games (after 9 games in total) I tried the SBG again, and now the ball was playable. Like in the former test, I ended up at 21st board with my feet and playing across 2nd arrow. This result surprised me much, but the ball moved differently - it went a little longer and had a more angular back end movement. I am not sure it this was the result of the basically longer oil or the different lane surface? Nevertheless, it worked fine.

    Fresh 36' medium crown pattern:
    ...on 2004 Qubica synth surface, at Treff Bowling in Duisburg. I am not sure about the exact pattern specs. I guess it had some kind of Xmas tree shape beyond the arrows, but oil in the heads was gutter to gutter. After some games with my Shock & Awe and new SR 300 I pulled out the SBG and tried the down-and-in line across 2nd arrow from the 21st board. The ball moved very early and went Brooklyn, reading the lane as soon as it would hit dry ground. Moving my feet to the 23rd board, I stayed in the correct pocket side to string 5 strikes - but then again, out of the sudden, the SBG would slip beyond its break point and finish weakly. Looked much like the Oberhausen experience above, so I moved my feet down the boards plus the target to the 8th board for a compleetly new and clean line, and I had the ball back working.

    I also tried a deeper line (3rd arrow), but once more the overall oil volume was too much for the coverstock in OOB condition. It just slid with the oil and was more or less ineffective.

    Some conclusions:
    A very good and dedicated ball for dry to lightly oiled lanes. With its medium RG and medium differential the core has much power. Combined with the weak coverstock, this is a nice niche product, much like Lane #1’s XXL or XXXL.

    Since the SBG is a true special purpose ball, it is hard for me to give it an "X out of Y" rating. But I’d like to compare it with my black Pure Hammer with a weak length drilling which handles similar conditions. The black Pure Hammer has a lower RG core and a solid coverstock that reads the lane even better than the SBG's. Therefore I consider the Pure Hammer to be a true step up from the SBG in hook potential and breakpoint shape.

    Even though it is a pearl ball the SBG is not sharp or jumpy at the breakpoint - in fact it is very smooth, even when it hits sudden friction. It is perfectly suited for when it comes close to real desert conditions, scorched heads and worn out midlane conditions.

    Lane utility for tested ball (pattern length vs. oil volume):

    |S M L
    |h e o
    |o d n
    |r . g
    |X X +| Light volume
    |X + 0| Medium volume
    |+ 0 0| Heavy volume

    X = Best suited with effective control & carry
    + = Fairly suited (works, somehow, but lacks control)
    0 = Unsuited (ineffective, either slips or burns up)

    The chart concept is borrowed from Storm's 2003 print catalogue. Surface prep and drillings may change the results, it is just personal experience with my style and the reviewed ball

    IMHO, the SBG's design, the combination of a weak coverstock with a medium core, creates, especially for strokers, a better and more stable ball reaction than higher RG balls with more aggressive coverstocks, like the PK17 Power Grooves by Brunswick, the Tropical Storms or Ebonite’s Tornados. Crankers will love this one because it is so smooth!

    Judging the coverstock's strength, I think its shell is even weaker than a Power Groove Dry/R - even though it reads the lane quite early. I guess that "under" it, only the XXXL, the Red Pearl Urethane Hammer, maybe Brunswick's Urethane Groove and pancake core polyester balls will find a place.

    But, as always, there is a price to pay. The "weakness by design" goes so far that the ball does not handle any oil or carrydown well - if at all? In fact, the hard coverstock, which does hardly absorp any oil, creates carrydown by itself with ease on which the ball becomes prone to slip beyond its break point and finish weak after a short period. So, if you play with some (leftover) head oil volume, watch out and/or proactively move your feet and target outside every other game to stay clear and benefit from this ball's nice performance. Beware! In comparison, the OOB Pure Hammer would handle carrydown much better.

    Despite this "drawback", I guess I have finally found my summer "low end" solution - a kind of Red Pearl Urethane Hammer which gets into a roll

    The looks:
    I like the fact that the SBG is a light tone ball. It is not too bright or flashy, but the color is nice and disctictive. With its ice blue tint it stands out among those many dull and dark balls you typically find on the rack. And the material texture itself… the ball does not appear to be made from urethane/resin, rather from sugar at a fine bakery. Sweet!

    Additionally, the SBG's surface is so hard that it does not catch scratches easily, nor does it obviously track out. Its low oil absorption rate has also been mentioned before. It appears to be very durable.

    I was just a bit confused by the clear/black pin and the unusual CG marker, close by the serial number engravings. Additionally, the very… err… “rustic” engravings, which are quite broad and deep, appear a bit old-fashioned. They might match with the fantasy/antique image of Visionary, but other companies like Ebonite (very fine and exact engravings – but they catch dirt quickly) or Brunswick (who fill the engravings with polyester, not just gooey paint) have more to offer. But that’s nothing to devaluate the SBG’s qualities as a superb ball for (true) dry lanes.

    A nice product - fills a niche, but it should be 1st choice for anyone looking for a dry lane ball with a good end roll to it.

    On edit --- Feb. 2008
    After getting more used to it, the SBG has become a favorite for late games and short patterns in general. Initially I thought I had to handle it with care to make it move, but it really shines when you put some hands, revs and authority onto it. The coverstock grabs well, but the breakpoint remains smooth and rather continuous. I simply love it!

    Besides, I must say that my SBG is drilled too strong with its stacked leverage layout - but we had not knwon better when it came. On really scorched lanes it simply hooks too early, and too much. I have a hard time getting it to the 1-3 pocket, I have to play dep lines and swing it in a wide curve. I guess a little more pin distance with a higher pin (above the fingers) and/or a pin position closer to the track would have suited me better, since the reaction is pretty different from my other light oil balls that I tend to use before I switch to my SBG. It is a big change, a risk I'd have liked to avoid.
    Neverthless, the ball works extremely well on those conditions I wanted it for - I just move deep with confidence and let it break and hook across the lane, carrying superbly, and without any tendency of burning out.

    Another side note: this thing is durable! Mine has surely 100+ games on the clock, some on really dry and "abrasive" lanes. It still has its almost immaculate OOB glossy finish, just some minor scratches. Very tough! When the "big bang" comes and the dust settles, there will probably only cockroaches and urethane balls left over...

    A great ball, highly recommended.


    DizzyFugu - Reporting from Germany
    "The Future's So Bright I Gotta Wear Shades" - Pat MacDonald
    Edited on 26.10.2011 at 5:23 AM
    DizzyFugu ~ Reporting from Germany


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    Re: Slate Blue Gargoyle
    « Reply #23 on: February 12, 2007, 11:49:18 AM »
    Bought this ball due to dry lanes.  I wanted to play outside and my other ball (Black Widow) was way too much for this shot.
    Anyway, I got this ball on Sat. and used it in a makeup on Sunday.  Was able to play outside, thru from 5 out to 3 or 2 and it finished nicely. Got 8 strikes each the first 2 games and 7 in a row the 3rd.
    Great ball for dry lanes.
    It may be discontinued as I had to check numerous sites to find the ball.  If you want a ball for dry conditions, get it.  I have tried Hammer Pearl, and another urethane and neither worked like this one.  It is the big block in the ball that makes the difference.
    My average is 196.


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    Re: Slate Blue Gargoyle
    « Reply #24 on: May 05, 2007, 01:31:29 PM »
    Used this ball on wood lanes on second shift. First shift pattern is medium oil house shot and Immortal Pearl works inside, Green Gargoyle plays up ten. First shift was a mixed league with spray and pray players. What oil was left was spotty, and everything in my bag was getting early read and weird reactions. Slate Blue Gargoyle was great, played around ten at start, and migrated left a couple of boards just like the old days when everybody used yellow dots. During City tournament team event, the lanes dried up really bad. Used SBG and was swinging 12 to 9 with great control and strong hit. This is always going to be with me for tournament travels.
    there are no magic balls, only MAGIC bowlers!


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    Re: Slate Blue Gargoyle
    « Reply #25 on: May 11, 2007, 02:06:26 PM »
    Finish: 1500 Polish  
    RG: 2.59
    Diff: .038
    Lane Conditions: Various
    Color: Blue
    Cover stock: Urethane

    Right handed tweener, 15-16 mph ball speed.

    Ball specs were 15# 3 oz, 3" pin and 2.5 oz of tw before drilling. I wanted a long, smooth reaction out of this ball so we punched it up pin over bridge, cg in palm.

    Since drilling I have tried this ball on medium conditions and toasted conditions.

    On med conditions, I had to move way right and pipe the ball up 8. Using my normal release the ball went a bit too long and didn't come back to the 1-3. I adjust my hand position and came up the back more, creating more forward roll and bingo, this ball worked on medium conditions playing up the 8 board. It gets great length and has a nice smooth backend reaction. No over reaction with this ball.

    On the drier conditions, I was able to move inside a bit with this ball. I played 12 at the arrows and used 8 as my breakpoint. Again, this ball had a nice smooth reaction. It started up a bit earlier due to the dryness of the lanes, but it didn't over react. Nice and smooth throughout the lane.

    In comparison, for those who have or have thrown a Desert Heat, the Slate is almost the same, it just has less backend than the Desert. I found that on all conditions the Slate Blue hit much better than the Desert. The Slate really packs a punch for a dry lane ball.

    Overall, this is a fantastic replacement for my Desert. In fact, I'm happier with the Slate than I was with the Desert. This is a great piece for anyone looking for a dry lane ball. Visionary has a great ball with this one.

    Visionary Test Staff Member '07-'08


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    Re: Slate Blue Gargoyle
    « Reply #26 on: November 09, 2007, 03:02:13 PM »
    Information about the tester:
    16-18 MPH
    375-425 RPM
    Power Player
    PAP – 5 1/8” over, 1” up

    Visionary Slate Blue Gargoyle
    Pin – 3”
    Top Weight – 3 oz.
    Surface – OOB polish

    Drilled – PIN to right of ring, CG kicked out a little

    Conditions –

    1.  THS (36-38 ft. – light oil)

    This ball really shines for our league pattern, as the oil length is about as long as other houses, but the quantity of oil is rather light.  This ball is excellent in pushing oil into other bowler’s lines, as it takes me a game to push oil down the lane to give the appearance of a heavier oil pattern.  It is simple to play a swing trajectory with my rev rate, where I usually try to play 24 to 18 at the arrows to 10 at my breakpoint with this pattern.  To keep using this ball throughout the entire set, I would have to make small moves 2 : 1 to the right to avoid the oil I pushed down the lane.  I primarily use this ball to keep a simple straighter line, and push oil to mess up the tweeners and strokers.  I have not adjusted the pearl urethane cover, because I have not found the need of getting the ball to check up earlier.  With heavier oil at the same distance, I would have to point the ball more toward the pocket.  


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    Re: Slate Blue Gargoyle
    « Reply #27 on: November 23, 2007, 03:26:25 AM »
    I picked this ball up (used and CHEAP) on eBay. I got it specifically to fill a whole in my arsenal. I wanted something for light oil, but not so bone dry that I needed to break out my Straight Flush (LM). The price was right, and I've got a buddy in a pro shop who owed me one, so he drilled it for free.

    I picked it up right before bowling Mote Carlo, which was held after the early leagues. I didn't throw it during Monte Carlo, but waited to roll a few games afterwards, when the lanes were in the exact condition for which I got this ball.

    Having never thrown in and not knowing how it would react, I missed the pocket light the first few frames, and then went into the nose on the 4th frame. All splits. Then I had the line figured and settled in, finishing with a 169. Followed that with a 210, 240, 285, for a 904 4-game series (with the 169 1st game)! That's a 226 average, WITH a 169 GAME INCLUDED! Yep, I'm pleased. Two days later, I shot a 729 3-game set with it. (I average around 205).

    Bottom line, this is a great ball when you don't want overreaction and the lanes are pretty fried. Highly recommended for this purpose! It carries MUCH better than I anticipated. Hits like my LM/Legends stuff.


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    Re: Slate Blue Gargoyle
    « Reply #28 on: May 06, 2009, 08:10:00 PM »
    The ball: 16 pounds, 2.5-inch pin, 2.75 oz. top weight prior to drilling
    The drill: pin over ring, CG kicked out positive about 2 inches. Weight hole of 3/8-inch diameter close to thumb (i.e., a "dual thumb" hole). Finish is box.
    Me: PAP 4 over 3/8 up, tweener revs, good speed, typically high axis rotation and low tilt


    This is my second Slate Blue Gargoyle. The first (a brief review appears down this page) was a 14-pound ball I picked up with the intention of using as a fried lane ball and spare ball. Once I saw the characteristics of the 14-pounder, though, I decided to get one in my preferred weight of 16 pounds and see what it would do as a first option.

    The first thing to note about this ball is that it is stronger than you might think. Wrapping this core in pearl urethane was a genius move, however, because it allows the ball to be strong where it counts. Unlike some of Visionary's other urethanes (the Red Sorcerer comes to mind), this ball does not start hooking as soon as it sees wood. It is very clean through the front, but when it makes its move in the back it is almost reactive resin-ish in nature.

    Where this ball differs from a resin ball, however, is that in the event of carrydown or the back end of the pattern and breakpoint disintegrating, just move back to the right and play direct. This ball is very smooth, very predictable, and the core helps it just crush on carry.

    Being a pearl urethane, however, there are some out-of-bounds shots. This ball won't play in heavy oil or anything above medium unless the backends are flying.

    Carry is unusual for a urethane, mostly because the cover stores energy in such a way that it allows the ball to get nice entry angles, and then there is the matter of having a real core at its center.

    Visionary has created a niche for itself with pearl urethane offerings. Many companies are now following Lane #1's lead with sanded urethanes, but the Slate Blue (still available on eBay if you get lucky) is in a class by itself.


    Positives: Smooth roll, predictable, while allowing for backend performance that mimics a mild reactive.

    Negatives: Can't navigate medium-plus oil, not the best at playing extreme inside angles.

    Overall: A great, unique ball that offers a look you can't get from anything else on the market now or from the last 10 years.



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    Re: Slate Blue Gargoyle
    « Reply #29 on: January 29, 2012, 12:08:06 PM »
    I'm a high rev/slow-medium speed player, and I bowl in a drier center, so naturally I need a good dry lane ball.  The SBG is it, let me tell you.  It is drilled with a very mild full roller layout.  In oil the ball skids to the very end, and then BAM!  It just snaps left.  I was really shocked the first time I took it out, and all of a sudden I thought I would need to play a sizeable swing to make this ball work.  Turns out I can play in to 4th arrow if it's breaking down and I still kick the 10, but I can also be real nice to it at the bottom with my hand up the back and play straight up 13 as well.  So that was nice that it worked out.


    Where I was once again shocked was when I took this to the other house I practice at.  Just as flooded as I've ever seen is how they oil the lanes.  It was my first time with all my gear at the house and just for fun pulled out the SBG and played up the 9 board...and what do you know if that wasn't the best look I had of all my equipment.  Nothing else would pick up at the end of the pattern.  Maybe they have real clean backends, or maybe this ball just picks up that quickly off the dry (I'm going with #2, because I've tested this several times since).


    I can only imagine what this ball would do with my low speed if I'd drilled it to be strong.  I'm quite glad I didn't.