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Review Date: 24 June 2014

Reviewed by:
Storm/Roto Grip staffer John Brockland
Style: Stroker Rev Rate: 280-310
PAP: 5.25" over and 1" up

The OPTIMUS is a brand new development in Storm's Master Line. Its engine is the newly created Tri-Sphere™ core which Storm says "brings new meaning to the term power personified."

This brand new core is wrapped with the very successful R2X™ pearl reactive coverstock which is also found on the MARVEL PEARL - now the "other pearl" in the Storm Master line so loved by touring professionals that it's still in high demand after many years. Even though Storm is using that R2X pearl reactive cover over again here, this ball is anything but more of the same.

What makes this latest innovation from Storm uniquely different and potentially the most unique pearl in my arsenal is the newly designed core. Its RG is a little on the lower side (2.48). I have to say I have never seen or owned a pearl ball that revs up as quickly without hooking early and that reads the midlane as well as the OPTIMUS does - even on heavy volume and a hard synthetic surface.

For a layout on my OPTIMUS I took a look at the rest of my arsenal and realized that I hadn't in a long, long time drilled a pearl with what was one of my earliest favorites - a pretty much stacked layout to the right of my ring finger (here with the pin a little above ring finger level). With a Storm HYROAD PEARL and a Roto Grip UPROAR stacked over the ring finger and a DERANGED also by Roto Grip stacked under the ring finger already in the arsenal, I thought it would be a good idea to do something different here to build in another look. My OPTIMUS is 55 x 3.5 x 35 with a 1" weight hole an inch below my PAP. Box finish is 1500-grit polished.

The first outing with the OPTIMUS was after league on a transitioned house shot that still had plenty of oil in the middle. The ball performed well enough, but nothing appeared particularly outstanding about it at first. It did read through the oily midlane better than many pearls would and never really jerked left off the dry on a shot missed right. I attributed most of that to the layout in this instance because that's the look that kind of layout produces for me most of the time. What was most noteworthy about the OPTIMUS at first was the way it went through the pins, kept them low to the deck and kind of took them along, if you will, as it went through them.

What really, really impressed me, though, and what will undoubtedly make the OPTIMUS one of my favorite pearls was the way it performed in a second practice outing on a fresh Shark pattern on original Pro Anvilane with some serious out of bounds to the right of about 12 board. I had been bowling for about a half hour test driving my new HYROAD SOLID when a friend watching said he wanted to see what the OPTIMUS would do. I bumped right from 22 board where I had been playing to about 18 board and kept my angles tight. I figured the pearl wouldn't pick up traction enough for me to be able to give it away much at all. Despite the volume of oil there was, it revved up and read the midlane so well it went Brooklyn. I moved back to where I was with the HYROAD SOLID and eventually another three left with my feet and the OPTIMUS negotiated the middles so well that it not only faced up at the end of the pattern but actually cornered through the pins. I guarantee no other pearl in my arsenal would have produced that look on that pattern! I remembered seeing Marshall Kent getting a really sick look from deep inside that with the OPTIMUS on BADGER during this year's PBA Summer Swing, but had chalked that up to the young Phenom being just that - crazy good! Well, that's true...but so is this ball crazy good! Even for someone rev-challenged like me, it created more room at the breakpoint on a heavy volume pattern on a hard lane surface than I would ever expect a pearl to do for me! At BowlExpo, Pete Weber recently said he used almost nothing else but the OPTIMUS at the Senior US Open and Senior Masters this year. He, too, said it "gave him almost double the room down lane at the break point that anyone else had."

Give the OPTIMUS a try! I guarantee you will find that it's not like any other pearl you've had in your arsenal any time recently!

Optimus Layout

Lbs. RG Diff. PSA
16 2.47 0.048 n/a
15 2.48 0.046 n/a
14 2.53 0.046 n/a
13 2.59 0.045 n/a
12 2.65 0.035 n/a