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!Q™ Tour Nano
Review Date: 2 December 2014

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

Some context is necessary in order for what I am seeing out of this newest release from Storm Bowling to make sense. Unlike a lot of bowlers far more talented than I, my history with the !Q series from Storm has been hit and miss. The !Q TOUR EDITION (solid) was sometimes for me a ball that provided an effective, smooth shaped successful means of attacking the lanes. What stands out in my mind still is the ability it gave me to negotiate a 42-foot, high volume, 1.8 to 1 ratio, US Open type pattern with tons of out of bounds during the first Open a few years ago.

In that instance, the ball was smooth enough to let me take an "old school" fall back approach to the pattern but was still strong enough to hit well. Many times though - especially on house shots - the original !Q TOUR EDITION got me caught between a rock and a hard place…either reading too early and never getting to the breakpoint or, when adjusting for that, then not cornering enough and leaving me looking at flat tens all day. In fairness, I only tried one layout on the TOUR EDITION and a couple different surface changes so maybe I didn't give it enough of a chance.

The !Q TOUR PEARL for me took a lot of trial and error before I finally landed on the right amount of surface to get the kind of ball reaction that so many others raved about. Mostly, again, I fought a wet/dry ball reaction with that one as well. Given my experience with those as well as my overall consistent preference for hybrid covers, it wasn't surprising that the most consistently successful of the !Q TOUR series for me has been the FUSION.

Now, with the release of the !Q TOUR NANO, Storm has wrapped that same high-revving C3™ Centripetal Control Core that so many have come to love with the NRG solid reactive cover that made the VIRTUAL GRAVITY NANO a huge favorite.

All my other !Q TOUR series balls have high pin layouts in the 4 to 4.5 inch range from my PAP and somewhere around a 60-degree drilling angle. Before drilling the !Q TOUR NANO, I had read some comments from Storm Amateur Staffer, Steve Richter, and others who had opted for low pin drillings on theirs and were pleased. I figured that would enhance what should be the natural characteristics of this ball anyway -- good mid-lane and strong traction through medium-heavy to heavy patterns. With my stroker game, another option in the bag for heavy volume is never a bad thing. The specs on mine come out to 60 x 4.5 x 70 with a 1-inch hole at P2. [I have to insert here that, when I was fortunate to have a session at Storm Headquarters before Thanksgiving with Steve Kloempken, he measured my PAP at 6 over and 1 up. That's 3/4 inch more lateral than I had ever measured before. So, in reality, the above-mentioned specs on this ball might be a little off].

My first three outings with the !Q TOUR NANO were all in league circumstances here in STL - two house shots and one sport shot. The fact of the matter is that house shots here in STL just hook way too much for this ball, at least at box surface for someone with my softer ball speed. Bowlers who are more speed dominant or high rev/high speed players like local standout Storm Staffer, Tim Behrendt, have had great and versatile success with the !Q TOUR NANO already. Our STL Fall Sport League was bowling last quarter on the WTBA Sydney pattern (33ft and 25mls at 1.25 to 1, outside track to middle) - so, again, it wasn't nearly enough volume or length for the !Q TOUR NANO to be useful for me. I also tried using the NANO in a local team tournament here that was half on a house shot and half on Kegel Route 66, but the heavily worn wood surface in that center still created too much friction for the !Q NANO to get down the lane effectively.

The best read I've gotten from the !Q TOUR NANO so far was on the synthetic lanes at Storm Headquarters during my session with Coach K (Steve Kloempken). My workout that day was on the long pattern from the 2014 Asian Games (46ft and 24mls - 1.61 to 1 ratio middle track to middle). The pattern played long and extremely tight to the right and, in that environment the !Q NANO was a great matchup for me. It read very, very well through the mid-lane and gave me a strong controllable motion off the breakpoint. The !Q TOUR NANO kept the pins low and mixing well and allowed for a good number of half-pocket strikes. I have to say that, so far, this particular layout isn't affording me as much leeway if my release gets a little sloppy as it has on other balls and as I was hoping it would with the NANO. Perhaps that's because my PAP has indeed changed and what I thought was a 4.5inch pin is really more like 5+inches or maybe it's just my Raisin skeleton not performing as consistently from one outing to the next anymore. Time will tell. Hopefully, there'll be more opportunity soon to put the !Q TOUR NANO to more use and I'll update as I'm able.

Some have already started asking how the !Q TOUR NANO compares to the CRUX. The short answer is that they are two totally different balls (hybrid vs solid) which produce two totally different shot shapes. However, I did throw them side by side during my session with Coach K and both were strong enough to handle that heavy challenging pattern - they each just did so differently. The CRUX is longer and more angular by far. In terms of overall hook potential, I found them within a few boards of each other. If you've liked the !Q TOUR series, you'll undoubtedly like the NANO. But unless you're a high rev/high speed player or a speed dominant player, you better go in search of some oil or you're not going to see the performance capacity you're looking for.

Optimus Layout

Lbs. RG Diff. PSA
16 2.49 0.035 n/a
15 2.49 0.029 n/a
14 2.54 0.034 n/a
13 2.59 0.045 n/a
12 2.65 0.359 n/a