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The Unhinged
Review Date: 3 January 2015

Reviewed by:
Storm/Roto Grip staffer John Brockland
Style: Stroker Rev Rate: 280-310
PAP: 5.5" over and 1" up

After the HYSTERIA was released last August in the HP3 line of the Roto Grip arsenal - a polished solid cover (67MH™) around a brand new Late Roll 69™ core, it was pretty predictable that the next HP3 release was either going to be a hybrid cover or a pearl cover on that same new weight block. With the UNHINGED, pearl turns out to have been the verdict.

With its release the DISTURBED and ASYLUM make their way into Roto Grip Ancestry.

I've really liked my HYSTERIA in medium volume, medium length circumstances where the pattern has been flatter and harder and a smoother rolling motion off the breakpoint has been what was needed. I haven't used it much around the STL because its pin over the ring layout tends to bleed off a little too much energy most of the time on house shots and I leave too many ring ten's to keep up with the needed scoring pace. Nonetheless, when I saw the UNHINGED announced as a pearl cover on the same weight block I anxious to see what it would do. I was looking for another option for getting into the middle of the lane and getting some good back end motion through the pins when needed late into tournament blocks. I have an original HYROAD in the bag that I use for that but sometimes it just isn't quite the right look. So, another option in that same category proved promising with the UNHINGED since the tech specs for each were pretty close.

For a layout on my UNHINGED I went with a pin over layout that I thought would give me what I was looking for. The numbers are 45 x 5 x 40. There's a 1" hole just below my axis.

The first outing with the UNHINGED was during league in a local center with a pretty high friction surface and a fairly wet/dry house pattern. The UNHINGED was awesome through the pins as long as I kept it in the oil long enough. If I leaked into the dry down lane it burned off energy really quickly and the result was a lot of plaque tens.

What was really exciting to see, though, was the way the UNHINGED performed on original pro-anvilane in the last quarter of our STL Sport League Fall Session on the WTBA Seoul pattern. It was clean through the front part of the lane and gave easy length to the break point, but it read the lane well enough that scooting through the breakpoint never became a concern. I was able to string together 4-game sets of 942, 951, 900, and 965 for the last quarter. I'll take those kinds of numbers any day on a sport pattern.

During the New Year's Day tournament at King Pin Lanes this year I needed something to go to when the pin down WIPE OUT I had been feeding into the track from around 15 board all day stopped going through the pins well anymore. I pulled out the UNHINGED and moved five deeper and had a 248 game that could have been 290 but for two ringing ten pins. The last game was an inexcusable 175 game because of two missed ten pins, but the point made here is that the UNHINGED rang another 3 solid ten pins on the right lane in between strikes on the left lane. The difference could have made a 175 game into 240 something and a tournament win. Instead I fell to fifth. I think the issue in that instance was not so much the UNHINGED itself but the 45-degree drilling angle I went with on it. Trying to create a different look than I get from my HYROAD, I went with a lesser drilling angle than usual for balls that I want a lot of back end out of and I think I went too far out with the CG here. I may drill up another, still with a 5-inch pin to PAP but with a larger drilling angle and see if that does the trick.

I've also noticed on social media that fellow Storm/Roto Grip Staffer and USBC Hall of Famer, Jeff Richgels, decided to go with a pin in the palm drilling on his UNHINGED and had 300 with it the very first night on a hard playing version of the Cheetah pattern. You can't beat performance versatility when you're trying to make a bowling ball in the benchmark range, which the HP3 sector of the Roto Grip lineup would be for most people. So far, the UNHINGED seems versatile enough to foot that bill!

Lbs. RG Diff. PSA
16 2.56 0.048 n/a
15 2.58 0.049 n/a
14 2.61 0.050 n/a
13 2.59 0.045 n/a
12 2.65 0.035 n/a