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The Hyper Cell Skid
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

There's no ball in the Roto Grip arsenal that had bigger buzz around it at this time last year than the HYPER CELL. And the buzz proved more than just nice noise. A strong rolling ball that turned heads left and right - it was the original Nucleus™ (CELL) core wrapped with the strongest cover stock Roto Grip had ever created, the 80H™Microbite™ solid.

The HYPER CELL has proven to be a really hard weapon to beat for heavy oil, tight playing patterns. When the PBA created the 52' Badger pattern for national competition the HYPER CELL was the ball of choice for many.

The HYPER CELL SKID brings all of that hook potential and that strong rolling core into a new release with the 73MH™ pearl cover. This makes the SKID the second pearl in the HP4 (strongest hook potential) category of the Roto Grip lineup. The other is the TOTALLY DEFIANT. By numerical comparison the guts rating for the SKID is three points less, the grit rating is one point less, and both balls are slotted for attacking MH (medium to heavy) volumes of oil. The TOTALLY DEFIANT won national acclaim as Bowlers Journal Ball of the Year in the reactive pearl category, but it never gained a lot of momentum around the STL. For me personally, while I loved the DEFIANT SOUL, the combination of the Paragon™ core and that strong pearl cover never produced a good rolling look for me. But I can say it's a totally different ballgame for me with the HYPER CELL SKID. This may very well be the best rolling asymmetrical pearl I've ever had.

As one would expect, the pearl cover on the SKID results in a cleaner motion through the front part of the lane than the HYPER CELL solid. It also produced a little more length before beginning to read the lane. However, there is no compromise to the strong ball motion and the same substantial overall hook potential that so many have come to love from the HYPER CELL. For a pearl, I would call the SKID minimally resistant to oil at best. When I first had a few conversations with him about this ball Roto Grip Chief, Chris Schlemer, used the term "monster." I agree that it certainly isn't tame!

I chose to go with a low pin layout on the SKID for a few reasons. I didn't have a low pin pearl in my arsenal at the moment and, given what I had seen from the characteristics of the Nucleus™ core in the original HYPER CELL, I thought a low pin layout would accentuate that core's early rolling and strong arcing ball motion characteristics. The specs on my layout come out to 55 x 5 x 70 with a 1" hole just below my axis.

Sad to say, the first few excursions with the HYPER CELL SKID proved futile because they were in league here in STL and most house shots here just hook entirely too much for the SKID to be the proper ball of choice for me. It has been minimally effective in one center where the lane surface is one of the earliest and hardest versions of synthetic lane produced. It's normally tricky to get the ball through the pins correctly in that center. So it's been hard to tell whether the mediocre carry I've seen has been more the characteristics of the center or more the fact of the SKID bleeding off too much energy too early. Our STL Sport League bowled its last quarter of the Fall Session on a medium volume and medium length pattern as well and so no really good opportunity to test the SKID's potential existed there either. I tried to use the SKID for a while during this year's Holiday Doubles tournament. There was enough volume in the middle of the lane for it to be a good choice, but the track in that old wood center is so worn that after a game or two the SKID was over-reacting off the break point.

Because of how well it rolls, I have no doubt that the SKID will be a great tool in my arsenal in the right circumstance - when there's heavy and tight-playing volume or when there's medium-heavy volume and a little extra length is necessary to get the right angle for carry. Though that situation hasn't surfaced in my bowling schedule so far here at home, I definitely think the HYPER CELL SKID is a keeper for me for events out of town.

UPDATE (1-14-15)…Our STL Sport League winter session is two weeks in now and bowling on the 2014 USBC Open Championships Team Pattern. The center where the league bowls is super hard texture Brunswick synthetics and the OC patterns play tighter (and softer for that reason) than they did in Reno. But, after the !Q TOUR NANO starts burning off too much energy to corner well in game two the SKID has been the perfect go-to ball. 937 and 941 the past two weeks after slow starts in the first game each time…The experience confirms what I thought…the SKID is gonna be a great tool for me in tournament play outside the STL. Liking it more and more all the time.

Lbs. RG Diff. PSA
16 2.52 0.048 0.017
15 2.52 0.056 0.018
14 2.57 0.046 0.015
13 2.57 0.032 0.010
12 2.59 0.029 0.008