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CRUX™ Pearl
Review Date: 19 February 2015

Reviewed by:
Storm/Roto Grip staffer John Brockland
Style: Stroker Rev Rate: 280-310
PAP: 5.50" over and 1" up

The CRUX PEARL is the newest edition to the Premier Line of the Storm arsenal. It builds upon its extremely popular and powerful predecessor, the CRUX hybrid, which was released in October 2014. Its engine is again the Catalyst™ core --- a new design that was seven years in the making prior to its launch last October. Here again is a link to the video in which Storm's Research & Development Director, Victor Marion, explains the thought process behind the core in the CRUX line.

The layout for my CRUX PEARL is 60 x 5.25 x 30 --- which puts the pin above the center of my bridge and the mass bias to the right and next to my thumb. No balance hole was necessary. For me, this is a simple, strong rolling layout --- one which I anticipated would enhance the characteristics that I saw in the Catalyst™ core in the original CRUX hybrid. In this new release the ERG pearl reactive cover stock (previously seen in the BYTE) gives the ball a clean motion through the front of the lane as you would expect, but without being overly resistant to fresh oil like some pearls are. In my experience, the CRUX PEARL respects oil more than Roto Grip's HYPER CELL SKID. It makes a strong move off the break point but, even accounting for the different layouts I've used on them, in my estimation the CRUX PEARL is not as volatile in the move it makes as the HYPER CELL SKID.

I gave the CRUX PEARL a first run on a fresh typically wet/dry STL house shot, but in a center where the overall volume is usually a little heavier. It performed every bit in the way I hoped it would. It was strong enough that a little bit of a miss left into the volume didn't cause it to drastically underreact and a little miss right into the dry didn't result in severe overreaction. I had a solid 228 the first game with four ringing ten pins on the right lane, which was setting some of the worst racks for a right hander I've seen in a while. The second game started out with more of the same, so I ended up putting the CRUX PEARL away that night in favor of a pin-in-the-palm DISTURBED that just seems to produce a better entry angle for that bowling center. At another local center with a softer, higher friction lane surface where Storm's ROCKET has been awesome lately, on a night when they were playing tighter than usual for some reason, the CRUX PEARL turned a night of bad carry including four blower 7-10's in the first two games into a decent 690 set with 259 the last game.

Given the strong rolling shot shape my CRUX PEARL initially produced on house patterns, I was curious to see how it would perform on something flatter and tougher. Our STL Sport League is bowling this quarter on the 2014 USBC Open Championships Doubles/Singles pattern. I gave the CRUX PEARL a try in practice and it didn't have enough length to allow me to start as far right on that pattern as I prefer to. My OPTIMUS with a very smooth, short pin to PAP, VLS layout has been much better for starters in that circumstance. By the time the pattern started to break down and moving left quickly became necessary, the CRUX PEARL was not a bad go-to ball. It allowed for opening up the lane enough to create some area at the breakpoint without being so volatile that the shot shape was hard to control.

The long and short here, in my opinion, is that the CRUX PEARL should be every bit as popular for most bowlers here in the STL as the CRUX hybrid has been. In fact, it should serve anyone who has grown to love the CRUX as a good compliment to it. This would especially be true if you've had to shine up the surface of the CRUX at all to get the reaction you're looking for on your center's typical house pattern. The CRUX PEARL may allow you to leave your CRUX hybrid with a little more surface for situations when the lanes are playing tighter. Then with the CRUX PEARL you'll have a great go-to option if you start to need more length in order to stay around the track if moving left into the middle of the lane is out of your comfort zone.

Optimus Layout

Lbs. RG Diff. PSA
16 2.50 0.051 0.016
15 2.50 0.052 0.017
14 2.54 0.050 0.015
13 2.57 0.032 0.010
12 2.59 0.029 0.008