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The Optimus Solid
Review Date: 24 November 2015

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

The original OPTIMUS was a brand new development in Storm’s Master Line.  Its engine, a newly created Tri-SphereTM core at the time, also appears in the OPTIMUS SOLID.     

Whereas the original was wrapped with the very successful R2XTM pearl reactive coverstock found also on the MARVEL PEARL, in the OPTIMUS SOLID the cover is the R2XTM solid which was successful in the VIRTUAL GRAVITY and original MARVEL.  

Just as in the original, the key to the OPTIMUS SOLID in my opinion is its smooth-rolling core.  Its RG is a little on the lower side (2.48) and, as such, it revs up somewhat quickly as one might expect.  However, even with its strong-ish solid cover and despite reading the midlane well, it doesn’t hook early.

Our Pro Shop owner, Rich Orf (whose spin release and slower ball speed often cause him to fight stronger cover stocks), and I have found the OPTIMUS SOLID to be an interesting solution to a wet/dry league circumstance in a local STL center where carry is tricky.  In this particular center, if a ball isn’t strong enough to read the midlane in long and medium-heavy volume the result is an automatic bucket or 2-10 combo.  On the other hand, if a ball makes does a strong move to get flush in the pocket but the break point is just a pinch too late it’s an automatic ring ten at best, usually a limp ten, and not infrequently a pocket 7-10.   For both of us, the smooth rolling core and strong cover combination on the OPTIMUS SOLID have been a good ticket to solving the riddle in that center.  Even with its strong cover the OPTIMUS SOLID doesn’t jerk off the dry but instead hooks, rolls, and continues.

The layout specs on my OPTIMUS SOLID come to 50 x 5.5 x 45.   Rich drilled his with his favorite pseudo-stacked leverage layout with the pin a little higher than true stacked leverage would dictate.

Other than the league situation mentioned above, I haven’t put too much mileage on my OPTIMUS SOLID.  I had it with me last summer during my PBA50 vacation but in the circumstances where it was close to the right look for me, the MENACE (pin down) ended up being a better option.

In retrospect, I wish I would have had the OPTIMUS SOLID when I bowled the USBC Open Championships in El Paso.  Based on what we saw in the challenge of negotiating a tight playing mid-lane without as much head oil as we expected to find, my gut tells me that the pin-up but still smooth shaped ball motion I get from the OPTIMUS SOLID might have been really, really helpful especially for the team event.    Given that hunch, I’m glad I’ll have it in the bag for future medium length and medium volume flat patterns when the midlane is presenting a tricky challenge to my game

Optimus Solid Layout

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