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!Q Tour 30
Review Date: 4 December 2015

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

Unlike legions of other bowlers, much as I tried to like it for me the original !Q TOUR EDITION was a hit or miss ball.  The way my game was at the time it was released, other than in a few unlikely situations (like the original Open in Dubuque on a more than brutal US Open type lane pattern) it usually left me stuck in between four pins and flat tens almost every time I tried to use it.   Surface adjustments didn’t change that much either.  If I gave it a serious try now after putting some time and effort into improving my game (especially my release) these past few years, the story would pretty likely be different.

I had a similar initial reaction to the !Q TOUR PEARL – aka the GOLD BALL.  While many others seemed to strike at will with it, for me it was another ball that usually gave me an over/under result in terms of carry.

I really had never been a fan of scuffing the surface of pearlized balls.  I did that for the first time with the Gold Ball and had one set of 300-800 with it, but it was a once and done occurrence.

So, to be honest, the news of a “re-release” of the !Q TOUR PEARL as an anniversary edition didn’t really excite me much.  Were it not for my responsibility to review new releases for Ray Orf’s Pro Shop, I may not have even ordered one.   But, as many others have found, the !Q TOUR 30 – while truly a re-make of the Gold Ball in terms of its tech specs – is not all a remake in terms of its performance characteristics!

Why?  Conversation with more tech savvy Storm/Roto Staffers has suggested that the process involved in the ball coloration is likely the cause.  I’m told that “most of the bright colors like white, gold, neon green/orange all use a powder…to make those colors.  Then the darker colors like black, blue, red use a liquid dye to color.  The powder creates a bigger footprint and more friction.  Hence why the gold ball was smoother and the 30 is cleaner and more backend.”  That’s exactly what I have seen from the !Q 30!

Specs on my !Q TOUR 30 come to approximately 55 x 5.25 x 45.

My first outing with it was in league (STL wet-dry house shot with a lot of length in the deep center of the lane).  The ball had so much back end that, even as I kept moving the front of my shot deeper and deeper into the puddle, it kept cornering just as hard once it saw friction to the right down lane.   Unless I didn’t get it to the friction at all, I could not make it go light-pocket.  I had a few strikes and a bunch of four pins and nine pins the first game for a small 210-something and ended up putting it away in favor of something smoother.    The next outing was in practice where I could stick with it for a while without worrying about score and, after a while, that initial crazy sideway backend move started to settle down a little. 

I have since used it successfully during a tournament block in a track-worn wood center on Route 66 after the Roto Grip HAYWIRE I started with began ringing ten pins.  The !Q TOUR 30 was the perfect go-to.  It is so clean through the front part of the lane that it helped me avoid the early hook in the midlane of the track that often plagues medium speed, medium rev righties in that center and it cornered well enough to make the ringing tens go away.   I had tried it in an earlier block in that same tourney (on house pattern) after the Roto Grip HECTIC I started with attacking the dry began leaving flat tens because of  carry down by the end of game one, but in that instance the !Q TOUR 30 was too sideways down lane to produce the “wide pocket carry” necessary to keep up with the scoring pace. 

I’ve since used it again in league (same center as the first outing) and now that it’s tamed down a little it got me a pretty solid 764 set that could have been 800 easily but for a pocket 7-10, a solid nine, and a solid seven over the course of the night.   What continues to be most impressive to me about it is the way it does respect oil and get to the spot with “easy-ish” length but hasn’t ever, at least not so far, put me in a position of worry about going through the spot down lane with no recovery (the somewhat lower RG – 2.49 – compared to other “clean” pearls helps me in this regard).   I’m trying to remember having a ball before with this combination of performance characteristics all in one and I’m not sure I have.  To try to paint some picture of comparison, it kind of feels like having back end motion like a FRANTIC with the front end cleanness of a T-ROAD PEARL or original VICTORY ROAD.

I’m seeing a definite spot in my tourney bag for the !Q 30.  It will be a great option for the times when opening up the lane and being able to “send it and trust it” is the key to success.   I’m thrilled to have it also performing well for me on a house shot here in the STL.  That doesn’t often happen for me anymore.   This !Q is a keeper for me.  #BRONZEBALL!

!Q30 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 0.035 n/a