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The Hectic
Review Date: 15 December 2015

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

Being a older guy with medium speed and less hand than many younger guys, the HP2 portion of Roto Grip’s arsenal has always been a little dicey for me.  I was a big fan of the RUMBLE when Roto Grip first released it.  It was a smooth rolling ball without strong sideways motion that was really useful for me in being able to go up the lane on medium patterns and even to play out and comfortably still stay pretty direct on shorter patterns.  Its successor, the DEVOUR, has a little more sideways motion and, for me, reads a little earlier than the RUMBLE did.  Because of that the DEVOUR hasn’t proven as versatile for me. 

The opposite is true for me when it comes to HP2 pearls.  I usually fought a lot of over/under with the UPROAR, the pearl version of the RUMBLE.  If I tried to attack the dry too much with it, it would react too early or too violently.  If I tried to get into some volume and open up the lane a little with it, it was usually too weak for me to get it to corner well enough.  If I waited until late into a tournament and tried to use it when the lanes were well-transitioned, it often didn’t produce enough length to get me comfortably to the break point with a shot shape my stroker game and weaker hand can handle.                                                                                                                      

Roto Grip’s recently released HECTIC, however, is a totally different story for me.  I can’t explain the “why” of this in a way that would make any sense (my layouts have all been almost identical on former and current HP2’s), but to me the HECTIC performs more like a pearl version of the RUMBLE than a pearl version of the DEVOUR.

Mine is a simple, no-nonsense pin up layout.  The specs come to 55 x 5.5 x 45.

Built around similarly named guts as the UPROAR,  the engine in the HECTIC is the Late Roll 56TM  core.  It’s rated five points stronger than the Late Roll 51TM core that was in the UPROAR.  Visually, though, the HECTIC core seems to bear more resemblance to the stronger NeutronTM  core in the WRECKER which has a guts rating of 61.   Contrary to what I saw in the comparison of RUMBLE vs. DEVOUR, where the UPROAR often was too early for me the HECTIC produces good length.  Where the UPROAR was often too weak to get through the pins well, the HECTIC seems to continue much better.  In terms of its grit rating the HECTIC’s coverstock is rated at a 50ML (medium light grime) and the UPROAR was a 51ML, so there is negligible difference there.

The layout specs on my DEVOUR (pin above bridge) come out to 55 x 5 x 45. 

The first outing with the HECTIC was on Thanksgiving Day in a fun little 9-pin no tap.  The lanes were “frictitious” as some now call it!  I was able to float the HECTIC from about 20-board at the arrows out to the track and it went through the pins like a champ!  I didn’t keep tally of what my real score would have been for the evening but there were far more natural strikes than not.

I have tried to use the HECTIC early in a team tourney on a house shot which, like most in the STL, tended toward wet/dry.  It was smooth and awesome until the little bit of blend at the edge of the pattern wore away and the little bit of carry down that typically happens in that center took over.   After doing nothing but strike in practice and starting the first game with a double, solid 8-pin, and a double the rest of the game was three consecutive solid 10-pins, a 4-pin when I tried to bump right and firm up a little, and a limp 10-pin when I softened up and moved in but caught too much volume for too long.  Had to put the HECTIC away in favor of something a little stronger.

I haven’t had opportunity to bowl on any flatter and shorter patterns since the release of the HECTIC, but I look forward to seeing if it proves to be as useful as I think it will.  Along with the RUMBLE I still have and Storm’s RIDE which I also like a lot, the HECTIC may well end up being a consistent tournament bag occupant for shorter length, lighter volume, or late in the day situations. 

Hectic Layout

Lbs. RG Diff. PSA
16 2.56 0.034 n/a
15 2.56 0.034 n/a
14 2.56 0.034 n/a
13 2.63 0.009 n/a
12 2.65 0.011 n/a