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Review Date: 4 February 2016
Reviewed by:
Storm/Roto Grip staffer John Brockland
Style: Stroker Rev Rate: 280-310
PAP: 5.50" over and 1" up

The first thing that needs to be said about this new addition to the Master Line of the Storm arsenal is that this is not the “go long and hook hard” ball motion that has been the famous characteristic of most Storm products for years.  Nor, is it intended to be. 

We have here the brand new VelocityTM core that is early revving and produces midlane ball motion without any seriously sideways back end. 

In relationship to other recent products in the Master Line, the VelocityTM core bears an RG on the medium to low side of 2.48 and a diff of 0.051.  This is numerically very similar to the Tri-SphereTM core of the OPTIMUS series (2.48 and 0.048) and is nearly identical to the CentripetalTM core from the MARVEL series (2.48 and 0.052).  To me, however, in terms of ball motion, the PHAZE is like neither of them.  My layouts on the OPTIMUS (pearl) and MARVEL PEARL are extreme (very short pin to PAP), but even at that my intuition tells me that with the same layout the PHAZE has earlier and more defined ball motion than the OPTIMUS (pearl) and is not nearly as clean through the front or as angular on the back as the MARVEL PEARL.  The !Q series – the other Master Line companion series to the PHAZE -- is a completely different look because of its uniquely low differential, but for the sake of those who are curious the !Q 30 is significantly cleaner through the front and midlane, longer and more angular on the back than the PHAZE.  

There has been a lot of publicity about the coverstock on the PHAZE – the new AX-16TM pearl reactive.  The video of Storm employee, Chad McClean, palming a 16lb-er without any holes has created a lot of buzz.  I have not had reason or opportunity to adjust the coverstock on mine, but fellow staffers are consistently reporting that this cover is very responsive to adjustment.  Several who initially have struggled getting the PHAZE to give them a good look for their games say that scuffing it with a 2000 or even 1000 abralon pad has done the trick.  The combination of this coverstock and this early revving core creates a ball motion and break point for me that often makes it seem like the ball is going to go high but it never jerks left.  From its midlane move, it just continues smoothly and strongly through the pins.  I have found that particularly helpful smoothing out wet/dry STL house shots – which is a really unique thing for me to say about a pearl.  

The layout on my PHAZE is 50 x 5.5 x 40 which puts the pin above my bridge center.

As mentioned, I have used the PHAZE now on wet/dry STL house shots and have had solid 700’s each time – several on otherwise tricky pairs in the bowling center where I’ve used it.  I have not had any tournament opportunities since drilling it nor any opportunity to use it on harder, flatter patterns.  I anticipate that it could be very helpful this summer in PBA50 action where (at least last year) I sometimes had a hard time getting the ball to read the midlane sufficiently well.   If you’re looking for moderate overall hook potential and controllable ball motion in the earlier portion of your skid-hook-roll sequencing, you will want to try the PHAZE.


Phaze Layout

Lbs. RG Diff. PSA
16 2.48 0.051  
15 2.48 0.051  
14 2.53 0.050  
13 2.59 0.045  
12 2.65 0.035