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The Rocket Ship
Review Date: 5 August 2016

Reviewed by:
Storm/Roto Grip staffer John Brockland
Style: Stroker Rev Rate: 280-310
PAP: 5.5" over and 1" up


The ROCKET SHIP is the third release in with this BoosterTM core.  It follows upon the ROCKET (hybrid) and the SKY ROCKET (pearl).  This release is a solid.  The core is wrapped with Storm’s legendary R2S solid reactive coverstock – most famously think !Q Tour Edition.  What Storm has done new here with that cover is its preparation at box finish, what they are calling 3000-grit Sheen with the aim of providing “an even, controllable forgiving reaction for whomever rolls it.”  Storm says they were aiming this release toward providing every bowler the possibility of a new benchmark ball for their arsenal.  In my estimation, that’s exactly how best to think about the ROCKET SHIP.  It can easily and well function as the first ball of the bag to give you a read about what you’re bowling on.

The clue provided by Storm regarding the 3000-grit Sheen finish on this release can be found in their instructions for resurfacing the ball when needed to take it back to box finish.  On a ball spinner with firm pressure begin with 500 grit abralon for 30 seconds on all four quadrants of the ball.  Repeat the same sequentially for 20 seconds on each of the four quadrants of the ball with 1000, 2000, and 4000 grit abralon.  The polish lightly for 15 seconds per quadrants with Storm Step TwoTM  and finally sand with a 3000 grit abralon pad for 5 seconds per quadrant with light pressure. 

The key word in terms of ball reaction regarding this release is controllability, I think.  Several long-time Storm staffers have said that the ROCKET SHIP is in some ways evocative of the AGENT from years back.  I never had one of those.  However, I will say that a controllable and reliable ball reaction is exactly what I see from this release.  In that regard it is very different from the original ROCKET which, though at times great for me especially if I needed to move deep and open up the lane, oftentimes was frustrating for me because it seems sluggish about getting into a tight heavy roll.  When my eye would see that sluggishness (what other have also accurately called loping roll) my eyes would tell me to hit up on it to try to get it to rev better and roll more tightly.  That always leads to bad things!

The ROCKET SHIP doesn’t give me that at all.  At least to my eye when the core engages it gets into a nice tight and strong roll and has good back end motion without being crazy sideways.  I have practiced with the ROCKET SHIP on transitioned house shots and also used it during a heavy volume house shot pattern Pro Am this year during a PBA50 event in Hammond, IN.  On thing I found on house patterns is that when the ball has seen too much dry too soon, it has tended to burn up a little and I found myself leaving some disappointing flat tens. 

Because the ROCKET SHIP is so clean through the front part of the lane, I had some success during my first qualifying block on PBA50 Cheetah in Anderson, IN this summer going to the ROCKET SHIP to help me stay in the 5 board to 8 board tube where the lane seemed most playable after the 2 inch pin to pap !Q Tour Edition I started with started hooking too early.  The ROCKET SHIP gave me the perfect amount of extra length to be able to stay in that part of the lane without having to begin going too sideways through the pattern.

The layout that I currently have on mine is one of my standards.  The numbers for this pin above the bridge drilling are 50 x 5.5 x 40.  You can see it’s been plugged once.  For USBC Open Championships I had initially tried a 3 inch pin to pap layout with the CG in the palm with the hope that the controllable nature of the ball that I had read about would make it smooth for the fresh in team and minors.  What I found practicing with it on the patterns at home was that it is so clean through the front that gave me a little too much over/under front to back for my old guy game.  It was nearing crunch time and I didn’t have the chance to mess with the surface enough to see if it would do exactly what I wanted.  So, I ended up abandoning that endeavor.  With two PBA50 stops under my belt so far this summer, I’ve seen a lot of guys with a lot of varying styles to their game get good use of the ROCKET SHIP in varying circumstances.  That always tells me that a ball is a good one.  For a league bowler and primarily a house shot bowler, if you’re looking for a new very trustworthy benchmark ball I think the ROCKET SHIP is well worth some serious consideration.

Lbs. RG Diff. PSA
16 2.53 0.044  
15 2.54 0.046  
14 2.55 0.048  
13 2.59 0.045