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The Code Red
Review Date: 22 August 2017

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


The CODE RED is the second release in a new series from Storm bowling products.   Its RAD4 core is a product of disc technology in core design that has increased angularity and torque at the breakpoint like little other, especially for an asymmetrical ball, since Storm’s X-factor series.  It is wrapped with R2S hybrid  coverstock which surpasses its predecessor, the CODE BLACK (pearl), in its capacity to blend out a lane pattern without sacrificing any significant measure of downlane motion.  The difference of hybrid to pearl between the two results as one might expect in a foot or two sooner a transition from skid to hook and roll in ball motion.

My first exposure to the CODE RED was not throwing it myself but watching it used on livestream broadcasts this past spring by Pete Weber --- whose game I have been watching first hand since I was twelve --- and by other others whose games have become very familiar to me from my vacation jaunts on the PBA50 tour in the summer.  What I saw made me confident enough in this new release to decide to do something daring with it which I only do with proven balls.  I chose to put a pretty highly specialize Vector Layout System on it (Storm’s system of layout design based on pin to PAP distance, pin to Mass Bias distance, and pin to vertical axis line or pin buffer distance).  I had previously had in my arsenal a Storm CRUX with a similar exotic layout (very short pin to PAP) that I had a great deal of success with at the Fusion Realtors Open and in other circumstances where navigating a medium length, medium volume, very flat pattern was necessary.  That CRUX, also a hybrid covered asymmetrical ball, ended up cracking on me and I needed to replace it with something.  This particular layout allows me to take a straighter approach especially on the fresh and control the pocket without sacrificing hitting power and without getting into ball reaction jail.  This layout is the oddball looking one you see depicted below.  The CODE RED, drilled this way, has performed exactly in the way that I was hoping and was a great help this past summer on my PBA50 swing – particularly after knocking the surface down to 3000 on the fresh of PBA50 Viper in Hammond, IN on Logic Oil as well as at some points in time on a very tricky PBA50 Cheetah pattern in Anderson, IN on what we think was Authority 22 W22 oil.  For heavier volume and longer flat patterns I have an ALPHA CRUX and for lighter volume and shorter I have an !Q TOUR EDITION each with this same layout.  The VLS specs are 2 ¼  x 6 1/8 x 1 ½.  

Given the success I’ve seen from the CODE RED with that exotic layout, I also chose to drill one with a pretty standard asymmetrical layout for me.  The Mass Bias is at 5” from my PAP which puts it right next to my thumb.  The pin is pretty much over the bridge center – which is about 5.5” from my PAP.  With this layout the CODE RED has been really helpful in opening up the lane later in squads during this summer’s PBA50 swing.  That 5” Mass Bias to PAP distance is key for me in that regard.  I have always found that to give me the optimal kind of motion off the break point from an asymmetrical core if I’m trying to open up the lane and still get the ball around the corner well on the back end.

 As is the case with any asymmetrical ball, there do come times when the CODE RED is just too much ball and it becomes time to put it away.  Like its predecessor, the CODE BLACK, this one is pretty quick to tell me when enough is enough because its otherwise super motion through the pins becomes labored and I start leaving corner pins galore.

 If you’ve been watching PBA50 livestreaming or PWBA livestreaming at all this past spring and summer, you cannot deny how popular and effective the CODE RED has been.  It’s not a cure-all – just as any ball isn’t – but in the correct circumstance you’d certainly regret not having one if everyone else does.  For the regular league bowling in the STL, the CODE RED would not at all be a bad choice – particularly for someone with higher ball speed and maybe a little less hand.  It could function suitably well also for a higher rev player who is looking for some asymmetrical motion without the danger of as much hook/stop ball reaction as they would get from an asymmetrical solid.  The CODE RED is also more than amenable to surface tweaking without sacrificing any performance capability, which only enhances its versatility.

Lbs. RG Diff. PSA  Diff. 
16 2.49 0.056 0,022
15 2.50 0.058 0.020
14 2.55 0.056 0.014
13 2.63 0.039 0.011
12 2.72 0.022 0,006
11 N/A N/A N/A
10 N/A N/A N/A