UPDATE 2/18/15: The original CRUX is a ball that has grown on me over time.
At first, I struggled with power of the CRUX and its ERG coverstock and asymmetrical Catalyst core, and could only use it after shining it.
However, the shine gave it some wicked motion for my moderate ball speed and I have since discovered that the CRUX works great for me roughed up on heavier oil patterns. I’ve used 1,000 Abralon and 1,500 Turbo Sandbagger and the traction is especially valuable on broken down house shots with a big puddle — I can move into the oil with the CRUX and smooth out the wet/dry reaction — and also has allowed me to get ball motion on high volume, long Sport patterns where most of the stuff in my bag was too weak.
In other words, I’ve come to see its value was in its original design intent — imagine that! I just didn’t run into the correct conditions and wanted to get a review out quickly after being so late with it due to my injured glute muscle last fall.
If I'm going to a tournament where there will be any kind of serious oil volume, the CRUX is in my arsenal.
The CRUX was supposed to be a ball that I would have one of the very first reviews out on, in a collaborative effort with my doubles partner Steve Richter of Elite Pro Shop in Sheboygan Falls.
I got it in a rush delivery from Storm in early September, a couple of weeks after I injured my sliding leg glute muscle on Aug. 23 at a PBA Regional.
Unfortunately for me, it would be until Oct. 23 that I was able to resume bowling and it’s only now in mid-November that I am getting close to 100 percent (by my diminished Raisin standards).
But it hasn’t taken me long to realize that all I had heard about the CRUX in the meantime was true.
The CRUX has the ERG hybrid coverstock over the brand new Catalyst core.
Storm describes the catalyst as a “dynamic asymmetrical design (that) will help you create more angle through the pocket.”
I drilled my CRUX basically the same as my Roto Grip HYPER CELL that I like a lot, with the pin well above the fingers and about a 75-degree drilling angle so the mass bias ends up a little bit to the right of my thumb. I didn’t need a weight hole because my CG was left of the line between pin and mass bias.
(I don’t have any numerical numbers for my grip because I still haven’t re-done my PAP, and won’t until I feel like I am 100 percent, which hopefully will be in the next couple of weeks.)
I left my CRUX in the 3,000-grit box finish and first used it in our Ten Pin Alley Bullseye Masters League on the 45-foot Kegel Route 66 Challenge pattern. While it’s a long pattern, Route 66 has a moderate 23.68 mL of oil, and that was not enough for me with the CRUX with my slow ball speed and medium revs as I was first coming back from my injury.
I tried my Roto Grip SINISTER as a comparison and the CRUX was at least 3 and maybe as many as 5 boards stronger, and it was earlier AND more continuous.
“Yikes when will I ever use this ball!?” was my main thought.
During that league session, I went down and asked Derek Eoff, the best bowler in our area by far and a major speed and power player who also is a Storm staffer, and he said he also had trouble using the CRUX due to its strength.
I tried it on a medium volume house shot in our Senior City Tournament and it was comical how far left I had to get on the fresh just to keep it right of the headpin.
The most notable thing I noticed is that it wasn’t rolling out, which is what I had heard from others.
Knowing I would get little use out of my CRUX without changing it, I called Richter and he recommended roughing it with a 1,000-grit pad and then shining over that roughness.
This method provides some underlying “teeth” so even shiny a ball won’t squirt in oil, with the shine still getting it down the lane and delaying hook.
This worked perfectly for me, as I used my CRUX this way in our Senior City Tournament on the same house shot that I could barely stay on the right side of the head-pin on the weekend before.
This time I pulled it out after 8 clean frames without a double with other balls, moved a little left, swung it a little right and struck my way to a 711.
So long as I threw it decently, it skidded to the breakpoint easily when I missed a little in or short and recovered strongly when I got it right without jumping high. And it never really rolled out and quit on me.
Keep in mind, this was on a house shot.
But I have talked to other people who have used the CRUX and many said they had shined theirs and got great results.
I don’t have much use of the CRUX on Sport/challenge shots, but will update this review at my blog after I do. This review is so late due to y injury that I want to get it posted.
There are plenty of big hooking balls on the market from Storm, Roto and every other company. But I have never thrown a strong asymmetrical that is as angular and continuous as the CRUX – even when it was dull.
I really don’t know what to compare it to.
So the advice I can give is pretty clear: If you want a very strong ball with angularity and continuous motion, the CRUX is for you. I think most people would fall in that category.
However, if you are someone with more revs than balls speed, or you only bowl in a center with not much oil, I would advise you to stay away from the CRUX. Storm and Roto have plenty of great balls for those sorts of conditions!