When I heard Storm was coming out with a 30th anniversary ball that essentially was a remake of the IQ TOUR PEARL, I was more than excited.
If you read my review of the “Gold Magic” ball here, you’ll know I consider it perhaps the greatest house shot ball of all time.
After switching from 15 to 14 pounds this spring, I quickly ordered an IQ TOUR PEARL just before they went out of production. And a good thing that was — finding an undrilled Gold Magic of any weight is difficult.
But then came word of the remake, with the advance tout being that the IQ TOUR 30 would hook more with its darker color — Storm calls it black pearl, but it appears more bronze to me.
By more I assumed a tad more. I mean, color can’t make that much difference can it?
Ha! My IQ TOUR 30 drilled the same as a couple of IQ TOUR PEARLs I have had hooks so much more than the Gold Magic that I hesitate to put a number of boards on it.
With my PAP numbers of 4 inches over and 5/8 up, my IQ TOUR 30 is 4 5/16 pin to PAP 3 15/16 "mass bias" to PAP, and 3 1/8 pin buffer. The ball is pictured at the bottom of this review.
Other staffers I have talked to also find it to hook quite a bit more than the Gold Magic.
Storm hasn’t offered an official explanation, but from what I have heard, light colors are made with powders and dark colors with gels and the gels create more hook than the powders. And the various dyes actually do different things in different coverstock materials.
Whatever it is, I know that both balls have the hugely successful R2S Pearl Reactive coverstock wrapped around the C3 Centripetal Control Core.
That core is engineered to yield ample midlane roll with its low radius of gyration. What makes it different from most low RG balls is that it is combined with a moderate differential for a relatively smooth change of direction.
For me, that meant easy control with a strong move but without an excessive threat of 2-10s. So long as it isn't rolling out for weak 10-pins the Gold Magic can be a strike monster.
One caution with the IQ TOUR 30 is that the 14-pound version of the C3 Centripetal Control Core has both a higher RG and higher differential than the 15 and 16, so I may be seeing a stronger move than those throwing 15s and 16s. But those who have thrown it all agree the 30 is stronger than the Gold Magic.
The IQ TOUR PEARL for me was a ball that worked best with a shiny finish scuffed slightly by hand with a moderate pad like a used 2,000 Abralon. When dull, it just rolled too early and didn’t produce that awesome controllable strong back-end move. Without a touch of surface, it squirted too much, even with the strong midlane roll.
I have used it on soft shots of high volume with low speed going square and low volume with higher speed opening up.
For me, there is no going square with the IQ TOUR 30 — it is too strong off the oil line.
But if there is enough oil to help it to the breakpoint, boy can I get in and send the IQ TOUR 30 because it ALWAYS returns — assuming those are dry boards to the right.
What’s interesting is that with the C3 Centripetal Control Core, the move is not an uncontrollable flip. It makes a big move, but in more of a sweeping motion than a hockey stick.
I think the IQ TOUR 30 is going to be a great ball for any shot with swing area to throw to, from a Cheetah-type short pattern where you want to boomerang the gutter, to playing deep inside as we did on Saturday at the WSBT Over 40/Under 40 Doubles.
That tournament also is where I saw a drawback of the IQ TOUR 30’s power for me — swung to the burned out area to the right it often rolled out for weak 10-pins. That is what happens when your natural moderate speed game meets advancing age and gets even slower!
It also clinched my view of who the IQ TOUR 30 will be best for: players with higher speed and higher revs, who should be able to open up the lane and do some serious damage.
Anyone else looking for a good shiny ball to open up a lane should give the IQ TOUR 30 a shot — it might be exactly what they are looking for.
If you’re a player who likes to go down and in, I can’t imagine this would be a ball that would fit that, but perhaps if you are a very straight player looking for some strong back-end move it will be exactly what you are looking for.
I have taken the cover down from box shiny to a 4,000-Abralon pad to a used 2,000 pad but have not tried any serious surface with it. I will be trying that but wanted to get this review out as the ball has been released.
Perhaps rougher surface will tame it down some.
But that begs the question: Why?
I think the IQ TOUR 30 is one ball you want as untamed as possible.