During the year I spent not bowling during the COVID-19 pandemic, the balls I most looked forward to getting in my hands were the RUBICON and RUBICON UC2 from Roto Grip.
That feeling came from watching them be used by the best in the world and from hearing so many positive things from people I know whose opinions I trust.
My doubles partner Steve Richter did warn me that the UC2 might be too much for me, and he may be right when it comes to making it a ball I use all the time.
But the UC2 gives me a reaction like no other ball in my arsenal, which makes it worth having.
The UC2 features the eTrax pearl reactive and the Rondure asymmetrical core that for 14-pounders has a 2.53 RG, a 0.052 differential, and a 0.009 mass bias differential.
For my UC2, I chose my standard pin-up strong drilling. With my PAP of 4 7/8 over and 5/8 up, the ball numbers are 5 1/8 pin-PAP, 3 3/8 mb-PAP and 3 1/8 pin buffer.
As I do with pretty much every box shiny ball (1,500-grit polished for the UC2), I hand rubbed it with a 4,000-Abralon pad to take off the gloss, and hopefully take away any squirty-ness.
Hands down, the UC2 has the strongest motion for a pearl ball that I have ever thrown.
With my slow ball speed, I need some oil to get the UC2 to the breakpoint consistently, or it starts up too early in the midlane. And I need to have open angles — this is not a down-and-in ball for me!
This is a ball I can get left with and throw right. The motion is the classic skid-flip hockey stick. Get it down the lane to a spot, and it will turn left and head for the pocket.
The UC2 enables me to open the lane up like I haven’t been able to in years. There was a time when I could crank up my release and create some of that on my own, but now I need a ball to give me that, and the UC2 does that the most of any ball I’ve thrown.
That’s what I mean when I say it gives me reaction like no other ball in my arsenal.
And when that reaction is working, I can strike a lot.
The flip side is that when that reaction is not working, the UC2 delivers lots of designer splits and washouts.
That’s not a bad thing in a ball — it’s clear whether I can use it or not and I rarely get caught in any situation where it seems good but isn’t and I use it too long.
I don’t even know what ball to compare the UC2 to, as it so much stronger than any other pearl I’ve thrown.
The NO RULES PEARL might be closest, but that ball didn’t need oil for me to get it to the breakpoint.
The UC2 should be a great ball for any player looking to have a strong pearl, with a strong hockey stick-like motion.