Bowler Ratings

PatternStTwCr
Oily:778
Medium:9.59.59.5
Dry:NANANA
Sport:666

Bowler ratings are from 1 to 10 in order of Stroker (ST), Tweener (TW), Cranker (CR)

General Info

Coverstock Specs
Name:Aggression Pearl CFI
Type:Reactive Pearl
Box Finish:500 / 1000 Abralon / Powerhouse Factory Finish Polish
Color:Pink Pearl
Empty
Core Specs
Name:Gas Mask
Type:Asymmetrical
RG:2.50
Diff:0.058
Int. Diff:0.016

The Black Widow Pink is the latest addition to Hammer’s Black Widow series, joining the Black/Gold, Gold, and Urethane among their current Black Widow offerings. This new release uses the same asymmetrical Gas Mask core shape as previous Widows, but with an upgrade to the coverstock. The Black Widow Pink uses the Aggression Pearl CFI cover, which is the same shell used on high performance Hammer balls like the Rip’D Pearl and Statement Pearl. This is the strongest coverstock used to date on a Black Widow release, helping the Black Widow Pink to create a big move at the breakpoint and back end.

This ball’s sharp movement off the breakpoint gave all three of our testers plenty of downlane recovery on our medium oil test pattern. The Black Widow Pink is clean enough through the heads to play straighter in the front of the lane, while still creating enough traction for players who like starting farther left. Stroker started with this ball around 12 at the arrows and got it out to eight downlane. Tweener was near the center of the lane, crossing 16 at the arrows and feeding his ball out to seven at the breakpoint. Cranker was crossing the middle arrow and also getting his ball out to seven downlane. The Black Widow Pink gave all three testers enough traction through the oil on shots missed left of target to still slap out the 10 pin. Their misses right of target would sometimes creep high into the pocket if they got this ball to the dry too early. As the pattern started to transition, all three testers saw their ball reactions improve. The Widow Pink kept going through the pins when the Black Widow Gold started to hit flat. Bowlers who want more motion and angle than the Flawless can step up into the Black Widow Pink to achieve this motion. The Pink was also more angular than the Black Widow Black/Gold for us, and this was much more noticeable as the pattern broke down. When the Statement Pearl started to hook too early and stopped offering continuation through the pins, the Black Widow Pink provided the motion we needed to get through the pins effectively.

Cranker had the best reaction on our heavy oil pattern with the box finish. He moved his target out toward the third arrow and kept his ball inside of the 10 board at the breakpoint. The other two testers needed to be straighter on this longer pattern. The polished box finish pushed farther down the lane for them, forcing them to get their balls to the dry on the outside part of the lane before the end of the pattern. All three testers removed the factory polish with a 3000 Abralon pad on the ball spinner. This added surface texture gave everyone much more area on this condition, allowing us to play the lanes similarly to how we played the medium pattern with the box finish. Even with the 3000 Abralon finish, the Black Widow Pink was still more angular than the Statement Solid and the Web Tour Edition. Once there was enough traction on the lane from throwing sanded coverstocks, the polished box finish started to offer a better reaction.

Our sport test pattern was too flat for us to have much success with the Widow Pink’s polished pearlized coverstock. All three testers felt like they didn’t have much room for error in either direction at the breakpoint with the box finish. If they opened their angles too much, their balls would skid too far down the lane, but if they cut it a little short or got too aggressive with the release, their balls would jump left at the end of the pattern. All three testers removed the polish with a 2000 Abralon Pad on the ball spinner, and this added surface gave us much more miss-room that allowed us to hit the pocket much more easily. Like we saw on the heavy pattern, once there was defined friction to throw at, we could use the box finish with success. When the Web and Statement Solid started to hit flat or hook too early, the Black Widow Pink at its polished factory finish was excellent at getting through the front and still turning over with plenty of power at the pins.

Performance Ratings

NameValueComments
Torque8.2
The angularity of the Black Widow Pink gives it a stronger change of direction at the breakpoint than the Black Widow Black/Gold and Gold. The box finish plays a huge factor in creating this big downlane motion.
Length17
We had the Black Widow Pink as the cleanest Widow to the breakpoint. The factory polishing process is the same as other shiny Widows, with the only difference being the type of coverstock.
Back End18.5
The change to the Aggression Pearl CFI cover increased the motion on the back end over balls like the Black Widow Black/Gold and Black Widow Gold. We were able to get this ball back from nearly anywhere downlane.
Total Hook57
The majority of the Black Widow Pink's total hook comes from its big back end movement. The added motion downlane is why this ball creates an increase in total hook over the other polished Black Widow bowling balls.

Strengths

The easy length and strong back end reaction are the biggest strengths of this new Hammer release. Bowlers who want to open up the lane will see the downlane recovery they need out of this bright pink ball.

Weaknesses

The polished box finish provided a little too much length on our heavy oil test pattern. Also, the Black Widow Pink's aggressive coverstock and core combination created too much hook on our dry test pattern.

Overall Summary

The Black Widow Pink has more length and is more angular than the last two polished Black Widows, the Black/Gold and the Gold. While this ball is more angular off the breakpoint, it covers fewer total boards than the Statement Pearl.

The BTM Ball Testing Team

About The BTM Ball Testing Team

The BTM Ball Testing Team is led by Eric Martinez. Our team of three testers has thrown and reviewed hundreds of bowling balls for Bowling This Month. When not testing balls for BTM, Eric owns and operates University Pro Shop in San Antonio, TX and he is an avid competitive bowler. Click here to learn more about how we test and review bowling balls.