Bowler Ratings


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

General Info

Name:The Chalk
Reviewed:May 2013
Coverstock Specs
Name:Grand Theft Reactive
Type:Reactive Solid
Box Finish:500 / 1000 / 2000 Abralon / Powerhouse Factory Finish Polish
Core Specs
Int. Diff:0.000

For details on our standard test layouts, please click here.

The Chalk is the latest Hammer release for TNBA. This is the third TNBA ball we have received for testing and this is not The Chalk of black and white coloring that was released as a limited edition a few years ago. This ball combines the Raw Hammer Assault core and surrounds it with the Grand Theft Reactive coverstock from the original Taboo. The ball is finished at a 500/1000/2000 with Powerhouse Factory Finish polish which provides a lot of skid through the front of the lane.

We were lined up on the medium test pattern and all three testers were striking with light mixers. While it may not be as “pretty” as throwing ten pins off the back of the deck, we knew if we were going light, in a few shots the pattern would break down and the ball would start going higher in the pocket. Between the polished shell “breaking in” and the lane drying up, it did not take long for the testers to see the ball high flush. We re-oiled the lane with the pattern to try and see if we would have had a better reaction by scuffing the surface right away instead of waiting for the transition. We removed the polish by hitting each ball with a 4000 Abralon pad. While the rougher finish gave us more hook, it took away some of our carry because the ball used too much energy before getting to the pins.

The box finish gave us too much skid on our heavy test pattern. We tried it for a few shots but even when we got it to turn over, it was difficult to control the motion so far down the lane. We removed the polish on all three test balls with 2000 Abralon and had a much better reaction. With the added surface, the bowlers saw The Chalk start up sooner, allowing them to play fairly close to their lines on the medium pattern.

The polished cover gave the testers a semi-decent reaction on our dry pattern. The length came in very handy as all the players were able to increase their ball speeds and keep this ball in the pocket on this shorter pattern.

We had trouble on our sport pattern out of the box with The Chalk. We had a very inconsistent breakpoint with the polish on the ball. It wanted to over-squirt in the oil and was too violent when it got out of the pattern. We hit each test ball with 3000 Abralon and it tremendously improved our look. We had more hook in the oil and were able to bring our breakpoint closer to us with the surface adjustment.

Performance Ratings

The Chalk makes a good move at the breakpoint for a ball with a low RG core. The cover stores energy incredibly well.
This cover is very versatile. With the sanded finish like the Taboo, it can handle heavier oil. With it polished, this ball provides easy skid down the lane.
Back End15
The back end is higher than the previous symmetrical core TNBA release, the Rhythm. The polished cover stores plenty of energy.
Total Hook48
The total hook is the lowest of the TNBA balls. The polished cover makes this one better on medium conditions.


The big move at the breakpoint is what impressed us from this release. The easy length is helpful for high rev or low speed players.


The angle created down lane can be difficult to control on fresh lanes. We really liked this ball once some oil carried down.

Overall Summary

The Chalk is the third release with the TNBA stamp we have tested. This is the first one that comes shiny out of the box and creates a different motion than the Swagga and Rhythm.

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.