Bowler Ratings

PatternStTwCr
Oily:999
Medium:887.5
Dry:554
Sport:7.577

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

General Info

Coverstock Specs
Name:Grand Theft Reactive
Type:Reactive Solid
Box Finish:800 / 1000 / 2000 / 2000 Abralon
Color:Black / Purple / Blue
Empty
Core Specs
Name:NA
Type:Asymmetrical
RG:2.50
Diff:0.060
Int. Diff:0.016

When a new high performance ball is brought to the market, it usually features a new core and a new cover that have never been used before. With this new high performance release, Hammer took a slightly different approach. They tested their new Grand Theft Reactive cover on a wide variety of cores, both new and old. The core that matched up best with this new cover wasn’t one of the new ones. It was an older core that had been used in the Black Widow line, which was probably the best selling line of balls ever.

Using an older core at a higher price point is something we never see. Generally, cores are dropped down to lower price points and eventually phased out. If it was any other core, consumers would feel like they are overpaying for old technology. But as many of us know, core technology has gone about as far as it can and, since this is the Black Widow core, we don’t think anyone will mind. During our testing, we found the Taboo to provide a stronger response to friction with more continuation downlane than previous balls which featured this core. The most recent was the Swagga, which was a limited release.

All three testers found their best looks on the oily test pattern. The 2000 Abralon finish provides enough traction in the oil while storing plenty of strength for the back end. All three found their reactions to improve as this pattern broke down, providing more miss area wide of target.

Those bowling on medium volume and length patterns will have a decent reaction as long as they are comfortable playing a deeper line to the pocket. All three of our testers were playing several boards deeper than they were on the oily test pattern. Cranker had to move the most, playing ten deeper with his feet and an arrow deeper on the lane. This isn’t a ball that will last all three games of league for those with medium and high rev rates. Lower rev rates may be able to get through the entire league session without having to change balls. Polishing will help increase length when the bowler needs that extra push through the front of the lane.

Drier patterns will require a ball change to something that is polished and flares less, like a Midnight Vibe, for example.

Medium-oily sport patterns will offer the best overall reaction for the Taboo.  The breakpoint will be too hard to control on lower volume sport patterns.

Performance Ratings

NameValueComments
Torque7
We found the Taboo to be very aggressive at the breakpoint and back end, even with the 2000 Abralon factory finish.
Length11
The factory finish of the Taboo allows it to handle almost any medium-heavy to heavy oil pattern around. Those with higher ball speeds may want to look into a 1000 Abralon finish for the heavy and long stuff.
Back End16.5
The aggressive nature at the breakpoint adds to the Taboo’s ability to make it back to the pocket from wide angles. Recovery downlane will never be an issue with this new high performance release.
Total Hook53
The overall hook potential is among the highest of all balls on the market. Unlike many that read the lane extremely early, the Taboo does it all from the midlane to the pins.

Strengths

The motion downlane is what stood out the most during our testing. This ball revs up quickly and flares a ton, making for a rather impressive move when it turns the corner.

Weaknesses

Short and dry patterns will be this ball’s nemesis. Drier patterns will require the Taboo to be polished in order to get the necessary length. That will increase the response to friction at the same time. Short patterns will bring the breakpoint closer to the user, making it hard to keep the ball off the headpin.

Overall Summary

The Taboo starts a new high performance line for Hammer. It features a brand new cover wrapped around the most successful core Hammer ever produced. The combination of the two provides moderate traction in the oil with a huge move downlane.

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.