Bowler Ratings


(1-10 in order of Stroker (ST), Tweener (TW), Cranker (CR))

General Ball Info

Coverstock Info
Hexion LFP Reactive
Reactive Pearl
Box Finish:
5000 Grit LSP
Black Pearl
Core Info
Total Diff:0.037
Int. Diff:NA

The Hydra is the newest weapon in the Motiv lineup to combat conditions that make balls hook too early. It features a high RG core design, the pearlized Hexion LFP Reactive cover, and a very shiny polished box finish. The Hydra had no trouble skipping past the front of the lane in our testing, even after our patterns had been broken down by rougher-finished bowling balls.

By a narrow margin over our dry pattern, our testers had their best reactions on our medium oil test pattern. The highly polished cover on the Hydra allowed all three testers to see very easy length through the front, along with a strong move when it saw dry at the end of the lane. The impressive thing we saw from the Hydra was how it maintained as much angle downlane on the burn as it did on the fresh. Cranker was able to have a better reaction than the other two testers on this pattern because of his higher rev rate. He never saw his ball skip past the breakpoint, while also never hooking too early. He was starting his ball on 30, projecting it over 18 at the arrows, and out to 10 at the breakpoint. The recovery downlane allowed him to have a few boards of area at the breakpoint. He could miss left of target and hit the pocket light, but he also saw enough length to stay in the pocket if he missed to the right into the dry. Tweener and Stroker both also liked their reactions on the fresh. Tweener was setting his ball down on 23, crossing just left of the third arrow, and using a breakpoint just outside the range finder on the 10 board downlane. Stroker was the farthest right with his feet, target, and breakpoint, starting on 12, targeting the eight board, and getting his ball out to six downlane. He needed to stay closer to the dry to get his ball back to the pocket, thanks to his lower rev rate. Both Tweener and Stroker needed to avoid missing left of their targets into the oil, as this would cause the Hydra to slide too far down the lane before hooking. The Hydra alone didn’t cause much oil pattern depletion, so we went to duller balls like the Villain to speed up the transition. Once it started to hook too early, we went back to the Hydra, without having to move very much from where we were lined up on the fresh. This ball would skid right through the burned-up fronts and still keep its strong motion at the breakpoint.

All three testers also really liked their reactions on our dry pattern. Cranker was five left with his feet from where he played the medium pattern, crossing the same spot at the arrows and sending his Hydra out to six at the breakpoint. Tweener was two left with his feet, target, and breakpoint from where he played the medium pattern. Cranker and Tweener were both able to use their speed to keep the Hydra on-line on this pattern. Stroker was laying his ball down on 17, crossing the second arrow, and getting it out to five at the breakpoint. He wasn’t as comfortable playing this much of a swing, but the Hydra made up for some of his marginal shots. As oil started to push down on this pattern, all three testers saw more hold toward the middle of the lane, allowing them to start moving right with their feet.

On our fresh sport pattern, all three testers struggled to get to the pocket consistently. The Hydra’s polished box finish either wanted to slide past the breakpoint or jump sideways off of it when we tried to slow down and get it to read the pattern more. On the fresh, all three testers used a 2000 grit pad to remove the polish, which cut down on the Hydra’s length and blended out its motion off the dry. After we carved up the track area with the duller-surfaced Hydra and other sanded balls like the Jackal Rising and Villain, we went back to the box finish. The Hydra was able to clear the front when the Villain was too early and too smooth at the breakpoint.

Performance Ratings

The Hydra offers a strong move at the back of the lane, which came in handy when we started to move left with our feet as the lanes dried up. By design, this ball isn't as angular as balls such as the Lethal Paranoia and Trident Quest, and it comes into play when those balls are too strong for the oil pattern.
The Hydra comes at a 5000 grit LSP box finish. We have seen other Motiv releases at 5500 grit LSP finishes that don't produce as much length as this ball. This is a testament to how clean the pearlized Hexion LFP cover is through the front of the lane.
Back End
The back end motion of the Hydra allowed all three testers to get farther left than they could with the Freestyle or Freestyle Rush. The added motion at the back of the lane allows the Hydra to be useful on dry that is built into the pattern, or on dry that develops as oil breaks down.
Total Hook
The Hydra is toward the lower end of the hook spectrum for Motiv. This ball comes into play when other balls in the Motiv line are hooking too much or too early.

Strengths: The Hydra provided effortless length across all of our test patterns. We never had any trouble getting this ball to clear the front of the lane.

Weaknesses: As easily as this ball gets down the lane, it can miss the breakpoint on heavier volumes of oil. As with most balls designed for drier lanes, it is best when kept on these type of conditions.

Overall Summary: The Hydra will be the Motiv ball to have on the rack on short patterns, or on patterns that have already seen a lot of traffic. Bowlers who are looking for a ball that doesn't ever want to check up early will like what they see from the Hydra.