Bowler Ratings

PatternStTwCr
Oily:NANANA
Medium:9.59.58
Dry:874
Sport:665

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

General Info

Coverstock Specs
Name:Forged
Type:Reactive Pearl
Box Finish:500 / 1000 SiaAir / Crown Factory Compound
Color:Black / Charcoal Pearl
Empty
Core Specs
Name:Katana Asymmetric
Type:Asymmetrical
RG:2.503
Diff:0.050
Int. Diff:0.020

The Katana will provide Radical fans with the biggest downlane recovery in the history of the brand. This ball uses both a new coverstock and a new asymmetrical core design to achieve its gigantic change of direction at the breakpoint. Also, for the first time for Radical, the coverstock on the Katana has been given a name. The Forged coverstock is a strong pearlized composition that comes out of the box with a 500/1000 SiaAir combination before Crown Factory Compound is applied. The Katana’s new asymmetrical weight block offers a large amount of track flare, which helps it slice through the back of the lane with ease.

Our medium oil test pattern provided the best reaction for the Katana at its box finish. Stroker and Tweener loved the motion this ball provided them at the back of the lane. Their lower rev rates usually don’t allow balls to turn over as sharply at the end of the pattern as the Katana. Stroker felt like a power player the way the pins fell when the Katana was in his hand. The sharp angle it created was throwing pins everywhere, even with his lower rev rate. It was just as easy for Tweener to get to the pocket on this pattern as Stroker. They were both able to use the Katana’s big back end reaction to open up their angles through the front of the lane without ever seeing any wiggle at the breakpoint. Tweener and Stroker both stayed in the same part of the lane with their Katanas for the entire testing session. Cranker struggled a little bit with the sideways motion his Katana made at the breakpoint. Its big move off the end of the pattern forced him farther left than he wanted to be on the fresh, giving him too much skid on shots that stayed toward the center of the lane and too much jerking sideways when he got it to the dry. He needed to keep his hand up the back of the ball more at the bottom of his release to try to blend out his reaction off the breakpoint. His look got much better after the pattern saw some use and wasn’t as slick in the middle of the lane. He could go back to his normal release and jump left, sliding near the left gutter. At this point in the session, he saw easy length through the front and, with the carrydown at the back, had an easier time keeping his Katana in the pocket. There is no comparison to any other balls from Radical to produce the amount of angle and hook that the Katana provides. The closest thing we could compare this ball to in the Radical line would be a Ridiculous Pearl on steroids.

The smoother box finish on the pearlized Forged coverstock gives the Katana very easy length. Stroker and Tweener were able to use this length to get their balls down the lane on our dry test pattern. They started near the center of the lane with their feet, playing a swing to just outside the 10 board at the range finders downlane. The Katana’s strong recovery was more than enough to get them back to the pocket. Cranker struggled with the big motion the Katana provided when it saw the friction. He would have needed a much smoother drilling layout to have a reaction on this pattern. The big breakpoint and strong downlane recovery were better suited for him on other patterns.

The strong response to dry made the Katana a little difficult to control on our flatter sport condition. All three testers saw a little too much skid in the oil and too much snap off the end of the pattern. They all removed the compound from the box finish with a 2000 SiaAir pad. This rougher finish picked up heavier in the middle of the lane and smoothed out the reaction off the dry, which made it easier for all three testers to hit the pocket. It wasn’t until after we used rougher balls like the Tremendous and More Cash to tear up the pattern that the box-finished Katana was best.

Performance Ratings

NameValueComments
Torque8.5
The Katana goes sideways at the breakpoint. This ball is easily the most angular in the history of the Radical brand.
Length17
The Crown Factory Compound box finish will push the Katana to the breakpoint with ease. There was no point in our testing when getting the Katana downlane was ever a problem.
Back End18
The back end recovery of the Katana is the biggest in the Radical line. Even our low rev rate tester saw plenty of movement when his ball hit friction.
Total Hook54
The majority of the total hook of the Katana will happen at the back of the lane. This ball makes up a lot of area, and most of it happens after the end of the oil pattern.

Strengths

The large change of direction and large amount of back end hook are the biggest strengths of the Katana. This ball has no problem retaining energy or clearing the front of the lane.

Weaknesses

The Katana is so strong at the breakpoint that it can become difficult to control. Cranker's ball came off the breakpoint so hard that he sometimes had a tough time finding the pocket.

Overall Summary

The Katana has the strongest skid/flip shape in the Radical line. Bowlers who want to open up their angles and bounce their ball off the dry will really enjoy the shape the Katana provides.

Additional Radical Katana Resources

Click here to visit Radical's website to read the manufacturer-supplied information on this ball. Also, see below for the manufacturer-produced promotional video for this ball.

Please remember that our reviews are solely based on our own test results and that you may sometimes find discrepancies between our comments / ratings and the manufacturer's claims. Links to these manufacturer resources are provided here strictly for convenience purposes.

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.