General Ball Info
R3S Hybrid Reactive
1500 Grit Polished
Ultramarine / Persimmon / Black
The Storm Intense Fire is the second ball to use the RAD-E asymmetrical core design that was first used in the original Intense. This low RG, high differential core is surrounded by Storm’s R3S Hybrid Reactive coverstock that comes out of the box at a 1500 grit polished finish. Despite the change in coverstock from R3S Pearl to R3S Hybrid, we found the Intense Fire to provide more length and a stronger motion off the dry than the Intense.
The shape this ball creates getting to the pocket was best for all three of our testers on our medium oil test pattern. Tweener and Stroker were able to take advantage of this ball’s strong downlane motion on the fresh, which helped even on shots they didn’t quite catch all of at the release point. They could both miss inside of their targets and their balls would still pick up in the midlane heavy enough to make a move at the dry. Stroker was the straightest on the fresh, setting his ball down on 13, crossing the second arrow, and getting it out to seven at the breakpoint. Tweener was much deeper into the pattern, laying his ball down on 25, targeting between the third and fourth arrows, and using a breakpoint on the nine board. The Intense Fire’s strong move downlane gave them both very good pin carry, as their balls were coming off the deck right between the 8 pin and 9 pin. Cranker also had a good reaction on the fresh, but it wasn’t as good as the other two testers. His ball was too angular when he missed right of target. His best line to the pocket had him starting his Intense Fire around 35, crossing near the middle arrow, and using the eight board as his breakpoint. As the pattern started to break down, each tester moved left with their feet and targets. Cranker’s reaction got better as the pattern broke down, eventually giving him just as good a look as the other two testers.
Even though the Intense Fire has a polished coverstock, we were able to use it at its box finish on our heavy oil pattern. We had to close down our angles in the front of the lane, but this ball still hooked in the midlane and provided a strong back end reaction. Stroker played the straightest, starting his ball on 10 and using a very small swing out no farther right than seven at the breakpoint. If he opened up the lane too much, the polished cover would skid too far down the lane and not get back up to the pocket consistently. Tweener was able to use a similar target and breakpoint as he used on the medium pattern, but he moved his feet about five boards to the right. Cranker was still left of the center of the lane with his laydown point, getting his ball to 15 at the arrows and out to eight downlane. As long as their misses were left of target and with reasonable ball speed, all three testers could get to the pocket rather easily with the box finish. If a sanded ball like the Code X or Drive is too early because of a lack of volume in the front, the Intense Fire is a good option to have.
The very angular motion this ball made with its polished box finish was difficult to control on our flatter sport pattern. All three testers needed to remove the factory polish with a 3000 Abralon pad in order to get the Intense Fire to use up some energy in the midlane, making it easier to control the pocket. The box finish was best later in the session after the track was burned up from throwing rougher-finished bowling balls. On the burn, the Intense Fire’s strong recovery downlane let each tester move their feet left and open up the lane with success.
Strengths: The Intense Fire's strong reaction downlane and large amount of total hook are its biggest strengths. This ball complements the original Intense very nicely.
Weaknesses: This ball's strong back end motion was difficult to control with the polished box finish on our sport pattern. We also saw too much hook to use this ball with success on our dry pattern.
Overall Summary: The Intense Fire has more length and back end than both the original Intense and rougher-finished balls like the Code X. When a strong skid/flip reaction is needed, there will be few balls that are better options than the Intense Fire.