General Ball Info
TX-16 (Traction-X 2016)
Red / Blue / Purple
The Storm Phaze II is the second release under the Phaze name and it uses the same low RG, high differential Velocity core as the original Phaze. The big differences between this one and the original come from the new TX-16 solid coverstock and the 3000 grit box finish. The change to a sanded solid coverstock gives the Phaze II more traction in the oil, resulting in less midlane skid than the original Phaze, along with a more controlled motion at the breakpoint. While its motion is earlier and smoother, we never saw the Phaze II labor at the pins or hit flat going through the pocket. The Phaze II is one of the strongest balls we have seen in the Master line since before the IQ series, and it is by far the most useful.
We started with the Phaze II on our heavy oil pattern. Each of our three testers played between 10 and 15 at the arrows, with all of them getting their balls out to nine at the breakpoint. The 3000 grit finish helped this ball to never skid past the breakpoint. It revved up quickly in the midlane and chewed through any oil in its path. As the track area started to dry up, we moved left with our feet and still had lots of miss-room. If we got out to the dry track too quickly, it was smooth enough off the spot to keep itself in the pocket. When we missed into the oil, the rough cover gave us enough traction to still get to the pocket. We were able to keep this ball at its box finish for the duration of our testing process on this pattern.
Moving to our medium pattern, each tester needed to make a big move left with their feet and target. We kept our test balls at their box finish to start and used much deeper angles through the front. Stroker’s ball was hitting the lane on 15, crossing the arrows at 11, and getting out to about the eighth board at the breakpoint. Tweener’s ball started on 20, crossed 15 at the arrows, and, as long as he got it outside the range finder on 10 downlane, ended up in the pocket at the pins. Playing so deep with his high ball speed, he did start to see some over/under reaction whenever he missed inside because of the smooth nature of this ball. Cranker needed to move far to the inside part of the lane due to his high rev rate and this ball’s rougher box finish. He needed to keep his ball in the oil as long as possible to keep it right of the headpin. He and Tweener both added Storm Reacta Shine to their covers to allow them to move their feet farther right and get closer to where Stroker was playing. While this surface change delayed the hook, it didn’t add excessive amounts of angle to their balls’ reactions at the back end.
The smooth reaction shape of the Phaze II helped give all three testers lots of area on our flatter sport pattern. The new coverstock helped create plenty of hook, but without going sideways at the end of the pattern. Bowlers coming across flatter conditions will want this one in the bag.
Strengths: Power and predictability are the greatest attributes of the Phaze II. We knew exactly what this ball was going to do when it got to the breakpoint, making it easy to get to the pocket across our test patterns.
Weaknesses: The box-finished Phaze II only had troubles on our dry pattern. It needs a little oil in the front to get it down the lane, but that can be remedied by polishing the cover.
Overall Summary: The Phaze II will be one of the most useful releases in the current Storm product line. Bowlers of all styles can take full advantage of its controllable ball motion across multiple lane conditions. If not for its name, we would never have guessed that this ball had anything in common with the original Phaze.