Storm IQ Tour Emerald Ball Review
Layout: 45 degrees x 4 1/2" x 70 degrees
Surface: 1500 grit polished (factory finish)
Core shape: Symmetric
What I wanted from this ball: As I continue to drill new balls to fill my bags for a new season of bowling, I wanted something that would compliment my Pro Motion. I was looking for longer motion through the front part of the lane, coupled with a stronger backend motion. I was hoping for more of a sweeping arc shape, versus the hockey stick backend that become hard to control.
What I ended up with in this ball: This one's another great addition to the Storm lineup, and very different from the Astro Physix and Pro Motion that have come out this Summer (Astro Physix ball review to come in the next few days). The IQ Tour Emerald retains the low flare core shape from the entire IQ series. This gives the ball very good length through the heads, and a controlled breakpoint. Stronger flaring balls tend to react more quickly and will sometimes lose rotation more quickly, causing the ball to roll out. The IQ Tour Emerald has no sign of that whatsoever. This ball is a gradual arcing ball that continues throughout the backend better than most balls in the market right now.
I drilled it with my standard pin down drilling so that the ball would roll a little sooner than normal. One thing we typically do when drilling IQs is to drill them stronger than the standard layout that the bowler uses. With that low flare potential core, sometimes these balls can just go too straight and will miss the breakpoint without a little help. I was glad I used that lower pin on this ball, as this IQ gets plenty of length in this layout. With a higher pin up layout, I'm afraid I might have seen too much length following by a weaker backend motion.
I've left this ball in the factory box condition on purpose. I tend to like the Storm factory polished surface, in particular versus some other brands in the marketplace. I believe the strength of the shells on the Storm/Roto balls tend to match up well with this 1500 polished finish, so there's no need to knock the shine off before taking this to the lanes.
All in all, this looks to be a great new product from Storm, and it's certainly one of the best sellers in the market this Summer. You're likely to see a lot of these at leagues/tournaments this season. That's not just because it's a Storm ball. It's because it's a great piece that is going to play well on a wide range of lane conditions.