Brunswick Defender Hybrid Ball Review by Jeff Ussery
Layout: 60 degrees x 5 1/2" x 40 degrees
Surface: 1500 grit Sia Air with Compound
Core shape: Asymmetric
The Defender Hybrid is the first ball introduced using the new HyperKinetic 22 coverstock developed by Brunswick. You’ll first notice the shelf appeal and colors of the Defender Hybrid and how they pop; this is due to the new translucent base material. The new base material inside HK22 creates a noticeable and exciting advancement in shiny ball hook potential, creating more teeth in the mid-lane and a stronger, more responsive breakpoint. The A.C.T. 3.0 additive package was added to the HK22 base to achieve optimal ball reaction. The overall result is more backend and a shiny ball that will handle more volume and give the bowler more area at the breakpoint.
I drilled my Defender Hybrid with my standard pin up layout. Looking back, I wish I had used the same layout I found on the Hellcat/Trailblazer Solid from earlier this season, as those seem to be rolling a little better for me in the latest asymmetric balls. But Defender Hybrid is suited to a lot of different layouts, so the 5 1/2" pin will be just fine. In the Defender Hybrid from Brunswick, you'll notice a few things immediately. First and most important, this ball is much further down the lane before it sees friction when compared to previous Brunswick releases. The HK22 cover really does add length to the ball reaction for Brunswick, and the down lane response time is far shorter than their former products. Defender Hybrid is much stronger off of the dry than previous shiny balls like Quantum Evo Pearl or Zenith Pearl.
The low rg core system in the Defender Hybrid also gets this Brunswick piece revving quickly off of the bowler's hand. Combined with the new cover technology, Defender Hybrid is simply a different shape for the Brunswick brand. When you want to get further left and wheel it around the lane Defender Hybrid is going to be a strong option. While I've only seen players with higher rev rates throwing this ball so far, I suspect it will translate across all styles. When there's room to the outside of your target, Defender Hybrid is going to be a fun ball to throw.
In the Brunswick lineup, Defender Hybrid is going to be more hook and faster transition than a Melee Jab Carbon. It's going to be much cleaner through the front of the lane than any non-compound/polished ball in their lineup. It really hits a spot on the performance chart that they simply haven't had a great option in for some time. Great length with high backend potential.
I don't typically care for balls with bright colors and high contrast, but this one isn't too hard to see on the lane. The new cover does improve shelf appeal, adding depth to the each of the three colors in this new piece. This is a product I would definitely try again in a different layout to see what other possibilities are out there. Overall, it's just a strong addition to the Brunswick line, at a time when the market needs some strong polished ball options.