Brunswick Melee Jab Carbon Ball Review by Jeff Ussery
Layout: 60 degrees x 5 1/2" x 25 degrees
Surface: 1500 grit sanded w/Crown Factory Compound
Core shape: Symmetric
Brunswick knows and understands tradition better than any brand in bowling, and it’s become a tradition over the last few bowling seasons to release a new Melee Jab. The Melee Jab Carbon uses a cover new to the line, Activator Xtreme Hook Pearl, most recently found on the Zenith line of balls, to update the line and stay on the cutting edge of shiny ball performance. Brunswick fans turn to this line of balls for performance on medium conditions when a strong but predictable shiny ball is needed, and the Melee Jab Carbon will soon be a favorite for those players.
As I was putting together a bag for the start of the fall season, I ended up finding two great complimentary pieces for the medium to heavier oil end of my lineup. Starting with the DV8 Hellcat, and then following with the Radical Trailblazer Solid, I landed two incredible pieces using a new layout with a 25 VAL (vertical axis line) angle. These layouts are giving just a touch longer length in the ball reaction, with far more continuation than I'm used to seeing out of the 40-45 degree VAL angle layouts I normally use. After finding the Hellcat and Trailblazer Solid, I needed a piece that was much easier through the front of the lane for drier environments. I've also always liked low rg, medium differential core shapes, so the Melee Jab Carbon seemed like an obvious fit in this new lineup. So I used that same layout again (see the previous ball reviews and videos for more examples) on the new Melee Jab Carbon.
Melee Jab Carbon uses a low 2.50 rg core system, which gets the ball into a heavy revving pattern early in the lane. The .052" differential is strong enough to create an easy 3-4" of track flare, helping this ball develop friction in the mid-lane. The 1500/compound finish is one that seems to take advantage of these core dynamics. Without a strong revving core, this ball gives the feel of one that would get way too far down the lane before it hooks. The Xtreme Hook Pearl cover is super clean through the heads and gives me plenty of length. But the core is strong enough to get this ball going in the late mid-lane. Because the ball is so long through the front-end, it can actually exhibit a bit of angularity in the back, especially when the lanes are fresh. Melee Jab Carbon has a super continuous shape that you'll be able to see later this week in our First 50 Shots video. I've not found a lane pattern where this ball won't come off the backend with an aggressive, strong backend move. It's the largest skid/snap ball I've seen from the Brunswick brand in some time.
Melee Jab Carbon is going to be a little better for our heavier handed players, no thumb players, or bowlers who want to play closer to the higher friction part of the lane. This ball could be extremely good going straight up the lane at Olathe East, on the standard house shot at KC Bowl, and will likely be in play at all times at Lunar Bowl. Overall, it's just a nice piece with a touch of compound polish on the surface that will get it further down the lane than the sanded Brunswick pieces.
Brunswick Melee Jab Carbon comes out Friday, August 19th and will be in stock at Total Bowling Gear!