Brunswick Zenith Pearl Ball Review by Jeff Ussery
Layout: 60 degrees x 5 1/2" x 40 degrees
Surface: 500 grit polished
Core shape: Asymmetric
Brunswick is launching a new pearl in their Pro Performance lineup - Zenith Pearl. The Zenith is hook in a box and does not disappoint on heavy oil conditions, but way too much ball on medium conditions when the oil in the front of the lane has gone away. The Zenith Pearl has been created to combat lanes where you still need a powerful ball, but one that doesn’t see the friction as early. If you bowl on medium conditions or you’re looking for a strong asymmetric ball that really turns the corner, the Zenith Pearl will be a perfect addition to your bag.
I drilled the Zenith Pearl with a 60 x 5 1/2" x 40 layout, similar to many balls that I drill. This is a layout that gets the ball long down the lane, and then creates the maximum backend movement possible. I left the Zenith Pearl at the 500 grit polished finish for my first trip to the lanes. The first place I took the Zenith Pearl to was Olathe Lanes East, where I actually didn't see much reaction on the fresh league condition there. Zenith Pearl was super long for me on the medium/heavy oil league shot there, and finished too late to get through the pin deck effectively. So I took it back to the store and cut the cover down to a 4000 grit sanded finish. The next night I bowled my sport league at Ward Parkway Lanes (usually drier than OLE), and the Zenith Pearl really showed some life there. The AXH cover is so long down the lane out of the box that I think we'll have better success recommending this ball to our heavy revolution players, slower ball speeds, and even some of our 2-hand bowlers potentially. But when the Zenith Pearl sees the friction of the backend, it does show promising skid/flip potential (hockey stick like motion).
Since my first week of leagues with this one, I also threw the Zenith Pearl a bit at the city tournament and had a good look on a medium oil pattern there. Zenith Pearl appears to be right at home on the medium oil conditions where the Zenith is just too much hook. Compared to other balls in my bag, Zenith Pearl was similar length to a Nuclear Cell, and longer down the lane than the new Hell Raiser Return. I preferred the backend motion of this piece better than the Hell Raiser Return, as it was a touch smoother and easier to "know where it was going." I'll admit I always prefer dark colored balls so that could be part of it too.
With the core strength built into Zenith Pearl, there is a lot of versatility to dull this cover and see a big response on heavier oil patterns. While not being the design intent of the product Brunswick has here, it is nice to see versatility in a product when you need it.
Brunswick's new Zenith Pearl is available March 4th at Total Bowling Gear!