DV8 Hellraiser Return Ball Review by Jeff Ussery
Layout: 60 degrees x 5 1/2" x 40 degrees
Surface: 1500 grit compound
Core shape: Asymmetric
DV8's newest product is a throwback to the origin of the DV8 brand - the Hell Raiser Return. In 2011 the DV8 brand emerged on the bowling scene and set its course for a brash brand for bowlers with an attitude. The names, colors, and performance of their balls all laid the foundation for a brand designed to be very different than other in the market. Over the years though the brand had "softened" in my opinion, and become a bit like everyone else. It seems now that Brunswick is putting DV8 back on that course with the introductions of the Hell Raiser Return and the Damn Good Verge.
I threw many of the DV8 balls back in the day as test balls when I worked as the Hammer brand manager. I definitely remember these balls being originally designed for big backend performance and flashy/bright color combinations. Hell Raiser Return brings those memories back with a colorful yellow/red/black combination. This low to medium rg core combined with a high differential property creates an asymmetry property that yields super strong mid-lane ball motion. I drilled my Hell Raiser Return with the standard pin-up drilling that I use due to the core shape. I don't find much personal use for high mass bias balls with lower pin position drillings.
The coverstock here is a pearl reactive at a 1500 grit compound finish. I've thrown this new piece against several products in the market right now. To begin with, I found the HR Return to exhibit big mid-lane reaction with a strong continuation down lane. It's a big longer than some of the other compound polished launches I've thrown lately. That certainly won't hurt its potential, as some of the other ones I've thrown recently (i.e. Results Plus) were a bit earlier rolling than anticipated for a polished finish. Hell Raiser Return will get longer down the lane, and has a huge revving mid-lane motion. I really like the way it revs off of the spot and continues through the backend of the lane. For my money, this is a vast improvement on some of the previous releases in the DV8 line, and it's one we'd certainly recommend with no hesitation.
Compared to other balls in the marketplace right now, I saw HR Return to definitely get longer with more backend than the Results Plus. I've also thrown it against the new Rubicon UC2, and see similar length with a bit more rounded shape at the breakpoint (versus the big checkmark type of shape). HR Return just does the right thing for balls in part of the product lineup. It's easy to get down the lane, revs strong off the spot, and continues through the backend. While the market is crowded with a lot of launches right now, this DV8 one should stand out as one of the better pieces coming out to the market. Come on by TBG to check it out today!