Ebonite Game Breaker 4 Hybrid Ball Review by Jeff Ussery
Layout: 45 degrees x 4 1/2" x 70 degrees
Surface: 1500 Sia Air w/ Factory Compound
Core shape: Symmetric
Manufacturer's Intent: The Ebonite Game Breaker series is one of the most trusted lines in bowling and now provides more value and performance. Game Breakers continue to dominate the mid-performance category, and the new GB4 Hybrid might be the most exciting release in this line yet. Adding the HK22 base to a hybrid Game Breaker means versatility and strikes – lots of them. This exciting addition of a base coverstock that is changing the game to the already proven and famous Enhanced V2 core will make this one of the most anticipated Ebonite releases in quite some time.
The GB4 Hybrid continued the building of my new arsenal for the tournament season, with Ozarks coming up this soon, followed by Nationals. With the GB4 Hybrid, I was looking for something much longer down the lane than the rest of the balls in my bag. If it added some quicker response to the friction, that would be a benefit as well. GB4 Hybrid accomplished most of what I was looking for. I started with my pin down layout in a 4 1/2" pin distance to my PAP. GB4 Hybrid has a low rg, medium differential core shape. With the layout I chose, I was expecting to see late mid-lane movement with a fairly quick response to the dry.
GB4 Hybrid was as advertised through the front of the lane. This product is very long and clean through the heads. I really haven't found a lane condition where it won't clear the front of the lane. Where GB4 Hybrid was a touch short of expectation for me was in backend change in direction. Instead of getting the quicker response I was hoping for, I experienced a touch slower move than I was looking for. I did go with a slower response pin down/val angle here, so it's easy to understand why I see it this way. Had I gone with a little taller pin up layout, I'd probably be seeing a longer/stronger response from the Hybrid.
I have cracked the surface on this ball just lightly with a 2000 grit Sia Air pad. That has improved it on top of the oil patterns and reduced the glide out of the ball. I'll probably be leaving it this way and re-hitting it occasionally with that pad. GB4Hybrid is also an "easy to read" ball in a dark two-color combination.
I didn't quite get what I wanted on this one, and may actually drill another before Nationals. Skid/snap balls aren't of particularly great use at the Greater Ozarks, so I'm not too concerned with filling that hole before I go there. But overall this is a nice addition to the Ebonite line.