Hammer Dark Web Hybrid Ball Review by Jeff Ussery
Layout: 45 degrees x 4 1/2" x 70 degrees
Surface: 2000 Sia Air Sanded
Core shape: Symmetric
Manufacturer's Intent: The Dark Web has been a great benchmark type of motion for Hammer fans, and we’re excited to introduce the new Dark Web Hybrid featuring HK22. HK22 has become the hottest new cover technology in bowling, producing incredible reaction shape where bowlers want to see it most. The Dark Web Hybrid has the same modified Spheroid core with a dense flip block that helped make the Dark Web Solid so popular. The familiar core and addition of HK22 finished with 2000 Siaair will give Hammer fans a stronger mid-lane and backend motion.
Last season I drilled two original Dark Webs from Hammer and had a lot of success with one of them in particular. I drilled the first with a standard pin up over the bridge layout and found out quickly that wasn't going to work for me. The ball created so little track flare that it basically stayed on top of the original oil rings, and just never created friction down lane. I did like the core motion though, so I drilled a second one with my regular pin down layout. It rolled phenomenal, and actually made me a little money at a few side tournaments and league nights. So, I started the Dark Web Hybrid with that same pin down layout. The 4 1/2" pin is a strong enough pin to positive axis point to make sure the ball will flare some. It still only flares in the 3"-4" range, which isn't a lot by high-performance ball standards. But it's plenty to get it on some fresh coverstock as the ball makes it to the backend.
I left the surface at the factory 2000 grit Sia Air sanded finish. With this finish and drilling layout, Dark Web Hybrid is best on medium oil conditions. This is a great step down from that first ball in your bag. It will be even better for an everyday league ball on some of the medium to drier condition centers in town. Dark Web Hybrid glides through the front of the lane a little easier than most 2000 grit sanded balls. That's probably due to the lower-than-average track flare it creates.
When it reaches the back, Dark Web Hybrid is exceptionally smooth overall. The Aggression Hybrid coverstock formulation has been paired with Brunswick's HK22 additive to create more response, but it doesn't show up as much in this piece as it has some others. Dark Web Hybrid is a little closer to that smoother arc reaction than most of the HK22 balls released. I think that's actually a benefit, as it offers a performance window that some other balls can't meet. Dark Web Hybrid should be very good on flatter patterns, or very wet/dry conditions, as it should just blend them out with ease.
I'm likely to change the surface on this one in the coming weeks, as it's simply too early hooking to throw at Olathe East this year. I can tell that it's close and needs a little surface adjustment. I'll be taking the surface up to 4000 grit and letting it lane-shine with time/games. I would expect it will become slightly longer and a touch more angular with this adjustment.
Hammer fans looking for a new benchmark/everyday league product should be very happy with this release. Dark Web Hybrid is in-stock in 13# through 15# at Total Bowling Gear. Stop by today to check it out!