Radical Katana Assault Ball Review by Jeff Ussery
Layout: 60 degrees x 5 1/2" x 40 degrees
Surface: 1500 Sia Air w/ Crown Factory Compound
Core shape: Asymmetric
The Katana Assault has an RG of 2.501" (15#), a differential of 0.051" (15#", and an intermediate differential of 0.020" (15#). This core yields a quick response to friction and a lot of continuation through the pins. The Katana Assault and the new chemical compound cover known as HK22 Pearl create a new level of backend reaction. This is a Katana on steroids. A monster flip ball, a motion the industry has always craved and now we have brought it to a whole new level.
My Katana Assault is drilled with my standard pin up drilling. That places the pin 5 1/2" from my positive axis point. With a 60 degree drill angle, and a 40 degree VAL angle, my expectation here was moderate length with a somewhat controlled down lane motion from a core this strong. The 1500 compound finish does help the super strong Katana Assault through the fronts a little bit, but this ball is just very strong on the inside. So far, my experience at both Olathe Lanes East and Royal Crest Lanes with the Katana Assault has been a bit earlier rolling than expectation. Some of the Radical cores can be so strong that you do need layout or surface adjustments at times just to get them down the lane in the centers I bowl in. That's certainly going to be the case with the Katana Assault. I've yet to find a standard league condition where I can get this piece down the lane as far as needed.
After a change to a 2000 grit/polished finish, the Katana Assault came to life a little more for me. This put the ball in play in both league centers that I bowl in. It's still the strongest piece in my bag at this point, but it's now "usable" for my style. Where before the ball was too strong to play right, and then forced my angles way too open to attempt to throw it, now the surface is dialed in a little better with the polish as a topcoat. I'm definitely glad I didn't use my stronger pin down layout with the Katana Assault. I can't imagine how much earlier it would have read the lane in a lower/stronger pin position configuration.
At the store, we'll definitely be keeping Katana Assault recommendations to our lesser revolution and higher speed players. If you like playing direct (up the lane), this could be a very good piece to bounce off of the friction on league shots such as Olathe Lanes East. I feel like the core is so strong in the Assault that we'll be better with recommendations on our straighter playing style customers.
Katana Assault does come in a sharp looking blue/silver combination with yellow logos. Radical balls are manufactured by Brunswick, which means they come with an industry leading 2-year warranty against the ball splitting or cracking. Radical's Katana Assault is available now, and in stock in both 14# and 15# at the store. Stop by and see us for more info!