Roto Grip UFO Alert Ball Review by Jeff Ussery
Layout: 60 degrees x 5 1/2" x 40 degrees
Surface: 1500 grit polished
Core shape: Asymmetric
Many times when I see one manufacturer release balls of similar specs and finish at the same time, it's somewhat predictable that the two balls will roll similar. In the end the lane is still 39 boards wide, 60 feet long, etc. There are only so many different shapes you can build within that parameter using the materials available to the market right now. Roto Grip has done a nice job of having a product at the same time as the Storm Dark Code, while separating itself on performance in a unique way.
UFO alert starts with the Equalizer Technology Core (E.T. Core) that it first used in the original UFO. This core has voids filled in by the outer core material, giving it a unique property similar to that of balls drilled with weight holes (back in the day). This means you can get some relatively unique ball motion compared to standard "rounded" shape cores that don't have similar facets. UFO Alert is wrapped with an Enhanced Traction (E-Trax) coverstock that provides more mid-lane roll and a rounded shape at the breakpoint. When combining the two features, UFO Alert gives the user the most rounded/controlled look in a Storm or Roto Grip polished asymmetric ball in their lineup in my opinion.
UFO is far earlier to read the pattern than the new Dark Code from Storm. This means for our lesser handed/higher speed players, this will be the ball that we'll lean to as they may need help getting a polished ball into a roll. Players that prefer the super long hockey-stick like shape will likely prefer the Dark Code. But I like what Storm/Roto Grip has done here creating two unique reactions in their new releases.
I can definitely see the UFO Alert being a piece that I may try a little cover tweak on. The traction effect created by the cover feels like this ball could handle some heavier oil if needed by just taking a bit of the polish off. I don't have a need for that yet, but I'll definitely be keeping it in mind. The Alert is a super sharp looking ball in a purple/emerald/teal combination with orange logos. There isn't really anything else on our wall that looks like this ball right now (and there's a LOT on our wall right now).
For our customers that liked some of the polished No Rules and Hyper Cell series balls, we'll definitely be recommending the UFO Alert for a replacement reaction. It looks to be a very solid start for the Roto Grip to start this league season. Come by the store today to check them out!