Storm Dark Code Ball Review by Jeff Ussery
Layout: 60 degrees x 5 1/2" x 40 degrees
Surface: 1500 grit polished
Core shape: Asymmetric
With the start of the new league season coming, I knew it wouldn't be long before we saw new high-performance releases from both Storm and Roto Grip. Storm is starting the season off with a new polished asymmetric ball called the Dark Code. This delicious smelling piece (Cherry) coming in a black obsidian pearl formulation for maximum length and entry angle.
Using my standard pin up layout, I expected a lot of length paired with a lot of backend reaction from the Dark Code. That's the "product signature" of Storm balls anyway, so it would have surprised me to not see that with this construction of ball. The first thing I immediately noticed when taking the Dark Code to the lanes was the extreme length this ball provides. For a ball that hooks decently on standard league patterns, it is very, very long down the lane before it begins to see friction. The 1500 grit polished finish on the new ReX Pearl coverstock gets this one extremely deep down the lane before it turns over. On heavier oil patterns I've found that to be a touch too long for me, but it's not really the performance target of the Dark Code. Standard medium oil patterns and house shots is where the Dark Code will kill.
The use of the Rad core system first introduced in the X-Factor series also provides a unique shape to the product. Many of the asymmetric core shapes from Storm have been more mid-lane reaction paired with longer rolling covers as of late. Dark Code pairs of a core shape that pushes far down the lane before it wants to change direction, along with a cover that takes it even farther. Together it means an explosive backend when it finally does hook. I see Dark Code being best when the lanes are a little softer, and transitioning to the easier phase. When you can, "Swing it wide and let it ride," Dark Code is going to be one of the best products you could put in your hand.
I haven't had a chance to change the finish on this ball yet, but may look at doing so once league season starts up. I could see this ball matching up very well at Olathe Lanes East when Fall league starts up, so I've been hesitant to change anything about it. I really do think Dark Code has the potential to be a house shot killer, especially for those players that would like to see a little more length and recovery than most. Slower handed or higher speed players will definitely need to get this ball to the dry boards to get it started up on time to make the right shape in the backend.
I'll have a review on the Roto Grip UFO Alert coming soon as well. Storm has done a nice job here of creating two asymmetric, polished finish bowling balls at the same time, while getting the balls to roll totally different. UFO Alert rolls nothing like the Dark Code in my opinion, and will prove very useful for a different set of players. Make sure to watch for that review in the coming days!