Urethane vs. Short Pin – #RadicalRundown

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Welcome back to the Radical Rundown!

In this discussion, Phil & Andrew talk about why Urethane is so popular on tour instead of short-pin reactive balls. On the flip side, they talk about why short-pin reactives might be best for you during league and which type of balls you should choose when going with that layout.

As always, post your comments and questions! We hope to talk about your topics in the future!

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23 Comments on “Urethane vs. Short Pin – #RadicalRundown”

  1. I’ve got 2 short pin symmetricals that I use specifically at one house in my area. Had to do syms, because those were the only ones I had available in my collection to try, as they were an experiment at the time. I love the short pin layout because it really helps me control the wet/dry at this house, since they use 0 units of oil outside of the 7 board.

    1. Mechanic at my center said the USBC requires a minimum amount of oil be on all boards. So either they’re wrong, intentionally misleading, or not legal in their oil placement.

    2. @Denman Fite That rule was suspended by USBC, I believe at the same time the weight hole rule went into effect. It was announced in 2019. So, unfortunately, that mechanic is just out of date in terms of his knowledge.

    3. @Fluffyguy958 The owner, to save pennies on his oil costs. Even the manager of that center hates it, especially because he typically plays the outside, but it’s out of his hands.

    4. @hackprefect honestly in my opinion I’d be taking my business somewhere else. I’ve seen leagues move mid season.

    5. @hackprefect Oh dang you’re right I see that rule change as well at the same time. Cheers for staying up to date, right?!

    1. Other way around. Urethane tears up the oil and can ruin break points for same-handed bowlers going in the same area of the lane. I’ve watched 1 guy with urethane drop every players average for the game by 10+ pins.

  2. the fact that urethane is staying around should let ball makers and usbc that something is wrong with modern balls and oil patterns. anyway im just a league bowler dont mind me…

    1. look for lower and lower volume in house patterns, it is a fixed expense just like the light bill than can be lowered by putting down less dressing house really is not concerned with your average just the bottom line… your job to score on what they put out thus the “Spy” ….

    2. The fact everyone goes to urethane in order to remove the oil problem from the lane, and keeping in mind that oil is there to control scoring, means it should be banned. Just a simple conclusion.

  3. I have always been reluctant to drill a short pin layout because I am a lower-rev player, so I always felt that I needed the stronger core position to make up for my lack of power. Earlier this year, I drilled a 2nd Conspiracy Theory with the short pin layout (90 x 2 1/4″ x 45) on the Radical drill sheet. The ball works extremely well on a typical league shot. I can “roll” this ball and go straight up the outside, which is what I wanted this ball to do. Interestingly, the ball has a ton of versatility as well. I can move left, get around the side of the ball, and still hook the ball if I want to. I’ve thrown two 300’s already this season with it, one going “straight” and one “hooking it”. Personally, I will always have a short pin layout in my bag.

  4. I’ve used several short pin drilled bowling balls (assym and symmetric). I’m a 2 hander with high ball speed and revs. I’ve found the short pin symmetrics to be very over under and hard to trust. One shot they flip off the back and the next three hit half pocket. Pearl cover short pins have been the bane of my existence when I try them, and generally only work right with specific lane conditions that I don’t see 95% of the time. Again though I find them hard to trust because of how inconsistent they react. I have done two short pin solid assymmetrics (zing solid and hell raiser blaze) and they behave the best out of all the short pins I have tried. Threw my only 800 with the zing, but again it’s a ball I can only use about 10% of the time because it doesn’t match up well on most house shots and doesn’t read sport shots very well. Some days on house shots it burns up and rolls 60 feet, other days it has a very strong backend and works well up the track. Either way when I move in past 20 and try to get it out it can’t make the angle back. I want to try the hell raiser blaze on sport shots because the cover is much stronger and I think it would do well on flatter conditions.
    One odd thing I wanted to mention about short pin balls is that for some reason they tend to work very well when throwing a backup ball (which I practice a lot as a 2 hander). They tend to have very strong downlane motion for some reason that I don’t understand the physics of.

  5. High friction surface + low volume + high humidity = I’m gonna throw urethane until the backends tame down. Usually half a game tops.

  6. just curious solid, pearl or hybrid asym? which one would be the best option for a short pin for the average bowler?

    1. Depends on the ball. solid/pearl/hybrid are not magical categories that have their own unique properties across all balls.

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