Hammer Raw Hammer Solid and Pearl (Blue/Silver/White)
All balls when tested were used with their box finish.
When this line was announced, the first thing I thought of was “FINALLY!” The Hammer brand has needed this line since the Vibe series had been moved to the retired page. The Raws would be in the “More bang for your buck” category. While there is a third option, the Raw Hammer Hybrid, I have not tested it, but it’s safe to say it fits in between the Solid and the Pearl. This is not always the case in higher lines. The covers are friendly to surface changes, but don’t expect to create a higher level ball motion.
Hammer Raw Hammer Solid (Layout: 4-3/4” x 30)
The covers on the Solid and the Fugitive Solid are the same (Juiced Solid) but the Fugitive has a stronger core and rougher box surface and would handle higher volumes. On the fresh pattern, the Raw Solid easily could play where the Fugitive Solid was, but is cleaner through the mids. The reaction shape off the end of the pattern was continuous with no quick jump. You can see this ball creep higher as the lane opens up and this allows you to move ahead of the transition to keep the ball in the pocket. The Raw Solid would be a great fit for many bowlers and in transition situations which make it a very versatile piece.
Hammer Raw Hammer Pearl Blue/Silver/White (Layout: 4-3/4”x30)
Using the same approach line up and targeting as the Raw Solid, the Pearl clipped the head pin and destroyed the 3 pin. Moving 3/3 right and closing my angles (straighter) the ball struck. It’s very clean and the move on the back is a bit sharper, but I wouldn’t call it a skid/flip motion. I did change my hand position to add axis rotation and the Pearl went a touch longer but still didn’t flip hard. This is good when you encounter a lot of friction at the end of the pattern and you’re playing right of 10. I could play in the drier sections of the lane closer to the gutter and this ball made it look there was more conditioner than actually was. I tried the stronger Fugitive Solid there and it wasn’t going to be productive.
Overall for the price point (around $100 undrilled and pre-tax) the Raw series is what Hammer Bowling needed. First it re-introduces a popular core with 3 different versions of the Juiced cover and it brings a ball that is not too strong for bowlers that have slower speeds, closed angles, but more importantly a ball series that would be a great introduction to casual or new bowlers.
These are my views and your results may vary. Please go to the FTF Ball Comparison Info post to see how I was able to get the above information. It’s important to know your personal specs to help you make the proper choices for your game and increase your scoring. I believe bowling balls are tools and using the ones that work against your specs, skill set and environment will cause consistency and scoring issues.
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