Hammer Black Widow Urethane Pearl Comparison

Compared to the Hammer Black Widow Urethane Solid, Black Widow Ghost & Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane

With the WWRD of 2/25/22, Hammer Bowling is excited to present the Hammer Black Widow Pearl Urethane. This time the cover is the same as the Hammer Purple Pearl but with the famous Gas Mask core. This report will have a new adjustment grid so it’s easier to compare ball to ball and the adjustments needed. All balls when tested were used with their box finish and cleaned regularly. My PAP is 5-1/4”x1/4”^ with low tilt at 1.67* and I’m considered matched rev rate to ball speed. The pattern is a fresh 42’ with more volume starting at 11 in. Outside of 6 tends to be a difficult starting point due to the topography of the center and less side to side taper. The track area opens up quickly and starting positions and angles need to be adjusted. The ball that I based this report off is the Hammer Scorpion (4-3/4”x30*).  

The Hammer Black Widow Pearl Urethane was tested after the Hammer 3-D Offset, Some of the head oil and midlane oil had been removed. So I brought out the Scorpion again to get lined up and adjusted my feet to 27, targeting 13/14 with the focal point between the 6 & 10. It also should be noted I changed my hand position for more axis rotation and a sharper back end motion. This is a 2/2 move left, opened the launch angle a bit, but the biggest change was the hand position. This happened very quickly in the span of 2 games bowling alone.

Hammer Black Widow Pearl Urethane (45*x5”x25*) – Hammer Black Widow Urethane Solid (55*x4-3/4”x30*)

The Black Widow Urethane Solid was designed for medium – heavy volumes up front and a strong mid lane reaction and had a box finish of 360/500/500 Abralon. Basically when this saw friction, it grabbed and started its rotational change of direction. Great for flatter patterns and control but with a stronger motion than the Purple Pearl Urethane. The Hammer Urethane Pearl uses the same cover stock as the Purple Pearl but has the Gas Mask Core. The drillings are close, but the numbers and cover would get the Solid to react earlier. The Pearl went about 3’ longer down the lane.

Hammer Black Widow Pearl Urethane (45*x5”x25*) – Hammer Purple Pearl Urethane (4-1/4”x25*)

Having the same cover, the differences would be the cores and surface prep. It’s Asym- RG 2.500 DIFF .058 Asym .016 at 360/800 Siaair vs. Sym RG 2.650 DIFF .015 at 500/1K/2K Siaair. The difference is in the layouts are minimal with the same VALs being used. If the Pin to PAP distances were the same the core and surface would still be the deciding factors on how early the ball starts up. The general ball motion differences in Syms vs. Asyms is Syms have a smoother longer hook zone compared to Asyms which have a quicker hook zone. With both these being Pearl Urethanes, it was apparent the BW was stronger and had a bigger move due to the core and surface. You can see by comparing the flare mages below. Surfaces can be changed a bit but if you are choosing a urethane, its best to keep it close to its designed surface or make another choice in equipment. While not a preferred choice for recreational of standard league patterns, both would have their place in a competitive bowler’s tournament bag.

Hammer Black Widow Pearl Urethane (45*x5”x25*) – Black Widow Ghost Pearl (Layout: 45×5”x25)

The difference between these two is just the cover stock and how they respond to the oil and friction. The Ghost does clear the fronts more than the BW Pearl Urethane and has a sharper change of direction. The BW Ghost surface is at 500/1K/1500 Siaair with Crown Factory Compound to help with the length. The Ghost is a great alternate when the stronger pieces start to burn up. I personally choose either the Ghost or the Obsession Tour Pearl. This depends on the shape that carries the pins better at the time.

As stated above, the first testing session was under a center’s fresh house shot. I decided to add another comparison on a different day. The center adjusted both lane machines and the pattern seemed to have less volume and the 6 and out was cleaner and able to be used by different styles of bowlers. Scores were reported higher throughout the week. During the test, it was obvious that the Black Widow Pearl Urethane needed more volume. The core is too strong and while the cover is a pearl it is urethane and the box grit is rough (360/800 Siaair). The ball got into a roll too soon and stood up as it got closer to the pins. This resulted in striking, flat 10s or 4 pins. There was little room to miss and get a string going. The change to be made for this and the first test would be to smooth out the surface. However, urethanes aren’t the best choice for recreational (house) patterns. There are other choices that benefit from the higher volumes in the middle and the drier boards towards the gutters. Flatter Challenge and Sport patterns where control of the friction is needed down lane is where this and most urethanes will shine. 






BrandBallFeetFocal PointSet DownArrows42'Hand PositionPAP
5-1/4" x 1/4"up
HammerScorpion27Between 6/102013/149/10R3X4-3/4"30*X
HammerBlack Widow Ghost28Center of the 10

HammerBW Solid Urethane29Between 6/10
HammerBW Solid Urethane27Center of the 101911/128/9R355*4-3/4"30*LX
HammerBW Solid Urethane29Between 6/102114/159/10R355*4-3/4"30*FX
HammerPurple Pearl Urethane29Center of the 102215/1612/13R2X4-1/4"25*C10
HammerPurple Pearl Urethane32Center of the 102216/1710/11R3X4-1/4"25*X
HammerPurple Pearl Urethane32Right of the 102417/1813/14R3X4-1/4"25*X
HammerBW Pearl Urethane31Between 6/101912/1311/12R345*5"25*C6
HammerBW Pearl Urethane33Center of the 102216/1713/14R345*5"25*C3
HammerBW Pearl Urethane36Right of the 102415/169/10R345*5"25*4
HammerBW Pearl Urethane37Right of the 102414/159/10R345*5"25*HX
HammerBW Pearl Urethane37Right of the 103017/189/10R345*5"25*F10
HammerBW Pearl Urethane36Right of 63319/2013/14R345*5"25*LX
HammerBW Pearl Urethane36Right of the 103218/1912/13R345*5"25*LX
HammerBW Pearl Urethane34Between 6/102717/1811/12R345*5"20*LX
Hammer3D Offset33Center of the 102617/189/10R3

It is said and printed that urethanes are for “dry” lanes. I believe that this statement is incomplete and it brings confusion. If there is a general cliff in the pattern to start, urethane may smooth this out. Closed angles are beneficial and playing/controlling the end of the pattern could lead to a more consistent ball motion and adjustments would be less radical. Referring back to the comparison, the Purple Pearl and the BW Pearl Urethane have the same coverstock (at different box surfaces) but much different cores. You can see this by the images above. If the friction of the pattern or the center calls for control, starting with the Purple Pearl and switching to the BW Pearl Urethane may be an option. Since the Gas Mask core flares, it will help cut through any carry down that might have occurred with symmetrical urethanes. Surface adjustments may be changed per individual bowler, but it depends on the needs of that bowler and the environment that they are facing.

I hope this View helps give you a better understanding between balls in the Hammer line. As always, what you bowl on and more importantly you skill set will determine your choice in equipment. You can always contact me with any questions or schedule a consultation session on your current equipment. Visit the Coaching & Services page on our website, email us at www.info@filltheframes.com or you call and text messages to (310) 784-1901.

Thanks, be well & safe!
Juan Fonseca
Fill The Frames Bowling Services