Hammer Scorpion Low Flare Comparison

Welcome to Fill The Frames Bowling Services’ ball comparison report of the Hammer Scorpion Low Flare. It’s been awhile since Hammer has had a Low Flare option. FTF sees this as a ball that will get little notice at first and then when more hit the lanes, they will be seen in a lot of leagues and tournaments. Dual releases sometimes cause balls to be overlooked, at first.

Hammer Scorpion Low Flare 2.474 .031 (4-1/4” x 30°) • Semtex Hybrid 500, 1000, 2000 Siaair
Comparison to Hammer Scorpion Sting and Hammer Arson Low Flare Pearl 
With the introduction of the Hammer Scorpion Low Flare, we see the return of a ball that can battle cliffed daily patterns, transitioned or tougher situations where control is needed. I understand most bowlers would migrate toward urethane balls. As we know, not everyone can use or like to roll urethanes. Looking for a smooth arc and some pop down lane, the Scorpion Low Flare would be a great option. High rev players that need control can easily find a place in their bag for this release. Tech wise, taking the flip block off reduced the diff by almost a third from the Scorpion Sting, while barely changing the RG. The Semtex Hybrid is the same cover that’s was on the first Hammer Scorpion. While the 12 and 13lb balls have the same cover and alternate core, we do see it as an exact ball as the Scorpion in the same weight. If you enjoyed your Scorpion at these weights and you have quite a few games on it, the Scorpion Low Flare would make an excellent replacement. 

Hammer Scorpion Sting 2.485 .045 (4-1/2” x 35°) • Semtex Pearl 500, 1000, 1500 Siaair, Crown Factory Compound
While I personally like the motion of the first Hammer Scorpion, I never used it as much as I would have liked. The Scorpion Sting with a lower RG and higher diff seemed better on the conditioner to friction ratio on medium volumes. A clean motion with a continuous change of direction off the end of the pattern was its strong point. 

Hammer Arson Low Flare Pearl 2.480 .020 (5-1/4” x 30°) • Semtex Pearl 500, 1000, 1500 Siaair, Crown Factory Compound
The Arson LF was released in February of 2013, so you can see why I stated that it’s been awhile since we’ve seen a medium strong cover on a lower differential core. Similar to the change in the core, Hammer under the EBI umbrella took the flip block off the first Arson core. This changed the numbers from Arson- 2.50 .045 to Arson Low Flare 2.48 .020. A more controlled Hybrid cover blended out the cliffs at the time and higher rev players again used this ball for control and tougher patterns in some tournaments.

Comparisons
This comparison was done after a morning trio league (3 games) with bowlers of averages from 120 to over 200 and bowled on one lane. Daily pattern is 12:1 with good taper side to side and to 48’.

Starting with the Scorpion Sting to get a base read, I didn’t see very much transition from the fresh morning pattern in this center. Angles were shallow, sliding 21 targeting 11 at the arrows with a target down lane of 7 to 9. Rolling the ball without much axis rotation, getting to the pocket and striking was not difficult, although the Scorpion Sting is a bigger ball than I would use on the fresh here. Low diffs (.030-.040) favor me to start here, but the Hammer Envy Tour (smoothed) can work, too.

Switching to the Arson Low Flare the ball was straighter throughout the shot. Having a longer Pin to PAP, a pearl version of the Semtex and compound added, this wasn’t a surprise. Moving right into the friction the motion was smooth with a rounded arc down lane. However, misses to the right did not recover consistently. Slicker oils of today make this ball sensitive and probably a defined high friction choice.

Changing to the Scorpion Low Flare and lining up the same as the Scorpion Sting, the pocket was still obtainable and carry was very good. I attribute this to what daily pattern builds can do to assist bowlers. Moving left into more volume, the Scorpion Low Flare continued to have a smooth shape throughout the lane and the carry was great. After striking more, I kept moving. Now into the pretty fresh 12:1 part of the lane and getting it to the friction down lane, I reduced my speed a touch to see what would happen. Same motion, same power through the pins, same pin carry and strikes (with a couple of 10s). Adding axis rotation and opening the launch angle to the friction 6-10 at about 43’, the Low Flare stayed on line easily and more pop was seen due to the delay in the cover reading the friction. Where the all started to not get back was deeper in the volume and steeper angles, but I did get 6/5 left before that happened. One shot with the Scorpion Sting there and it cleared well and was a later and sharper reaction down lane. This showed the more smoother ball motion of the Scorpion Low Flare.

A few days later, we put down the 2022 USBC Championships Team pattern down to test for some upcoming training sessions we have coming up. After using a few balls (Hammer Extreme Envy, Hammer Envy Tour, Radical The Hitter and Hammer Hazmat for a total of 3 games), the Scorpion Low Flare came into play. As you may know, USBC Open Championship patterns are playable and sometimes need to be shaped to hopefully maximize scoring. With the bit of friction I created outside down lane, the Low Flare rolled well and I didn’t see a skip or skid while there. Slowly moving in, I could get to the “track” area (9-11) at the arrows and keeping the projection straighter but slight left to right to 7-10 at 42’, the Low Flare read well and I had some miss room to hit the pocket and strike. This reduced the sometimes over/under reactions we see at the tournament due to their oiling and cleaning procedures. Of course, this will not duplicate what was or what we might see this year but as a comparison, the Hammer Scorpion Low Flare will be making the trip to Las Vegas this year.   

Findings/Opinion
Although it is said (way too often with new equipment), this ball could find a spot in every league bowler’s bag. It definitely would be in a tournament arsenal. High rev players sometimes have trouble with big cores. The Scorpion Low Flare gives a proven cover on a more controllable core. Years ago, the term low flare was seen as “less hook”. With the advancement in cover/core tech and the aging of the lane panels, control is needed. Again in the past, low flare measured 1” to 3”.  This version is about 3” to 4” which is a lower option than today’s high performance balls touting 7”+ of flare (hooking potential). FTF always suggests getting your Release Specs and see if any ball could help you with how and where you bowl. While this ball has been released along with the very popular Hammer Black Widow 3.0, it stands alone and deserves a strong look for its unique build and motion.

Thank you for taking time to read our comparisons and we invite you to check our website for other comparison reports. Just put the ball name in the search and see it if is there. FTF currently only does comparisons on the Hammer releases, although we do give quick reviews on all the Brunswick brands.

As always, what you bowl on and more importantly your release numbers and skill set will determine your choice in equipment. You can always contact me with any questions or schedule a consultation session on your personal release specs or current equipment. For more information, please visit the Coaching & Consulting page on our website at www.filltheframes.com or you may call or text me at (310) 784-1901. Thanks, be well & safe!

Juan Fonseca
Fill The Frames Bowling Services