Since the minimum manufacturing hardness for traditional urethane and urethane-like equipment was increased from 73HD to 78.0HD across all PBA Tour levels, bowling ball manufacturers have been experimenting with new urethane materials and combinations. Their goal was to develop a fresh urethane reaction that appeals to bowling players and aligns with the updated PBA rules.
In December 2023, Storm unveiled its latest urethane bowling ball in their Master Line - the IQ Tour 78-U. As the name suggests, it is a urethane bowling ball with a hardness rating of 78. But why is it called "IQ Tour"? The new IQ Tour 78-U features the well-established C3 Centripetal Control Core, also present in the original IQ Tour. Recognized as one of Storm's most forgiving shapes, the C3 Centripetal Control Core, combined with the innovative Control 78 Solid Urethane coverstock, aims to revolutionize the classic urethane reaction.
In this IQ Tour 78-U bowling ball in-depth review, we will find out if the new IQ Tour 78-U has the potential to be one of the best bowling balls for medium-dry oil patterns to have in 2024.
Coverstock Type: Urethane Solid
Coverstock Name: Controll 78 Solid Urethane
Core Type: Symmetrical
Core Name: C3 Centripetal Control
Box Finnish: 500 Abralon
Best For: Medium-Dry oil
Total Diff: 0.029
Intermediate Diff: 0.000
Asymmetrical core - Asymmetric bowling ball deliver sharper, more angular motion when meeting friction.
Symmetrical core - Symmetric bowling balls produce a soft, controllable motion.
Radius of gyration (RG) - The higher RG, the more back-end motion a bowling ball will produce, as high RG ball skids more and tends to conserve more power for the further part of the lane.
Total Diff - the difference between low RG (X axis) and high RG (Y axis).
Intermediate Diff - only found in asymmetrical balls, as it is the difference between the high RG (Y axis) and intermediate RG (Z axis).
The new IQ Tour 78-U bowling ball closely resembles the Storm Pitch Black. While the Pitch Black boasts a more robust cover and a less potent core, the IQ Tour 78/U has a harder cover, but a stronger core. However, the old Pitch Black and the new IQ Tour 78-U are not exactly identical, as one might think. The C3 Centripetal Control Core was designed to start up early, so drilling this bowling ball as a classic "urethane" would be a mistake, causing it to burn out before reaching the pins. Both of our testers, who already have an IQ Tour in their bags, drilled the new IQ Tour 78-U exactly the same. On the lanes, the new IQ Tour 78-U bowling ball exhibited an earlier, rounder, and more forward ball reaction compared to the Storm Pitch Black.
We handed off The new Storm IQ Tour 78-U bowling ball to two of our testers - speed dominant one-hander and rev dominant two-hander. The goal was to give the ball a chance to demonstrate its strengths across various possible lane conditions, so we tested it on medium and dry sport oil patterns, plus on a typical house shot pattern (THS).
A speed-dominant one-hander, especially enjoyed using the Storm IQ Tour 78-U on a fresh dry oil pattern. Thanks to the C3 Centripetal Control Core, the new Storm IQ Tour 78-U bowling ball exhibited an earlier, rounder, and more forward ball reaction compared to the Storm Pitch Black. After giving the surface a few shots to line up and cover in oil a little, the IQ Tour 78-U was phenomenal while playing around the first to second arrow. It was digging into the oil early, but it kept its shape and a good angle entering the pins. Our tester highlighted that the new IQ Tour 78-U seemed more forgiving than a Pitch Black, as it allows for slight errors to the right gutter.
On a typical house shot pattern (THS), a speed-dominant one-hander tester had some problems finding more room for error than 2-3 boards. The hard surface of the Storm IQ Tour 78-U made it challenging to find the right spot to play in, causing overhooking in areas with heavy outside friction and going too long in others. It is possible to play, but with the THS, you usually desire a bit wider room for error.
A rev-dominant two-hander had the most use out of the Storm IQ Tour 78-U when added 1000 Abralon grit to the surface on a dry oil pattern. It allowed the ball to be cleaner through the front and to maintain a nice-looking controllable shape towards the pocket. Due to low speed, our tester had to move left, but the ball arced its way over to the pocket nicely, creating more room for error than a speed-dominant one-hander tester had.
For both testers, it was clearly visible that this bowling ball is not the classic urethane. The IQ Tour 78-U will need more surface maintenance due to faster lane shine compared to traditional urethanes such as Pitch Black, so keep in mind to carry some Abralon pads.
The new Storm IQ Tour 78-U bowling ball closely resembles the Storm Pitch Black. While the Pitch Black boasts a more robust cover and a less potent core, the IQ Tour 78/U has a harder cover, but a stronger core. On the lanes, the new IQ Tour 78-U bowling ball exhibited an earlier, rounder, and more forward ball reaction compared to the Storm Pitch Black.
Storm Virtual Energy Blackout Evaluation
The new Storm IQ Tour 78-U is truly an intriguing bowling ball. It has already found its place on the PBA Tour in the hands of one of the best bowling players in the world. Our testers especially enjoyed using the Storm IQ Tour 78-U on a fresh dry oil pattern and found it closely resembling the Storm Pitch Black. If you're after a controllable urethane bowling ball that complies with the latest PBA hardness rule and you love the red color, the Storm IQ Tour 78-U is your choice for a bowling arsenal upgrade!