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Storm Virtual Energy Blackout | In-Depth Review


Storm Virtual Energy Blackout Bowling Ball review

It's been almost half a year since Storm released the Storm Virtual Energy Blackout bowling ball. Featuring the popular ReX Pearl coverstock and the Shape Lock HD core from the previous Virtual and Gravity line releases, the Storm Virtual Energy Blackout promised bowlers to be the best companion when you need a massive backend motion.


In this Virtual Energy Blackout bowling ball in-depth review, we will find out if the new Storm Virtual Energy Blackout has the potential to be one of the best bowling balls for medium to heavy oil patterns to have in 2024.

Key Specifications


Storm Virtual Energy Blackout Specifications

Coverstock Type: Reactive Pearl

Coverstock Name: ReX Pearl Reactive

Core Type: Asymmetrical

Core Name: Shape-Lock HD

Box Finnish: Reacta Gloss

Best For: Medium-Heavy oil

RG: 2.48

Total Diff: 0.052

Intermediate Diff: 0.020




Definitions


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).


First impression


Who placed the longer and sharper Storm Dark Code in our bowling ball boxes? The Storm Virtual Energy Blackout quickly brought to mind this bowling ball - both black, both glossy, and both exhibiting a striking backend movement. However, with the Storm Virtual Energy Blackout, it is easier to get down the lane while maintaining the same torque and backend motion. What our testers particularly appreciated was its ability to sustain a predictable reaction, even with such a significant recovery downlane. It is a very impressive perk to have when we talk about bowling balls with mighty backend motion.


Storm Virtual Energy Blackout BowlingLife Review


 

Lane Performance


We handed off Storm Virtual Energy Blackout 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 lane conditions, so we tested it on heavy, medium, and dry sport oil patterns, plus on a typical house shot pattern (THS) for our league players.


A speed-dominant one-hander especially enjoyed using Storm Virtual Energy Blackout on fresh medium oil pattern. The Reacta Gloss played a key role, contributing to the ball's cleaner movement through the front part of the lane. This resulted in a more angular, yet still controllable motion in the back. The Reacta Gloss facilitated the early opening of angles, allowing for an impressive display of pin carry.


On heavy oil, our tester applied some 4000 Abralon grit to the surface, specifically to remove the Reacta Gloss. This adjustment allowed him to play straighter angles and have more midlane read, maintaining a predictable ball reaction down the lane. What surprised us the most was that the Storm Virtual Energy Blackout seemed not to lose any backend motion even without the Reacta Gloss finish. It was a little more controllable on heavy oil, but it still entered the pins strongly with the right angle, creating good pin carry.


While the Storm Virtual Energy Blackout may not be the optimal choice for short oil patterns, it surprisingly performed well on THS. A speed-dominant one-hander, keeping the Storm Virtual Energy Blackout dulled to 4000 grit, migrated left of the center arrow to hook the lane and keep the ball in the oil as long as possible. Even in these conditions, our tester successfully placed the ball in the desired spot at the breakpoint and maintained a predictable ball motion.


A rev-dominant two-hander had most use out of Storm Virtual Energy Blackout on a heavy oil pattern. He intentionally moved three boards left but left the Reacta Gloss finish on the coverstock. As expected, Storm Virtual Energy Blackout was very clean through the front but once it exits the oil, it is very responsive to the friction, creating angular shape. A rev-dominant two-hander could easily move further left slowing his ball a little, creating even more space to attack the pins.


To explore the ball's versatility, the two-hander tester opted to dull the ball to 3000 Abralon for a medium oil pattern. This adjustment allowed to dig deeper into the oil along the mid-lane, resulting in a more early and less angular ball reaction for better ball control. It also allowed for a shift in the breakpoint to the right, creating additional space to play within.

Overall impression


The Storm Virtual Energy Blackout is like the Storm Dark Code or Infinite Physix but with improved midlane dig while maintaining a significant downlane recovery and predictable reaction. It proves to be a valuable addition to any arsenal, especially when you need a ball to open your angles a bit, without losing entry angle to the pocket. No wonder Storm Virtual Energy Blackout bowling ball earned a spot in the bowling bags of nearly half of our staff.


Storm Virtual Energy Blackout Evaluation


Storm Virtual Energy Blackout BowlingLife Review

Storm Virtual Energy Blackout remains as one of the best bowling balls to buy for medium oil patterns in 2024. It is very clean through the front part of the lane, but once it exits the oil, it is very responsive to the friction, creating a very angular yet controllable shape. If you're after a trustworthy and controllable asymmetrical bowling ball with a massive backend motion, especially on those medium to heavy oil setups, the Virtual Energy Blackout won't let you down.