Sunday, June 30, 2024

New from 900 Global Harsh Reality Pearl

HARSH REALITY pearl

Building on the overwhelming success of the original Harsh Reality, a pearl version is a much needed addition.Storm/900 Global kept the colors intact from the Harsh Reality Solid for the fans of the series and crafted the pearlized version. This is currently the only polished/pearl asymmetric and will be the most explosive backend reaction in the 900 Global lineup.

Available July 26th

Color: Orange/Silver/Black

RESERVE BLEND 902 PEARL COVERSTOCK

The Reserve Blend 902 Cover, finished with Reacta Gloss, features a similar chemical composition as the S84 Response Cover found on the Reality. We have pushed the envelope on the microscopic pore sizes of the material though. The S84 Response also featured larger than average pore sizes, but the Reserve Blend 902 Pearl expands on that technology. Increased pore sizes mean more oil absorption, thus creating more oil displacement which equals more hook.

DISTURBANCE ASYMMETRIC A.I. CORE

The Disturbance A.I. Asymmetric Core features the same unique single density inner core as the original Reality, however the outer core is the groundbreaking A.I. Core. What does this mean? You will notice that the RG is lower, the differential is higher, and the intermediate differential is higher when compared to the original Reality. This means that you will see a similar shape as the original Reality, but with more overall performance on the heaviest patterns.

RADIUS OF GYRATION

2.48

DIFFERENTIAL

0.054

PSA

0.019

Saturday, June 1, 2024

The Deep Dive Into the Business of Bowlero Corp. Every Bowler Should Read

by JEFF RICHGELS - 11thFrame.com | Posted: Saturday, June 1, 2024 3:00 pm


When Amos Barshad first called me last year, I was intrigued but didn’t get my hopes up: He didn’t know bowling but was aiming to write a deep dive into the business of Bowlero Corp.

The more we talked the more I realized that Barshad was a journalist I’d be happy to work with at my newspaper job or 11thFrame.com. He asked all the right questions to understand bowling stuff, which isn’t simple stuff for a non-bowler, and he clearly was on the right track with the overall story.

When I got the final result this week and read it I could not have been more impressed.

Barshad told me he was writing it for Lever.com, where it’s posted as Meet The New Kingpin.

But I saw many people sharing it posted at Jacobin.com where it’s under the catchier Private Equity–Backed Firm Bowlero Is Ruining Bowling.

It’s similar to the story I’ve long had designs on doing but haven’t been able to carve out the time for, with my focus more on how the company’s business impacts the sport.

Barshad included some interesting material from financial journalist Herb Greenberg and Katherine Spurlock, a Louisiana-based research analyst and former short seller. He also took a well-deserved shot at CNBC’s Jim Cramer, who has conducted multiple fawning interviews with Bowlero CEO Tom Shannon.

And — shocker! — Bowlero didn’t respond to his requests for comment.

I was happy to see that Robin Goldberg, proprietor at Madison’s Dream Lanes, did peak with Barshad and gave him the same answers he has given me.  

He used a couple of quotes from my writing and from my talking with me, including one I’ve used in varying forms over the years: “The tragedy of Bowlero is that they’re the biggest and most important company in bowling and they care nothing about the sport.” 

The context of that is nothing about the sport that doesn’t make them money, like the PBA.

I’d also add that the tragedy includes how much potential good they could do for bowling if they cared for anything beyond the bottom line.

But they don’t … which should be the point of any serious story about the business of Bowlero Corp.

Barshad nailed that.


Link to 11thFrame.com: 

https://www.11thframe.com/news/article/15219/The-deep-dive-into-the-business-of-Bowlero-Corp-every-bowler-should?filter=all

Saturday, May 25, 2024

New Roto Grip X - CELL™ Coming in June '24

NEW PRODUCTS

X - CELL™

HP4
STREET DATE:  6/21/24
3 WORDS TO DESCRIBE X-Cell:
TRUSTWORTHY
CONSISTENCY
VERSATILITY


Wednesday, May 8, 2024

The New Benchmark Ball In Town! Storm's Ion Pro™

 

ION PRO™

PREMIER
STREET DATE:  6/21/24
3 WORDS TO DESCRIBE ION PRO
STABLE
ESSENTIAL
UNIQUE
Bigger Picture of the Ion Core
3D Perspective, Very Cool!





CLICK BELOW TO WATCH THE INTRODUCTION EVENT VIDEO!

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

New "The Road," "Hustle B/R/Y" and "Hustle X-Ray" Ball Introductions from Storm and Roto Grip for Spring

 



NEW PRODUCTS

THE ROAD™

Thunder
STREET DATE:  4/19/24
3 WORDS TO DESCRIBE THE ROAD
Versatile
Easy-To-Drill
Predictable

2 NEW HUSTLES

HP1
STREET DATE:  4/19/24

Friday, January 19, 2024

Meet the Gen Z Hothead Burning Up Pro Bowling (from Rolling Stone Magazine)


As bowling pushes closer to cultural relevance, 27-year-old Anthony Simonsen’s dynamic personality and record-shattering talent are tailor-made for him to take the PBA to the next level and become its new face — whether he likes it or not. 

Photograph by Mikayla Whitmore

JAN 19, 2024 9:01 AM

 “Simo’s in this?”

Pfft. Fuck.”

It’s 3 p.m. on a Friday in late July, and it’s 114 degrees outside. I’m 15 minutes off the Las Vegas Strip at South Point Casino, eavesdropping as I follow two twentysomethings up an escalator — I’m here to meet the guy they’re scared of.

South Point is what you would call old Vegas. There are no celebrity chefs or pop-star residencies here, the blackjack odds are better than they are on the Strip, the buffet line is long, and the ornate red and gold carpet will make you dizzy if you look at it for longer than a second.

Up the escalator, past the seniors choking down cigarettes in the hallway outside of the cavernous bingo hall is the South Point Bowling Plaza, a 60-lane center with stadium seating and a wall of massive scoreboards. The Plaza routinely hosts Professional Bowlers Association and Professional Women’s Bowlers Association title events.

The PBA schedule winds down over the summer though, so today is not one of those days. Today’s tournament is the Vegas Valley Open Team Challenge hosted by the Amateur Bowling Tour, and tucked away at the far end of the center on lane 54, Anthony Simonson is Steph Curry in a slide sole pulling up to a pickup run at the park, asking who’s got next. “This is like the fourth time I’ve bowled in two months,” he says with a smirk. “You like Korean barbeque? I’ve got a great spot.”

Simonsen, a.k.a. Simo, is a 27-year-old high school dropout and, depending on who you ask, currently the best bowler alive. Raised in Mesquite, Texas, and now living here in Vegas, Simonsen is coming off one of the most successful years in PBA Tour history, the first bowler ever to finish in the top 10 in every tournament and crack the top four in every major. Simonsen took home three tournament wins in 2023, including a back-to-back victory at the Masters, one of bowling’s five annual major tournaments, outside Detroit, culminating in a viral celebration that saw Simonsen flex a pair of Buffs — Cartier Buffalo Horn sunglasses, the holy grail of Motor City fashion — on live TV. The $100,000 Masters title added to Simonsen’s seven-figure PBA winnings total, and made him the youngest bowler ever to win one, two, three, four, and now five majors.

The PBA’s most polarizing pro, Simonsen has a well-deserved reputation as a hothead. In addition to his accomplishments this season, Simonsen also led the tour in fines, a distinction he’s held for the past few years. Over his career, Simonsen has punched himself in the head midgame; separated scoring computers from their stanchions; kicked ball returns; been turned in to tournament officials by friends on tour for slamming balls on the return, swearing, and generally “acting like an asshole”; told Fox producers that if they wanted him to stop cussing on live TV they should take his mic off; and routinely complained about the quality of bowling-center equipment and the competition format.

As bowling pushes closer to its next high point on the roller coaster of cultural relevance, with a 15 percent bump in PBA TV ratings this year, ink drying on a two-year extension with Fox, a new trading-card deal, a growing parasocial presence online, and wait lists for social and competitive leagues across the country, Simonsen’s combination of brash attitude, youth, and dynamic personality built from equal parts intensity and apathy, paired with his record-shattering talent and explosive creativity is tailor-made to take pro bowling to the next level. Love him or hate him — and there’s plenty of hate, just check the comment sections — Simonsen is the new face of the PBA whether he likes it or not.

SIMONSEN WASN’T PLANNING on bowling today, never mind in an amateur tournament, but his friends Ari, Jessica, and JP need a fourth for their squad, so here he is, waiting until the last five minutes of practice to change out of his Air Max 97s into his Dexters and throw a couple of practice shots to test the lanes. They’re hooking more than he expected, but a quick switch to a ball called Pitch Black gives him more control.

By the end of the first game, Simonsen has found his strike shot, put on a wide, toothy grin for at least 10 photos with fans, and irritated at least a few bowlers, one of whom walked over to see what the fuss was about, spotted Simonsen, and threw up his arms in exasperated frustration, his body language saying it all: “If he’s here, why bother?” Simonsen is used to it. He’s been getting that reaction for as long as he can remember.

When Simonsen was six, his dad, Benjamin, heard about a charity bowling night hosted by a local Dallas sports-radio station and reached out to the organizers, putting his son up as a challenger against DJ Dan McDowell in the final match. Simonsen beat the shock jock so badly that at the next year’s charity event, McDowell replaced the first-grader with a blind woman. “I needed to win one,” McDowell later said on air.

Simonsen’s parents worked too much and never made enough money. Benjamin sold diesel parts, and Simonsen’s mother, Teresa, worked at a grocery store. If Simonsen wasn’t in school, the bowling center played babysitter. Lifelong league bowlers, Teresa and Benjamin spent most nights at the bowling alley, either on the lanes or at the bar.

“It became, ‘We’re in the bar, he’s bowling, everyone in the bowling center knows if we need something here’s where we are, and if we need him that’s where he is,’” Simonsen says.

Between Jupiter Lanes, Plano Super Bowl, and Rowlett Bowl-a-Rama, Simonsen clocked more hours on the lanes as a kid in East Dallas than he did at school or home. He jokes that he was fired from his first job, restocking rental shoes, at the age of five because he got in trouble with his kindergarten teacher. Simonsen’s parents were already struggling to discipline him at home, so like with everything else in their lives, they turned to the bowling center for help.

During the summers, Teresa would drop elementary-aged Simonsen at Jupiter Lanes on her way to work, and then stop by after her shift for Miller Lites and too many cigarettes. Simonsen’s brother Bobby, 10 years his senior, Teresa’s son from a previous relationship, and a gifted competitive bowler in his own right, slowed and eventually stopped bowling as he developed a years-long struggle with opioid addiction.

Simonsen’s childhood was spent running around the centers, hanging out behind the counters and annoying older bowlers. He would set up shop one lane over from the house locals, tournament bowlers 20 years his senior who spent their nights bowling pot games for cash, and practice nonstop, catching rides home at two or three in the morning when the older guys were too tired to throw or ran out of money.

By 12, Simonsen was entering tournaments against bowlers on the nation’s best college teams, including Wichita State — the Duke basketball of college bowling. Two-time PBA-major winner Kris Prather, then a bowler at Wichita, remembers it clearly.

“We’re bowling with other college guys, and I’m bowling next to this kid who’s bowling two-handed — he was one of the first two-handers I saw,” Prather tells me. “He’s striking like every single shot and walking around like he owns the building. I wish I had that kind of confidence when I was that age.”

At 15, five months into his freshman year, Simonsen dropped out of high school. Well, he never formally dropped out — in Texas, you have to be 17 with a parent’s signature to do that — he just stopped showing up.

“There’d be days we’re driving to school, the gas gauge is broken, and it’s, ‘Well, we put five bucks in yesterday, but then we drove around some,’ so I don’t know if they can drive me there and then pick me up later,” Simonsen says.

Plano Super Bowl used to be open 24 hours, seven days a week, and by his 16th birthday, Simonsen was working the 9 p.m.-3 a.m. shift, learning how to fix every inch of the center and sleeping on couches at friends’ houses or in guest rooms at the houses of older bowlers. He still stopped home a few times a week, but he wasn’t living there anymore. He gave up his amateur standing and moved up to adult competition at 16, bowling in as many tournaments as he could, his entrance fees staked by the same bowlers he’d grown up practicing next to — for a percentage of the winnings in return, of course.

Simonsen’s parents split for good when he was a teenager. Teresa moved in with her mother, and Benjamin was laid off, failed to find another job, and fell into what Simonsen describes as a deep, lasting depression. When his dad was evicted from their family home, Simonsen moved him into an apartment and started paying his rent with tournament winnings. Simonsen continued to support Benjamin financially until his death in 2021.

Driving his dad’s truck without a license, Simonsen started racking up tickets when he was 15. “If there was a bowling tournament within seven hours, I was bowling the tournament, there’s no question about it. I gotta figure out how to get to the tournaments or else I’m not gonna make any money.” Eventually, he started using his bowling winnings to buy cheap used cars. After a disagreement over his constant travel and odd hours with a manager at Plano, Simonsen took a warehouse job stocking shelves and filling orders at Classic Products, a national bowling distributor.

In 2015, shortly after Simonsen’s 18th birthday, his mother passed away unexpectedly. “I think she worked herself to death,” Simonsen says, and then, without flinching, “I get my work ethic from her.”

In December of that same year, Simonsen won his first PBA Tour title, missing Norm Duke’s record for youngest title winner by two days thanks to a months-long delay between the event’s qualifying round and finals. The next year, at 19 years old, Simonsen won the 2016 Masters, taking home a giant novelty check for $50,000, another five-figure incentive check from his ball sponsor, Roto Grip, and a place in the record books as the youngest major-title winner in PBA history. He got his first driver’s license shortly after.

“Bowling is what I’ve got. It’s what I know,” Simonsen says. “If I didn’t have bowling or the bowling industry, I don’t know where I would be.”

Two-handers are known for their power, but Simonsen has found success with finesse.

SIMONSEN HAS ALWAYS BOWLED with two hands. Two-handers are generally known for their power, but Simonsen has found success with finesse. He attacks the lanes with more versatility and guts than anyone on tour, throwing straight up the right side of the gutter one game, and lofting it over the left gutter cap with a boomerang hook the next, tricking the ball like a Cy Young winner, taking gambles with equipment and lane play that would never even occur to most pros.

Listed online at a generous five feet nine, with a stocky build and a baby face hidden behind a bushy beard that adds a few years, Simonsen’s five-step approach to the foul line drifts slightly to the left. On the third step, he does a quick shrug, cocking his forearms like a shotgun as his upper body drops near parallel with the lane. His fourth step plants with power as the ball swings behind him. His fifth step slides to the foul line as his coiled body springs forward, uncorking like a jack-in-the-box as the ball explodes out of his hands.

PBA Commissioner Tom Clark describes Simonsen as a “genius” without a single weakness in his game, besides his famously short fuse. When it comes to playing the lanes, though, Simonsen’s creativity, bag of tricks, and ability to adapt are not just unmatched, they’re downright outlandish. When he was 21, Simonsen won the first PBA title using a backup ball — that is, bowling a reverse hook to roll the ball clockwise on the left side of the lane instead of his natural counterclockwise from the right. He bowled backward. In the championship game, Simonsen defeated lefty Matt Sanders 216-194 on his own side of the lane.

Oh, yeah, and thanks to a drunk prank the night before by Kyle Troup, a 10-time PBA title winner famous for his Bob Ross-like Afro, Simonsen was without his own gear and bowled the second half of the tournament, including the title match, in a pair of borrowed shoes two sizes too big. “He does things that other people do when they’re goofing off to win [PBA] events,” Clark says.

In an era of professional sports defined by helicopter parents, forced specialization, and private coaches for preteens, Simonsen’s self-taught savant — and the daring imagination that comes with it — is a breath of fresh air.

ON THE WAY OUT of the surprise trip to South Point, Simonsen stops for two more photos, joking with a thirtysomething bowler decked out in full Raiders gear who freaks out and fumbles his words in front of his girlfriend as soon as he sees Simonsen.

Simonsen moved to Vegas in 2020 for an opportunity to own and operate the bowling alley inside of a video-game-themed bar on Fremont Street called the Nerd. Flying home between tour stops, he spent the past three years rehabbing and fixing the lanes and running the center. Earlier this year, Simonsen sold his portion of the Nerd because of a clash of personalities with his business partner.

The departure gave him more time to work at Classic’s West Coast warehouse in Henderson, Nevada. Working the same job he had when he was 17, Simonsen clocks in at $15 an hour to unload skids of bowling balls, redesign shelving units, and help build fully functional pin decks and lane machines inside the warehouse. Technically, Simonsen has been employed by Classic for the better part of a decade. When he put in his two-weeks notice at Classic’s Texas warehouse in 2015 to join the PBA Tour full time, national sales manager Jimmy Land, a Dallas local who, along with his wife Jan, has known and cared for Simonsen “since he was knee high to a grasshopper,” never took him off the payroll. Simonsen’s bowling family has always been there.

A number of PBA pros have started spending more time in the gym lately, rejecting the beer-and-bratwurst image of pro bowling’s past and treating their athletic careers like, well, athletic careers. But Simonsen gets his strength training in at the warehouse, moving pallets of bowling balls. His deep knowledge of bowling equipment, learned over years working at Plano, Classic, and the Nerd, at times contributes to his frustration on the lanes. Professional tournaments played in the same centers that host unlimited Wednesday specials just a few days earlier sometimes result in off-center racks and clogged hand driers. Simonsen is often the first and loudest person to call out PBA officials. “When he does complain, I always say we need to listen to him because he’s usually right, I’ll admit that,” Clark says. “The time and place he goes about expressing it might not always be the best, but he’s usually not wrong.”

Like John McEnroe, Tiger Woods, Serena Williams, and pro bowling’s most famous face, Pete Weber, Simonsen’s temper and the intensity that it takes to win are two sides of the same coin. “There are times where because I’ve got a little heated I’ll bowl better, I’m more focused on what I’m doing,” Simonsen says. The PBA has been on an upswing lately, but the tour still has a long way to go to even sniff the money at stake in sports like golf and tennis. At this point, pro-bowling stadiums are still a pipe dream. With the Nerd out of his hands, Simonsen needed a new place to practice in Vegas. South Point is the popular choice for local PBA and regional pros, but Simonsen has found a home at the Compound.


MIKAYLA WHITMORE FOR ROLLING STONE

Twenty minutes off the Strip, past the sun-soaked strip malls and the empty gravel lots that will eventually become strip malls, the Compound is a mansion owned by professional poker player Chris “Huni” Hunichen. The property has a home gym and indoor basketball court, indoor pool, outdoor pool complete with grotto, and a separate covered hot tub, and that’s all before you get in the house. Inside, past the home theater, where we stop for five minutes and watch Hunichen lose $42,000 gambling on an early-morning UFC fight live in London, next to the kitchen and behind the gigantic fish tank are a pair of bowling lanes. Simonsen and Hunichen have become fast friends since his Vegas move, and after Simonsen sold his portion of the Nerd, Hunichen suggested he start practicing here.

We bowl a couple of games, Simonsen kindly humoring my futile yet insatiable desire to test my talent against the best. He beats the brakes off me, bowling over 240 rolling his pink spare ball backup on the left side of the lane. The display is equal parts humiliating and awe-inspiring. On the way out, another UFC fight is finishing up, so we sit for a second and watch Hunichen win back all 42 grand plus more.

When we talk about Simonsen’s childhood and teenage years, he speaks about his parents with reverence and understanding. Life is hard and they tried their best, even if their best didn’t always cut it. Simonsen has never lacked for chosen family though; he drives his girlfriend Morgan to work every morning, and they recently sent their dog Snoop to a trainer to fix his behavioral issues. And he still regularly sees the faces that helped raise him in Dallas bowling centers. Land and his wife still run things at Classic, and they visit the Henderson warehouse often. Simonsen’s brother Bobby has been clean for years, he’s back bowling seriously, and they are each other’s biggest fans. They talk often, and Bobby boasts a photorealistic tattoo of Simonsen raising his PBA Finals trophy on his leg, with the words “Bowl to Kill” written on his arm as a tribute to his brother. “I’ve finally started to slowly transition out of survival mode,” Simonsen tells me. “To, I don’t want to say find more enjoyment in life, but to know ‘Cool, I’ll be all right,’ and now I might actually sit down and try to set some goals — like shit to look forward to, because before it was just day by day. I think I had just been stuck in that mindset.”

On the drive back to the Strip from the Compound, I ask Simonsen if he has any goals for the 2024 PBA season. He thinks about it for a second. “Not really,” he admits. He doesn’t care about Player of the Year, he just wants to win more. I ask about long-term plans. “The Hall of Fame,” but he knows the résumé is already there, so now he just needs the 20 years on tour to be eligible, and that should come in due time. Hell, he’s already coming up on 10 years in, and he’s only 27. Other than that? “Just keep striking.”

From Rolling Stones Magazine To access the entire article and pictures click:  https://www.rollingstone.com/culture/culture-features/anthony-simonsen-profile-1234928747/

Tuesday, December 19, 2023

EJ TACKETT is celebrated as the 2023 Professional Bowlers Associaton PLAYER OF THE YEAR

The recent Player of the Year announcement has thrust EJ Tackett into the annals of bowling greatness, marking one of the most mind-blowing seasons in the sport's history! What EJ did this season in 16 tour stops, each one a battleground of intensity at the highest echelon of competition, is hard to fathom. 

Let's dive into the sheer spectacle of EJ's 2023 season: 

Player of the Year Triumph: EJ clinched the PBA Player of the Year title with a jaw-dropping 82.5% of the vote, a whopping 75% higher than any other contender. Even with the phenomenal Anthony Simonsen in the mix, EJ's dominance was undeniable. Also winning Player of the Year in 2016, this was his second Player of the Year award, a feat achieved by only 12 bowling legends in history. 

Points Maestro: EJ didn't just bag the points title; he obliterated records, amassing more points than any player since the inception of the tiered points system on the PBA Tour. He also clinched the Classic Series point championship with two wins during the abbreviated points swing. 

High Average: For the second straight year, Tackett carried the highest average for the PBA Tour season. In a sport where every single pin is critical, EJ averaged over 227, which was two pins better than anyone else on tour. 

Earnings Extraordinaire: EJ wasn't just bowling strikes; he was raking in cash. Leading tour earnings by over $100k, he closed the year at a historic $458,450—the second-highest season total in PBA history and the highest for a player whose highest single check was a cool $100k. 

Major Mic Drop: When the lights shone brightest, EJ outshone them all. At four of the five PBA Tour majors, he stood as the tournament leader. Qualifying? Dominated. EJ was the tournament leader at four of the five PBA Tour Majors. Titles? Two (US Open and World Championship) including a secondplace finish (TOC), and a fifth-place spot (Players Championship). It was major domination at its finest. 

Winning Ways: In just 16 events, EJ clinched victory five times—a feat untouched by any player in the 21st century. Starting strong with wins at the US Open, Shawnee Classic, and Jackson Classic, he didn't ease off the gas pedal, finishing the season with a breathtaking World Series of Bowling, where he had finishes of 1st (World Championship), 1st (Cheetah Championship), 2nd (Scorpion Championship), and 9th (Shark Championship). 

Consistent Brilliance: EJ's not just a flash in the pan. With five top finishes in 16 events, he graced the top three a staggering 10 times. EJ never slipped outside the top 3 for more than two events in a row, a consistency that puts him in a league of his own. To put that into perspective, only eight players cashed as many times in 2023 as EJ Tackett finished in the top 3. 

Legendary Status: In 2023, EJ etched his name in the bowling pantheon. A two-time Player of the Year, the ninth Triple Crown winner in PBA history, the youngest player to 21 titles, and the 13th winningest player of all time (behind Marshall Holman)—Tackett continues to distinguish himself amongst the greatest to ever throw a bowling ball. And did we mention he casually tossed a perfect 300 at the PBA Super Slam semifinal? 

MOTIV is so proud of EJ Tackett and all his accomplishments. We are even more proud to say that every shot that EJ has thrown as a PBA Member on the national tour has been with a MOTIV® bowling ball. Congratulations, EJ, and best of luck in the upcoming 2024 season.