Brunswick Aura Ball Review
By Tina Marie Caouette
Before I get into the heart of my review please take a moment to look over my Drill Sheet as well as the picture of the layout. I use these sheets for my records. If you have any questions please feel free to post them below and I will try to answer them as soon as I can. Also, keep in mind that what works for me may not necessarily work for you. Please consult a qualified Pro Shop or Coach to help customize a layout for your game. Initial test was done on a typical house shot, however I did throw a few on a longer modified house shot as well and will additionally add my thoughts.
My personal specs:
PAP: 4 ¾” over 1/8” up.
Speed: 18-19 MPH
Rev Rate: 325-350 (Tweener)
Dual Angle Drilling: 45 x 4 x 35
I have to add that we tweaked the span, a 1/16 longer on the ring finger, as well as changed the pitches from 3/8 away to 1/8 away on the fingers, and went from ¼ forward to 3/8 forward on the thumb. This has changed how I am catching the ball at the bottom of the swing so it too would change my interruption of my other reviews as well. If I get a chance after adjusting my other equipment, I will go back and make any necessary changes to those reviews.
This was my first Brunswick ball I’ve drilled since I threw the Black Phantom so many moons ago. This was the weakest of the three Aura line balls but stronger than any of my current Storm balls. The closest reaction to it from the Storm line was the Marvel S although my Marvel S was a pin up drilling and this was a pin down drilling. So for those that understand it was a lower combine total for the dual angel drilling as well as a shorter pin to CG drilling as well.
The theory for Brunswick’s Optimum-Flip Solid Coverstock was to retain more axis rotation, rev rate and ball speed down lane to create a very angular entry point off the end of the pattern. For a ball that was sold as a skid/flip ball, I will say it was much smoother off the end of the pattern than even I expected. I have not had much luck with skid/flip balls in the past because of my ball speed, but this ball’s Ultra Low RG core played to my strengths. BALL SPEED!
Now let me go into why I made the switch to Brunswick from Storm. My ball speed tends to be high which naturally allows me to get the ball through the front part of the lane very easily. However, it doesn’t allow the ball to read the break point on longer or heavier patterns. The Brunswick cover stocks and cores I have found tend to rev up earlier, almost three feet earlier, yet still have a very strong continuous motion through the pins without burning energy to early. Now take a ball the retains energy down lane, yet allows you to keep that speed and the increased pin carry into the pocket is just, well, AWESOME!
This was a used ball with very little games but after plugging and drilling, we returned the surface to its original surface. My first game in league on a typical house shot allowed me to circle the ball more and come in a bit deeper. How did this help? It gave me plenty of recovering missing to the outside, as it is a beast when it finds friction and plenty of hold with still a strong motion if I pulled the shot inside the oil line. First game out of the blocks, started with the front 8 and a 279 game. For the first 12 games, bowled in two different houses, playing within boards of each other I’ve averaged over 240 with this ball. What amazed me was the amount of kinetic energy stored as it hit the pins. I would say this has replaced my IQ Tour as my benchmark ball.
I did take this ball over and bowl on a longer and heavier pattern as well took it through an array of Abralon pads. Now, Brunswick has their own line of pads, Siaair pads, as I don’t have these as of yet I can’t really give an honest opinion of the difference. Anyway, the longer oil allowed me to play a more down and in shot with this ball. I did drop the surface down as low as 360 Abralon and go up as high as 4000 Abralon. I will say dropping the surface down past 500 is not a good look as it will burn up too early and it loses it hitting power even with my ball speed. The best look I got was between the 500 and 1000 Abralon. Now those with a much slower ball speed I could see going higher and still circle the ball, especially on the right side of the lane. The ball does respond to friction very well so as the heads start to go you will need to chase the oil or the ball will start to lose its energy hitting the pins, which will lower your angle of entry and carry overall.
I am looking forward to drilling out the Paranormal in this line to see the difference on the heavier volume of oil. Again, with my ball speed, too heavy or too little surface and this ball didn’t read the lane as well for me, of course that is one of the reasons why I just bought the Mastermind. Look for that review as well.
Now for all that technically stuff! This was a 2 ½” pin so we adjusted the numbers slightly from what I was thinking. Overall, we settled for a dual angel drilling of 45 x 4 x 35. As most of my benchmark balls tend to be pin down I wanted to drill my first Brunswick ball the same. The ball has 5/8” side and a ¼” finger weight. I tested the ball before drilling a weight hole to see which quadrant we wanted the hole. Now keep in mind my PAP is 4 ¾” over and a 1/8” up. We opted for the hole on the VAL but dropped it down the center grip 1 3/8” with a 27/32 drill at a depth of 2”. It did make the ball go slightly earlier, but still very smooth off the end of the pattern.
I will say those with lower ball speeds will find this ball could easily be their ball for oil. On the right side of the lane, it might be a bit too strong unless you go with a higher Dual Angle Drilling number as well as some polish. Lower rev players will like the added motion they will get off the dry thus increasing their angles and carry percentage. However, I don’t think the lower rev players with speed will much like this ball on anything but a Typical House Shot. Also, I need to add that Brunswick is replacing the Aura line with the Mastermind line so I don’t know how much longer these balls will be available at your pro shop. I can honestly say having not thrown Brunswick in a while I am still getting up to speed on all their equipment old and new so can’t really compare this ball to anything yet. As I get more equipment drilled, I will come back and add an addendum to this review.
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