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Thread: bowls testing

  1. #1
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    I had three of my sets of bowls tested and stamped this week. Two of the sets finished well inside of the standard 'master-test bowl' mark - mainly because they have a medium bias. I did get my size 7 supergrips tested a few years ago too, and they really finished very far inside of the 'master-test bowl' mark - as they are quite a wide bias. However, I did also get my new (old-style) vectors tested and stamped this time. I play with these indoors and they swing quite a lot, compared to many bowls being used by other bowlers. My aiming point is pretty near to the outside rink marker of the next rink with these. Whereas, I also have a set of Vector VS that take a much tighter line. My aiming point for that bowl is the middle rink number of the next rink - so I am aiming quite a few yards inside the Vectors.

    Anyway, the point of all this - is that the Vectors stopped only just inside of the master test bowl - about 1/4 to 1/2 of a bowl 'just the right side'. So, I'm now wondering how this is possible - as my Vector VS bowls surely would finish the wrong side (and there are people playing with straighter bowls than the VS). Would all of these bowls fail now? As said, I really was surprised because, in comparison to many other bowlers playing indoors at my club my Vectors take far more green than their bowls.

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    You need to read the threads on Balanced vs Unbalanced bowls and watch the DeltaDawn (Tauranga, NZ - bowls tester) videos on Youtube which explain that since the "cant" test was done away with by the Authorities bowls testers no longer needed to do a cant test on the testing table. The cant test meant that a wobbled bowl still needed to pass the table test. Todays narrow bowls like the VS are heavily unbalanced, which means that any degree of wobble, or running on a usual carpet or green will run more narrow then if perfectly smooth. When run on the table test under perfect conditions only the very narrow element of the bias part of the bowl touches the very flat/smooth table so will meet the minimum test requirement. But on a normal carpet more of the part of the bowl (next to the bias section) is in contact with the carpet so the bowl runs more narrow. This is even more pronounced when the bowler delivers the bowl with a bit of a wobble, or on grass (or with windy conditions). Or even worse if they deliver it inconsistently (smooth one bowl and wobbling the next).
    Now if you are an elite bowler that always delivers the bowl exactly the same every time, you can get away with it. You can even use this effect by delivering your VS with a pronounced wobble (try it) to go very narrow inside a blocking bowl. But you need to practice this shot to work out how much wobble to use.
    But the lesson for the rest of us is to buy balanced bowls (which give you wider line) and more shot options than the narrow bowls (which also have greater inconsistency in line taken).
    The Taylor Ace is Balanced, and I believe the old Vector is either Balanced or only slightly unbalanced. So stick with your old Vectors.

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    HI Henry,
    Thanks for that. I was already aware of the Balanced vs Unbalanced argument and info - but your idea that more of the bowl being on the carpeted (or grass) running surface is the bit I didn't know. I have no problem playing with either (balanced or unbalanced) - although I do prefer a bowl that is wider in the hand, and I think that generally these are more 'balanced'. Until now, I've only used VS indoors or on the two plastic greens that we have outdoor. However, I picked up these Vectors in January and they take a wider line and, for me, are perfect for indoor. I'm going to try them outdoors to see if they will be ok for singles play - but they might not win enough outdoors, so I have other options.

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    Other than the size 7 Super Grips, what do you usually use outdoors? (I use old Vectors indoors, International/Aces outdoors -although I like Super Grips early season or on some greens). Vectors outdoors are ok for leading or 2 wood singles. May find them a little limiting for 4 wood singles.

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    I'm undecided this year. I like my size 7 supergrips for skipping with (having played with them since the age of 14), but I use them much more rarely now. Last year, I played most of my games with Henselite Indoor size 5 - a pre-runner to the Classic II - and I really liked this bowl, but I find it just a little heavy (especially on wet greens that cut up easily) and would prefer it in a medium weight - so this year, I've just bought size 5 medium Classic II - as they should run very similar to the Indoor model. I've also got the Vectors (5H). I like them because they're bright yellow Our green is very high quality and will be fast and hard this year, so I may well get away with the Vectors for 4 wood singles at home. If not, I'm thinking that I may use the Classic IIs - but it just depends on how well practising goes over the next couple of weeks............ I guess, in all likelihood I'll be using the Classic IIs - but they're not yellow...

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    Nice set of Classic II's in 5 Heavy on Ebay at the moment. In bright Red. Year 19. I realise that the Classic II's vary a bit from year to year, with the more recent models taking less green. You can get the old Vectors in medium weight, but only in black. Good luck with the yellow bowls this season. (NB one of the Ryder cup captains chose yellow as the main colour for Europe (along with Blue) as he said that it was remarkable the amount of success various sportspeople had with the colour yellow!)

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    ha ha - as if I need even more reason to play with the yellow ones. That said, that's another great reason for playing with them
    Good luck with your bowls season, too. For me, it is looking like there might possibly be a change in jobs right in the middle of the season, which I'm hoping won't throw a spanner in the works - but, it will be what it will be.

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    Quote Originally Posted by henrywalker View Post
    Nice set of Classic II's in 5 Heavy on Ebay at the moment. In bright Red. Year 19. I realise that the Classic II's vary a bit from year to year, with the more recent models taking less green. You can get the old Vectors in medium weight, but only in black. Good luck with the yellow bowls this season. (NB one of the Ryder cup captains chose yellow as the main colour for Europe (along with Blue) as he said that it was remarkable the amount of success various sportspeople had with the colour yellow!)
    Hi out of interest all coloured bowls are Heavy
    No Grey Areas

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    I have seen a few coloured Taylor Spectrum (same as International) in Medium weight - but they are rare. Also the Almark (Henselites cheaper range) Slimline come in H/M (Heavy Medium). The Aero Solar Flare colour (Yellow with orange speckles) and the Aero Snow (White with speckles) can be considered H/M (although Aero don't advertise it - their technicians confirmed it to me). Drakes Pride do Medium weight in Black and Brown.

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    All bowls are coloured, in the strict sense of the word - difficult not to be.

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