The 900 Global ALTERED REALITY was a ball I ordered when it became clear to me that it was so good/popular that I was missing out on something that needed to be in my arsenal.
Then right about the time my buddy Gregg Goldstein got it drilled for me, USBC came down with their ruling that the ALTERED REALITY and five other Storm Products balls couldn’t be used in its national tournaments but were legal for other competition. (I later wrote this lengthy story after three experts explained how variance factors in testing with even official calibrated durometers in special stands like those used by USBC mean its reported ball hardness tests shouldn't be valid in ruling the Storm balls too soft.)
After hitting it with a 4,000-grit Abralon pad as I do with all box shiny balls to get rid of what I call the 2-8-10 gloss, and rolling it in practice, I would wager a large chunk of money that any independent trained tester testing my ALTERED REALITY with a calibrated durometer in the required special housing would find it above the minimum hardness.
But since I couldn’t use it at the USBC Open Championships and I had no competition after that until August other than the Petersen Classic, my first shots with the ALTERED REALITY in competition didn’t come until the PBA50 and PBA60 tournaments I bowled in Jackson, Michigan in August.
And my ALTERED was too strong for the Del Ballard 34 lane pattern, and not enough for the Dick Weber 45 lane pattern, so it didn’t get used.
It also was too strong for the SSBA tourney house shot in Clinton, Iowa, where I finished second playing very direct all day.
Where I have seen my ALTERED REALITY excel is practicing on the house shot at Ten Pin Alley in Fitchburg, where I can get in a wheel the lane (as much as I still can at age 60).
I used a drilling for my ALTERED REALITY given to me by Storm regional rep Matt Gasn that features a high pin and strong drilling angle. With my PAP of 4 7/8 over and 5/8 up, the numbers are 5 1/8 pin-PAP, 4 MB-PAP, and 1 5/8 pin buffer.
The ALTERED REALITY features the pearl version of the strong S84 Response cover that is featured in a solid version in the REALITY and a hybrid version in the REALITY CHECK.
All three feature the Disturbance Asymmetric core that was in the VOLATILITY TORQUE, a ball I never threw but that is a favorite of PWBA Tour champion Jillian Martin. The numbers are nearly identical for 14, 15 and 16 pounds, so my review should work for all three weights. (I throw 14s.)
As I said, I hit my ALTERED REALITY with a 4,000-grit Abralon pad by hand just enough to knock off the gloss.
For me, it’s easy to describe the ALTERED REALITY: get in and wheel it.
Even with my moderate revs and speed, the ALTERED REALITY is just too strong to play straight up the lane with unless there is so much oil that it simply doesn’t hook.
This ball excels for me when I can get left and send it right – there literally is no such thing as throwing it too far right, with the only problem being overhook when I throw it right too early.
It creates big entry angle and seemingly without a lot of solid 9s and other hits you would think that angle would produce. I think this is because the motion is very “rolly,” producing some of the best carry of any ball I’ve thrown.
The only issue I found beyond overhooking when I got it right too early, was that it could go high if I didn’t project it to the right. The Disturbance core is really strong and wants to pick up in the midlane, so you can’t depend on an easy skid to the breakpoint that will make up for release variance.
The flip side of that is that the ALTERED REALITY doesn’t shoot through the breakpoint and handles a house shot oil puddle way better than other strong-ish shiny pearls I favor like the 900 Global ZEN and WOLVERINE DARK MOSS and Storm DARK CODE.
If you follow bowling, you know that the ALTERED REALITY is popular with a huge range of bowlers, and I’d recommend it for just about everyone. The only exception might be someone who doesn’t like to at least sometimes throw a ball with strong motion – if such people exist.
I wouldn’t recommend it for a fresh Sport shot, as a control ball would be better then. But once the lanes break down and you’re looking to open up the lane, the ALTERED REALITY would be a ball I’d try if there is oil to the inside.
I have not tried my ALTERED REALITY with rougher surface, but from what I have heard that does tame down the back-end motion and allow for smaller angles to be used, assuming there is enough oil.
The ALTERED REALITY reminds me of one of my all-time favorite balls from back in the day: the Storm PARADIGM, which I had a ton of success with, shot some big numbers with and used for years until it cracked when stupidly left in my trunk overnight in bitterly cold Wisconsin winter weather.