A bowling ball that remains available for 4 or 5 years now is a rare breed. But this Roto Grip line has been around that long and all the balls are still available at the time of this writing. I have never used the wrecker, but I own the Wreck-It, and the Wreck-Em from the Roto Grip Wrecker series.
My experience with the Wreck-It is a kind of love – hate relationship. When it works well it is a great ball, but the problem was, it didn’t happen for me until I decided to polish it. However, that’s a story for later in this review. Let’s start with looking at the Wrecker, Wreck-It and Wreck-Em side by side in a comparison chart.
Balls in the Roto Grip Wrecker Series
The Roto Grip Wrecker
This is the factory shined hybrid reactive Coverstock that started the HP2 Wrecker line. The success of this ball lead to the release of the Wreck-It and Wrecker-Em. The difference in all three balls is not really that great. It is mostly a change in Coverstocks using the Neutron core in all three.
In most reviews the biggest complaint about the Wrecker was that it got too snappy at times. Then, the Wreck-It was introduced. It gave a smoother roll and more controlled hook, but was still a bit angular. Along came the Wreck- Em Pearl and it went a bit longer and finished smoother.
Ball Maintenance Guide for the Wrecker
- Use a clean, dry Storm microfiber towel during competition
- At the end of the session, use Storm Reacta Clean and spray liberally over the entire surface of the ball
- Rub your hands over the surface of the ball in a scrubbing motion for 15-20 seconds
- Towel off the ball until dry (I use a sponge rather than use my hands)
- Every 10 Games – Re-polish surface with Storm Reacta Shine
- After 30 Games – Scuff surface with Abralon and re-polish with Storm Reacta Shine
- Every 60 Games Ball is due for full resurface process.
Roto Grip Wreck-It
Since I never used a Roto Grip Wrecker, I couldn’t comment on the performance from my own experience. Fortunately, I had the chance to see the ball in action on the oil pattern at our lanes. I liked what I saw when I watched my bowling league partner throwing the Wreck-It. Whenever I get to see how the ball behaves on the league oil pattern, I can determine if I might want the ball. It looked like a nice smooth arcing ball. He was pleasantly surprised by the way the ball performed as well. So, I got one.
A few others who had purchased the ball were saying the Wreck-it could handle a bit more oil. My intentions were to play slightly inside the 12 board to the 10 and get the action I wanted. As long as the oil was there it was fine, but after the oil got burned up I had issues. It just seemed a bit snappy for me.
Making the adjustment when the pattern broke down was a challenge from day one. Because the ball was just a bit to angular for me, I would try to change hand positions to correct it. Then, it finished differently at times because of it. Trying to get the ball to finish correctly was near impossible for me. It felt to me like “walking a fence rail”, with a very tight line. I was trying to guess where the ball would finish more often than not.
I decided to try some polish on the ball. The control improved considerably. The ball went longer but still came back with authority. If you are having issues with this ball, try some polish. That is a plus with this ball, you can polish or sand it, so you have options.
One thing I did like about the wreck-it, it did seem to handle oil a bit better. I am bowling on a medium to light oil shot, so a heavier oil pattern might be different. I can play the medium oil inside a bit more and the ball will come back to the pocket nicely. That was my original intention.
Ball Maintenance Guide for the Wreck-It
Maintenance is similar to the Wrecker, however note these changes.
Roto Grip® recommends using the suggested cleaner/polish daily. In addition, Roto Grip also recommends touching up the surface with only the final step every 20 games and resurfacing completely every 60-80 games.
Resurfacing Instructions Provided by Roto Grip
Roto Grip Wreck-em
The Wreck-Em is the first Pearl Coverstock in this line of Roto Grip bowling balls. All three balls use the same solid neutron core from the Wrecker line. The surface is referred to as the “Pumped Pearl” cover also used on the Hustle line as well.
This ball is expected to go longer on the lane. It stores up energy and produces a strong roll and potent back-end reaction. It delivers a smoother and controlled action line, both on the mid-lanes and back-end.
I have also found it to be a smooth ball to throw straight down and in. Or, swing it some and the ball reacts smoothly to the pocket every time.
It is a medium to dry condition I play on, so throwing 12 board out to 8-10 worked well for me. I also played 9 board straight as well. It is still a strong finishing ball on the back-ends.
My layout is pin over at 1 o’clock to the ring finger. This drill gives me controllable hook and the wreck-Em delivers some length on the lanes. I have been told that pearl balls may slightly differ in reaction from one to the other. Apparently it is likely to get some difference in the way the pearl is distributed from ball to ball.
However, the pearls are easier for me to make the adjustment later, when the oil breaks down. Over the years, they have been balls that have worked well for me. So far this ball is no exception. As long as I get it out on the lane, life is good. If you haven’t tried a pearl cover ball yet, maybe it’s time you did.
Ball Maintenance Guide for the Wreck-Em
Roto Grip recommends using a Micro Fiber Shammy during competition and cleaning your ball immediately after play. This will help prevent oil from soaking deeply into the cover. To keep your ball performing like a brand new factory ball, this is the sequence and products to do the job.
They recommend Storm Reacta Foam rubbed into the ball for 20 seconds, and then towel the ball dry.
Every 10 games, they recommend for polished balls, shining the surface with Storm Reacta Shine.
Every 10 games For dull balls scuffing the surface with Abralon pads to original surface grit.
For polished balls, every 30 games scuff with Abralon pads and polish with the Storm Reacta Shine.
After 60 games you are due for a resurface of the ball. If you have a ball spinner, follow the resurface instructions above.
If you want to increase the games between refinishing, I strongly recommend you try using some heat to sweat the oil from your ball. Bowling Ball Rejuvenator.
The Weck-It and Wreck-Em are the latest additions to my bag and so far I am pleased with them. I admit the Wreck-It was a bit touchy out of the box, but much better with some polish. If you are looking for another ball, here is a line that is still around.
I hope you found this article useful, and if you have any questions or comments, please leave them below.
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4 thoughts on “The Roto Grip Wrecker Series”
My pro shop recommended to remove the shine from my wreck-em due to the oil pattern.I use a 500 grit Abralon pad every other week after I finish bowling.After each session I use Storm Reacta Shine.What is your opinion?
If I wanted to return to the gloss the ball had when I received it what do you recommend? Other than that the ball reacts great to the oil pattern and my scores have improved.
I found my Wreck-em worked much better with the dull surface. I use wet/dry sandpaper(it’s cheaper!), and get 4 uses when I tear the paper in half twice(quartered). I fold the quarter in half and do 4 turns(15 seconds each) on my spinner, dipping the paper in water and wet sand the ball with light to med pressure maybe after 15-30 games(or after 10 games if necessary). I use the top of the paper folded and turn it to the bottom on the next turn.Then I flip the folded quarter over and use the fresh side for the last two turns. The idea is to have fresh grit on each turn, then I know exactly what I am getting in #grit. I only use enough pressure to get the job done.
Depending on lane conditions, It could be 1000 grit, to 2000 grit or anywhere in between that I get the best results. That took that snap out and made the ball more controllable for me. I don’t use the Reacta shine,partly because my surface is not as aggressive as 500grit, and it would be(kinda mostly) defeating the purpose of dulling the surface. But, yes that is another option and your choice! And it is a factory method as well.
The problem I personally have with the Abralon pads is #they are expensive, and #after you use them once, you don’t know for sure what grit you are getting? It may be 500, 800 or 1000, depending how worn the pad is. That’s me, and just my opinion.
If I want to return the shine, then I follow what the factory recommends for resurface. (I use 4 turns, not 6) and if the surface is being done regularly with 500, then I use just the last two steps..4 turns with 1000 grit then 4 at 1500 or 2000, whatever grit I want the final finish to be, then 4 turns of polish with Ebonite factory finish polish.Some use Finesse polish.It’s all a matter of what you prefer to use. Mostly, I don’t use the polish step, just use it dull.
I read in factory specs that the 500 grit is to remove scratches and round up the ball. So, that step is done as required if necessary like a complete refinish after 90-100 games.I rarely do a complete refinish, maybe after 200-300 games, or an entire season.By then I am looking at the latest balls again.
So, that being said, if your ball is working well, then don’t change a thing!
I personally don’t like to take any more surface off these newer balls, than I absolutely have too! But, it needs touched up more often when I do that! (I hope that makes sense) and others have and will continue to disagree, but that is my choice, not theirs! Opinions are like butt-holes, everyone has one! LOL Hope that helps, and good luck!
Thanks for the super in depth review.
Just wondering if these balls come in different weights and if so how do you find the weights change the ball action?
I haven’t ever owned my own ball but I am thinking it is something I would like to get rather than using the lane balls as I start to bowl more often.
The balls come in different weights. The high performance balls are usually offered in 10 or 12 lbs up to 16lbs. They offer lighter balls as well for kids in 6 to 8 lbs. The lighter the ball the less they carry. The pin weight causes the lighter balls to deflect more and reduces the impact on the pins. Simply, the lighter balls don’t cause the pin to move as far as say a 16 lb ball would.When you get your own ball and shoes, your scores will improve as well. Good luck on your bowling!