When choosing to invest in a slow pitch softball bat (sometimes called “sticks”), there’s a lot of things that you might like to consider… bat material, length, weight, weight distribution, and grip. You then need to correlate these items for your build and preferences because unfortunately slow pitch bats usually are not always one-size-fits-all. Let’s go into the important points to determine if we can help demystify the process.
Slow pitch bats come basically in two unique materials, composite or metal. There are positives and negatives to each, however the majority of companies have moved most of their business to employing the composite materials for slow pitch softball. Normally the composites are usually the better alternative due to their durability, capability to perform in colder climates, along with the innovations in composite technology.
When it comes to slow pitch softball, almost all the sticks come in a 34-inch size which is the greatest length allowed by league policies. Nearly all slow pitch players don’t need to be concerned in regards to smaller bat length unless you are really small and/or not heavy enough to swing the 34-inch. If that is the situation, the player may possibly consider choking up on the handle to essentially decrease the swing length.
Typically bat weights vary from 26 ounces to 30 ounces, but you may find some that exceed these regular ranges. The primary principle behind bat weight is that if the ball player is able to maintain a constant swing speed when utilizing both a light and heavy bat, then the batted-ball speed shall be highest for the heavier bat. The best results are obtained by swinging a heavier bat quicker, but it is something which most average players cannot do and still keep control over the bat while swinging it. If you must choose, we’d encourage employing a lighter weight bat due to the fact that swing speed in slow pitch is likely to rule a great deal more than bat weight for the reason that high swing speed is really what will flex the walls of the bat at ball-impact, thus enhancing the trampoline effect from the bat wall.
Note: For a reference point, I’m 5′ 11″ and 195 pounds. My greatest performance comes from using a 26 ounce bat. I have tried out bats up to 28 ounce, but those all frequently decrease my swing speed further than the gain produced with the heavier bat.
Bats for slow pitch softball can be bought in two distinctive weight distributions: balanced and end-loaded. These variations in weight distribution can lead to the sense of a light-weight or heavy swing weight of the bat. To get a little bit nerdy for you, it truly comes down to the location of the balance point (or center-of-mass) and the moment-of-inertia. Basically, the idea here is that the way the bat weight is distributed along the length of the bat can affect bat swing speed just as significantly as the varying overall bat weights. The nearer the bat’s balance point is to the handle, the simpler it can be to swing and manage the bat barrel.
Look at two bats that are identical in length and have a 26-ounce weight. If you pick them up and swing them, you are able to undoubtedly distinguish the swing feel between the two. Bat 1 has a balance point that’s 23 inches from the handle and Bat 2 has a balance point of 20.5 inches from the end of the handle. Bat 1 will have a much bigger moment of inertia (i.e. hit harder) than Bat 2 should they be swung with the same exact bat speed. However, as stated previously, the bat with the weight nearer to the handle is a lot easier to swing and control. The bat using the weight farther from the handle is more tricky to control and likely to lower your bat swing speed a result of the bigger moment of inertia. Let us reiterate here that bat speed governs in slow pitch because the high bat speed creates the trampoline effect of your bat walls when it strikes the softball.
There you have it, if you are a big bruiser and bintang4dp can swing an end-loaded bat fast and with excellent control, then that’s the weight distribution for you. The majority of slow pitch players cannot do that and need to work with a balanced bat that should provide them maximum performance. Personally I favor a balanced bat.
The grip bats usually come in are leather or synthetic leather. Occasionally grips can come with cushioning to absorb shock. Grip selection tends not to be considered a factor in bat selection, especially given that if you don’t like the grip you could change it out with a different one.