Buying a bat for softball can be overwhelming without following these tips.
Buying a bat for softball can be overwhelming without following these tips.Photo by John Torcasio on Unsplash

How to Choose a Slowpitch Softball Bat Buying Guide

Factors to consider are grip, barrel size, weight, material and more.

Do you play slowpitch softball? You will need to get yourself a slowpitch softball bat for the game. Purchasing the bat can be an overwhelming process, especially if you are a first-time buyer and don't know what to look for. In most cases, choosing a slowpitch softball bat depends on personal preferences. There are no set guidelines or charts to follow.

But that doesn't mean you should pick any slowpitch softball bat. There are few factors to consider in choosing the perfect bat, and you should make sure to read up on recent softball bat reviews too. Some users will want heavier bats with more power, while others need lighter ones that move with speed. You can get a composite one, which has improved performance, but it's never allowed in most leagues.

Here are some factors to consider when choosing a slowpitch softball bat.

1. Grip

The grip of the softball bat refers to the holding area between the knob and the taper. An ideal bat should have a grip ranging from 10 to 15 inches to provide a maximum and comfortable holding space.

Most softball bats grips are covered with leather, rubber, or synthetic leather materials. While rubber is a good shock-absorbent, synthetic leather or plain leather provides a good grip on your bat. You should choose materials you are comfortable with.

There are also different types of sprays you can buy and use to improve the grip of your bat.

2. Barrel size

Another factor to consider when choosing your snowball softball bat is the barrel diameter. The barrel diameter is the smooth and curvy part that comes into contact with the pitch. Most bats have a diameter of 2 ¼ inches, while the length can vary from 12 to 14 inches.

If you prefer strong hitting, you can go for the shorter barrels, with the larger ones suited for speed hitting. Here, it all depends on personal choice and comfortability. It is important to test the bat by giving it a few swings before making the final purchase.

3. Weight

You will want a snowball softball bat that weighs comfortably in your hands. Weight plays a crucial role in choosing the bats since they come in different masses. Most bats available in the market weigh from 26oz to 30oz, with the majority being 26oz, 27oz, 28oz, and 30oz. It's rare to find one weighing 29oz.

Snowball softball bats come with two types of weight distribution. There is the end-loaded and the balanced weight distribution. In end-load weight distribution, more weight is focused at the end of the bat, while in balanced distribution, the weight is evenly distributed on the bat.

Choosing a heavier bat will mean playing with vigor and will get you larger hits, while on a lighter bat, you will achieve greater speeds on your hits. It is advisable to go for a heavier bat since you might not get it right when it comes to speed.

4. Material

Snowball softball bats are made of different types of materials. These include wood, composite, aluminum, alloy, and composite. Each material is priced differently, and it's your budget that will determine the kind of bat to buy, depending on its material.

Most users recommend buying bats made of composite material. The composite material comprises carbon fiber, fiberglass, and graphite which makes the bats sturdy. However, such bats tend to break easily, thus less durable. Another disadvantage is that they are expensive.

Most individuals know about wooden bats. Most manufacturers will use bamboo, ash, maple, or composite wood to manufacture wooden bats. Bamboo bats are stronger and last longer, with ash bats being softer with more flexibility but less durable. Maple bats are the perfect choice for big-hitting batters because they are stiffer.

Aluminum or metallic bats are much stronger, durable, and light in weight. Also, they cost less and do not break easily as compared to composite bats. Most metallic bats are reinforced with carbon fiber.

You can also get bats made up of a combination of two or more materials. For instance, you can get one with an alloy barrel but with a composite material handle. This two-piece design bat offers less vibration with more flexibility.

5. Bat taper

The taper part refers to the smooth, transitional area that connects the bats handle to the barrel. Its diameter or length can measure 31/32nds of an inch. You should choose a narrow tapper if you want to swing your wrist to a greater extent.

6. Length

Most manufacturers make bats with a uniform length of 34 inches. This means you will only get different varieties of bats having the same length.

The above factors will significantly help you choose the best snowball softball bat to match your preferences. Remember also to set a considerable budget to get a bat that will last longer and improve your play.

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