Playing slowpitch softball is one of the most enjoyable recreational sports that you can play with your family or friends. But even though it is played for fun most of the time, you still want to give yourself a competitive advantage whenever possible. With so many different brands of slowpitch softball bats, it can be overwhelming to decide which one is the best for you. We’ve taken a look at some of the best sellers and have analyzed both the good and bad ones. We will present to you some of the brands with the best slowpitch softball bat reviews for 2016 that are available to you.
What is a Slowpitch Softball Bat?
You may be wondering what the difference is among a slowpitch softball bat, a fastpitch softball bat and a regular baseball bat. The difference is in the technology of designing the bat. The length, weight and barrel diameter, among other features, are the main differences. Manufacturers have determined the size and weight that are optimal for hitting a slowpitch softball versus fastpitch, and have designed them accordingly.
The best slowpitch softball bat will have a 2 ¼” barrel diameter, and the length is generally around 34”. Of course, depending on your own height and strength, you may have to find one that is either smaller or larger than the standard size. The weight of the bat is usually between 26-30 ounces. Most of them are made from aluminum, but you can find them in composite or wood material as well. The most important thing to consider is whether you are playing in a league that follows certain regulations. You have to make sure that the bat you purchase complies with those regulations, but you will usually be able to easily find out that information by a quick online search or by looking on the bat itself.
Types of Slowpitch Softball Bats
The casual slowpitch softball player may not realize that there are differences in the construction of the bats. Here is where we are going to get a little technical with you, but it will help you understand the technology in the types of bats a little better, and you’ll understand why some of the slowpitch softball bat reviews are better than others.
Aluminum, Composite or Hybrid
Aluminum bats are by far the most popular, and are arguably the best slowpitch softball bats. Aluminum is generally thinner than other materials, so the bat will be much more responsive when it strikes the ball. Composite bats can be made from a carbon fiber, fiberglass and graphite mixture. These are generally a little lighter and can be a stronger bat, which is why some leagues will not allow them since they give an unfair advantage. Hybrid bats are popular because they can have an aluminum barrel with a composite handle. This makes the handle lighter so it’s easier to swing and can give you more power.
One-Piece or Two-Pieces
Stronger slowpitch softball players generally prefer one-piece softball bats. The bats are made of the same material throughout the entire bat, meaning that it is going to be more stable when you swing. Two-piece bats, on the other hand, are made of two types of material. This means that they will be more flexible and the ball will bounce off the bat at a quicker pace, making it a popular choice amongst people who don’t swing as hard.
Single or Multi-Wall?
Think of a slowpitch softball bat as a trampoline. The more spring action that you have, the farther the ball will travel when it strikes that bat. That is why bats designed with two or more walls are generally preferred over a single wall. You may not be able to tell the difference just by holding or swinging the bat, but you definitely will when you hit the ball!
What to Look For in a Slowpitch Softball Bat
When searching for a quality slowpitch softball bat, it’s best to keep it simple. The features that we mentioned are really the most important to consider, so just read some of the best slowpitch softball reviews to see what other people are saying. The best thing you can do is actually try a bat. Some stores have demos that you can swing and maybe even hit some balls off of a tee in order to get a good feel for it.
You might also want to try a friend’s bat to see how you like it. Just because someone loves a particular bat doesn’t mean that it’s best for you. That’s why you can’t always go by what you read online, whether it’s negative or positive.
You can look at the construction of the bat all you want, but if it’s too light or too heavy for you, then you aren’t going to like it. Start by trying out different bats to determine the proper length and weight that you need. Once that’s decided, then you can narrow down the options based on that as you look into the materials and type of construction and go from there.
Top Reviews for 2018 Slowpitch Softball Bats
After analyzing dozens of bats, we have narrowed them down and will now provide you with the best slowpitch softball bat reviews for 2016:
1. DeMarini 2015 the ONE Slowpitch Bat
Once you get this bat going, you’ll be amazed at how much pop it has. It’s recommended to get about 300 hits in before it reaches its full potential, so you’ll have to be a little patient with it for a while. It’s a 34” composite bat with a SC4 alloy handle that’s approved for play by NSA, ASA, ISA and USSSA. The sweet spot is large enough to where you don’t have to hit it perfectly every time to really get a hold of one. Combine all that with a flawless graphic design and this is a slick bat that anyone will enjoy.
2. 2015 Louisville Slugger Vapor Slowpitch Softball Bat
Louisville Slugger is always going to be a popular brand of bat, and this model is no exception. It has a 12” barrel and a total length of 34”. Like other bats, this one will take 200-300 swings to get it broken in where you’ll get the maximum power out of it. It’s approved by ISA, ISF, NSA, USSSA and ASA. You can get the bat in a weight as low as 26 ounces, so it’s great to use for co-ed teams as well!
3. Worth Mayhem Wood Maple/Bamboo SBMWMB Slowpitch Softball Bat
Wooden bats aren’t too common anymore, but when you find a good one, it can be just as powerful as aluminum bats. This particular bat is 34” long and weighs 28 ounces. It is ASA approved, but it isn’t stamped with any certain logo, so keep that in mind if you’re using it in a league or tournament that requires it. It seems like the smoother you swing, the quicker the ball pops off the bat and makes a solid cracking sound. It’s a durable bat that will last a long time, especially if you just take smooth and easy swings and not worry about trying to hit the ball out of the park every time.
4. Miken IZZY Psycho Supermax One Piece USSSA Slowpitch Bat
If you’re looking for a bat that’s ready to pop right out of the wrapper, then you may not find a better one than this. What makes it so great is the high pressure infusion and quality materials that it’s made from to give you the best performance and durability with every swing. It’s made from aerospace grade fiber, which will sometimes make you think that the bat is illegal with how much pop it has. But it is approved for play in ISA, NSA and USSSA leagues. Overall, this bat has some of the best slowpitch softball bat reviews out there!
5. Louisville Slugger SBSN15U Sonic Softball Bat
There isn’t anything fancy or special about this bat, but that might be what makes it so good. It is 34” in length, has a 12” barrel and has a 100% composite design. You have to be sure and break it in by taking a couple hundred hits with it before you see what it’s really made of. The one thing that’s tough to get used to is the sound it makes, even on solid contact with the ball. Once you find the sweet spot, though, that sound will be music to your ears because you know you made solid contact.
Factors to Consider
It is important to choose a bat according to your personal preference and skill. Not all of us can handle these bats with ease and power. Below are some of the factors to consider when deciding which slow pitch softball bat to buy.
Some players prefer heavier bats or those bats with an end-load. These types of bats are heavier on the handle which others like as it gives them more power. Likewise, others prefer lightweight and balanced bats especially if they are after bat speed. Different bats can have an effect on your performance so you must buy according to your desired power.
Do you prefer a one-piece or two-piece softball bat? Whilst they use similar materials, one-piece bats are stiffer which power-hitters like. These bats are sturdy and have lesser flex than two-piece bats. While in two-piece bat, the barrel is separated from the handle which makes it flex, creating a trampoline effect at the point of contact.
Are you comfortable to use bats made from alloy or composite? How about wood or hybrid? In general, alloy bats have thinner barrel walls while composite bats usually contain a mixture of carbon fiber, fiberglass and graphite. Composite bats are quite expensive but these bats are sturdier and stay longer.
Hybrid bats, on the other hand, are a combination of an alloy barrel attached to a composite handle. Wood bats are common as well and usually, they use bamboo, maple wood or ash. If you prefer to swing for distance, choose bats with a larger barrel diameter while a narrow barrel diameter is the best for infield hits.
- LEAGUE APPROVAL
Every league is different and they have different requirements and certifications for bats. The USSSA and ASA are responsible for making sure that all bats passed the standards set by the industry. Likewise, each league has their own set of rules so it is best to check their website for more information.
Check and understand the requirements of your league to avoid problems and issues. Each has strict rules and guidelines when it comes to bat specifications. If you buying a used bat or an old bat, make sure that it has no cracks or damaged. Most associations do not allow these bats.
Fastpitch and slowpitch bats have similarities. Yet there are a few specific things to look for in a slowpitch softball bat:
- Length – In general, the length of slowpitch bat is 34” however, there are smaller in size. The length of the barrel usually varies from 12 to 14 inches. Strong hitters prefer shorter lengths while speed hitter like longer lengths.
- Weight – Whilst every model has the same length, you have the option to choose the bat’s weight. Normally, it ranges between 26-30 ounces. Power hitter and stronger players would opt for heavier types and models.
- Swing distribution – Relative to weight, swing distribution refers to end-loaded and balanced bat. End loaded weighted a little more on its end cap thus, giving you more power in the swing. But, balanced bats have a consistent and faster type of swing that suits contact hitter.
Finding the best slowpitch softball bat doesn’t have to be a complicated process. It can be easy to overthink since there are so many options available to you, and with different kinds of construction. The main thing to remember is that you have to be comfortable every time you swing the bat. Otherwise, you won’t feel comfortable when you’re standing in the batter’s box. Understanding the basic knowledge that we presented to you in this guide is really all you need to know when selecting the best slowpitch softball bat. Read some of the best slowpitch softball bat reviews and you’ll be ready to make your purchase and start playing!