Fastpitch Softball Bats Review
Fastpitch Softball Bats Review
Prior to diving into the review of good fastpitch softball bats, it’s crucial to make out the main kinds of bats, as there is a multitude of them.
For a start, softball and baseball bats are different. By visual comparison baseball bats are definitely shorter and fatter than softball ones. When you lift both, you inevitably understand that baseball bats are heavy-weight. So bear in mind - softball bats are longer, skinnier, and light-weight. There’s an exception, though. Little league bats don’t have such distinction, as well as youth sports bats. They are, however, shorter and lighter than adult versions, but are just as thick as adult softball bats.
Moving on to the categories of softball, it’s important to mark the differences as well. Slowpitch bats are normally heavier, with longer handles to grip. Fastpitch bats, on their turn, are way much lighter, with longer barrels to provide more hitting area to make inside pitches.
Is it really essential to possess a specific equipment for a game? Actually, it depends. If you’re a player within an organized league, your options get really limited by the set of rules and game type. It turns out that you’re boxed in. And, if you’re in a pickup game, you have to know that your bat can be broken as easy as one-two-three.
When we compare the strength of baseball and softball bats, we cannot but mention that baseball bat can turn into a softball bat and come through the game without a single damage. Still, this magic turn-out doesn’t work vice-versa. As bats for softball weigh less and are a bit skinnier they can get ruined in a baseball game. And even in softball there’s a risk of destroying your fastpitch bat if you use it for a slowpitch game. If you still want to mix it up, choose a baseball bat first, or use a slowpitch bat for a fastpitch game. But you’d better save the best fastpitch softball bats for the game they were intended for.
Complete guide on selecting a softball bat
Material: Aluminium or its alloys are the main material for bats, together with fancy fibers composites. These include graphite, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and kevlar. Check with your league whether you have any restrictions on the material. If no, go for composite bats first. They live longer, and the majority of hitters prefer them and note better performance with them than with aluminium or alloy bats.
Construction: Bats can either be unbroken or consist of two individual pieces. When we talk about two-pieces bats, they typically have separate handles and barrels. Sometimes, however, there may be a separate cap or even some connecting piece between the handle and barrel. As for hitters, they can be made a whole, but in fact, two-pieces hitters are more popular because of the improved performance and decreased vibration.
If you haven’t got any preferred length yet, the best option would be to swing a
couple of different bats around to get their real feel. Longer bats give you greater reach, but they’re heavier. Hence, there’s no need to grab a long bat because it’s hevy weight will finally slows down your swing. All fastpitch bats are usually 26”-34”, and 32”-33” bats are the most popular choice and common with adults.
To clearly define the optimal weight for your flawless bat, start with thinking about your size and strength. No wonder that smaller players usually prefer lighter bats. But heavier bats are great as well. Since they empower your hit, but only if you have a truly fast swing and an extremely good control over them.
Most manufacturers usually provide sizing charts that help you choose optimal bat length and weight according to your size. You can first try the recommended ones, and then test those that seem a bit odd - longer, shorter, heavier, and lighter. Ask your friends or teammates to practice with their bats to feel them as well.
The Drop is an important metric that signifies the difference between a bat’s length and weight. The number is always negative, and is very easy to calculate. This way, a bat of 33” and 25 ounces results into the drop of -8. The closer the drop is to 0, the heavier the bat is. As a rule, fastpitch softball bats are somewhere in between -8 and -13, and the ones with -8 are heavier.
Know Your Regulations and Governing Bodies
The point is that the type of league you plan to play in actually doesn’t matter a lot. Because anyhow every regulated play has strict recommendations on the bat choice. So the utmost thing for you to do is finding out and carefully checking those regulations. Every softball association has its own requirements to bats with an appropriate approval. You may need the approval of ASA or other softball organization in charge. The next step would be to check whether your league has some specific regulations as well.
ASA is the most well-known, but there are 4 other organizations, just as important: USSSA, ISA, NSA, and (ISF).
Best of 2018
Here is our list of the top rated fastpitch softball bats for the ongoing 2018. All of them are manufactured of composites and based on technologies preventing damage from hit contact. The majority of them have a two-pieces construction and usually they are approved by the above 5 sports organizations and associations.
- Louisville Slugger LXT – It’s constructed with three pieces - a handle, barrel and cap are manufactured separately. There options with -8 to -11 drop according to your choice.
- DeMarini CFX – This bat can boast having ASA, ISF, and NVAA approvals. But it still lacks USSSA and NSA stamps. The options with -9 and -10 drop are available, and the -11 drop will be coming in soon.
- Louisville Slugger Xeno – A two-piece bat that in -8 or -10 drop variants.
- Easton Stealth Flex – The bat claims to be among the lightest ones on the list, the drop is -10 to -12. Small players will absolutely love this bat with its small diameter handle.
- Louisville Slugger PXT – A three-piece bat with the drop of -8, -9, and -10.
- Mizuno Silhouette – This is the only variant of the one-piece bats on our top list. The bat is available in -10 and -13 drop.
What is the Best Fastpitch Softball Bat
If it was necessary to choose the only one best fastpitch softball bat, we’d go away with the Louisville Slugger LXT. The great brand and manufacturing technology are amazing, so Slugger LXT would win our hearts for sure. The bat is made of three pieces, and provides an impressive swing speed thanks to a new lightweight cap, actually, the biggest in the Louisville’s 2018 lineup.