Softball Bat Review: Easton L4.0 Raw Power Slow Pitch Softball Bat

Easton L4 slow pitch softball batThe most recent bats to come out of the Easton Hit Lab in Van Nuys, California are the Easton Raw Power slow pitch softball bats. This series comes in balanced and end load, ASA and USSSA 1.20.

The Brett Helmer Signature Easton L4.0 Raw Power Slow Pitch Softball bat has been one of the most looked forward to end loaded, single piece bat to come on the market. It is a one piece, 100% composite with a 12 inch barrel bat with a 1 ounce end load.  The Easton L4.0 has been approved for ISF and the latest ASA Softball Bat standard.

The SIC Black Carbon composite fiber material in the handle is Easton’s exclusive.  This gives the L4.0 Raw Power Softball Bat an even, virtually vibration free feel when you hit the ball. The barrel is Easton’s IMX composite.

The Easton L4.0 is very different from the L6.0.  The older IMX composite is used in the L6.0.  The latest SIC Black Carbon in used in the Easton L4.0 Raw Power Slow Pitch Softball Bat giving it an “improved feel.”

The first thing I noticed about the Easton L4.0, was the grip tape being used on the newer Easton Raw Power softball bats. This thin gauze grip tape is like athletic tape and there is no cushion.  It won’t be necessary to regrip this bat with athletic tape.

The Easton L4.0 Brett Helmer signature has the same even feel as every Easton slow pitch softball bat. The bat didn’t vibrate excessively when I missed the sweet spot and hit the ball nearer to the taper. The Black Carbon in the handle of the Easton L4.0 makes the bat even and forgiving. The bat has a good weight distribution for an end load, and doesn’t feel heavy.

This L4.0 Raw Power bat is as stiff as you can get.  The pop is huge when you hit the sweet spot because of the 12 inch barrel. The Easton L4.0 Raw Power Slow Pitch Softball Bat is equal to the other renowned Easton softball bats.

The Bret Helmer Signature Easton L4.0 Raw Power Bat is the best option for the feel of an end loaded softball bat and the solidity of a one piece bat.

This outstanding Easton L4.0 Raw Power Slow Pitch Softball Bat is offered at a very good price.

Rip-It Manufacturer Spotlight

Rip-It Sweet SpotRip-It is one of the most promising of the crop of new companies to enter the lucrative slow pitch softball market. The company was founded in 2003, but it wasn’t until recently that they have really picked up a loyal and growing market of baseball and softball bats devotee. The company is based out of Orlando, Florida and was originally known as the company that created the smaller and more comfortable face masks for infielders before branching out to bats.

Rip-It face masks became an instant hit because their brand was used by those in little leagues where masks were required for all batters, as well as slow pitch softball leagues that required masks for catchers.  Their masks are also used by pitchers who wanted to protect themselves. As the company began to get more popular, they moved out of a small garage into a large warehouse where they can stock up on more of their products. This meant faster and better customer service.

Rip-It produces softball and baseball bats for most leagues including senior and high school baseball, slow pitch and fast pitch softball and other leagues. One of the most popular Rip-It models is the Prototype. The Prototype series features various models for different league types. It is manufactured with a one-piece fully composite material and is slightly end loaded to enhance a hitters power swing. One of the things the Rip-It brand is known for is it has an enlarged sweet spot that nearly covers the entire barrel and is made to reduce vibrations in the swing with a raised ridge dampening grip.

The Rip-It name is one that will continue to grow in the baseball and softball equipment business and one that will only see its reputation grow with each line of new products.

Drop us a question or comment on our blog!


Baseball Bats Evolution – From Simple to High Tech

Baseball Bats EvolutionBaseball bats date back to the days of Rounders and of course, Town ball. Town ball is one of the oldest games from which the current “national game” of baseball evolved as early as the late 18th century. The ball was hit by a four-inch flat bat with a tapered handle that could be firmly gripped for control and leverage. By the mid-1800’s numerous changes in all aspects of the game had been made and the players were each responsible for selecting baseball bats for themselves.

One of the first baseball games played was in June of 1846 in Hoboken New Jersey included 9 innings, 9 players on each team, and 3 outs per side. However, because players made their own bats, many different styles and sizes were used. Right around this time wagon tongue wood was predominately used and players were realizing that a round bat hit a ball much more solidly. The first bat limitation was voted on until 1859 when bat size was determined to be no larger than 2 ½ inches in diameter.  From there the baseball bat length rule was adopted in 1869 (no more than 42 inches) and over the next century and a half the baseball bat has been reshaped, reconstructed, restricted and recertified (see BBCOR video).

Today there are big differences between a softball bat and a baseball bat. Should you use a softball bat to play baseball, or a baseball bat to play softball?

The most obvious difference between  youth batssoftball bats, and baseball bats is length. 

The length of the bat used for adult baseball, adult slow-pitch softball, and youth baseball/softball will vary in length:

–       Baseball – 33″

–       Softball – 34″

–       Youth – 30”

The next significant difference is the bat weight

The primary reason for the range of available weights is that the speed with which a player can swing a bat is often related to weight. However, not all bats that weigh the same swing the same.  This has to do with something called the moment-of-inertia which is the physics of a bat swing, taking into account the center-of-mass and the rotation of the bat which together strongly determine the bat swing speed.

Barrel diameters differ too

Bat profiles, or barrel diameters differ between baseball, softball and youth bats. The barrels of baseball bats are fatter than those of softball bats and can be up to 2.75”.  Adult softball bats (both slow- and fast-pitch) are narrower, with diameters of only 2-1/4″. Youth bats have the same diameter as adult slow-pitch bats.

Understanding the differences between bats, deciding on the right kind of bat and buying the right bat for yourself or your child might seem a daunting task if you are new to the game. One thing to keep in mind is at the youth level, there is no difference in bats for softball and baseball. Another thing is the right bat feels right so trust your gut.

However, at the adult level, baseball and softball bats are designed to match their respective games.  You could use a baseball bat to play softball, as long as you adjusted to the slightly shorter total length, and the heavier weight. The performance would be about the same as using an older lower performance softball bat.

Using a softball bat to play baseball would most likely result in cracking or breaking your bat. Softball bats are not designed to withstand the forces resulting from an impact with a baseball.

The same would be true of using a fast-pitch softball bat in a slow-pitch game; the performance might be really good and the ball might come off the bat faster, but you would most likely damage your fast-pitch bat.

You could use a slow-pitch bat in a fast-pitch softball game without damaging it but the larger weight (actually, larger moment-of-inertia) makes the slow-pitch bat more difficult to swing quickly and you would probably not hit as well.

You don’t want to make a bad decision and waste your money on a bat that doesn’t serve your purpose. There are so many different bats on the market so when making a buying choice consider:

–       Which ones are best for your style of play?

–       Is this one right for your league?

–       What makes THE one worth the price?

When it comes to selecting the right bat for your league, your style, your young athlete, Composite Bats can make the process simpler. Drop us a comment if we can help!

Slow Pitch Softball Bats- Tips for Finding the Right One

Slowpitch softball batsSlow pitch softball isn’t as easy as those who don’t compete say it is. While the idea of hitting a large ball coming in at you in with a 12 foot arch seems easy, the sport, much like any other competitive sport, is as mental as anything else. One of the many things involved in the sport that can affect your ability to play is your softball bat. What are the most important things to consider when picking the right softball bat?

Pick a Weight and Stick to it

From season to season, you may find the need to move up or down in weight, but during the season, you should stick with the same size from start to finish. When you play on a fenced field, you might psyche yourself out and pick up a heavier bat to try to hit a home run, but if you were swinging a 28 oz. bat for three months and switch to a 30 oz. bat for this game, your swing won’t be right and your hand speed might will likely be off.

Slump or Success, Don’t Change Bats

The only time during the softball season that you should ever change your bat is if you play in multiple leagues that use different materials or if your bat breaks. If you find yourself in a 0-for-20 slump and can’t seem to hit the ball as well as you were previously, don’t blame the bat. There is something that has changed mechanically with your swing that can be corrected with batting practice and some good coaching.

Don’t Use a Bat Beyond Your Strength

One common problem that is seen on a lot of benches across the country is a smaller player trying to use a bat that their body won’t allow them to properly swing. If you are shorter than six feet and weigh about 150 pounds, you shouldn’t be swinging a bat heavier than 28 oz. The same doesn’t hold true for someone that is taller than six feet and weighs 225 pounds. Just because you are bigger doesn’t mean you can’t get a great swing with a 26 oz. bat. Hand speed is more important to slow pitch softball success than strength and this is evident when you see bigger athletes properly swinging a smaller bat.

Here is a great selection of slow pitch softballs bats

Slowpitch Softball Bats Design Differences

Slowpitch BaseballWhen baseball players decide to make the move to slowpitch softball, a lot of them think that you can use the same bats you used in high school. That is not the case. While baseball bats can realistically be used to play slowpitch softball, they aren’t made to hit the larger and softer ball. To get the most out of your swing, you need to swing the proper bat for the sport you play.

What is the difference between wooden bats for softball and baseball and why is it so important to use the right bat?

Barrel and Handle – One of the biggest differences between the wooden bats for softball or baseball is the barrel and handle. With wooden baseball bats, you are usually going to see a thicker handle that helps you grip better and propel your hands through the zone quicker. Getting the barrel of the bat through the zone quicker will give you more power. The handle on wooden softball bats is a lot thinner and this is something that the aluminum bat manufacturer Anderson has brought into their models. Some baseball players have had problems adjusting to the thinner handles on these bats, but the more you swing the models, the easier it will be for you to adjust and compensate.

Barrel Size – another difference between wooden softball and baseball bats is the barrel size. The barrel size for baseball players in high school and college is usually 2 5/8 inches. This gives you more meat on the bat to make contact on a regular basis. When it comes to playing softball, the barrel size you will often see is 2 ¼ inches. This is an adjustment that a lot of players struggle to adjust to. With a smaller barrel size, you have to be more accurate with your swing which is something that requires a bit on an adjustment in your swing.

What Not to Do – one thing you absolutely must avoid doing with your softball bat is hitting baseballs pitched overhand. Softball bats are not built to withstand the impact you get from baseballs and will crack rather quickly. The same can be said of fastpitch softball bats. These bats should not be used in slowpitch, as they will break. You can use slowpitch bats in fastpitch games, but they could be too difficult to swing for some.

Now you can see what makes slowpitch baseball bats special and when they are the right bat for your sport!

Choosing the right Softball Bat for League Play

Softball swingChoosing the right softball bat

Every athlete that has ever played the game of softball understands that there is a lot more to the game than simply hitting the ball with the bat. It requires a quality swing, proper form and excellent eye/hand coordination. This is the only way to achieve consistent hitting. Making that happen requires choosing the right softball bat. How can an individual choose the ideal bat that will have a dramatic positive impact on their game?

Selecting a bat that is too long, too short, is worn out, too lightweight or heavy, can all affect how well an athlete plays the game. The ideal bat will be the one that allows the player to increase the speed of their swing and hit, which will naturally improve their results.

Purchasing a new softball bat can be a real expense. Bats can range from $30 to well over $200. Many professional-grade composite bats are available, but these bats can cost over $400. Although it can be a significant outlay of money, a serious softball player should take the time to choose the right bat and consider the investment.

Sizing a Bat

Properly selecting the ideal size and weight of a bat for a player will require consideration of their height and weight. Additionally, it is important to consider the bat barrel’s size. The process is simple.

Start with the player’s weight and height. Look over the chart of available softball bats. Bat specifically designed for fast-pitch softball are manufactured in sizes that are generally one-quarter inch bigger in diameter than a softball bat designed for slow pitch. Typically, a standard slow pitch bat is 2-1/4” in diameter.

Easton Bat Sizing Chart

Choose the proper softball bat size based on the player’s specific weight and height. Usually, lightweight shorter players require a shorter bat. Overall, bat lengths typically range between 26” and 34” long.

The Best Material

Choosing the ideal softball bat often means selecting between available materials. Both fast pitch and soft pitch bats are crafted out of aluminum, mix metals and composites. Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages. Aluminum tends to dent easily during cold weather, and composite bats are substantially higher in price than other materials.

Choosing the right softball bat is an easy process by selecting the right diameter and length based on the player’s weight and height. Making the right choice can substantially improve the batting results of any player.

Picking out the Perfect Softball Bat

Woman's SoftballEvery softball player understands the main purpose of a quality softball bat – to safely reach first base. While swinging a bat might seem second nature to most athletes, picking out the perfect softball bat is an involved process. With recent advancements in technology, and the craftsmanship of using different materials and designs, the player has a lot of variety to select from.

There are bats made specifically to increase efficiency, along with bat speed. Most of these are made out of materials built for durability. Likely, it will be the athlete’s personal preference that will be the main component when reaching a decision. However, there are outside factors that can also play a part.

Making the Selection

Of the huge number of softball bats available, it is easy to spend far more than what has been budgeted. Softball bats are sold in a variety of price ranges from $20 or more, and well up into the hundreds of dollars for a single bat. Likely, the athlete will need to restrict their options in an effort to make the selection process easier.

The length of the bat that is ideal for the athlete is typically determined by their weight and height. Online websites usually offer a weight and height chart along with the suggested lengths for bats.

The player will need to make a few decisions, including the type of material used to manufacture the bat. They are offered in wood, composites of titanium/graphite, and aluminum. Aluminum bats tend to be significantly lighter than those manufactured out of wood. Traditionally, aluminum tends to be the most popular choice, probably based on its price.

Analyzing the Player’s Skills

Every athlete is different. Because of that, they will need to analyze exactly how they swing the bat. If they are a heavy hitter, swing for the fences, or involved in a fast pitch softball league, then a wider barrel will likely produce more quality results. However, if the athlete is interested more in generating single or double hits, then using a light bat of a standard diameter typically produces the desirable results.

Softball Bat ChartThe specific handle on the bat also plays a key factor in the decision process. Those that are crafted with a cushioned or rubber grip will usually reduce the amount of impact when the bat connects with the ball. Thin handle bats with leather grips tend to absorb less shock.

Picking out the perfect softball bat is a simple process of using the chart pictured, analyzing the athlete’s skills, and choosing one that has the perfect grip.

Have questions? Give us a shout on this blog and we will be happy to help!

2014 Rip It Bats Announced

2014 Rip It bats have hit the Internet, and will be on a baseball and softball field near you in the not to distant future.

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Rip It is introducing seven new baseball bats, and three new softball bats.

Many of the new 2014 Rip It bats share the new R2 composite, AIR Technology, Harmonic Barrels, and new comfort grips. Some of the bats on the lower end use the older, R1 technology alloy, used on previous Rip It bats.

Rip It continues to lead the bat industry with a 400 day warranty on all of their bats, and a 30 day money back guarantee.

400-day

love-it-heart

As soon as we have some demos, you can be sure we will put these new Rip It bats to the test. Rip It is an easy company to deal with, they just want people to be happy with their products, and they will stop at nothing to make sure that happens.

Combat Sports Bought By Bauer

It has just been announced that Combat has been purchased by Bauer.

Combat, a manufacturer of high end composite baseball bats and softball bats, after initial success with the Combat B1 youth bat and the Combat B2 youth baseball bat, suffered major financial losses as a result of the sudden rule change by Little League that effectively banned the use of several of Combat baseball bats.

At the time of the Little League composite bat rule change, Combat youth baseball bats were the most popular and best selling baseball bats for youth leagues. Combat made the decision to accept banned bats back from customers, a move that cost the company a fortune, but one that was looked upon in the baseball community as ‘doing the right thing’.

The purchase by such a dominant company in the hockey gear and lacrosse equipment world should give Combat the much needed funds and organization to once again compete with giants like Louisville Slugger, Easton and DeMarini.

Beware Of Too Good To Be True Baseball Bat And Softball Bat Prices

We have recently received several reports from people who got burned by scammers offering baseball bats and softball bats at too-good-to-be-true prices.

DO NOT BUY FROM THE FOLLOWING WEBSITES. THEY ARE CHINESE SCAMMERS WHO STEAL YOUR CREDIT CARD NUMBER.

baseballbatssale.net scam website.

baseballbatonsale.net scam website.

baseballbatsus.net scam website.

baseballbat.com scam website.

cheapbaseballbatssales.com scam website (Added January, 2014)

Rip Off China Bat

Here are a couple of the reports we have seen from victims of this scam.

“Hello I just wanted to let you know that the company listed above is scamming people for thousands of dollars…. I myself lost $600 to these scammers, including my sons hard earned money.. disgusting.!!..after some research the company is from CHINA…and are sending out plastic tee ball bats if anything….I reported them to BBB to review, but who knows how many innocent people are being taken….hopefully somebody can stop this..!
Thanks for your time… Ed”

_______________________________________________________

Hi, I just wanted to let you know that the site (baseballbatonssale.net) is ripping people off.
Jason.

_______________________________________________________

If you have been scammed by either of these websites, or if you know of another website doing this, please comment below to warn other people. Hopefully this post will get high enough in search engines so people can see it and be warned of the fraud happening on those two websites.

Please file a Ripoff Report, and help others avoid these sites.

More Rip Off Reports

http://www.ripoffreport.com/www-baseballbatsus-c/sporting-goods/internet-other-de611.htm

http://www.ripoffreport.com/www-baseballbatsus-n/sporting-goods/internet-internet-e1cd3.htm

http://www.ripoffreport.com/baseballbatsus-com-a/sporting-goods/internet-internet-00059.htm

http://www.ripoffreport.com/www-baseballbatsus-c/sporting-goods/bejing-nationwide-604e2.htm

2014 Louisville Slugger Z2000 Softball Bats – Slow Pitch Softball

The 2014 Louisville Slugger Z2000 Softball Bat has received durability improvements to address a small batch of softball bats that may have had production issues. Louisville Slugger will be releasing two new slowpitch softball bats in the second quarter of 2013, but the 2014 Z2000 has been the most anticipated model so far.

The 2014 Louisville Slugger Z2000 is essentially unchanged for 2014, with the exception of improvements in production to be able to produce more bats and address a small concern with a limited number of 2013 Z2000 softball bats regarding durability that did not meet Louisville Slugger’s rigid quality standards.

There are four different 2014 Z2000 softball bat versions: ASA Balanced, ASA End Loaded, USSSA Balanced, and USSSA End Loaded. Each bat uses the impressive LS-2X composite carbon fiber material, and the iST two piece connection.

2014 ASA Z2000 – The ASA version of this softball bat has an added ring in the barrel to meet the new ASA Softball ball exit speed standard. This ring is on the ASA Z2000 only, without it the Z2000 would be too hot. The ring prevents the barrel from flexing too much, which would allow for added trampoline effect, essentially this is a “rev limiter” that prevents excessive home runs. The ASA version is also approved for USSSA play, but if you play more USSSA, get the USSSA specific version below.

2014 USSSA Z2000 –

New USSSA Bat Stamp For 2013

By now, most softball players know there is a new stamp required on January 1st, 2013 for USSSA softball bats. All USSSA softball bats labeled as 2013 will have the spiffy new finger print stamp.

The 2013 USSSA softball bat rule is similar to the ASA bat rule from a few years back: 2013 softball bats will not be allowed to exceed 1.20 BPF at any point in their lifespan, meaning break-in time will be cut from a few hundred swings to a few dozen swings on most softball bats.

Upon exceeding the 1.20 BPF, bats will develop spiraling “cracks” up and down the barrel of the bat, indicating the bat should be removed from play.

Don’t throw your old USSSA softball bat away just yet.

Many private fields like Big League Dreams are expected to allow the old USSSA standard softball bats indefinitely. Moreover, many tournaments will still allow the old USSSA bats as well.

The 2013 and 2014 Easton, Miken, and Worth softball bats all carry the new USSSA stamp.

Individuals are rapidly buying up any remaining softball bats with the old standard, knowing that they can no longer be made, they will be in high demand for leagues and tournaments that do not acknowledge the new standard.