There’s nothing better than the sounds of a lively softball game on a summer’s afternoon, and many of us spend the year waiting for this season to begin. With the promise of sun, friends, laughter and competition, slowpitch softball has become one of the biggest and best sports to play for people of any age. Buying the best slowpitch softball bats can make the game that much better.
Thanks to the varying levels of competitiveness, this sport is accessible to anyone, regardless of whether you’re a rookie or a pro.
In order to take yourself to the next level in your game, you need to have a kit that allows you to play to your strengths. One item that requires care in selecting is your softball bat. There are a lot of variables in choosing the right bat for you so that you can play to the best of your ability, so it’s often more than just picking up any old bat and taking a swing. Here, we take you through a list of the best slowpitch softball bats.
Check out the table below for a quick look at the bats we have reviewed in this article.
How to Choose a Slowpitch Softball Bat
There are many factors to consider in choosing a softball bat, and here, we will guide you through each of them.
Balanced vs. end-loaded
The weight distribution of a softball bat can make a huge difference in your batting performance. A balanced bat has an even weight distribution that can allow you to generate a quicker swinging speed, whereas an end-loaded bat is weighted towards the top end which allows you to create more momentum as you swing. While end-loaded bats are more difficult to control for new players, you may find that this style is the way to go if you’re a strong hitter that wants room to improve.
One-piece vs. two-piece
Bats have come a long way since the simple one-piece designs of the days of old, and now you’ll find that many bats are designed in either a one-piece or two-piece way. One-piece bats are made as a single piece from end to end, whereas a two-piece feature a separate handle and barrel that are joined together. If you have a strong batting speed then a one-piece is the best option for you, however these bats provide a stiff feel which some may not like. If you’re looking for performance, though, the increased flex on contact make a two-piece design the best option for you.
Size and weight
Not every softball bat is created equally, and you’ll actually find that you need to match the length and weight of your bat to your personal physical body size. While nothing compares to how a bat feels when you swing it, you can also take some measurements of your body in order to determine the size and weight of bat that is right for you. Your bat length will depend on your arm length as well as your weight and height. Getting these numbers right is the only way to be sure that your swing is optimized and efficient.
Aluminum vs. composite
While you may think that composite bats outperform aluminum alloy bats, you’d be surprised to find out that this is not always the case. In fact, making the choice between the two materials actually comes down to personal preference. Composite bats provide a bigger sweet spot, which means you have a bigger area in which to make contact with the ball, and the vibration you feel through the handle is reduced. Aluminum bats, on the other hand, allow for a more balanced swing which can help you increase your swinging speed for bigger hits.
Depending on the league you’re playing in, you will want to be sure that your new bat is approved for play. The different certifications allow you to use the bat in ASA, USSSA, NSA and ISA leagues, and each league has different requirements in terms of how strict they are. The strictest of them all is ASA, so if you are playing in an ASA league, be sure to look for an ASA approved slowpitch softball bat.
Breaking in a Softball Bat
When bats are manufactured, it takes some time for the materials to perform the way they are supposed to. Because of this, your new bat may require some time to break in, particularly if it is made from a composite material. The only real way to break in a bat is to start hitting with it, and it may take up to one hundred hits before your bat is truly broken in, though this number is different for each bat.
In order to speed up the amount of time it takes to break in your bat, you can do one of the following things:
1. Hit the ball from a tee: each time you hit the ball, be sure to rotate the bat a little so that you create an evenness to the way the bat is used. This will help to speed up the breaking in process.
2. Soft toss against a fence: it’s important to swing and hit the ball as you would during a game in order to break the bat in correctly. You can do this by taking some swings of soft toss against a fence being sure to rotate the bat before each swing.
3. Live pitching: the fastest way to break in a bat is to work with a live pitcher, as you would in a real game. By taking at least forty or fifty pitches this way, rotating in between, your bat will be game ready when you need it.
5 Best Slowpitch Softball Bats Reviewed
Easton are easily one of the most recognizable brands when it comes to softball gear, and the Ronin Flex 2-piece softball bat is truly a stunning offering. Created to deliver ultimate speed and distance, this bat will have you slugging them out of the park in no time.
Thermo composite build
The composite build of this bat ensures that your batting performance is the best it can be, whilst delivering the fastest batting speed possible. If you’re used to an aluminum bat, then the composite build has a few surprises in store for you.
The 2-piece barrel design of this bat ensures that your contact is smooth and powerful, whilst reducing the amount of sting you feel as you make contact. If you struggle with pain while you’re hitting, this bat will help to eliminate that so you can play without worry.
The weight of this bat is distributed towards the end, so your swing is stronger and your power is greater when you make contact with the ball. While this may take some getting used to if you’ve never used an end-loaded bat before, once you have it under control you’ll be hitting like you never have before.
Overall, the Easton Ronin Flex 2-piece is a great option for those wishing to increase their batting performance, whilst giving themselves the most comfortable experience. As one of the best slowpitch bats of 2018, the quality and performance is hard to beat.
Miken are famous for producing super high quality slowpitch bats, and the Freak is certainly one of their most famous offerings. The 20th anniversary 2018 edition takes everything you love about Miken bats and packages it with their most innovative technology yet.
The seamless layered interior inside the Freak is created using Miken’s tetra-core technology, which ensures consistency with every hit. The bat itself is made from 100% aerospace-grade carbon fibers so it’s easy to swing with the power that you’re looking for.
Large sweet spot
Miken are focused on creating bats that really make your hits soar, and to achieve this, you’ll find that the sweet spot is way larger than on other bats. This means that you have extra freedom in how you make contact with great results every time.
The even weight distribution of this bat ensures consistency with your swings, so that you can generate the speed you need to slug it out of the park. Your handling of the bat is improved by Miken’s Sensi-Flex handle that enables complete control.
If you’re a fan of Miken, then you will find that the 20th anniversary Freak bat is exactly what you’d expect from the brand. With the super hot feel right out of the box, the Freak allows you to enjoy the game the way you want to with minimal breaking in time.
There’s no softball bat more iconic than the Louisville Slugger, and the 2018 Super Z-1000 model is definitely a worthy offering. With its eye-catching hot pink design and maximum usability, this bat is everything you could hope for straight out of the box.
Quicker break-in design
If you don’t want to wait a whole season for your bat to be broken in, you’ll be happy to hear that the Louisville Slugger 2018 model performs well straight away. This is thanks to the new LS-2X technology that Louisville have created, which means that the composite barrel requires less hits to reach top performance.
Superior energy transfer
Louisville have applied their IST XSTIFF technology to this bat, which ensures that you have increased energy transfer when you make contact. Flex is also reduced which means none of your swing is wasted.
If you prefer end loaded bats but the usual range just isn’t cutting it for you, then the powerload feature is your solution. With an additional half ounce of weight at the end of the bat, your swing speed will be vastly increased whilst allowing you to retain full control.
The Louisville Slugger 2018 Super Z-1000 is the perfect bat for power hitters, and will enable you to reach the speeds and distances that you’re aiming for. Built for speed and comfort, there’s nothing here that will disappoint.
Worth have designed this bat to have an alloy handle which improves durability during your swing and comfort on contact, and the CF100 carbon fiber barrel allows for a faster swing thanks to the reduced weight.
Extended sweet spot
The True 1 Technology that Worth is known for is applied to this bat. This means that the sweet spot is wider than it is for other bats, giving you the versatility to swing the way you want to with great results each time.
USSSA, NSA and ISA approved
It’s important to note that this bat is approved for play in USSSA, NSA and ISA only. If you are looking for an ASA approved slowpitch softball bat, then this may not be the right bat for you.
While not approved for all types of play, the EST Hybrid is certainly a worthy offering for many games. With the focus on performance and durability, this bat will last you many seasons to come.
If you’re a ball player, then choosing the right bat can help you to improve your batting. We hope that this guide has inspired you and will help you choose the best slowpitch softball bat for your style.