Slowpitch softball is quite a bit different than fastpitch, especially when it comes to choosing the right bat.
Although there are similarities like we outline on our fastpitch softball bat reviews page, there are still a few specific things to look for when considering a slowpitch bat. This includes:
- Length – As opposed to fastpitch bats, the length of each slowpitch model is 34″. Although there are some that are smaller in length, they are quite rare. This leads us to our next point…
- Weight – Even though each model typically has the same length, they differ in that a player is able to choose the weight they want to use. This weight normally ranges from 26 to 30 ounces and as you can imagine stronger player will more than likely opt for the heavier models so they can add some serious pop.
- Swing distribution – Although covered a bit more on the main softball bat reviews page, there are two different choice for weight or swing distribution: balanced and end loaded. Balanced on one hand over a consistent, and quicker swing and are more suited for contact hitter. End loaded bats distribute their weight a little more towards the endcap therefore giving more power in the swing.
To make things easier for you we have compiled all of the data to help you make the best decision possible. Further down on this page we also provide some brief reviews of each.
In addition to the above table we have put together this page to outline what we feel are your best choices when it comes to the slowpitch bats this summer. We’ve recently updated our comparison chart to include various 2016 models as well. As you are well aware there are many different models available so narrowing down your choice isn’t easy. The comparison chart focuses on some of the quicker points while the content below looks at more detailed reviews and provides some specific options as well.
Reviews of our Top choices
One of the easiest ways to find the right slowpitch bat is by checking out various reviews. Although we provide full reviews as well, you may only be interested in a quick run down of our top 5. If that sounds like you, this next section is for you.
For 2016, we feel the Louisville Z4 is the best slowpitch softball bat available. One of the main reasons is because many believed last years Louisville Z4000 was the best slowpitch bat ever made. However, the model has been improved even more this year! Louisville Slugger was already considered the hottest bat in slow pitch softball. The Z4 combines the revolutionary TRU3 technology with SWING 1 inner Disc design to deliver a bat that feels good on contact and gives nothing but powerful hits off it.
Using the TRU3 technology, Louisville Slugger has created the first ever, 3 piece slow pitch softball bat. This 3 piece design strengthens the link between the barrel and the handle and gives it more of a trampoline spring. While making it sturdier, it allows the bat to flex, dramatically reducing the negative vibration and sting on contact.
The S1iD technology, at the same time, gives the Z4 an awesome pop right out of the wrapper. Although it’s made from Pure 360 Composite, the bat requires no breaking in time with the exceptionally brilliant S1iD design that allows the walls to flex to their maximum level, giving you an awesome pop off it, right out of the wrapper.
With a 12 inch pro style barrel, the Z-3000 is made for power hitters who want to add distance to their hits and increase their batting average. This one is truly a game changer! Read our full Louisville Z4 review.
The next of our quick slowpitch reviews looks at the Miken Izzy Psycho. This brand new version of the bestselling and most requested bat, the Miken Izzy Psycho is the signature model of Jeremy Isenhower, one of the best softball players on the field today. This is the bat Izzy swings and many other top players choose to have.
Featuring a 14.5 inch barrel length and a weight range of 26-30 oz., complete with a stiff handle, this one is especially made for power hitters. It is simply too hot for beginners. If you are strong enough to swing an end loaded bat with a full ounce end load that delivers maximum power, get the Miken Izzy psycho.
The Miken Izzy Psycho features a 1 piece design and is a certified 100 COMP, which is Miken’s revolutionary formula that utilizes 100% premium aerospace grade carbon and aramid fibers to deliver hot out of the wrapper performance, an awesome pop, larger sweet spot, and unparalleled durability. But that’s not all. The Miken Izzy is also built with the new 750X HPI technology that uses extreme power to inject ultra tough epoxy into the highest-grade carbon fibers. This remarkable pair of 100 COMP formula and 750X HPI delivers a consistent performance and cutting-edge durability. Check out of full Miken Izzy Phycho review for more.
The DeMarini SF8 has got to be one of the best slowpitch softball bats for the serious hitter. You can really see the 20 years of experience from the engineers who built this one come out in this 2016 model. While the SF8 is a completely balanced bat with a ZnX double wall alloy barrel, it doesn’t feel like it. What do that mean? Well, while a perfectly balanced model still feels like it has a weighted barrel, the SF8 feels like it could balance like a teeter-totter.
The C6 composite handle is perfect for the best power hitters, giving enough flex without feeling wobbly, and because it’s a DeMarini you know it absorbs vibration while returning full power to the ball. The Thrasher Grip is not only synonymous with super tacky grip, but probably the best vibration absorbing material in a grip across all types. That in and of itself would be enough for most manufacturers to stop and say “Here is the best one we make!”…not so fast if you are DeMarini. With the N2M end cap, you will see a further transfer of energy, giving even more power to the hit, and sending it deep every time.
While the SF8 feels advantaged enough to be a banned one, this is the All-Associations Model – approved for use in USSSA, ASA, NSA, ISF, and ISA. Seems like somebody up there wants you to have an edge! Add in a 12 month manufacturer’s warranty, and there is NO reason you shouldn’t have at least one of these bats on your team. You can see our review here.
Demarini One OG
The last of our best slowpitch softball bats list looks at the Demarini The One OG model. DeMarini brings their most innovative construction technology back to the diamond to give players an almost unfair advantage. DeMarini the ONE OG slow pitch bat is particularly made for high performance senior level play for players who have been hitting hard for years and have now earned the right to demand the very best that can help them shoot rockets on the field.
This model features the company’s 4.ONE stiffest composite barrel that uses narrow carbon fibers in multiple layered construction to provide the best ever stiffness and unmatched durability. The RCK end cap creates maximum stiffness at the end of the barrel and drives energy back to the sweet spot, providing more POP.
Complete with DeMarini’s best ever ZnX alloy handle, it also features the stiffest handle made by the company. The handle is tuned in perfectly with the composite barrel, resulting in the good feel that a 1-piece provides, while reducing negative vibrations on contact and giving optimized performance.
By pairing the stiffest composite barrel with the strongest alloy handle using innovative construction technology, DeMarini has truly created a monster that will shoot nothing but bombs. Although it requires a breaking in time of 300+ hits, but when broken in, this one will truly prove to be a beast. View our full Demarini The One review from here.
6 Items To Consider When Buying a Slowpitch Softball Bat
If you want to be a successful slowpitch player, the first step is buying the right kind of bat. The good news is the market offers a great deal of variety when it comes to slowpitch bats. They come in different shapes, sizes and designs. In the same token, the sheer amount of variety can also be bad news as it makes finding the right bat extremely difficult. To help you find the right one, we have put together a list of 6 things you should consider when it comes to buying time. Keep these factors in mind and you are sure to find the perfect bat.
Weight plays a crucial role when it comes to choosing the right bat. Generally speaking, bats range in weight from 26oz to 30oz. However, you will rarely if ever find a bat that weighs 29oz. One thing to keep in mind is though heavier bats have more power, they also have slower swinging speeds due to their weight. Heavier bats are for players who already have a great deal of strength. If you are a smaller player opt for a lighter bat as it will allow you to swing faster.
The length of a baseball bat barrel can vary between 12 and 14 inches. Shorter lengths are great for those who are strong hitters. If you are a speed hitter, longer lengths are best. The key is to select a barrel size and length that is comfortable to you. Before purchasing always give the bat a few swings to see how it feels.
Each softball league is different and will therefore require different certifications for bats. ASA and USSSA are both responsible for ensuring all bats meet the standards set forth by the industry. It is your responsibility to check with your league to ensure you have a bat that fits within the rules.
If you are playing in the ASA league, make sure the bat you purchase has an ASA stamp. If it doesn’t, you will not be able to use it during game play. The ASA is known for having some pretty strict guidelines so be sure to check them before you go spend any money on a bat. You can check out our page dedicated exclusively to the best ASA slowpitch bats if interested.
If you plan on buying a used bat be very careful. Most associations will not allow players to use bats that have been cracked or heavily damaged. To find the rules and regulations for your league, visit their official website.
When it comes to manufacturing baseball bats there is a wide variety of materials used. Some of the more common materials used include composite, aluminum, wood and alloy. The type of material you choose will in large part be determined by your budget.
Most users love and recommend composite bats. However, they are expensive and tend to break over time. Wood bats are also very common. They can be made using Bamboo, Ash, Composite Wood, or Maple. Bamboo is considered the strongest and most durable. If you are a big hitting batter, opt for maple as it is stiff and can handle the force.
The last material is alloy or aluminum. Both are strong, durable and lightweight. They are cost effective and in most cases do not break. However, be careful as alloy is made out of carbon fiber and can sting your hands.
One Piece vs Two Piece
A one piece bat is one constructed using one continuous piece of metal. A two piece bat on the other hand has two sections that are bonded together. These two sections are the barrel and the handle.
One piece bats provide very little give if any at all. One piece bats give you more power with your swing since there is very little flex when you make contact with the ball. If you have an above average bat speed, you will love the one piece bat. It is perfect for power hitters.
Two piece bats are much more flexible than one piece bats. The way the two piece bat is constructed, it gives you the “whip” effect which leads to an increase in bat speed. If you consider yourself a contact hitter, or someone who has a below average bat speed, the two piece bat will work wonders for your game.
Balanced or End Loaded
When it comes to the overall balance of the bat, you can either use a balanced bat or an end loaded bat. End loaded bats have more weight in the barrel making them slightly imbalanced. Due to this imbalance, players are able to swing with more force and more speed.
But using an end loaded bat isn’t for everyone. It requires a great deal of patience to figure out your swinging angle. As a new player, your swinging angle can be unexpected. This can lead to many mishits until you are able to find the sweet spot. It will take some getting used to, but once you figure it out, an end loaded bat can help you take your game to the next level.
Advanced players tend to have the most success with end loaded bats. Balanced bats are exactly what they sound like. They are bats that have the weight of the bat evenly distributed. This makes for a very smooth swing and is great for those who don’t have a great deal of strength.
Since the weight is balanced, the swinging angle is easily predictable. If you are new to the game you will love this bat as it makes hitting the ball with the sweet spot a lot easier.
And there you have it, 6 very important factors to consider when buying a slowpitch softball bat. Always remember the best bat for you will depend on your personal preference. While these 6 factors can guide you, when it boils down to it, its all about what feels good to you when you swing.
Top Brands for Slowpitch players
When it comes to brands there is no shortage of diversity. And as you can imagine, finding which one is the best is not easy to do. After all, the best is ultimately determined by your personal preference. As far as slowpitch softball bats go, there are 4 brands that are at the head of the class. They are Miken, Easton, DeMarini and Rawlings. Let’s briefly discuss each one.
Miken has been around since 1998 and is known for manufacturing high end baseball and softball bats. In baseball circles all over the world, Miken bats are held in high regard. One of the things that make Miken bats stand out in the crowd is their Triple Matrix Core technology. This technology maximizes performance and durability by eliminating wall seams. Be sure to check with your league before purchasing a Miken bat as they are not allowed in all leagues.
Easton sports has built a legacy in the world of sports. And when it comes to bats they continue to build on that legacy. When Easton Sports was found in 1922, they manufactured bow and arrows. It wasn’t until 1969 that they decided to expand their interest and start manufacturing baseball bats.
30 years later, in 1999, Easton acquired Stix Baseball, Inc which allowed them to become one of the top manufactures of wooden baseball bats. Easton is known for developing innovative technologies such as MX technology and CNT technology. There are well over 100 professional baseball players who use Easton baseball bats. Prices ranges from as low as $40 to as high as $500.
If there is one thing that has driven the success of DeMarini brand bats, its the companies ability to constantly be on the cutting edge of technology. In 2010 DeMarini introduced the baseball world to Silver Trace technology. This special bond agent helps maximize the transfer of power to the barrel.
DeMarini uses a half composite, half aluminum combination to construct their bats. This means their bats contain twice as much Silver Trace. As a result you will have more power with every swing. In addition, many bats in the Voodoo Black line are made through an exclusive extrusion process. This process helps increase overall performance by varying wall thickness.
DeMarini bats, which are the brainchild of Ray DeMarini, have made a huge impact on the sport of baseball. When the company introduced the first multi wall bat to the world, their popularity increased exponentially. Now today, 25 years after the company was founded, they are recognized as one of the top bat companies in the world. Due to its unbelievable growth, Wilson acquired DeMarini in 2000.
As mentioned earlier, finding the best slowpitch softball bat isn’t just as easy as picking out the flashiest, or more expensive and taking it to the field. Although we do believe the list above would be perfect for just about any slowpitch player, we also wanted to provide you with a few more specific resources just in case. This list will be augmented as we add more to the site.
At this time we’d like to thank you for taking a peak at what we feel are the best slowpitch softball bats available for this year’s 2016 season. As you can well imagine narrowing down the list is not easy, but we feel quite confident in the choices made. As always check out all of our slowpitch softball bat reviews from above or from the sidebar to the right. Best of luck in your search!