Demarini CF Zen review

Brand new for the 2019 season, the Demarini CF Zen Fastpitch softball bat is quickly looking like it could be one of the best of all time. Although its predecessor (the CFX) is still one of the top sold bats, the CF Zen has made even more improvements to take your game even further than before. For fastpitch players we feel that the newest version of this best seller offers the perfect blend of power, comfort, and balance.

We have divided this review into all of the different models from the series, which includes the Hope, and Insane. Many of the exact same features that are found on the regular version are also found in the Insane and Hope variations.

Demarini CF Zen Fastpitch

In the first part of this page we take a look at the regular CF Zen fastpitch bat which is available in the following drops:

  • WTDXCFP19 (-10 drop)
  • WTDXCFS19 (-11 drop for youth players)

Main Features of the 2019 CF Zen version

As mentioned earlier, this one could end up being one of the best bats of all-time. Whenever you improve an already good thing by adding even more features to the fold, you have as true winner. Some of these features include:

  • Paraflex composite barrel: In the CFX version (2018 model), Demarini developed a new Paradox Plus+ composite material throughout the barrel. This material allowed for the barrel to become stronger to give you an even larger and responsive sweet spot. In the 2019 version, this has been improved even more. The Paraflex barrel promises to be made with 22% stronger fibers meaning that the durability should increase as well. After all since this bat is expensive – it better last a while!
  • 3-Fusion handle: Back from the popular CFX is the use of a 3-Fuion handle which re-directs your swing energy into the barrel providing more power but leaving you with a handle that provides very little sting.
  • Double walls: To get even more high performance, Demarini has added a double wall construction to the fold. This allows for more of a trampoline effect to occur which in turn enhances your ability to take the ball deep with more ease.
  • Hot out of the wrapper: This bat is ready to be used right away. The aforementioned Paradox composite allows for minimal break-in time so you can swing it right away.
  • Balanced swing: Also added last year is the 3-Fusion end-cap, which provides a nice smooth consistent swing each and every time. For those looking for more of an end loaded bat, take a look at the Insane version of this bat which we also review.

Insane version

For power hitters, they may be no better complement to your game then the newest 2019 CF Insane. Building on a great 2018 CFX version, the Insane has been improved even more to provide you with more power than ever before. Don’t let the -10 drop fool you. If you are looking for a slightly end-loaded swing where you can launch homers all over the field then please read on and view what this bat has to offer.

Power, power and more power! For the 2019 season, Demarini made quite a few improvements to the back bones of their popular CF series. The Insane uses this exact same framework which has already received great reviews from players like you who have taken a few swings.

What does the Insane offer?

Making a substantial change in the under coating of a bat is normally a cause for alarm, but that is exactly what Demarini did when they switched from TR3 F.L.O composite to brand new paradox composite in the 2016 version. What exactly is paradox composite? This innovative material provides hitters with the biggest and strongest sweetspot in the entire industry. In 2019 this has been improved even more by way of Demarini’s innovative Paraflex+ material.

Upgrading from the existing Paradox Plus+ material, the Paraflex promises to be much stronger and provide a lighter swing weight for the hitter. Not only that, but the Insane also features a double wall construction which gives it an incredible bouncing (or trampoline) effect when you connect properly.

Differences between the regular and Insane

The introduction of new paradox plus composite material is the same for all versions of this model. What makes the CF Insane different is the following:

  • More end loaded and hence a little more pop at the end of your swing

Hope version

One of the more popular bats once again in 2017 is the CF9 Hope. Built from the frame and underlying of the CF9, the Hope is a limited edition bat that not only takes your performance to the next level, but also supports a great cause. For each purchase of the Hope, Demarini will donate part of the proceeds to breast cancer research. With an incredible cause, and an incredible swing, you will be wishing you found this one sooner! Please read on to see the main features included in this version. The newest version of the Hope bat is typically used by more competitive players since it is priced higher than the average softball bat. Despite its price tag however, there are many things to like about this year’s DXCFH model.

Main Features

First and foremost, the bat has been made in the exact same way that the regular version was. In other words, the barrel has been upgraded to use the new Paraflex material which is promised to be even stronger and more durable than the Paradox Plus+ material used in last years version. This material is also quite a bit stronger than its predecessors and allows for a more durable bat that should last you through many swings. The last advantage this new composite construction provides is it allows for the bat to be ready right away. No longer do you need any sort of break-in period. This bat is hot out of the wrapper!

Another great feature included in the 2017 version of the Hope is the amount of trampoline effect a hitter can experience. Using what Demarini calls a “stacked double wall construction”, hitters often mention they find it easier to swing for the fences. With a great amount of bounce on impact, you’ll quickly realize how much of a difference this bat will make over what you currently use.

Would we recommend?

One of the other main questions asked is what is the different between the regular version and the limited edition CF9 Hope. In all honesty, very little! The Hope has a slightly different look but that is about it. They are the exact same bat, except the Hope version supports breast cancer research and is only available with a -10 drop. If you are a competitive player, or just looking for a top of the line bat this summer, we would highly recommend you look into this one.

What makes the newer version better than the older one?

If you’ve used the Demarini CF8 then the major difference you will notice in terms of improvements is the Paraflex barrel material. This new construction is incredibly innovative and is both the hottest and largest sweetspot available. It also allows for the bat to have more strength by using what Demarini describes as fibers that are 22% stronger and more efficient.

Many fastpitch players loved the 2016 version of the Demarini CF8. If you already own this bat though, should you consider trying out the new CF9? My advice is if you are happy and comfortable with the older version then stick with it. However, if it is near the end of its usefulness, I would highly recommend you take a peek at the newer one. Although it will feel very similar, you will still notice a huge difference in the way it swings and the little extra power could make all of the difference for your next season.


Hi everyone! My name is Jennifer, and as you've probably guessed...I love softball! I've played for years and in my opinion is one of the best games for all ages and ability.The goal of my site is to bring you my thoughts on the best equipment available, along with some tips to improve your play! I hope you enjoy my site, feel free to contact me anytime!

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