As a long time softball player and mother of 2 I have tried more equipment and assorted gear than I could possibly talk about in one article.
What I have noticed lately, and thought some people could use a few pointers on, is the number of non-competitive, or beer league players that complain about the huge costs associated with buying a quality bat. This is something I went through with my youngest just this year.
While my son is an avid player and goes for an all composite DeMarini’s and does a ton of extra chores to be able to cover the cost, my daughter plays for fun, and is as happy to get a hit even if it’s only a single. That’s when I first thought seriously about price and decent product comparison. I figured I would share quickly with you my opinions on the best slowpitch bats that will cost you under $100.
The first thing I noticed that got me scratching my head, and really made me happy I didn’t invest a huge chunk into a bat for my youngest, was the relatively small difference in quality from a less expensive bat like a Louisville Vapor, or a DeMarini Uprising, to some of the higher end products available on the market. Why? Well there is only so much you can add to a bat and 1) keep it legal, and 2) companies like Louisville and DeMarini are the best manufacturers of bats in the world.
They warranty their products, usually the same 12 month manufacturer’s warranty across all brands and price ranges, and wouldn’t devalue their good names by putting out a sub standard product. What does that mean when you get right down to it? Even the lowest priced Louisville and the cheapest DeMarini are going to be kick-ass bats. Not convinced yet? Let me provide you with few specs that I picked up across various websites and you can decide it these might work for you.
Both the DeMarini Uprising and the Louisville Vapor have 12” barrels with a near perfect sweet spot for a one piece alloy bat.
High end pop for great field hits and a wicked spin to keep the infield bounce unpredictable for the catchers. One of the sole differences from a lower priced softball bat like this and a higher end model is the amount of vibration or ball sting you receive from a miss hit. While I hated the slight sting I got whenever I hit a little off, I must say that knowing what was coming if I didn’t keep my eye on the ball, is what kept me focused enough to make me the power hitter I am today. In other words having a bit of vibration, in my opinion, isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
Apart from that, they all balance the same to an untrained player; they all swing the same if you’re only playing for fun. So leave the fun in the game, don’t fear the price. The number of name brand, high quality, low cost products out there is getting bigger per year. As each year passes, and the newest composite or production material is replaced by the next best thing, the quality of the lower cost bats is just going to increase.
How about you? Is there a bat you’ve purchased before for under $100 and it worked out well? Let us know.