Slo-Pitch is amazing because of how approachable the sport is, making it great for amateur and experienced players alike.
Now, when it comes to shopping for a new slo-pitch bat, things start getting complicated. There’s a variety of materials, weights, and constructions to choose between, and these come at a range or prices. Plus, if you need to find a legally approved version by a specific governing body, it gets even more complex.
United Sport and Cycle is always ready to help you in store to navigate these challenges. If you’re shopping online, there’s dozens of options, and this guide is designed to help you make the right choice.
What slo-pitch bat are you looking for?
Before jumping right into shopping, we first want to understand what you’re looking for. That means understanding who you are as a hitter. Your size and swing type come into play when selecting a bat to maximize power or control. The weight, balance point and composition all come into play when making this decision.
Two Types of Slo-pitch bats
We’ll break down bats by the two biggest differentiating factors: material and design.
What the bat is made from will help determine the performance and overall lifespan of your bat. There are aluminum and alloy bats (that are a mixture of aluminum and other metals). This makes them thin with what we call ‘responsive’ walls, making them connect strongly with the ball. Composite bats are a mixture of carbon fibre, graphite, fiberglass and sometimes even Kevlar, designed to be incredibly flexible. United carries mostly composite bats as they’re extremely popular because of their great performance.
Slo-Pitch Bat Design
Slo-pitch bats can be found in either a one-piece or two-piece design. A one-piece assembly is just that, one material throughout the entire construction. These are a stiffer option preferable to power hitting players that value stiffness in transferring power from swing to the ball.
A two-piece bat is constructed in two separate pieces with the handle being connected to the barrel at the end of the manufacturing process by some means of a connection piece typically made from rubber or plastic. These offer a greater amount of flex during a swing and getting more pop from the bat on contact. You might also feel less vibrations on your hits as the combination of composite design and two piece connection often reduces the sting by dampening vibrations.
Choosing the right size Slo-pitch bat
Most bats are a standard 34 inches long, so we don’t have to worry too much about length. For a slo-pitch it’s the weight of the bat that becomes the biggest choice for the batter. Heavier bats often align most with bigger, stronger players that can control them best, while lighter bats around 25 ounces are suited ideally to players who are seeking greater control and contact while at the plate.
The next consideration is the balance point, which generally comes in two options: balanced and end-loaded bats. Balanced bats distribute the weight more evenly throughout the bat’s design, and are often viewed as easier to control. The end-loaded slo-pitch bat will put more weight slightly near the tip of the bat. This enables centrifugal force to bring greater weight to contact with the ball, helping to generate more bat speed and power but players can find these bats more challenging to control and make solid contact with.
We encourage you to consult with the governing regulations you’ll be adhering to this season as specific bat regulations can sometimes change between leagues. Most leagues will have some standard regulations on slo-pitch bats. This standard regulation and the most common bat certification is the USSSA stamp, this stamp can be found on nearly every slo-pitch bat that United Sport & Cycle carries.