We’ve spent at least 2,000 hours of our lives searching for, writing about or testing out the bats that are best for us. In that process, we’ve learned a few tricks along the way. Many of which we share here when it comes to the question: how to choose the best bat.
The Problems: Brick & Mortar vs Oline
It only takes a few seconds of google searching or sports aisle store walking to realize your options to choose the best bat for baseball and softball might as well be endless. Both online and in store have their serious problems.
Brick and mortar retailers are rarely helpful. What they make up for in immediate availability they lack in knowledge and selection. If you’re lucky they have a few of the top end bats (likely not in your perfect size) and, at a minimum, have read the marketing brochures left behind by the manufacturers sales rep. More than likely, though, they only have a name brand or two in their isles and don’t have a sales rep that knows much of anything.
Online retailers have their own set of problems. What they lack in the tactile feel required for a several hundred dollar purchase they make up in size availability. And though their knowledge base is measurably improved compared to the brick and mortar employee it is often still short of specific enough information as to be helpful. Their incentive to move product supersedes their desire to find you the exact right bat.
5 How To Steps On Choosing the Best Bat
While many of these thoughts deserve individual posts, here is a straight forward process of finding how to choose the best bat for you.
- Understand that maximum batted ball speed is your goal. The right type of bat is always the maximum barrel size that can be swung at maximum speed.
- Your maximum barrel size is determined by the league in which you play. So, make sure the bat you choose is legal.
- Bat construction preference will help you choose the right bat. Do you like two piece composite, hybrid, single piece composite or single piece aluminum? If you don’t know then start reading here.
- Check out our recommended list: Baseball, BBCOR, Fastpitch.
- Find a place to buy your bat. More often then not places like Amazon and eBay deliver the largest selection and best prices. Brick and mortar stores, if they have your sizing, are a reasonable choice too.