(Slugger Released FIVE different 2016 Z4000 slow pitch softball bats. Three are made for USSSA play, the other two are for ASA play. You can read each of those reviews here: ASA End loaded, ASA Balanced, USSSA Endload, USSSA Balanced, USSSA Power Load.)
Z4000 ASA End Load: Approved for USSSA, ASA, ISA, ISF, NSA play, this bat is the more restrictive of the Z4000 end loaded bats from Slugger this year—but players in ASA leagues don’t really have a choice in the matter.
The bat, much like the its Z3000 predecessor, is a smooth sailing, 1-ounce end-loaded, three-piece composite bat with a twelve inch barrel. Also like the Z3000, the bat comes in models 26 through 30 ounces in, of course, a 34 inch length.
Unlike the Z3000, however, the Z4000 ASA End Load is also approved in USSSA leagues. This gives those who play in multiple leagues the option to spend $300 only one time.
Those looking for the best bang (literally) and who play in two leagues may consider getting a USSSA league specific approved bat in the Green Z4000 USSSA End Load slow pitch bat.
Before we share our experience with the Z4000 ASA End Load let us first take a moment to correct some misinformation out there on slow pitch bats. The propaganda we always feel obligated to debunk is the whip action theory. (Mind you, this isn’t Louisville Slugger saying these things—just the shops trying to sell you their bats—and lots of other slow pitch two piece bats).
For the record, there is between little and no evidence that any human has the strength to actually make a solid softball bat bend backwards, like a golf club, before impact.
There are, on the other hand, plenty of pictures and data which show a bat indeed bends backwards after impact. The Z4000 end load is no different. Solid contact at high swing speeds and this bat does indeed bend away from the ball. This bend is aided by the three piece composite design and gives the clean hits on the fat of the barrel a real gravy-like feel.
The bat is a three piece design. The three pieces of the bat are:
- Full composite barrel measuring 12 inches long with 2 1/4 diameter.
- 7/8 tapered full composite handle with synthetic grip.
- A rubber insert (called the Tru3 connective piece) found in the transition point between the barrel and handle.
Overall we are fans of this bat—especially those who play in ASA leagues and have a little more pop in their game (or want a little more pop in their game).