When choosing fast pitch softball bat, material is one of the most important factor to consider because it will have strong effect on players’ performance. The 2 most popular materials used for fast pitch softball bats are composite and aluminum. Nowadays, composite fastpitch softball bats are the most popular because of its several benefits over aluminum bats.
Better trampoline effect
Besides being lighter, composite is known as a softer material compared to aluminum. Therefore, when the soft ball hits the barrel, both of them compress, so the amount of energy lost in collision is reduced and better trampoline effect is created.
Easily control swing weight
In order to have the best performance, soft ball players need to have good control of the swing weight as well as giving constant swing speed. These 2 factors could be achieved more easily by using a composite bat because the balanced point of composite bat is closer to the handle and composite bats are more lightweight than aluminum ones.
Composite is said to be a flexible material because its physical characteristics could be adjusted by changing the compound of the composite. Therefore, bat manufacturer could adjust the stiffness of the barrel of a composite bat to give better feel to player or reduce sting from mishits.
Vibration is the most obvious advantages of composite bats compared to aluminum ones. According the many researches, the damping rate of composite bat nearly doubles of aluminum bats. In addition, most of composite bats are two–piece, so the vibration is eliminated significantly.
Larger sweet spot
Thanks to the lightweight characteristic of composite, bat makers could create composite bats with longer barrel without increasing its weight. This longer barrel together with the less stiffness characteristic of composite can create larger sweet spot and as a result, give better contact with the ball.
No Ping Sound
The ping sound occurring when the ball hit aluminum or wooden bats wouldn’t have direct negative influence on performance but it’s quite annoying. This is not a concern for composite bats because it makes a soft and pleasing sound when hitting the ball.
Both aluminum and composite are known as durable materials, they could last for several seasons with constant quality. However, some kinds of aluminum tend to dent over time, so durability is another advantage of composite bat over aluminum one.
Based on the factors above, it’s safe to say that composite bat outperform aluminum bats in many aspects. Furthermore, after fully breaking in, the composite fibers begin to loosen and at that time, composite bats even get better and better performance. That is the reason why many softball players prefer composite bats over aluminum or wooden ones. On the other hands, there are some drawbacks such as price and break-in period. Therefore, if your budget is generous enough and break-in period is not a big concern for you, it’s recommended to choose a composite fast pitch softball bat.