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Louisville Slugger 2010 TPS Slowpitch Softball Voltage II Composite Bat
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- CIC Composite Design
- Balanced swing weight
- Synthetic Grip; 7/8" Standard Handle
- Approved for play in ASA, USSSA, NSA, ISA, and ISF.
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The SBXV Voltage II is a full composite design approved for ASA play.
Amazon.com Baseball Bat Guide
Choosing the Right Baseball Bat
For a relatively simple piece of equipment, the variety of options when it comes to buying a baseball bat--wood or composite? what size is right for me? should I pay $30 or $300?--can be intimidating. The most important factor to keep in mind, from Little League to the pros, is that buying a bat is a personal decision. It's critical to select a bat properly tailored to your height, weight, skill, and strength levels, within your budget, but equally important is simply how the bat "feels" to you.
Improvements in technology have given today's players more options than ever. A few basic rules of thumb, however, can help narrow your search:
- Weight: Heavier bats provide more power while lighter bats enable faster swing speeds. Are you strong and athletic, or smaller and more likely to benefit from greater swing speed? Practice-swing a number of differently weighted bats until you find one that's right for you.
- Length: Longer bats provide greater reach and ability to connect with pitches on the other side of the plate, but the added weight can reduce swing speed and power. Once again, the best approach is to experiment with different lengths to find a bat that suits you.
- Barrel Diameter: As a general rule of thumb, players age 12 and under should use a 2.25-inch barrel diameter to comply with the majority of youth league regulations. Older players, through high school and college, are typically restricted to a 2.625-inch barrel diameter.
- League Rules: Most leagues have their own bat requirements, and it's a good idea to be clear on your league's specifications before shopping.
- Feel: The most crucial factor ultimately comes down to whether a bat feels good to you. It should be comfortable in your hands, have a balanced and fluid swing, and seem like a natural extension of your arms.
Anatomy of a Bat
While bat terminology and technology can seem complex, all bats are made up of three basic components--grip, bat taper, and barrel size.
- Grip: The bat handle covering, typically made of leather or synthetic leather for a solid grip, or rubber (sometimes with cushioning) to decrease sting when striking the ball.
- Bat Taper: The diameter of a bat's handle, with a standard taper being 0.97-inches (which can vary based on weight). A larger taper reduces ball shock while adding weight, and smaller tapers enable faster wrist rotation while reducing weight.
- Barrel Size: Includes the length and diameter of the barrel, or top part, of the bat. Longer barrels provide larger, more forgiving sweet spots, and several different diameters are available.
Worth the Weight
Bats are weighted in ounces with emphasis on balancing weight-to-length ratio, a measure called a bat's "drop" and shown as -6, -8, and so on. For example, a 34-inch bat with a -6 ratio weighs 28 ounces. Choosing the right weight depends on the type of player you are, as stronger players typically benefit from the power of a heavier bat, while smaller or younger players enjoy the increased swing speed and control of a lighter bat.
Different Materials for Different Players
The sheer number of bat materials available today can boggle the mind, but ultimately the options are grouped into three categories--wood, aluminum, and composite.
Although the sound of a wood bat hitting a baseball has become iconic, the number of players using wood bats is typically restricted to professionals and wood-bat-only leagues. Whether you're a Major Leaguer or simply a baseball purist, look for a bat with a long, wide grain, which indicates a dense, mature tree. Wood bats offer more choices in terms of shape and taper to customize to a player's swing. On the other hand, they have three significant disadvantages: tendency to crack or break, smaller sweet spot, and less hitting power than metal bats.
Advances in technology have allowed manufacturers to use lighter, stronger composite materials--typically a combination of graphite, fiberglass, and resin--to produce bats with a unique, satisfying feel and large, forgiving sweet spots. Composite bats are lighter than traditional aluminum bats, increasing swing speed and power. Composites also come in single- and double-layer configurations, and graphite and titanium materials added to the inner wall help reduce vibration and "ball sting" when a ball is mis-hit.
A majority of non-professional players today use aluminum bats, mostly due to their lighter weight (which increases swing speed and control) and better durability. Aluminum bats come in single- or double-layer construction, with double-layer bats offering greater durability, power, and rebound.
Aluminum bats are constructed from a variety of alloys. Lighter alloys are thinner and more durable, and the alloy used in an aluminum bat is typically the most significant cost factor. Nearly all aluminum bat alloys represent some combination of aluminum, copper, magnesium, and zinc. Here's a quick overview of today's most popular aluminum alloys:
- 7046: This durable alloy has been a baseball industry standard for many years, and offers a good balance of price and performance.
- CU31/7050: One of the first high-performance bat alloys, this proven option is more durable than 7046 as a result of greater levels of copper, magnesium, and zirconium.
- C405/7055: A common alloy used in more expensive, high-end aluminum bats, this alloy includes greater zirconium content than CU31/7050 for added strength.
- C555: The addition of scandium to this alloy results in up to 10% more strength than C405/7055.
Selecting the Right Bat Size
The optimal bat size varies based on height and weight for a given player, and can impact technique, swing speed, and other vital components of your game. Selecting the right size from the table below will help ensure you get the most out of your equipment.
|Baseball Bat Sizing|
|3' - 3'4"||3'5" - 3'8"||3'9" - 4'||4'1" - 4'4"||4'5" - 4'8"||4'9" - 5'||5'1" - 5'4"||5'5" - 5'8"||5'9" - 6'||6'1" +|
|Under 60 pounds||26"||27"||28"||29"||29"|
|Most Popular Size By Age|
|Age||5-7 years old||8-9||10||11-12||13-14||15-16||17 and over|
Size: 34 in. 28 oz.
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Top customer reviews
This bat does feel good in your hands. Very solid and smooth. I did get several good hits with it.