When you or your child choose to play softball, it is important to gear up with equipment that will properly suit your needs. This advice is especially true when shopping for the best fast-pitch softball bats on the market. While the cost of the equipment is often a factor that makes us cringe, the importance of a good quality bat is paramount.
- Top 10 Best Fast-Pitch Bats for Kids (2017)
- What weight is suitable for my child’s wrist strength?
- What length is best for my child?
- Why is the type of grip important?
- The Hit List
- Our pick for the best bat
Top 10 Best Fast-Pitch Bats for Kids (2017)* editor rating based on quality and value
A properly weighted and balanced bat can help to avoid the sting that comes with hitting the ball. When the bat and ball connect, it results in a vibration which is felt up through the hands, wrists, elbows and even into the shoulder. If you wish to avoid this happening frequently, researching and selecting the right bat for you or your child is a great place to start.
A few questions to ask while selecting a bat would include:
What weight is suitable for my child’s wrist strength?
This question is important, as the weight of the bat will determine how your child swings and how quickly their arms become fatigued. A bat that is too heavy can cause eventual fatigue and even pain, which could lead to a very short season.
What length is best for my child?
Bat length affects the swing much like weight does. A bat needs to be balanced properly for it to be swung effectively, allowing for those great hits that every child dreams of. A bat too long can cause an awkward swing, resulting in fouls and even outs.
Why is the type of grip important?
The type of grip you choose affects the hands and wrists. A non-slip grip is important, as you want full and solid contact with the ball. If the hands slip, this can lead to a swing that wobbles, resulting in strikes and frustration. With a comfortable and solid grip, contact with the ball is more likely to be sure and true, offering better performance.
The Hit List
First up we have the 2016 Easton FP16S312 FS3 Fastpitch Softball Bat. The construction of the barrel gives you a good feel for how you are hitting the ball, which may allow you to improve your hits by helping you to judge what adjustments you need to make. Other features of this bat are:
- CXN ZERO 2-piece ConneXion Tech which is designed to limit vibration.
- 29/32” composite bat handle with 1.2mm HYPERSKIN Grip designed to improve bat grip overall.
- ASA, USSSA, NSA, SSUSA, ISA and ISF Certification for 98mph which allows the bat to handle a faster pitch and swing.
Next, we have the DeMarini Female 2015 Fastpitch Bat. This bat has a variety of handy features that may aide your purchasing decision. Offering a decent range of weights and lengths, you may find this useful, as some batters fall into those tough weight ranges and need a bat that will complement their wrist strength. In addition to the weight and length range, this bat offers:
- Paradox Barrel which lengthens the ball contact area considerably.
- D-Fusion Lite handle to help minimize vibration on contact.
- 1.20BPF Bat Standards have met adequately.
- ASA, USSSA, ISF, NSA, and ISA approval.
- Half and Half construction that allows for a balance of weight and control.
Third on our list is the Louisville Slugger XENO Plus Fastpitch Softball Bat (-11). It is best to contact your softball association to check their approval of this bat, however, if you are looking for a balanced and reasonably designed bat, this may be in your range. The LS XENO offers features such as:
- Performance Plus Composite crafting offering the batter a zero-friction design and double walled form.
- iST and S1iD barrel technology that may suit your swing as it allows the barrel to flex.
- A reasonable range of weights to help you match your wrist strength and batting style.
- 7/8” Standard handle and a synthetic grip to help keep your hands where they belong during the swing.
Next up on our list is the Easton FS50 Fastpitch Softball Bat. These bats feature a -10 balance and an All Sport grip on a 31/32” handle. In addition to this balance and grip design, the bats offer an interesting array of features that could make a good addition to your equipment bag such as:
- A range of weights that run from 15 oz. to 20 oz. on average.
- Durable aluminum alloy design which offers lightweight feel and could help the speed of your swing.
- 98mph certification with all prominent softball associations such as USSSA and many others.
- Designed with new players in the youth leagues in mind.
Finally, we have the Easton MAKO CXN ZERO 10 Fastpitch Softball Bat. This bat has a list of features that just might fit the needs of any player overall. It’s bright design and -10 drop, along with solid construction could be the addition you need to improve your performance on the diamond. The variety of useful features list out as follows:
- TCT Thermo Composite Technology which helps to slice the air as you swing, bringing out a faster swing overall.
- The super-thin handle of 29/32” which provides more stability in your grip during a swing.
- HYPERSKINTM Grip of 1.2mm offers a soft but firm grip that may help to keep your hands from sliding on contact.
- CXN ZERO 2-piece ConneXion technology that can help to reduce vibration, which causes wrist pain and fatigue.
- More barrel in the hitting zone, which offers to maximize contact with the ball and drive length.
Our pick for the best bat
Overall, the Easton MAKO CXN ZERO 10 Fastpitch Softball Bat is the best of the five. While all of the bats listed seem to have a nice range of features and offer performance, this bat appears to offer the most features and innovation.
As swing and contact vibration reduction as key elements in softball, the grip, and handle, as well as the ConneXion technology, offer a comfortable option that I would choose for myself or my child. With so much barrel in that sweet spot, the bat offers that little extra bit of contact to create distance and power, which I feel would keep my child playing.
As the desire to play provides a much-needed boost to morale, I feel that the overall construction of the bat, in addition to its reasonable cost, would lead to a great learning experience and offer a very good piece of equipment for any player to improve their performance with over time, making the cost of the sport itself well-worth the resulting smiles after a great game.