This softball bats buying guide brings you some of the best ASA softball bats 2019 that most players are raving about.
Whether you need a slowpitch or fastpitch bat we belief that we have a model that will boost your confidence and oomph on the diamond.
You could carve out a competitive edge for yourself (and your team) by getting a bat that matches your hitting style, height, and weight. And that’s where we come in.
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Best ASA Softball Bats 2019
|#1. AXE 2019 AvengeLite -11 Fastpitch Softball Bat: L169G||5/5|
|#2. DeMarini Wilson Sporting Goods Juggy OVL Slow Pitch Softball Bat||4.9/5|
|#3. 2019 Fast Pitch Softball Bat WonderLite ASA/USSSA||4.8/5|
|#4. 2018 Anderson Ambush Composite Slowpitch Softball Bat||4.7/5|
Best ASA Softball Bats 2018 (Top 6 Reviews)
Every year, a wide range of ASA softball bats are launched. This year is no different. Amid such variety, you may find it somewhat harder to find a bat that is the right fit for you.
To make things easier for you, we have shortlisted the top 6 ASA softball bats and we sincerely hope that you will find the right fit for you from the list below.
#1. DeMarini 2018 CFX Insane -10 Endload Fast Pitch Bat
The 2018 CFX Insane features the solid reputation of the DeMarini to offer you one of the lightest fastpitch bats on the market today. This bat has -11oz, length to weight ratio which makes it one of our favorite contenders for younger players who feel ready to up their game to the next level.
Well, its weight suggests that you’ll be relying more on your hitting power rather than on its prowess. However, the 3-fusion technology used on its handle offers it a streamlined design for excellent weight control and a superb feel.
Importantly, the 3-fusion construction design has also been featured on the endcap. The definite advantage that you get here is a barrel with optimized weight control and performance.
This technology also helps in reducing vibration while directing and collecting optimum energy around the barrel. This makes it a formidable bat that allows you to spring into action real fast to allow you incredible swings and distances.
The DeMarini CFX Insane features a half+ half design that helps in deadening unwanted feedback that comes with off-center hits while boosting the responsiveness on the sweet spot.
Another impressive feature that we like about this fast-pitch bat is the paraflex composite that boosts weight distribution even further.
The DeMarini CFX Insane is simply designed to offer you a swift swing with massive pop and a good feel.
#2. Louisville Slugger 2018 Xeno -10 Fast Pitch Bat
The Louisville Slugger Xeno is a well-known commodity in any collection of the best softball bats. Similar to the DeMarini CFX Insane above, this bat has a 2-piece bat construction.
This construction design helps in creating a ‘whip’ effect. Resultantly, you get increased speed and power boost. That being said, this bat might be a good bet especially for average batters who want the extra oomph and increased power that comes with 2-piece models.
The Louisville Slugger 2018 Xeno features 100% composite construction. This material not only offers you more forgiveness in case of a mis-hit but it also makes it quite easier to control the swing weight.
The most outstanding feature of this bat, however, is the patented IST and S1iD barrel technologies used in its construction design.
Simply put, the S1iD barrel technology means that the bat comes ‘game ready’- no more frustrating break-in periods. This bat has 2 discs positioned at the sweet spot. These discs increase the sweet spot and also prevent the barrel from flexing to unwanted levels. These 2 features help in maximizing your performance.
On the other hand, the IST technology helps in improving the energy transfer from the handle to the barrel. This helps in maximizing control and improving the swing speed.
This fast-pitch bat has 7/8- handle with the 2-1/4’’ diameter which is the commonly accepted dimension. The handle has a synthetic bat grip for a good feel and confident hold. You’ll also find an ultra-lightweight X-cap that helps in improving bat speed and boosting durability.
Worth a mention here is that this bat comes in varying sizes ranging from 30 inches to 34 inches. So, be sure to get a bat that helps you deliver.
#3. Easton 2018 STEALTH FLEX HYPERLITE Fast Pitch Softball Bat -12
I bet no one needs to be introduced to Easton. Headquartered in Thousand Oaks, California, this brand has been in the bats business for over 5 decades. So, there’s no question this is among the best brands that you can rarely go with.
What makes Easton a standout brand from its alternatives is the cutting-edge innovation that it breathes into its products. And this is quite evident in this year’s offering, the Stealth Flex Hyperlite Bat-12.
This bat features the standard 2-1/4’’ barrel diameter and -12 length to weight ratio. Its incredible lightweight design makes it a good choice if you are looking for the best fastpitch softball bats for small to young players who want a good boost in swing speed in the game.
Its 5 certification stamps mean that it is approved for usage in almost every league; ISF, NSA SSUSA, ASA, and USSSA.
This bat has several great features that aim at offering you a good balance between optimum performance and comfort.
The first feature that any player is bound to love is the Hyperlite composite barrel that offers you an evenly balanced swing height for faster swing speeds. This barrel also optimizes the sweet spot which results in increased plate coverage.
The Easton Stealth Flex has a 2-piece construction design and is engineered using the CXN Zero Connexion technology. This technology helps in maximizing the flex while minimizing the negative feedback to near-zero levels.
This bat also has a thin handle featuring the latest and one of the most regarded grips, the 1.2mm Hyperskin Helix Grip. This grip is known for its unstoppable comfort, advanced comfort, and reliable grip in different contacts.
#4. 2018 Worth Legit XL Ryan Harvey ASA Signature Model
The XL Ryan Harvey comes to continue Worth’s Legacy with the renowned Legit Series. Mind you, this is the first signature model by Ryan Harvey who is Worth’s advisory. Amazingly, experts already speculate that this bat has a very high likelihood of being one of the hottest bats for the 2018 season.
It features several stamps that show approval for usage in a number of leagues including the ASA, USSSA, ISA, and NSA.
While it features the standard 2-1/4-inch diameter barrel, its barrel size is quite long at 13.5 inches. This relatively longer barrel length will offer you a larger sweet spot. Consequently, you get a boost in your confidence level for maximum performance.
The Legit XL Ryan Harvey is a 100% composite bat. This material coupled with its 2-piece design offers you several natural benefits including highly damped vibrations and tunable stiffness and trampoline effect. This bat also features an end-loaded swing to give you a balanced swing for an optimal hitting force.
#5. 2018 Miken Freak 23 Kyle Pearson ASA Signature Model
Mikel is among the latest entrants in the softball bats realm. However, despite the age difference between this brand and other giant bat manufacturers like DeMarini and Easton, Miken has been able to carve out a sweet spot for itself in the market compliments to its insistence on quality bats.
Here is its key selling feature: it’s a 3-piece bat. Single piece and 2-piece bats have been the industry standard until now.
This bat’s unique design brings an additional 100% composite piece with Flex 2 Power between the handle and the barrel that tames virtually all the vibrations that travels between the 2 ends. The major pro that you get here is that you’ll still be able to accelerate throughout the swing even if you got jammed or hit the ball with the end-cap.
These highly reduced vibrations also offer you more forgiveness and boost the ball’s responsiveness for a long hit.
Unlike our previous recommendations, this bat is designed with the elite in mind. It has a 12-inch barrel and Miken’s Tetra-core technology for the best performance with the low compression 52 cor balls.
#6. Mizuno Nighthawk Slow Pitch End Load Softball Bat
The Mizuno Nighthawk is the revamped version of the 2016 and 2017 Mizuno bats that have since been discontinued.
Featuring a stiff carbon handle and Mizuno’s renowned super responsive onyx composite construction material, the Mizuno Nighthawk packs a really good punch for the slow-pitch player.
Similar to its elder siblings, this bat boasts Mizuno’s Triple Wall construction. This wall features 3 composite layers that sandwich 2 ultra-thin polypropylene layers. The effect here is minimal barrel compression and an incredible peak performance right out of the wrapper.
But what’s more appealing is the ultra-large sweet spot that highly boosts your chances of hitting the ball out of the field. This large sweet spot works hand in hand with the end load to offer you that extra oomph that you need to get through the zone.
Its 2-piece design feature Mizuno’s patented Link technology that goes a long way to dampening vibrations without compromising on performance.
This bat has been approved for ASA, ISA, NSA, and USSSA.
Things to Consider When Choose Asa Softball Bats
What makes a good slow pitch softball bat? What goes into the making of a softball bat? Looking at the top best bats and the top 5 brands, we ascertained some of the details you ought to be looking for when choosing your bat.
There are differences in structure that you need to look at when picking the best asa softball bats for you.
Single Wall Vs Double Wall
Some of the strictest leagues still insist on players using only single wall asa softball bat designs. The reasons they give is mainly for fair competition.
Nevertheless, most bats nowadays are either double-walled or have multi-wall designs. This is especially the case when it comes to asa bats. Multi-walled asa softball bats are sturdier, more durable, and have thicker barrels, thus, they last longer.
Apart from durability, the layers in the barrels of multi-walled bats offer a trampoline effect which drives the ball further. The barrel being thicker also gives the hitter a wider and longer sweet spot making it easier to score home runs.
Nonetheless, if you play in a league that requires use of single-walled bats only, do not despair. New technologies are offering many different single-walled bats that offer the same advantages of a large sweet spot area and a fantastic trampoline effect as the multi-walled bats.
One Piece Vs Two Piece
In a one-piece softball bat, a single material will be used. This gives a stiffer and sturdier bat which has zero flex. This quality is favored by power hitters who want the full impact to send the ball as far out as possible.
On the other hand, two-piece bats are made from two different materials which are then joined together. Instead of relying only on the force of impact, the joint provides the bat with a trampoline effect when hit on the sweet spot, sending the ball flying over the fence.
Another advantage of two-piece bats is that the barrel usually absorbs the after-shocks of impact. Thus, the player does not feel the vibrations on the handle.
Balanced Vs End Loaded
Softball bats can be either weight-balanced, end loaded, or max loaded. The most common asa softball bats are the balanced ones. They have an equal weight distribution from the knob to the end-cap. Balanced bats are a favorite of contact hitters and softball players aiming to place the hit on the sweet spot.
An end loaded slowpitch bat usually has a lighter handle and a heavier barrel, with an extra half ounce weight concentrated just next to the end cap. This gives your swing more momentum, a quality favored by power hitters aiming for the fences.
Max loaded bats are just the same as end loaded softball bats, except that they pack a little more weight near the end cap. They are favored by the really big hitters. Please do not use a max loaded bat unless you are sure you can handle it and you have already used the end loaded for a while.
#2. Type of Asa Softball Bats
There are two major types of Asa softball bats, namely asa slowpitch softball bats and asa fastpitch softball bats. Slowpitch softball bats are used in such softball matches where pitching speed is significantly slow.
As a result, slowpitch bats are designed to tackle a ball travelling as slow as 25 mph. Since a slowpitch player has to face a slow-moving ball and has plenty of time to respond, slowpitch bats are heavier, often between 26 and 30 ounces in weight.
Fastpitch bats, in comparison, are designed for such softball games where pitching speeds are significantly higher and a hitter has to respond quickly to a fast-incoming pitch.
Fastpitch bats are designed to hit a softball traveling at 80 mph, so they are lighter in weight and usually range between 23 and 28 ounces in weight.
Softball bats range in length from 26 inches to 34 inches. A legal softball bat can’t exceed 34 inches in length. The length of a softball bat is directly tied to its corresponding weight. And both are related to your own height.
If you are taller, you will require a longer bat which will also carry greater weight. A suitable bat sizing chart will enable you to pin down the exact weight and length options that suit your physical prowess.
There is no set standard for the weight of a softball bat. In general, softball bats may range from being less than 60 ounces in weight all the way to more than 180 ounces, depending on the length of the bat.
The greater the length, the more is the weight of a softball bat. On the basis of weight, softball bats can be divided into two types: balanced bats and end-loaded bats. Balanced bats are easier to swing, given more speed and are suitable for players who want to absolutely control their swing momentum.
End-loaded bats are more suited for power hitters who want some extra mass in the barrel which, if they use it effectively, translates into a lot of momentum hitting the ball into longer distances.
Most asa bat models are made in either 26oz, 27oz, 28oz, and 30oz. However, some models also have 25oz and 29oz bats.
Average sized hitters and smaller players prefer bats in the range of 25oz to 27oz. The big power hitters prefer their bats to be in the range of 27oz to 30oz.
#4. Barrel Size
Asa barrels have a constant diameter of 2 ¼ inches and a length of 12” to 14”.
#5. Bat Taper
Asa softball bats have a taper region between the grip and the barrel that is usually about 6” long. The taper region starts from the thin grip then gradually expands in diameter to the 2 ¼ inch diameter of the barrel.
The handle has a length of 12” and is joined to the barrel by a taper region. The handle or grip is the thinnest part of the bat and has a constant width. It is usually covered in leather or synthetic leather to avoid slipping. Some grips are built with cushioning to absorb vibrations.
At the end of the grip there is a knob attached. This is meant for safety so the hitter does not release the bat while swinging. The knob also aids in protecting against the aftershocks of contact.
Asa Softball bats are made using three main materials, either metal, composite, or wood.
Composite bats typically offer the greatest performance for hitters on the field. These bats are made from a vast range of composite materials such as graphite, fiberglass and most frequently, carbon fiber.
The material used in the construction of such bats is machine-manufactured and the consequent design of the bat is automated, making the internal structure of these bats very smooth and their barrel highly powerful in hitting.
Due to their high-performance index, composite bats are sometimes banned from certain leagues.
Aluminum bats use aluminum as the chief construction material and typically feature thin-walled barrels which are hollow on the inside. Aluminum bats usually have a center of mass which is closer to the handle which enables them to hit an incoming ball farther when compared to a wooden bat.
Aluminum bats are also significantly light-weight and inexpensive which makes them a fairly popular choice among amateur baseball players.
Alloy is usually the primary material which is used in the construction of single-wall bats. Alloy bats usually make use of pure aluminum or an aluminum mixture in their construction.
These bats have thinner walls, more responsive barrels and slimmer profiles, making them significantly light-weight, quick to swing and also inexpensive when compared to composite bats.
Hybrid bats, as the name suggests, combine the advantages of alloy and composite materials. A hybrid bat typically features a light-weight alloy barrel with thin walls and a lot of pop which is coupled with a handle made from composite material.
Such a bat has a significantly larger barrel with a sizable sweet spot while the composite handle is very light-weight and contributes to the overall light-weight profile of the bat. Hybrid bats are also durable but may not last a lot of rough and tough use.
Wooden baseball bats are usually constructed from ash, composite wood, maple or bamboo. Of these, bats made from bamboo wood are the strongest and more durable. On the other hand, ash wood bats are slightly softer which enables them to imitate the trampoline effect of composite and alloy bats.
Power hitters usually prefer maple bats which are hard and stiff, allowing a player to channel greater force into the barrel. Composite wood bats combine the qualities of wood and composite materials. They are very strong, durable and high-performing.
#8. Choosing The right Bat That is Certified for The League That You are Playing in
Different leagues require players to carry bats which conform to a strict set of regulations. For example, some leagues may not allow composite softball bats while others may require you to use only such a bat which carries ASA’s approval tags. Generally, the most famous softball bat certifications are those offered by ASA and USSSA.
These certifications are usually stamped on the exterior of a softball bat, so a bat carrying ASA-approval stamp will be approved for all leagues requiring ASA bats. You should first check the bat requirements with you league before purchasing a softball bat. This will help you narrow down your choice to exactly such bats which are legal in your league.
Top 5 Brands of Asa Softball Bats
With so many softball bat manufacturers out there creating superbly designed and well-researched bats, it is increasingly difficult to decide which one takes top position. Each brand has multiple offerings that run across all ages, weights, and lengths. Nonetheless, softball players have voted with their choice of purchase and these are the top 5 brands we came up with.
When you have a DeMarini bat in your hand, you know you have the best quality on offer. Founded in 1989 by Ray DeMarini, the company has grown to be a leader in sport equipment research, development, and design.
The DeMarini company was the leader in introducing composite bats into the softball arena back in the early 2000’s. They have continued to blaze the trail with better offerings in barrel technology, two-piece joining, and creating vibration-free handles.
DeMarini bats are always well proportioned, offer fantastic balance, and are great to swing in a softball match. Because they are mostly two-piece bats, DeMarini bats offer awesome flex capabilities, which is sure to increase the reach of your hit even when you are simply slapping or bunting. The company has a great and interactive customer care team trusted by players and retailers.
Easton Sports Inc. has its headquarters in Van Nuys, California and has operations in Utah, Canada, and Mexico. Easton bats are popular in both softball and baseball circles. They have a tradition of making reliable equipment which do not damage easy.
While they are not always at the forefront of innovative products, all their bats are produced under very strict specifications and backed by one of the best research and development teams in the industry.
For instance, their new Marko Torq line has some great specimens already making a great impact in the 2016 season. If our list was a review of the 6 top bats, we probably would have slotted it for the 6th spot.
From beginner to youth and professional, you will always find an Easton bat that will perfectly fit your needs and your style.
The Louisville Slugger brand has a very rich and interesting history. Anyone who has played softball has probably at one time or another used a Louisville slugger. You can still feel the passion and dedication that goes into making each bat.
They are a top-notch brand grounded in tradition yet with a passion for innovation. Louisville sluggers are popular for their large sweet spots even for BBCOR bats.
All the brand’s bats have breathtaking paint jobs in mesmerizing colors and designs. You feel like you are holding a piece of art.
The caps and grips are always professionally done with very keen attention to detail. Their Xeno line are exquisitely balanced to perfection always with just the right amount of swing weight.
Louisville sluggers almost always have the seamless joints that you don’t get to see very often nowadays with current bats. This gives you a much larger sweet spot and a more fantastic pop.
Miken Sports has its headquarters in Caledonia, MN. Miken was on the forefront of introducing composite bats when it was founded in 1997. The company has forged a name as the manufacturer of choice for all composite bats.
The brand is known for its reliability and its passion in producing superior products. Their ability to anticipate player demands and provide high performance solutions has greatly endeared them to professional players from all across the nation.
The new 2016 Miken lines are awesome. The Chill-10 is an admirable specimen in every way while the Miken Super Freak lives up to its name in hitting over the fence.
The Miken Ultra II line has dominated the sport right from junior to senior leagues. However, recently there has been grumbling from players about easy breaking and poor customer service. We hope they will quickly improve on that.
Mizuno was established in 1906 by Rihachi Mizuno in Osaka, Japan as a Japanese Sportswear and Sports equipment company. Since 1913, Mizuno has been making baseball and softball balls, bats, and gloves.
With a worldwide presence and a very innovative research and development team, the Mizuno brand is known for high performance equipment and high end products. With a Mizuno bat in your hand, you will never be nervous about stepping up to the plate.
Mizuno bats have a fantastic pop to it and you can always get the best, even within the BBCOR range. Nonetheless, they should improve on the grip. They are not as comfortable as other premium brands and this may affect your swing.
If you like colors, then the graphics on each piece is amazing. Makes you feel like the Evel Knievel of softball every time you step up to the plate.
Below are The Top 5 ASA Softball Bats for 2017 That You May Interested
1. Easton Brian Wegman Loaded ASA 2017 Slowpitch Softball Bat SP17BWA
The Easton Brian Wegman is one of the best ASA slowpitch softball bats released this year. This end-loaded bat comes with the guaranteed quality and performance for which all Easton bats are known.
Easton has constructed this bat entirely from composite material, which means that the bat is poised to deliver top performance in the hands of the right player. The barrel of the bat has been manufactured using TCT Thermo Composite Technology. Thanks to this technology, that bat has a significantly large sweet spot compared to most other slowpitch softball bats.
The barrel of this bat offers an exceptional degree of flex, enabling you to hit harder and farther with this bat. And that bat is hot right out of the wraps, so you can start using it in a real game right away.
The bat also features a 1-piece design. This means that the bat channels most of the force of your swing right into the barrel, giving you maximum hitting prowess on the plate. The stiffer feel of the 1-piece design also helps in making your swing smoother.
The Brian Wegman bat comes with a SIC black carbon handle. The handle ensures that you are able to get a firm grip on the bat during swinging. It also eliminates any feedback vibrations from the barrel and gives you a perfectly comfortable feel when using the bat.
2. Easton Brett Helmer Loaded ASA 2017 Slowpitch Softball Bat SP17BHA
The Easton Brett Helmer is an end-loaded slowpitch softball bat. This bat is yet another great option for ASA softball players. Easton is usually included among the top softball equipment manufacturers and the company’s commitment to excellence is well reflected in all the softball bats it manufactures.
The company has constructed the Easton Brett Helmer bat from composite materials, ensuring that the bat will deliver top performance on the plate. The use of Easton’s trademark TCT Thermo Composite Technology in the barrel has ensured that this bat features a massive sweet spot, making it easier for you to hit the incoming softballs accurately. Thanks to the extra FLEX in the barrel, the bat also offers a better trampoline effect. This enables the players to hit farther with the same amount of hitting power.
The Brett Helmer Loaded is a 2-piece bat. This offers the dual advantage of mitigating any feedback vibrations and at the same time, adding that touch of stiffness which makes this bat a powerful hitter in the hands of power players. The bat features a SIC Black Carbon handle and a HYPERSKIN grip on top, allowing players to manage a solid grip on the handle during the swing. The bat features a 29/32” handle. It is 34” in length and is available in 26.5 ounce, 27.5 ounce and 28.5 ounce variants.
3. Miken DC-41 Supermax ASA Slowpitch Bat
When it comes to best slowpitch softball bats in the market, Miken is a well-known brand. Year after year, the company has dished out solid quality in its bats and has sustained its reputation as a manufacturer of reliable bats. This year, Miken has launched the DC-41 Supermax bat which comes with the hallmark quality, performance and stunning looks for which Miken bats are known.
Miken has constructed this bat using premium-quality composite material. So you can be sure that this bat will deliver the top performance on the plate. To top it, the extraordinary design of the bat makes the most of its composite construction. The Miken DC-41 Supermax has a 4-piece construction, deftly done to ensure peak performance at one hand and an incredibly comfortable and easy use for the players on the other hand.
Miken has used the Tetra-Core technology to reinforce the bat while offering a massive sweet spot and a handsome amount of flex on the barrel.
The bat also requires a very brief break-in period and is ready for use within no time. So you can start using your DC-41 Supermax in actual games fairly soon after getting it. The bat is 34 inches in length and comes with multiple corresponding weight options.
4. DeMarini ASA/USSSA/NSA/ISA Corndog 2 17 Slow Pitch Bat
The DeMarini Corndog 2 17 is another quality ASA softball bat from DeMarini this year. This one is a slowpitch softball bat excellently suited to such players who are looking to take their performance a notch higher this year.
This one is a wooden softball bat carrying a composite handle. DeMarini has used top-quality pro maple wood in the construction of the barrel, ensuring that the barrel offers exceptional performance in the hands of a power player.
Given its wood construction, the Corndog 2 is indeed best suited to such players who can rely on their swing power to hit hard and far.
The handle features para flex composite material. This material comes with 22% stronger carbon fibers. As a result, the handle seamlessly connects with the barrel and the bat features a brilliantly smooth and precise weight distribution all over. The Corndog 2 17 bat is approved for use in all major leagues including ASA, USSSA, ISA and ISA. The bat weighs 28 ounces. A slight downside is that it takes significantly longer than usual to ship, so if you plan on buying it, be sure to place an order well in advance.
5. Axe Bats 2017 Avenge L150E -10 Fast Pitch Softball Bat
The Axe Bats 2017 Avenge L150E is another top ASA softball bat this year. Axe bats are typically known for their unique design and ergonomically optimal handles which enables these bats to deliver top performance. The Avenge L150E features these trademark features and then some.
The bat features a two-piece composite construction. Axe has used advanced BCP carbon fiber material as the composite raw material. Thanks to this special material, the bat packs a significantly large barrel and a sizable sweet spot. This enables the players to hit the incoming softball more accurately and with greater force in the right direction.
To further aid the players in hitting accurately with this bat, Axe has used Plus-Plus Hitting Face technology which ensures one-sided hitting while maintaining the durability of the bat. To top it all, the bat features the patented Axe handle with its unique design. This handle allows players to channel their swing power more effectively into the barrel while also supporting the bat speed.
The Axe handle also reduces the risk of any swing-related injuries and ensures a perfectly smooth hitting experience. The bat is approved for use in all major leagues including ASA, NSA, USSSA, ISF, ISA, NFHS and NCAA.
The best ASA Softball bats 2019 helps in maximizing your ability and effort in the field. One question that most of our readers ask is, ‘’Can I use my fastpitch bat for a slow-pitch game and vice versa?’’
Well, while it is possible to use either of the 2 bats in any type of softball, experts recommend against it. There is a high chance of damaging your fastpitch bat if you used it for slowpitch softball given its lightweight design.
On the other hand, it might be somewhat difficult to respond to a high-velocity pitch on time when using a heavy slowpitch bat.
Bottomline: Get the right bat for the right game. Of importance, get a model with a well-balanced weight to allow you excellent swings and control. It should also offer you a good and steady grip to allow you to exhibit your mastery of the game with confidence.