Softball Bat Weight: End-Loaded vs. Balanced
When it comes to softball bats, fastpitch softball bats, slowpitch softball bats, finding the correct length to weight ratio for the type of hitter you are is very important to having success at the plate. Additionally, you will need to choose between a bat that is balanced or end-loaded. What does all this mean? Well, in this article we will discuss everything you need to know when choosing the perfect softball bat for you!
Balanced vs. End-Loaded Softball Bats
When deciding on a softball bat, it is important to know the difference between a balanced bat and an end-loaded bat. A balanced softball bat is going to have a perfectly balanced weight distribution throughout the entirety of the bat. An end-loaded softball bat will have extra weight added to the end portion of the barrel. You could also think of an end-loaded bat being “top heavy”.
Balanced Softball Bats
If you are looking for a softball bat that will help increase your bat speed, we would recommend checking out a balanced bat. These are best for hitters that are looking to make solid contact and hit the ball to all parts of the field.
Typically, balanced bats are more commonly seen being used by contact hitters with a smaller build. This is because they are fairly light in weight which helps hitters get the bat through the zone much easier. Therefore, if you are more of a contact hitter with a short, quick swing, a lighter, balanced bat may be best for you.
- Lighter swing weight
- Can help increase bat speed
- Can be used by any style of hitter
- No “top-heavy” feel, perfectly balanced weight
- Can lose out on power
- May not lose distance on balls hit
End-Loaded Softball Bats
End-loaded softball bats are perfect for power hitters that are looking to get some extra weight behind their swing. The added weight to the end of the bat can help stronger hitters get more power on contact and get more power on contact with the ball.
Typically, end-loaded bats are seen more prevalently in slowpitch softball. This is because the majority of slowpitch hitters have much bigger builds and have powerful, home run hitting swings. Therefore, if you are a power hitter with a stronger build, a heavier end-loaded bat may be best for you.
- Provides increase power on contact
- Helps increase distance on batted balls
- Durable, long lasting
- Much heavier than balanced bats (may be tough for some players to use)
- May decrease bat speed
What Weight Softball Bat Should I Choose?
In addition to choosing either a balanced or end-loaded bat, you will need to decide on what weight of the bat would be best for the style of hitter you are. Having a bat that is too light or too heavy may result in a negative impact on performance at the plate. Below we have listed out different bat weights and the types of hitters they may be best suited for.
- 28.5 - 30 oz. (slowpitch)
- 24 - 26 oz. (fastpitch)
For the most part, these weights are going to be your end-loaded bats. Weights vary when it comes to fastpitch and slowpitch bats. Slowpitch bats are typically heavier than fastpitch bats.
Again, heavier bats are going to be better suited for the power hitter looking to get more distance on contact.
- 27 - 28 oz. (slowpitch)
- 20 - 23 oz. (fastpitch)
You may find some end-loaded bats in the medium range, but for the most part they will be balanced. This weight range is typically the choice of a contact hitter with a slightly bigger build that can handle a little more weight. These bats can be used by either power hitters or contact hitters, it just comes down to personal preference and comfort.
- 25 – 26.5 oz. (slowpitch)
- 15 – 19 oz. (fastpitch)
Lighter weighted bats will more than likely always have a balanced swing weight. As stated before, these bats are going to be perfect for that contact hitter that with a quick swing looking to increase their bat speed at the plate. Power hitters that try to use a lighter bat than they should may find that they are swinging too fast and not making solid contact with the ball.
This article was originally published on January 28, 2020, and has been updated with new information.