School’s out, the weather’s warmer, and the days are getting longer. We all know what that means.
It’s softball season again.
Softball is a great summer sport for players of all ages. Estimates indicate that some 30 million Americans play softball. And, whether you play competitively or just for fun, it’s important to have the right equipment.
Perhaps you’ve been playing softball for a while, and it’s time to update your softball bag. Or, maybe you’re ready to try softball as a new hobby and need to get the right supplies.
Either way, you’ve come to the right place. Here’s our guide to the best hybrid softball bats to make your game awesome.
What are Hybrid Softball Bats?
First, let’s take a close look at what hybrid softball bats are, and how they differ from other choices.
In Major League Baseball, it’s actually illegal to use aluminum bats. This is because aluminum bats are much lighter and easier to swing than wooden ones.
The average softball player, however, does not swing a bat with nearly the same force as a baseball player. This makes lightweight aluminum bats a great choice for softball.
Composite is another popular material for softball bats. These bats are made out of a sturdy and more durable plastic material. They also tend to be more expensive.
A hybrid bat, then, is one that combines composite materials and aluminum. This makes them a good mid-range option.
Why we Love Hybrid Softball Bats
Now that we’ve covered what a hybrid bat is, let’s look at what features make these bats great choices.
For one, hybrid softball bats can be the best of both worlds. Composite bats and aluminum bats both have good features. Combining them into one bat brings those features together.
For instance, since the composite material is a bit sturdier than aluminum, it makes for a better grip. It also, however, makes for a heavier bat overall.
With a hybrid bat, you can enjoy the preferable grip that composite material offers. At the same time, you also benefit from the lighter material of an aluminum barrel. Not to mention, making the bat from two materials makes it possible to have a longer barrel.
Additionally, hybrid bats are a great choice when it comes to cost. Aluminum bats tend to be the cheapest, whereas composite bats are more expensive. A hybrid bat, however, tends to fall somewhere in the middle.
Hybrid bats also tend to be two-piece, since they are made with different materials. This allows the bat to flex, and create a trampoline effect when hitting the ball. These bats also have fewer vibrations.
Softball games come in two varieties: slowpitch and fastpitch. Softball bats are optimized for one of these styles.
One of the best manufacturers of softball bats is DeMarini. Let’s take a look at some of their best hybrid bats for slow-pitch softball.
DeMarini Uprising Slowpitch Softball Bat
This slowpitch bat is made with a DX1 aluminum alloy and features a hybrid performance grip handle. This makes the DeMarini Uprising easier and more comfortable to hold on to.
One of the reasons we love this bat is its lightness. At 26 to 28 ounces, this bat makes for a smooth swing.
DeMarini the ONE Softball Bat
DeMarini also manufactures The ONE, another effective hybrid slow-pitch bat.
This bat is ideal for more experienced and veteran players. It’s made with a sturdy handle that gives players the ability to make stiff hits. This makes The ONE a great slugger.
Not to mention, this bat also looks great. It’s made with a well-polished material featuring black and bright blue graphics. These features make this bat a great statement piece.
DeMarini SF8 Slowpitch Softball Bat
This two-piece bat features a barrel that is 13 inches long and 2.25 inches in diameter. The bat’s handle is wrapped in a thin grip material. The handle also features a knob, making the bat more comfortable to hold.
Additionally, this bat has double-wall construction. This gives the bat greater power upon making contact.
The SF8 also comes in at a mid-range price, making it an economical choice.
DeMarini Juggy End Loaded Slowpitch Softball Bat
The Juggy includes many of the same features as the SF8, including the comfort knob on the handle.
The main difference is that this bat is designed for use in Senior Slowpitch Leagues. For this reason, it has a slightly shorter barrel.
If you play fastpitch softball, a hybrid bat can still be a good choice.
We’ve already covered DeMarini’s Uprising Slowpitch bat. The fastpitch version of the same bat, however, is also a great choice.
Like the slowpitch bat, this bat features a comfort performance grip. In this model, however, the grip is also optimized to prevent vibrations coming down the barrel.
This bat is super light and is available in 16 to 20 ounces. It also comes in 28 to 32 inches. Best of all, this model is extremely affordable.
Choosing the Right Bat for You
At the end of the day, one of these bats is not necessarily better than the other. Rather, different bats work better for different players. So how can you choose which is right for you?
Consider what kind of player you are. A casual player who plays a few games a year doesn’t need the same bat as a competitor who plays a few times a week.
Often, it comes down to personal preference. Reading detailed reviews can be a helpful way to determine which bat will meet your needs.
What hybrid softball bats are your favorite? Let us know in the comments!