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Wood vs. Aluminum Bat: Which Is Right for You?

 

Wood vs. Aluminum Bat: Which Is Right for You?

With so many choices in the way of baseball bats, it may be difficult to choose the right one. Click here to see the differences in a wood vs. aluminum bat.

happy kids picking out their first viper wood bats

When it comes to baseball bats, the decision between wood and aluminum can be a tough one. To make sure you get the best bat for your needs, it’s important to know how they differ.

In this post, we’ll break down those differences and explain how to choose the best bat for your style of play.

Wood vs. aluminum bat… who wins? Keep reading to find out when we match up different properties of each.

But First… a Brief History of the Baseball Bat

In the sport’s infancy, players would make their own baseball bats. This meant that there would be a whole host of different shapes and sizes of bats. It would make the game unpredictable, and so the evolution of the baseball bat began.

Rather than one person coming up with the baseball bats we see today, a number of innovations over a number of years would eventually result in the modern-day baseball bat, although as you know, there is still a huge amount of variety.

So let’s get into the differences… and whether you should go for a wood or aluminum bat.

Wooden Bat on the Lathe

Weight

The difference in weight between wooden bats and aluminum is significant. Wooden bats are typically heavier than aluminum, often by as much as two or three ounces per bat. This is important for several reasons.

Bat Speed

Weight is one of the primary determinants of bat speed. If you’re looking to increase your swing speed and hit the ball harder, a heavier bat will help you achieve this goal—and vice versa.

Professional Player launches a homerun

Durability

Weight is also one of the primary determinants of durability. The larger diameter barrel on an aluminum bat allows it to be made lighter than its wooden counterpart, but this also leads to a weaker design that can break more easily when struck by a hard-hit ball.

Wood absorbs shock better than metal does; it’s not uncommon for players who use aluminum bats throughout their careers to switch back to wood at some point because they’ve suffered too many broken wrists from batted balls hitting them in the forearm (a common injury among players with metal bats).

Happy Youth Players with their Viper Wood Bats

Length of Life

Aluminum bats tend to last longer than wooden bats.

Due to their durability and resilience, aluminum baseball bats tend to last much longer than wooden ones.

The longevity of an aluminum bat can vary, depending on the brand you buy, but typically they’ll last anywhere from three years up to ten years or more if well maintained (and not used for any other purpose).

Wooden bats can begin showing signs of wear after only a few games, so it’s important that you take good care of your equipment in order for it not to break prematurely.

Feel

Wooden baseball bats offer a different feel than aluminum bats.

The more “give” of the wood makes it easier to hit a ball square on the sweet spot, resulting in better contact and fewer foul balls. Even though wooden bats are heavier than aluminum ones, they’re also less rigid, which means they have a “softer” feel.

Additionally, since it’s harder for players to get a handle on how much contact power they have when using an aluminum bat, using one can be uncomfortable for some people.

Wooden baseball bat construction varies depending on brand—some companies use hickory wood while others use ash—but all wooden bats are made from solid pieces of wood instead of being laminated together like aluminum ones.

This means that there are no seams or cracks from where two pieces join (which could cause damage if you hit beyond the sweet spot), making them more forgiving than their composite counterparts. Plus, because there aren’t any layers glued together inside these types of sticks there isn’t any risk that your favorite piece could break off during regular use (though this does happen occasionally).

Viper Wood Bat in players hands

The Sweet Spot

The sweet spot is the area of the bat where the ball hits with the most energy. The size of a baseball bat’s sweet spot is proportional to its diameter, mass and density.

For example, an aluminum baseball bat has a larger sweet spot than a wood one. That’s because aluminum bats have a larger cross-section area (which means they are thicker) and are less dense than wooden bats.

They also have lower swing weights, which means it takes less effort to swing them fast enough to make contact with balls traveling at high speeds toward home plate.

Bounce

Another difference between wood and aluminum bats is the give upon contact. Aluminum bats are more durable, but they also have a larger sweet spot than a wood bat.

This means that you’re more likely to strike a foul ball with an aluminum bat, because it has more give on impact and will bounce off of the ball in unpredictable directions. Wood bats don’t have this bounce-back effect; instead, they provide what’s called truer bounces, meaning they’ll fly off into one direction only.

Wooden bats are typically easier to control than their aluminum counterparts because of this true bounce trait—and because you can get them customized in any shape or size imaginable!

Custom Elite Viper Wood Baseball Bat

Wood vs. Aluminum Bat

So, what’s the result of wood vs. aluminum bat?

While there are certain advantages to each type of bat, the choice between wooden or aluminum bats is down to personal preference.

And hey, if you have a little extra cash to spend, why not get both types and see which works best for you? After all, that’s what your favorite professional baseball players do.

Why not take a look at some of our wooden bats? You’re sure to find something to fit your tastes! And while you’re on the website, check out the blog section for more helpful information and advice.

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Bigger Barrels are not always Better.

Barrel size and wood density are the buzz words in baseball lately.

Over the years we get asked for the largest barrel possible.  Even some well-meaning parents ask for 2 5/8 barrels for their youth players.

We as bat makers have always thought that Bigger is not always better.  In 2010 Major League baseball reduced the size of bats that players can have.  Because of that we had to redesign a lot of models like the 243.  We trimmed the barrels and made the sweet spot bigger to fill the player’s needs.

Along the way we found that denser wood with smaller barrels hit better.  So we created the HD series. Bats that hit harder with the denser wood and smaller barrels.

Until now it was just our opinion.  With some help from our friend Chris  at Pommel bats the studies have been done and now we have proof that we were correct.

Here are some of the facts from Chris’s studies.

Many times, when I or other wood bat manufacturers are receiving an order from a customer, a series of requests comes up. Can you make it lighter? Can you make it stronger? Can you make the barrel bigger?

The idea that these three traits can be modified separately is a carryover from usage of composite or alloy hollow bats. Most of these bats are at maximum barrel size, modified by weight with dense inserts and have durability/power directly correlating to the strength of the material.

With wood, this is not the case. These three qualities are all interconnected. Wood bats are solid instruments. They have flex, but little trampoline effect. A wood bat’s quality is a game of trade-offs, and this includes barrel size, but NOT for the reason you might think. Today we will be focusing on just this aspect.

When a person requests a bigger barrel, typically they do not want to change the overall weight of the bat dramatically. In that case, what they are doing is putting more mass at the end of the bat compared to the handle. The farther away the majority of the weight, the heavier the bat will feel. This means a slower and less controlled swing, but more power delivered to the ball. This is called end load. In the elite class of power hitters, end loaded bats are commonplace. Their high strength allows them to overcome the issues with control and speed, in order to deliver more power to the ball.

When it comes to players not in the elite level though, the perception of a bigger barrel is not a matter of weight or power. It’s the idea that like a tennis racquet, it makes it easier to hit the ball, in which case they are only partially correct. The differences in a small barrel and large barrel are so minute that they cannot be relied upon. I will be tackling this notion in its entirety and give the facts hereof.

Read more here:  Barrel Size, Is Bigger Always Better? An In-Depth Look – Pommel Bats

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The Best Custom Baseball Bats for Die-Hard Fans

Professionals treat over 8 million young people for sports-related injuries. These are often overuse injuries caused by children practicing too hard. It’s essential to support their sports development safely, but how?

Custom baseball bats are designed for the recipient’s specific height, age, and swinging style. As a result, their skill level will improve, and they are less likely to suffer strains or tear tendons.

Essentially, you can buy this one item to encourage and protect the player from injury. Don’t panic if you think it sounds like a great idea but don’t know where to start. We’ll guide you through everything you need to know about custom baseball bats.

Made to Measure Wooden Bats

Whether you are looking for adult baseball bats or youth wood bats, you’ll need corre

ct measurements. Giving the gift of custom baseball bats can fuel the passion and drive to succeed in young people. Consider the following areas before purchasing your custom baseball bats.

Length

The first step to making custom baseball bats is knowing the correct height.

Measure from the center of the chest to the tip of the fingers and note the measurement. This way, the knob of the wood bat will rest in the palm of the hand.

You can choose the length of your wood bats for adults in inch or half-inch measurements. However, if the recipient is a child, there are set wood youth baseball bats sizes ranging from 24″ for five-year-olds to 33″ for teenagers.

The ProLight Series is ideal for players transitioning to high school. With customized team youth bats, you’ll encourage a sense of camaraderie between the players.

Turn Model

Turn models are the blueprints for producing the best wood

bats. Each turn model has specific elements that take into consideration the handling and swing of the custom bat. Here are the most popular turn models.

  • Turn model 271: Thanks to the 16″ handle and 2.5″ barrel, the swing is quick and end-loaded yet suitable for power and contact hitters
  • Turn model 110: The 110 is a balanced bat with a 2.5″ barrel and 1″ handle that contact hitters adore
  • Turn model 243: This bat has a 2 5/8″ barrel and is ideal for power hitters

Custom baseball bats allow you to select ideal measures and turn models. As such, it will level up skills during the game.

Weight

The finalized weight of your custom baseball bat will depend on the players hitting technique. They’ll swing too fast if the custom wood bat is too light. On the other hand, they’ll suffer from bat drag if it’s too heavy.

The desired weight of youth baseball bats should match their competition level. The more competent you are in the game, the lower weight drop you need.

For example, 10-year-olds will suit a -10 weight drop. Children aged 13+ could use wood bats for kids with a -5 weight drop. Determining the best weight in baseball bats for kids is tricky, so we designed the Ultralight Series to increase speed and control.

Show Your Flair With Accessories

It’s time to personalize your wood baseball bats with stylish design features. Some of the best-loved additions include vibrant block colors to make a statement on the field.

You could also create a team mantra or logo and print it onto your wooden baseball bats. Or make custom baseball bats with unique bat tape. Lizard Skins look great and improve the gripping comfort of wood bats.

They come in a range of colors to suit your personal preferences or team uniform.

Customize the Knob for Ultimate Comfort

Players often put their initials or team number on their bat’s knob. It makes the bat easy to identify during training and games and looks stylish. Customizing the knob style will improve comfort and swing.

  • Standard: This knob style transitions into the handle and is suitable for first-time owners of wood baseball bats
  • Bell: Bell knobs are larger than average to create a counterweight when playing
  • Tapered: This style will reduce stress on the palm and offers extra control
  • Cone: Cone knobs have a gentle transition and are perfect for injured players or those looking for extra comfort

With the correct knob shape, you can lessen the pressure on the hands and reduce the risk of injury.

Custom Fungo Bat for Die-Hard Coaches

Fungo bats are the ultimate item in your kitbag. They have a drop weight of -10 and are longer than the average bat. A Fungo bat is best used to practice retrieving fly-balls and grounders.

Thanks to the lightweight design of wooden fungo bats, you can practice with your team or child without losing stamina. Wood fungo bats also increase the accuracy level so that players can practice catching.

Maple Baseball Bats for Training

Maple is a dense wood that lends itself to solid and durable baseball bats for adults. Maple b

ats have much less flexibility than others on the market so that players can achieve more pop.

They are an excellent bat for practicing power hits. You can also use maple wood bats as a warmup. Swinging a heavier bat at the start of your training will activate your muscles and help avoid injury.

Your whole team can use maple bats during practice, and maple fungo bats make a perfect addition to any coach kit bag.

Custom Wood Softball Bats

We can make softball bats with ash, birch, or maple wood. You can also customize wo

oden softball bats by length, color, logos, and engravings. Softball wood bats are lighter and longer than the average baseball wooden bat.

For the ultimate die-hard fan, consider a trophy bat. These unique ash, birch, or maple softball bats are ideal for coaches, parents, and league celebrations.

Youth softball bats have a limited shelflife because they will need an upgrade as the child gets older. However, a trophy bat is something to keep forever.

Although you can’t play with trophy maple softball bats, they can take pride of place in your home or locker room. On the trophy custom baseball bats, you can have up to three lines of engraved text.

Custom Baseball Bats Are the Ideal Gift

This list has covered everything you need to know about custom baseball bats. The improved performance, safety, and comfort are just some reasons players love a custom wood bat.

So, invest in performance this year, and the players will be thanking you for life. Contact us today for support or guidance in purchasing custom baseball bats.

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Coaching Little League? Here’s Why You Need a Fungo Bat!

   Little League baseball is a summer right of passage for boys and girls in America and abroad, and today, approximately two million kids play it worldwide.

Coaching Little League baseball is a great way to contribute to your community. But coaching can take a toll on your body. During an hour-long fielding practice session, swinging a bat can exacerbate repetitive motion injuries.

It would help if you had what baseball coaches at all levels use: a fungo bat. Not sure what a fungo bat is or why you need one? Read on to learn all the benefits of using a fungo bat.

What is a Fungo Bat?

A fungo is a lightweight, long, skinny bat coaches use during fielding drills. The typical fungo weight is 17-24 ounces. Compare that to the average weight of a wooden bat, 27-31 ounces.

Fungo bats are also 34-37 inches long with a barrel diameter of 2.25 inches.

Most fungos are crafted from ash, though some are made from maple and bamboo. These practice bats are inexpensive tools, retailing for less than $100.

Fungo Bat Origins

The fungo bat may be as old as the game itself. The first appearance of the word “fungo” came in 1867 in Henry Chadwick’s The Base Ball Player’s Book of Reference.

“Fungoes” refers to a warm-up game where a player with a bat hits a pop-up fly. The player who catches the ball takes the bat for the next round.

From these rudimentary drills, the “fungo bat” was born.

Why You Need a Fungo Bat When Coaching

Coaching Little League is all about teaching young players the fundamentals. And one of the most significant fundamentals you must teach your players is how to field and throw.

Teaching these skills requires repetition. As a coach, you’ll spend most of your practice hitting ground and fly balls. From there, you’ll drill the proper throwing techniques and protocols.

You can hit balls to your players with aluminum or wooden bats, but fungo bats are the best baseball bat for coaches. Here’s why you need one if you’re coaching Little League.

Fungo Bats are Lighter

How many times can you swing a bat in an hour? Most of your practices will include fielding drills if you’re a Little League coach. Sure, regular bats can work, but how athletic are you?

Arm and body fatigue from swinging a standard bat will occur, and as the practice progresses, the balls you hit will not reflect in-game scenarios. The lighter weight of a fungo bat allows for free-swinging without taxing your body.

Thinner Barrel Improves Accuracy

Putting the ball in play is fundamental for fielding drills. But for your players to learn proper fielding techniques, you have to make sure your hit ball lands where you aim.

A fungo bat’s thin barrel improves your accuracy during fielding drills. Whether you’re sending a line drive into the gap or hitting a grounder to your shortstop, the fungo ensures the ball lands where you intend every time. Having your players chase poorly hit balls is detrimental to their learning process.

Fungo Bats Make Game Scenarios Easier to Replicate

The art of fielding isn’t only learning how to catch a baseball. It’s about knowing what to do after you catch the ball. Outfielders must learn how to track and catch fly balls, but where to throw after they catch it depends on the game’s scenario, which must become a reflex.

The same goes for infielders. Learning how to field a hard-hit ground ball is crucial, but knowing where to throw it to turn a double play.

Fungo bats help you, the coach, teach these skills. You can put runners o

n the bag and hit fly balls accurately to your outfielders. From there, they can learn the proper cut-off throws.

Fungo Bats Suit One-Handed Swing

The lighter weight of a fungo bat increases your swing speed, which may mean harder hit balls. But you’re teaching young kids how to field, so you can’t send them rocket line drives. They could suffer severe injury.

A fungo bat is easy to swing with one hand, severely cutting the velocity while maintaining accuracy. The fungo one-handed swing can loop high flys or short choppers with ease.

Why You Need Custom Fungo Bats

A custom fungo bat is one of a baseball coach’s essential tools. These custom fungos come in various colors and materials, but they’re built for your body. With these bats, you can get maximum production with minimal body fatigue.

Team Viper offers fully customizable fungo bats for coaches at any level. These high-quality maple fungos get built to your exact specifications.

Don’t Let Your Players Use It

Your fungo bat will draw attention from your Little Leaguers. It’s light, long, and easy to swing. Much easier than their aluminum alloy bats.

The lighter weight and longer length will destroy thei

r hitting fundamentals. Repeated swings will destroy their timing, footwork, and swing plane.

Remember, a fungo bat is a coach’s tool that helps you teach your young players proper techniques. Those proper techniques will get destroyed if your players use a fungo bat during practice.

Team Viper Meets All Your Baseball Bat Needs?

Are you ready to get out on the field with your players? Little League season is right around the corner, and if you’re coaching, you’ll need the best tools for the job.

Make your practices easier on your body with a custom fungo bat from Team Viper.

We can also supply bats for your entire team. Contact us today to make a custom order.

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The Founding of Viper Bats

Viper bats is a high-quality bat company producing quality custom wood baseball bats for all levels of play. The company began in the year 2003 and since that time they have been producing high-quality wood bats for people worldwide.

Viper bats was started by our founder Don Fine to make bats for his son Chris.  Chris was a top prospect on a lot of schools radar in high school.  In the fall of his senior year Chris asked his dad to coach a fall baseball team in the local area.  He wanted to play with wood bats because that was the next level of play he was hoping to play at.

So like most projects handed to Don he researched the wood bats on the market and could not find a high quality bat that was available to the general public.  Don found a local minor league player to help coach and teach hitting.  They found a supplier that sold to the minor leagues and he agreed to sell us high quality bats.  That was Splitrock bats.  We started the season using them with great success and became better hitters. 

When we went to reorder from Kevin at Splitrock bats he explained to us that he was moving up the food chain and was headed to play winter ball in south America.  He had a loan against some of his equipment and was going to have to put it in storage before heading south.  After a short conversation on a lowboy semi showed up a bat company.

We cleaned out ½ of the 2 car garage and started a bat company.  Because our wood bat team was named Skagit Valley Vipers we decided to create a new logo and that was where Viper Bats was born.  We still made Splitrock bats but decided that Viper would be our flag ship.

Business grew fast and we out grew the garage and had to add a 3rd bay to our garage and had a new home for viper bats.  As we grew we fount the 3rd bay to small and we built a new shop behind our house.

Wood bats in Washington youth and men’s leagues rose to prominence thanks to the craftsmanship of Viper Bats as a local producer. Maple bats have been an explosive force in baseball and softball for their flex and the quality of contact. With Viper Bats craftsmanship, we can build wood bats in custom length and wood bats for youth that deliver an impressive impact and quality results for your game. 

As we grew we needed to move to more acreage and more shop space.  We found a place in a local town with a 2000 sq ft shop already there.  Before we moved in we remodeled it to suit our needs.

Along the way Chris lived with us and started to work in the business, after 2 years at a D2 college he came back home to work on the business full time.  Learning the business from the ground up but taking more of an interest in the web site side of the business.

In our new diggs we were happy and thought we had plenty of space.  From 800 sq ft to 2000 wow.  Like most building when a company is growing the space got smaller.  We added another 1000sq ft and watched as we grew out of that quickly.

At this point Don went to work to find a longer solution.  10 acres would do it.  He found the perfect solution and went to work building out Viper Land in Bow wa.  With a new building of 7000 sq ft we should be good for a while.

With all this growth we always kept you the customer in mind.  We found more efficient way to make bats with mew computer lathes and a new high flow finish booths.

With Viper Bats craftsmanship, we can build wood bats in custom length and wood bats for youth that deliver an impressive impact and quality results for your game. 

Viper Bats produces a wide range of quality bats including Big Barrel Bats, the Platinum series bat, elite series bats, and more. The dense nature of the bats produced at Viper ensures that you will have a product that lasts and that will be guaranteed by a 45-day warranty. With an anti-flake coating and a dense wood grain, these are the types of bats that bring a furniture-quality finish. 

Viper Bats in their custom format can be one of the best ways to enjoy a quality product that evolves with your game taking your game to the next level. You can get the ideal length, color, barrel configuration, and more. These are the types of custom bats you expect to see in pro leagues and Viper is working with several Levels of athletes. Crafted for performance Built to last.

With team pricing and a loyalty program available, Viper bats offer the best pricing on wood bats in custom formats or wood bats for youth. You never have to pay full price on high-quality bats with Viper bats!

If you are interested in learning more about professional custom bats or unique wood bats for youth leagues, check out Viper Bats today.  www.viperbats.com 

or call 360-707-2685