Cricket bats are made from willow, a naturally grown soft fibrous wood. Each bat is made from a cleft cut from a 15 – 20 year old tree and each cleft will have different properties. It is these properties that determine the performance of the finished bat.
There is no truth that branded bats made from Grade 1++, or “Pro Grade” perform any better than bats made from lower grades of willow. The grading of willow is simple. Grade 1 is generally 8 – 10 straight clean grains, clean face with maybe the odd mark/blemish on the back of the bat. The top grade or Pro grade is just the cleanest, lightest willow with perfect 9 – 11 grains but there is no guarantee it will be a better bat. It will be far more expensive though! We only use the best Grade 1 willow and each blade is picked for perfect ping.
When you receive your bat it will have been pre-prepared with a coat of linseed oil and a finish of linseed oil & beeswax polish. It will come with a facing sheet applied, taped edge protection, a beeswax wax sealed toe and will have been part broken in.
Breaking in your bat is very important to the performance and lifespan. Every bat is pressed with around 2000lbs pressure per square inch and has had 30 minutes of being broken in by hand with a bat mallet. You should continue to do this for a couple of weeks, either with a bat mallet or an old ball in the nets. This will increase the surface hardness and resistance to cracking and splitting.
Knocking or breaking in your new cricket batis vital to it's performance. The more you knock it in the harder the face becomes and improves the ping and performance. Using a good qualit bat mallet, work across the blade paying particular attention to the edges and toe of the bat. We can provide this service. We don't use machines, we do this the traditional way, by hand. This service is £30 and will massively help to improve the life of your bat.
Avoid moisture as this will cause the willow to soften and split.
Avoid banging the toe of the bat into the crease as the moisture will ingress through the toe of the bat weakening the structure.
Avoid digging out yorkers.
We would point out that willow, being a softwood will dent and crack a little, this is to be expected when hitting a hard ball. These surface cracks are nothing to be worried about and will not affect its performance. If you are in any doubt, give us a call.
We would recommend that after each season you return your bat for a full refurbishment. Your bat will be stripped down, any damage repaired, sanded, a coat of linseed oil, toe re-waxed and polished with new labels & grips applied. You can find out more about this by clicking the link below.