Do composite bats go dead? Yes they do. In some cases, it could be plain to see from visible cracks or dents, but in some cases, it may be much harder to tell.
Does the bat sound different? Is the ball carry less than before? Below, we walk you through the tell-tale signs to look out for.
Do Composite Bats Go Dead?
Composite bats die, mostly due to a loss of compression either from cracking, a failed connection piece, a loose end cap, etc.
In regards to when your bat will die, it’s a crapshoot – New composite bats can break in as little as 50 swings, while others may last for 1,000s of swings.
Several variables may affect the longevity of your composite bat. Your bat model and its construction, the number of hits on the same spot on the barrel, the density of the balls you hit and how hard you hit, all affect your bat’s lifespan.
What Does a Dead Composite Bat Sound Like?
A change in sound is the quickest way to know if your bat is dead or on its way there. A dead bat makes a dull, flat, solid sounding thump when you hit.
However, it is worth noting that composite bats won’t ping, which fools many into thinking they’ve bought a dud. I’ve seen some people claim their bat is dead, when instead, it wasn’t fully broken in.
As they break in, composite bats make a lively sound, a lovely crack that’s characteristic of a wood bat. They continue to get hotter until they invariably fail as the fibers continue to break down.
How to Tell if Your Bat Is Dead
Visual inspection for cracks & dents
If you suspect your bat might be dead, examine it carefully. I usually start by cleaning up the bat, which has often revealed the “cracks” to be mere paint issues.
As the barrel fibers on a composite bat stretch, they will usually seam, web or crack, usually in a shark tooth pattern on the opposite side of contact.
Cosmetic paint chips and surface-level scratches do not affect the bat’s performance. These are typical with regular use.
Webbing on the barrel is a good thing in most cases signaling that the barrel fibers are fully broken down. Here, the bat is at its hottest, that is until the webbing turns into a crack.
Once you spot a crack along the barrel, that bat is a goner and you should make plans for a replacement. These cracks sometimes aren’t so obvious and manifest in the form of hairline fractures, stress cracks, or spiral fractures which could be hard to spot, so closely inspect the length of your barrel and see if you spot anything.
In rare cases, composite bats break and shatter into multiple pieces.