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April 4, 2014
LDpro
Topic: Product review
Discussion: Miken Senior Bat Review- shich is the best bat of the 3?

PS to All:

I know from being on various message boards over the years, that the new guy (me in this case) brings up things that have already been discussed a million times, and irritates the veterans of the site. When this is the case, just say shut up, and I'll get it.

Greg
April 4, 2014
LDpro
Topic: Product review
Discussion: Miken Senior Bat Review- shich is the best bat of the 3?

HJ,

Testing would solve some problems, but I can tell you from experience, testing used equipment can be a freaking nightmare. I assume manufactures of softball bats have the same objective as driver manufactures in the golf world. Make the equipment produce the highest balls speeds possible within the rules, and make it last long enough to keep consumers happy, yet not too long so they will have to buy more equipment. You can’t sell as much equipment by just changing the paint job…but they do sell a lot that way. The real trick in manufacturing is to make the equipment legal when new, and then illegal as possible when used. Illegal is a subjective term. When equipment becomes illegal thru legal usage, they just say it exceeds allowable limits when discovered. Manufactures are really sensitive to the word “Illegal” even when something is clearly not legal.

Manufactures design rules only apply to equipment that has not been hit. Since everyone that breaks-in a bat experiences an improvement in performance, some might wonder why not just make the bat that hot from the beginning. How can “Weekend Warrior Joe” be better at making his bat perform than all the technology available to the manufactures? Well, the manufactures can’t exceed the maximum allowable design specs, but it is okay/legal if Joe makes it do it, as long as he does it legally, which often happens the first day. Now apply bat testing technology to monitoring tournaments…your favorite bat will get confiscated. Remember, it was your favorite bat because it was broken-in just right, thus exceeding original design limitations. Regardless of following the rules of usage, used equipment can far exceed the manufactures original design limitations. The funny part of all this is that bats that are broken-in correctly can be hotter at a point in time than one that is broken-in illegally under the rules. The rules of break-in are useless, and in most cases irrelevant to peak performance. So why break-in a bat illegally…because it is much faster. Manufactures hate it because equipment with a warranty will suffer a higher return rate. Typically, manufactures have a very close relationship with those making the rules. Since hitting 1000 softballs can cause a bat to be hotter than beating it on something other than a softball, it is most likely that the break-in rule was created to protect the time of the warranty period.

So back to your favorite bat being confiscated at the tournament. Since the check-in process will take a few minutes to test each bat, everyone will figure out that if they just bring way more bats than they need so they can overwhelm the testing process with volume. Big tournaments will have thousands of bats to test. When this happens they will go to random checks, which means everyone will still get several bats past the check-in procedure, so the system fails. What do they do about bats that fail? Or the guy that had them in his bag? Nothing, just hold the bat until after the tournament is over. Why? Because the bat manufactures will sue the tournament/entity that makes such a claim about their equipment, or puts out any information about failing a test. The funny part is, when the word gets out that Joe had several bats fail, many will start buying the bats that Joe hits. Now if Joe is sponsored by a manufacture, he is most likely getting handpicked product. Which often just means the best of the equipment run, or in other words, the stuff the manufactures know will exceed specs the fastest with use. There are often large variances in equipment during the production run, and the manufactures have tests to handpick the best for their sponsored athletes...all legal. I’d recommend getting all the equipment you can form your buddy that has a manufacture sponsorship, but only if he is technically not allowed to give you any. That is how you know you are getting the good stuff.

Disclaimer – The majority of the above information is from the golf world and experience, and personal observation/experience as to the similarities of bat/driver performance during personal use. Because the performance and failure factors are nearly identical, I have assumed them to be the same for practical purposes. No manufactures were harmed in creation of this post. However, tens of thousands of dollars of equipment was destroyed in the research. If any of the above is deemed to be an inaccurate representation of bat design, manufacturing, and distribution…good! I truly hope things are better than I’ve experienced in the reality of hitting a ball as far as possible.

Greg

April 2, 2014
LDpro
Topic: Product review
Discussion: Miken Senior Bat Review- shich is the best bat of the 3?

HJ,
Thanks for the response. While everyone can appreciate the intention and integrity of the rules, they might as well have written them to say, "anyone who tells on themselves has deemed their bat to be illegal." Other than physically doing something to the bat that a ball won't do, it is impossible to tell what the bat has hit during it's life, and if the unauthorized contact caused any alteration. It is interesting that the rules did not specify a softball in flight, therefore ruling out attaching a ball to a tree, and beating on the softball. The migration of bat integrity is an absolute, with the time of migration being the only unknown. The intentions of the player beating a tree, tire, or softball produces the exact same result to the bat. So the only factor that is truly being regulated is the time of integrity migration. Basically they are just saying I haven't spent enough time with my bat to deserve hitting that far...like it's some relationship I have to earn with my bat before getting to experience a home-rum. I guess if I haven't spent enough time with my bat to get past first base, and I use my buddies loose bat that gives up the homers, that also has to be some form of cheating as well. At least that is how I remember it to be.
In the Pro Long Drive world, they have a driver tester device they use on your equipment at check-in. If it is too hot, they take it from you on the spot. Even during the event, if you bomb one way past everyone they test it again, if it fails, it's gone.
There is no reason to try and regulate intention and/or process when you can more easily monitor results. I have no idea where the softball world is on this stuff, but their rules are useless on the issue. As is evident by all the rollers and shavers out there selling their services. I just beat trees, but only the bad ones.
March 29, 2014
LDpro
Topic: Product review
Discussion: Miken Senior Bat Review- shich is the best bat of the 3?

Yep, they made that rule in our league. We have a bunch age ranges playing against each other with a point spread handicap system. They made it so the guys that have good arms that just turned 50, can't take advantage of someone 20 years older. Seems like most guys in our league that get hurt do it on the way to first. I'm up for things like this that help people stay in the game, but only at the rec level.
Greg
March 28, 2014
LDpro
Topic: Product review
Discussion: Miken Senior Bat Review- shich is the best bat of the 3?

HJ,
Is that actually a written rule, or a belief? I have no idea. I know it saves me a lot of time, and works very well. I've also told everyone in our league how to do it, and nobody seems concerned. I hear many guys prefer to beat on tires, but never tried it. A 12 inch diameter tree works great. Rotate a quarter turn every hit until the bat starts rebounding. If a regulation softball is the only thing a bat can hit, what about the guys a see taking BP with non-regulation limited flight balls, and spongy balls that are weighted. Does a bat become illegal when a guy gets pissed and whacks the water color, beats the crap out of the dugout, or the ground. What if he throws it and it hits the fence? How could that rule be enforced?

Are there any rules that apply the beating the crap out of your glove to break it in as well. I've done that a lot. Since I have seen guys beat their glove with their bat, are both now illegal?

I've never read a softball rule book, so don't know. I'm still trying to get use to two bags at first, and don't touch home plate. Oh, and we just got a new one, no throwing the guy out at first from the outfield. The cool thing is that when you hit it out of the park, you can just walk into the dugout and not worry about the rules I just listed. Number one rule - don't get hurt, number two - have fun. It's senior softball, and it's not a contract year.
Greg
March 27, 2014
LDpro
Topic: Product review
Discussion: Miken Senior Bat Review- shich is the best bat of the 3?

Adiktiv6
Not only were my Triads not hot out of the wraper, the sweet spot was about a 1/2 inch wide. Now they perform as well as any Senior bat, and appear to be even more durable after the break in than my Ultra II's out of the wrapper. The last Ultra two's I owned both broke in the same game with only 50 hits on them. I love the Ultra II, I just hate buying a ton of them. In the Long Drive world when we get a hot driver, we need a bag full just to make it thru the World Championships. That is no big deal when you get them for free. It has been my experience that hot equipment means you need a lot of them. This Triad seems to be different. Or, I just happened to get a couple that needed a little more attention. With all the equipment testing I've done the last 16 years, and working with manufactures, there also seems to be a variance from one batch of equipment to the next, I assume this is possible in the bat world as well. Since no players will let me hit/try their bats, I have to buy everything I test. I've got enough broken bats in the garage already, so hopefully this Triad is the cure. I like the 30oz the best.
Greg
March 26, 2014
LDpro
Topic: Product review
Discussion: Miken Senior Bat Review- shich is the best bat of the 3?

Triad Blackout
Obviously this is my first post on this site. Now that I’m in my 50’s (54), I decided to get back into Softball. I’ve spent the last 16 years in the sport of Professional Long Drive, some may have seen the event shown on ESPN over the years. I still compete in Pro LD, but have found that Senior Softball is much more fun. Even better than I remembered it. However, this senior softball bat stuff is a product nightmare with all the breakage. Especially since this is the first time I’ve had to pay for sports equipment in years. LOL. Which brings me to the topic of the title…the Triad Blackout, which is also a nightmare until you break it in. I bought a couple, just because it came with a warranty, 28oz and 30oz. I started with the 28oz, and after 600 hits, it still was too stiff compared to other senior bats. So I decided to beat it on a tree until it either soften up, or broke. After several minutes of abuse, it started to rebound pretty well, so I stopped and inspected it for cracks…still looked great. It added about 20-30 feet of distance, and lasted another 400-500 hits before it developed a 2 inch crack in a perfect straight line in the sweet spot parallel with the barrel, very hard to see. Right now the bat is hot, but now that I’ve learned what it takes to make it work, I abused the 30oz as well on the tree. I use to get paid by golf companies to break drivers, and just had to know the limits of this bat. They are both awesome right now, and still in use, even for BP. I’m going to go ahead and destroy the 28oz, just so I know where the total failure point is. Yeah it sucks that these things are about $250 a pop, but I’ll buy as many as I need to play, and I know for sure it will be way fewer bats than anything I’ve hit over the last 3 years. I can honestly tell you, they do not make drivers that can take this much abuse, and still perform at the highest level when compared to competition. Your choices are typically durability, or performance. The Triad Blackout delivers both, once broken-in. There really should be a picture of a tree in the product information guide. I wasn’t happy with the bat until it met the tree. Now I love it.

Greg

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