7 Things To Know About That New Axe Bat Under Your Tree This Morning
If you woke this morning to a new Axe Bat under your tree, well, congratulations and welcome to the team! Whether this is your first Axe Bat, or you’ve been swinging one for years, we trust you’ll find a lot to like in the 2016 lineup. But before you peel that wrapper and head for the cage, here are seven things you ought to know:
1. Don’t worry. It’s supposed to be hit on only one side.
The Axe Bat’s asymmetric handle, when gripped correctly, orients the barrel the same way on every swing, meaning contact with the ball always occurs on the same side of the bat.
We call this one-sided hitting and, believe it or not, it’s a huge advantage, not only for engineering the bat, but for maximizing the bat’s performance. Our R&D team has spent years developing directional hitting technologies for both alloy and composite Axe Bats. Our bats have a hitting face and a non-hitting face, which allows us to design the barrels for durability and optimum performance. This concept is seen elsewhere in the sports world, notably with golf clubs.
2. The shape changed dramatically (for the better) after 2012.
Early versions of the Axe Bat looked and felt much different than what you’re holding today. Hugh Tompkins, our Director of R&D, led an overhaul of the knob and handle after coming aboard about four years ago. He and his team spent many hours researching and refining the shape through a rapid prototyping process; in all, they tested more than 14 different versions before arriving at the current shape, which is optimized for both comfort and performance.
3. The Axe handle is growing in popularity among pro players.
The Axe Bat is the first bat with a non-round handle ever approved by Major League Baseball. Last season, nearly a dozen Big Leaguers swung the bat in games, including the postseason. Many more players experimented with it behind the scenes. Interest shows no signs of slowing and we expect more pros to choose an Axe handle in 2016.
Players swinging bats with the Axe handle have recorded hits in 20 of the 30 MLB ballparks.
4. It’s about more than just comfort.
You should notice immediately how naturally the Axe Bat fits in your hand. That’s by design. But the shape of the knob and handle also serve important performance benefits.
A recent academic study, conducted using NCAA Division I baseball players, found that compared to a traditional bat with a round knob and handle, the Axe Bat delivered better bat control and grip stability, more efficient power transfer and more opportunity to accelerate the barrel and acheive maximum bat speed. So unlike round knobs, the Axe handle actually does something to help your swing.
5. It could help extend the life of your favorite batting gloves.
Most players swinging conventional bats regularly wear out the lower palm of their bottom hand batting glove. This is a direct consequence of the heat and friction created by the round knob during a swing.
The Axe Bat spreads swing forces more evenly across your hand and eliminates the protrusion of the round knob into your palm.
Not only should this make life a little easier for your batting gloves, it should also alleviate the hand fatigue, bruising and discomfort often associated with dedicated training, and reduce your risk for the type of hand and nerve injuries commonly associated with the baseball swing — e.g., broken hamate bones.
6. It has been accepted into Cooperstown…twice.
That’s right. The Axe Bat is in the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum. You can find it displayed right now in two different locations. The “Today’s Game” exhibit features one of the first Axe Bats ever swung by MLB players in Spring Training 2010, while the newly opened “Whole New Ballgame” exhibit includes an Axe Bat by Victus Sports swung by Dustin Pedroia during the 2015 season.
7. It’s great for kids.
Teaching the fundamentals is the surest way to set a young player on the path to success. The Axe Bat’s handle encourages proper grip alignment and promotes a powerful, palm-up/palm-down hand position at contact. It’s a big reason our Hero L129 tee ball bat was recently named the “hands down winner” as the “Best T-Ball Bat” for 2016 by Just Bat Reviews. Not to mention, it’s a great value at only $30.
Which Axe Bat did Santa bring you this year? Let us know in the comments. The season will be here before you know it!by