End loading a softball bat can significantly enhance its performance. When you end load a softball bat, you essentially add some extra weight towards the barrel end of the bat. As a result when you swing such a bat, you are able to gain a greater swing speed and momentum. In other words, you are able to hit a softball harder and farther with an end loaded bat.
A key consideration is the legality of end loaded bats. Many softball leagues do not permit the use of end loaded bats. However, such bats are perfectly legal in many softball matches, especially such as home run derbies. So be sure to check with your league and determine whether or not you are allowed to use end loaded bats.
It is incredibly easy to end load a softball bat at home using simple tools. Follow 7 simple steps to end load the bat safely and effectively:
Remove the end cap
The first step is to remove the end cap of a softball bat. In some cases, you can simply use a screwdriver and insert it between the bat and the cap. If that does not work, apply some additional force by positioning the screwdriver on the edge between the cap and the bat, and then hitting it with something. Once the screwdriver is inserted between the cap and the bat, slowly move it so as to bring off the end cap.
Make sure the cap is undamaged
In many cases, removing the cap from a softball bat ends up damaging the cap. This is not always true but it is very likely. So make sure you check the cap after removing it. If the corners of the cap are intact and have no damage, then it is fine to reuse it. On the other hand, if the corners are chipped or cracked, you will need to discard the cap and purchase a new one. In most cases, you can easily get a replacement cap from the bat manufacturer for a few dollars.
Choose the right weight
A very important thing to consider when you end load your softball bat is the weight. The right weight will bring more swing speed and momentum to your bat, and let you perform better on the weight. However, if you add too much end load, it may bog down your swing and slow down your hits. So make sure that you choose just the right amount of weight. A great way to calculate this is by using temporary add-ons to your bat’s barrel. Simply use temporary adhesive materials to add some end weight and see what amount of load makes you feel comfortable with the swing. Ideally, you should choose an end load that allows you to swing at full speeds despite the additional weight.
Measure the polyurethane compound
Once you have determined the end load that suits you perfectly, it is time to ready the polyurethane compound that you are going to use. Make sure that you weigh the compound carefully and choose the amount which is proportionate to the weight you calculated in the last step.
Prep the cap
So to add some load towards the barrel end of a softball bat, what you essentially do is that you add more mass to the end cap. So now that you have the cap removed from the bat, it is time to add that mass. A simple and straight-forward way to do so is to arrange for polyurethane compound. Next, place the cap upside down so that its interior is visible to you. Now pour the compound into the interior of the cap and give it 12 to 24 hours to dry up.
Finalize the cap
Be sure to check the polyurethane compound you poured into the cap to make sure it has completely dried up. Once the compound is completely dry, it is time to replace the cap onto the bat barrel. To do this, simply apply epoxy glue along the grip ends of the cap. Then quickly position the cap at the head of the barrel and let it stay in that position for some time. You may even tap it with a mallet or some other tool to make sure that the cap is securely and strongly reconnected to the barrel.
Finalize the bat
The whole process may leave some mess on the barrel of your bat. So make sure you clean up the epoxy or polyurethane that may have reached outside the cap and onto the barrel. Gently clean these materials so that you don’t end up damaging the barrel of your bat. Once the bat is completely clean, let it stand it in an upright position for another 12 to 24 hours. This makes sure that the end cap is securely reattached to the barrel.