1. Is Bat Rolling Worth it?
Anyone who is new to bat rolling asks this very question. Maybe they heard about it talking in the dugout or at a after game barbeque but no one seems to have a definite answer... But I do; In 2006 I first heard of rolling bats while searching EBay and randomly came across a rolling machine. I was intrigued and started researching the topic much like you are doing now. I found that they were 2 companies offering to roll your bats on the Internet but I was weary to send in my $300 bat. I decided to buy a bat rolling machine and thought if it didn't work I would just sell it on EBay. I rolled my men's slow pitch Easton Synergy Extended bat the day I got my roller in. I went to the field that night and was shocked by the results. The bat had more pop and the ball was going farther, much farther. At this point I knew bat rolling was definitely for real and worked. From that point on I was rolling bats as a hobby and a short time later I started a business. With over 60,000 bats rolled and the longevity of Big Dawg; it speaks volumes as to how rolling really works.
4. Is Bat Rolling illegal?
In most sanctioned baseball, softball, and fast pitch associations bat rolling is illegal but the irony here is that all composite bats must be rolled in testing before they are deemed legal for play. As in, bat rolling is the standard in to achieve the standard of bat performance guidelines. I guess they do not have hours or days to naturally break in the bats. Does this sound familiar?
2. Does Bat Rolling Shorten a Bat's Life?
This is a question that can be debated. Some would say it is a fact that life of the bat is lost because of the breakdown of carbon fiber in the barrel. While others argue that the even break in allows the bat to be more solid across the barrel without dead spots or hot spots. There is a definitely a method to naturally break in a composite bat, it involves soft toss, batting practice or hitting off a tee. Basically you would rotate the bat each strike of the ball until the recommended amount of break in is achieved. And this is where some of the indecisiveness comes in; what is the recommended amount of hits to break in a bat? Some bat companies says they are hot out of the wrapper and that is not truthful, composites bats in fact do have a break in period. Other bat companies will actually give a recommend number of ball strikes; such as the Anderson Bat Company. There is a top level national little league coach that I talked to who swears natural break in gets the bats hotter than a bat rolling. In my experience there is not a difference but time can be a HUGE factor for some people. Rolling cuts out the time of breaking in a bat, which can come in handy in a pinch or if you want the bat to perform at peak level from the get go. A rolled bat has had all the composite material broken in across the bat evenly as a result of the bat rollers consistent points of pressure. Natural break in could cause a bat to have hot spots which the composite is more crushed in one spot because of repetitive strikes. This hot spot could also be called a weak spot (where a bat is more likely to break sooner if hit). The dead spots would be a non issue with rolling. Dead spots are where the composite material would not be broken up because of missing that spot while naturally breaking in the bat. This would cause the bat to have less pop when struck in that spot. Also batting practice will, inevitably, cause your bat to get scuffed up marked up and believe it or not a bat can be thrown out of play for looking to "worn".
Worn bat announcement
As such, USSSA has asked its umpires to be more vigilant in removing worn bats, abused bats, damaged bats and bats with foreign substances on the barrel/taper from play. No bat should be allowed in USSSA sanctioned play, if it is.....
3. Can Bat Rolling be detected?
This is a question I get on a regular basis. My answer usually is "Yes, if the bat has not been rolled correctly". There is quite a bit of information on what a incorrectly rolled bat is. As I searched through forums and blogs I have seen stories of "ridges" or "lines" on a bat to tell if it was rolled. These "ridges they speak of are caused by improperly rolling a bat (mostly big barrel bats). Over the years I have fixed this mistake with some degree of success. Other ways to tell if a bat has been rolled is the graphics peeling off the bat in odd places, normally where the end of the rollers meet the bat. Another way to tell if a bat has been rolled is by residue from bat roller material left behind on the bat. On some bats there are "roller marks" left on the bat. Most of the time these can be wiped off with a cleaning product but there are some bats where the marks are still visible to the trained eye. So the answer to the question is yes and no; get a bat rolled correctly and, to my knowledge, there is no way to detect it has been rolled other than compression loss.
5. Best Bat Rolling Service?
10 years ago there were 3 companies offering bat rolling services: Worlds hottest bats, CompositeBatRolling.com (I believe they are not rolling anymore), and Big Dawg Bat Rolling and within the past 10 years there have been over 100 bat rollers advertising services on EBay, the Internet, and Craigslist. That means this is a fairly new service and experience is a commodity when choosing a bat roller. A lot of the stories of detectable rolling I had mentioned above come directly from these newer bat rollers who do not have the skill that comes with years of rolling. I have seen some odd things come out of the bat rolling industry: rolling bats with caps off, claiming heat rolling is the absolute best way, one standard to roll all bats, claims of 50 ft gained in distance from rolling, etc., Some of the claims are laughable and some I do not understand the theory behind them. What Big Dawg brings to the table is the experience to know which bat roller material /machine works best, what bats benefits from perpendicular followed by a parallel roll, what bats require a natural break in as opposed to a bat roll, which bats need heat rolling, what is the correct pressure for each type of composite, and the list goes on. Our knowledge base has to be one of the largest, if not THE LARGEST in the country. I am definitely biased but I know what Big Dawg brings to the table and we are, without question, the best bat rolling service for you- We guarantee it!