Do Black Cat bats come pre knocked-in?
Due to the fact that every bat is different, and different people like their bats knocked-in for different amounts of time, our bats are not sold pre knocked-in. If you are unsure of how to prepare your new bat, please just email us for help.
We also recommend fitting a clear plastic cover to the face of the bat, to protect against a wet ball, and can supply these loose (un-fitted) for you to apply after knocking-in if you are preparing the bat yourself.
The easiest and most reliable way to prepare your Black Cat bat is to purchase our knocking-in service when ordering. The warranty provided by Black Cat with every new bat is only valid if the bat has been prepared correctly before use. While it is possible to prepare a bat adequately oneself (many experienced players prefer this), all bats prepared by Black Cat will automatically of course receive full warranty protection.
Do Black Cat bats need oiling?
It is far more damaging to a bat to over-oil the face than under-oil. The bats are oiled in the making process, so do not need oiling in the first season. It is advisable to oil the face of the bat and sand lightly once a season.
What is heartwood and how does it affect the performance of a bat?
Heartwood is the darker brown, or reddish, wood that is found at the centre of a willow tree. It is thought to be stronger than the white sapwood, leading many to request that their bat has a strip on the outside, or inside, edge. Some proffessionals play with bats that are over a half heartwood, with a few playing with bats made entriely of the stuff.
How long does a bat last?
As a rough guide a bat lasts about 1000 runs, including practice. This means for some players, a bat will last for three or four seasons, for others, just the one.
When making the bat, the batmaker presses the cleft in order to prepare the bat for use against a hard cricket ball. There is a fine line between over-pressing (and losing all performance) and under-pressing a bat (losing durability). Black Cat bats are pressed to perfection, ensuring unrivalled performance, with the durability our customers expect.
A bat's life can be prolonged by good preparation and care during the bat's use. Having said this, all bats are different, meaning seemingly identical bats, prepared and cared for in the same way, can end up lasting for different lengths of time.
What is the 'Counter-Balanced Pro Handle'
This is a modification to the handle using specially weighted tape to add a counter-balance to the top of the handle. Many professional players have these fitted to their bats, as they improve the pick-up of the bat, due to weight being added on the other side of the pivot point as the bat is picked up. The Counter-Balanced Pro Handle is available on all our bats, and can be fitted free of charge for Customs & F40s.
NB: The Counter-Balanced Pro Handle will add one or two ounces to the dead weight of the bat, while improving the pick-up. If a 2lb 8oz bat is ordered with a Pro Handle, the dead weight of the finished bat is likely to be nearer 2lb 10z, despite the bat having a lighter pick-up than the original 2lb 8oz bat.