Louisville Slugger's Xeno and Z-1000 Bats Combine Unique Sound With Maximum Performance
There is no other sound quite like it. One swing of a Louisville Slugger bat is all it takes to recognize that there is something unique at play on softball diamonds worldwide.
The traditional ping that players have been so accustomed to hearing upon contact has been transformed by S1iD technology. And it’s becoming quite a hit throughout the industry.
By inserting discs into the barrels of their ASA-approved Z-1000 slow pitch and Xeno fastpitch models, Louisville Slugger has altered the perception of what the sweet spot sounds like and reestablished itself as a leader among the world’s top bat manufacturers.
"What you're hearing are the discs inside the barrel interacting with the walls as they flex and make contact upon bat/ball impact," Louisville Slugger Director of Marketing James Sass said. "While less than traditional, it proves the S1iD is working and the player is getting maximum performance. That sound has turned into a positive among players because they realize the technology is helping them."
The best-kept secret in softball is out. And it’s winning over new users on the first swing.
Unlike traditional composite bats that typically need to be broken in to generate peak performance, Louisville Slugger’s S1iD bats -- SB12ZAB and SB12ZAE within the slow pitch Z-1000 line along with the FP12X, FP12X9, and FP12X8 Fastpitch Xeno models -- are expertly tuned to instantly deliver line drives and game winning home runs.
"Bat break in time was one of the items we learned was most frustrating to players," Sass said. "Many players struggled to know if and when their bat was going to break in and each model in the marketplace seemed to have a different time period or number of contacts. These statements had a very strong voice with our design team and break in time was at the forefront of the design process from the beginning."
"While doing our market research, players unanimously stated they wanted a composite bat that was game ready as early as possible and we're proud to be able to achieve that,” Sass said. “S1iD has been received very, very well by players at all ages and levels of play. S1iD technology allows for maximum barrel flex from the get go - literally swing one - and eliminate any frustrating break in period.”
The bats all feature the same materials and technologies, but vary in weight drop.
For example, the Xeno FP12X, FP12X9 have balanced weight distribution, while the FP12X8 features an end-loaded barrel for the stronger, more advanced players.
There are other exclusive development advances as well, even on bats that aren’t used at the ASA level, such as the SB12ZB and SB12ZE. Louisville Slugger has also introduced iST technology, which eliminates vibration, and LS2X composite technology, which is designed to create a wider sweet spot.
“In most cases, the first comments are about how good the bat feels to hit - a clear indicator IST is working for them," Sass said. “IST essentially takes any negative vibration away, but still allows for players to positively feel the ball meet the bat at contact so they know how well they hit it.”
The strength of iST technology in the Xeno and Z-1000 models lies in the smooth transition from the handle to the barrel. The two are essential entwined to give batters more control of their swing -- a perk that allows for huge sweet spots, thinner walls for increased performance and a reduction in negative vibration.
Even when contact isn’t made on the sweet spot, vibrations are absorbed before they reach a player’s hands, reducing potential sting and allowing the ball to travel farther.
With the Xeno and Z-1000 models, players have complete control of their swing.
It’s no wonder that stars like Jessica Mendoza and some of the nation’s elite college programs, such as Stanford, Texas A&M and Long Beach State, use Louisville Slugger.
"The bat business continues to get more and more competitive each year," Sass Said. "Our 125 + years of bat making experience along with innovative technologies like iST, S1iD, and LS-2X composite allow us to continue to make performance bats that the best players demand."