To set you up for success in the new season, there are a few general maintenance jobs you need to do on your bat and some potential issues you need to look out for before jumping into pre-season training. Follow our three top tips for getting your bat into shape for next season.
TIP 1 - OIL YOUR BAT
Commonly, at the end of the season a player will put their bat in their bag and leave it in the garage or car boot and won’t see it again until the following pre-season training. The problem with this is that cricket bats today are made very dry, more so than in the past. Today, when bats are made, much of the moisture is sucked out so they can be made bigger but remain lighter.
Whenever a bat is stored away for a period, no matter the location, it will be subjected to temperature changes, and it is these changes that suck the moisture from the timber. Think about a timber deck on a house or timber outdoor furniture. It needs to be regularly oiled.
So, what happens if you don’t?
A dry timber bat cannot sustain repeated impacts from a cricket ball, and in the lead up to the season is when players tend to practice more intensely. If your cricket bat is too dry, it will start to crack prematurely or splinter and break off. Generally, bats today will have a ‘clear guard’ protective facing on the bat, which can offer some protection from premature cracking, but it will not stop a bat from drying out.
What should you do? Oil up!
At the start of the season, remove the clear guard protection, remove all the adhesive, give the bat a sand and then apply two coats of raw linseed oil to put moisture back into the bat. Once dried replace the protective sheeting. It’s that easy! However, if you’d rather spend your time getting fit for the season than oiling your bat, drop it or send it into us at the Brisbane workshop and we will get it into shape for you quicker than you can regain your fitness. Actually much quicker – we have a one week turnaround policy.
TIP 2 - CHECK FOR SHOULDER CRACKS
While shoulder cracks might appear small to the eye, most of the time the crack will run down inside the handle joint (where the handle is joined into the cricket bat), where it cannot be seen. In this case, the cricket bat is no longer one solid piece and will vibrate every time you hit the ball. This vibration causes it to lose power and underperform.
What should you do? Repair any shoulder cracks.
If you notice any cracks, no matter how small they might appear, send your bat into us and we will give it a full inspection and repair it for you with our super quick one-week turnaround.
TIP 3 - TOE PROTECTION
Pre-season training in Australia mostly occurs late afternoon or at night and the season is cooler meaning dew is usually present, wetting the grass or Astroturf. You need to protect your bat from this moisture.
What should you do? Apply toe protection.
Generally, the toe guards that are on the bat when it is purchased will not last long, nor do a very good job of protecting the bat toe, so my advice is to remove this and add something more effective.
Here are two options to protect the toe of your bat:
- Whether it’s a new or a used bat, apply Shoe Goo. This can be purchased from a sports store or bought online, and you can apply it yourself. There are videos on YouTube showing you how.
- Bring or send it in to us and we will use a product called ‘hard toe’, which is a polyurethane resin and acts as a great toe protector that cannot be penetrated by water.
So, follow our three top tips above and make sure your cricket bat is ready for success. Give it some love and it will love you back… with lots of runs!