Price, Grade and Appearance
Cricket bat prices vary significantly and are all effectively quality pieces of wood, but we would argue that a more expensive bat will perform better than a cheaper one (we would expect a cricket bat made from grade 1 wood to perform better than a bat made from grade 3 wood for example).
The potential performance of every Kookaburra hand-made bat is evaluated constantly throughout the manufacturing process by our Master Bat Makers – they evaluate the bat on the basis of how it ‘drives’ so you can be sure that the bat you choose is representative of the performance you can expect from the particular grade that you choose to buy.
Premium Willow Salix Caerulea (Willow)
In all our years experience of bat making we do feel that cosmetic appearance has little correlation with bat performance. It used to be felt that thin grain bats were the best performing bats but that is not necessarily the case and they can tend to break more quickly.
Whereas wider grained bats can perform just as well although they are slightly harder to start with, after playing in they were stronger pieces of willow.
The number of grains in a bat is a much debated issue (a grain is regarded as a year in the life of a tree) and there was a school of thought that 8 straight grains on the face produced the perfect bat. However, over the years, willow has changed and the ever increasing demand for willow has created a scenario where trees reach maturity more quickly. This means there are fewer/wider grains, consequently the definition of grading and grains in a cricket bat have evolved over the years.
During the production process our bat makers will evaluate every cleft of wood to determine what model we should produce from it. You can be sure that the quality of the bat you get from Kookaburra is the best you can get from that particular quality of willow.
In conclusion, the most important factor when choosing your bat is to ensure that it is the one that feels right for you. In order to maximise your performance it is important to consider what you want from your bat and how you play the game – the game is all about ‘timing’!!
You do need to be realistic with your expectations as you cannot get an ‘8 star’ bat, for a ‘1 star’ price!!
The most expensive willow and arguably the best looking blade. There may be some red wood evident on the blade and generally there will be at least 6 fairly straight grains visible on the face. There may be a small knot or speck in the edge or back of the bat but the playing should be clean.
Excellent quality blade but usually more red wood may be visible than on a grade 1 which does not affect the playability of the bat. Similar number of grains to a grade 1 with potentially the odd blemish or butterfly in the grain on the face.
The most extensively used grade of blade which offers excellent value for money. A grade 3 blade may have up to half the face in a tint/red wood colour but this does not affect playability. This grade will have around 5 grains on the face that may not be that straight and there is likely to be some specks or butterfly marks on the grains on the face of the bat.
Usually over half of the blade may have a discoloured area but the product playability should not be affected. There are often only 4 grains and there are more butterfly stains and marks on the face of the bat.
This grade is produced during our production process and it is basically similar to a grade 4 but may have more stain in the wood so cosmetically will not look as good.