SALIX CAERULEA / ENGLISH WILLOW & Kookaburra Cricket International.
In all our years experience of bat making, it is understood that cosmetic appearance has little correlation with bat performance. Historically it was felt that thin grain bats were the best performing, but with a tendency to break through being more fragile. Whereby the reality is that wider grained bats can perform equally as well, and although slightly harder to begin with, subjected to the correct preparation they were stronger pieces of willow.
The number of grains in a bat is a much debated issue, typically the school of thought is that 8 straight grains on the face produces the perfect bat. However over the years due to ever increasing demand, willow has evolved to reach maturity more quickly, This means there are generally fewer/wider grains, and consequently the process of grading bats against the number of grains is a somewhat questionable approach.
During the production process our master bat makers extensively evaluate (by hand!) each individual cleft of willow, in order to determine which model it is able to produce. Conducting this process with such attention to detail enables Kookaburra to produce the highest quality of bat, within each grade of willow.
Another prominent factor when evaluating a willow cleft, is the proportion of ‘white’ wood versus ‘red’ wood. The unwritten rule is that ‘white’ wood represents the more responsive part of the cleft with enhanced performance, whereas ‘red’ wood is slightly less responsive but benefits from enhanced durability. In reality, a mixture of both ‘white’ and ‘red’ wood is seen to be beneficial.
In conclusion, the most important factor when choosing your Kookaburra bat is to ensure that it ‘feels’ right for you. In order to maximize your performance it is essential to consider what you want from the bat, and how it fits into your game.