“Insane dedication means relentlessly pursuing every avenue of improving a bat.”
Insane dedication means relentlessly pursuing every avenue of improving a bat. At D-LAB, the team doesn’t rest until they do just that. But taking innovations and applying them across different sports isn’t simple - bats are weighted differently across baseball, fastpitch and slowpitch, adapting new wrinkles for the team to overcome. So when continuous fiber tech changed the fastpitch world with the release of Prism, they knew they had to bring it to other composite bats.
The D-Lab crew looked at the composite bats and their mission became clear: reengineer the Flipper, one of the most iconic bats to hit slowpitch.
They felt confident they could leverage the latest innovations and technological developments in bats to not just maintain the performance, feel and power of the Flipper - but significantly improve them across the board.
LEARN FROM THE PAST
The team started with a simple but ambitious plan: maintain the legacyof the Flipper but successfully integrate new technologically wherever possible to dramatically improve performance.
They started by making the inner and outer walls of this new bat by using the continuous fiber technology that revolutionized the bat world starting with the Prism. Before this advancement, the old laminate had to be cut every eight inches and wrapped one layer at a time. Using continuous fiber technology, that distance more than quadrupled, requiring cuts every 40 inches, meaning the fibers are now continuous from the outside to the inside of the bat and the weight is more evenly balanced – giving the game’s best talent a more solid feel and more consistent performance.
With this process, continuous fiber created unparallelled consistency in wall thickness with no dead weight. This not only allowed the team to create a bat with incredible feel on contact, but also let them redistribute the weight throughout the bat based on a player’s wants and needs, whether it be perfectly balanced or more-endloaded.
When the time came to fuse the inner and outer barrels, the team changed the game by inverting the connection point. Flipper’s inner wall had connected at the bottom, but in designing the Prism, the team learned that securing the inner connection at the top was better because it saved weight and improved the sound.
After 9 outer revisions and two inner revisions over 41 prototypes, the playtesters feedback told the team what they needed to hear: they had done right by the Flipper and created a bat unlike anything else in the game.
And so, the Nihilist was born as the future of the Flipper line.
Using continuous fiber, the team was able to take the ineffective weight out of a weight-controlled bat, and put that mass back into the bat in a way that optimized performance.
For Nihilist, that meant creating continuous fiber concentric inner and outer walls with an inverted connection. This cutting edge tech showed wall concentricity improvement over the standard laminate which, in turn, improved durability and consistency.
D-LAB preserved the elements players loved about the Flipper but loaded it with tech that gives it more performance consistency, durability, and feel than ever before.