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Author Topic: The Storm Damage myth  (Read 2566 times)

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JK Lewis

The Storm Damage myth
« on: May 16, 2018, 06:06:18 PM »

When I was a kid, nobody - nobody - talked about Storm Damage to bats. But ever since Michael Carberry's bat got broken in half in the 2014 Ashes series, I hear people talking about Storm Damage at all levels of the game, as if it's a real thing. Honestly, I think it's total BS, really just a convenient scapegoat that's used to head off discussion about the excessive drying processes to which modern clefts are subjected. One of the guys at my club broke his bat just like Carberry's, and inside it was pretty much like Balsa.

Anyway, rather than just talk, I figure I'll try to prove my point, or at least provoke a decent and interesting debate. See the imperfect photos below, my 2018 bat has at least 4 major areas of 'Storm Damage', right across the back of the bat and very obvious (helpfully marked with black dots). I'm going to use the bat through the season, in net sessions and in matches, my bet is that nothing negative will happen to it, mainly because the cleft was air dried in my garage, rather than being kiln dried to within an inch of its life. So far, it has successfully negotiated 2 x 20 minute net sessions, and 1 match inning - approx 10 overs against the new ball. I hope to give it another good go this Sunday, weather permitting.

I plan to post regular reports as I go along. If it gets cracked, damaged or broken in half, I promise I'll report that too and share the photos!



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InternalTraining

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Re: The Storm Damage myth
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2018, 07:03:12 PM »

Good experiment! Keep us posted.
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ppccopener

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Re: The Storm Damage myth
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2018, 07:11:44 PM »

Yes very interested in if this lasts a season. I had a real nice bat break in half last year just as I was getting used to it, and yes once I looked it had all the horizontal stress marks from storm damage.

Be interested to know if you think a bat actually breaking in half is a fairly modern problem or has always happened-just more said about it in forums like this one
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SOULMAN1012

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Re: The Storm Damage myth
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 07:37:23 PM »

A lad I used to play with is into his 3rd season with a bat that has storm damage or compression cracks along the back and front of the bat about 3-4 inches from the toe, U.K. made and well looked after with a scuff sheet and a gentle refurb and light waxing at the end of each season and no issue so far.

Be a good experiment I reckon mate
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JK Lewis

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Re: The Storm Damage myth
« Reply #4 on: May 17, 2018, 05:45:26 AM »


Be interested to know if you think a bat actually breaking in half is a fairly modern problem or has always happened-just more said about it in forums like this one

Bats breaking in half is definitely a modern phenomenon - simply didn't happen in the 80s and early 90s. But then, we didn't have massive edges and high spines, and the only concaving one saw was on GN Scoops and Dynadrives. These things are intrinsically linked, big bat vanity drove the need for more intensive drying at cleft stage.

I remember a clubmate getting an SS Turbo 333 off Graham Gooch, back in 91 or 92. It was a 'big bat' for it's time, weighed about 3lb 1oz. But the actual size of it, the volume of willow, these day it would probably weigh no more than 2lb 9oz.
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edge

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Re: The Storm Damage myth
« Reply #5 on: May 17, 2018, 05:59:30 AM »

Interesting experiment - have seen storm damaged bats that have gone for a good while, and one that went clean in two in its' first net.

An alternative thought to the 'it's not storm damage it's just overdried willow argument' - storm damaged willow is linked to, er, big storms. A comparison of when these have happened would certainly be informative, for example if there weren't many big storms in the 60s/70s then that would go a long way to explaining why bats weren't going in half in the 80s/90s. Can't remember who or where but I'm sure I've seen a batmaker or willow grower of some kind refer to a big storm of a particular year (90s from memory) and how it resulted in a load of damaged clefts.
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Northern monkey

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Re: The Storm Damage myth
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2018, 07:15:26 AM »

My sons using a storm damaged bat, it's had two years use so far, and is still going strong,, bearing in mind he plays two matches a week and nets at least twice a week, and played in nz over both winters.
This particular bat is the one that was used at a cbf net, a really nice performing bat, that has disproved the myth so far.

I'm not a fan of the whole big bat fad, and certainly not a fan of forced or over drying of clefts to achieve these bats.
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Calzehbhoy

Re: The Storm Damage myth
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2018, 07:23:24 AM »

Dont disprove the myth... Companies will then stop selling these at a fraction of the cost of a regular bat then...
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JK Lewis

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Re: The Storm Damage myth
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2018, 07:30:04 AM »

Yes, good debate building up, nice one. @edge , yep, the 'Big Storm' issue is worthy of consideration, no doubt. I'm not a meteorologist so can't offer much detail on the prevalence of weather over time.  What I can definitely say though, is that the tree my bat came from was 30 years old and 25m tall, approximately twice as old and twice as tall as a normal, commercially grown willow. So, there's no doubt it took a serious battering from storms over it's lifetime, making it an excellent test subject for this experiment.

One bat is not a fair test of willow in general, and it's also true I'm unlikely to face anyone bowling like Sylvester Clarke. But we can only work with the tools we have!
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JK Lewis

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Re: The Storm Damage myth
« Reply #9 on: June 17, 2018, 09:06:18 PM »

Right, 1 month into the season, first update on how things are going.

Due to weather and the wife, I've managed to get 5 games to date. Opening up each time, so 5 knocks as well - 19, 42, 0, 49 and 54 - and have used the storm damaged bat throughout. Pretty happy with the form overall. I don't score that fast, so I've been in for around 79 overs. We don't keep track of balls faced, but my estimate is somewhere around 210. No 6's so far, around 20 4's.

The bat has held up well - see the photos below. Feels great off the middle. Some minor cracks to the face as one might expect, and a dent in the toe where I dug out a decent pace yorker. Otherwise all good, I've definitely not seen any negative effect from the storm damage. Fingers crossed it stays in one piece!  :)





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WalkingWicket37

Re: The Storm Damage myth
« Reply #10 on: June 17, 2018, 09:35:56 PM »

Your idea of a minor crack is a bit different to mine! Haha
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JK Lewis

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Re: The Storm Damage myth
« Reply #11 on: June 17, 2018, 10:22:47 PM »

Your idea of a minor crack is a bit different to mine! Haha

Funny one this, Dean at Vulcan Cricket said the same on my FB page. When I was a kid cracks like this are what happened to bats, not just at my level but at top end too. I remember seeing one of Graham Gooch's bats and it was like crazy paving.

I'll keep any eye on them, but as long as the bat keeps performing I'll happily live with it!
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Biggie Smalls

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Re: The Storm Damage myth
« Reply #12 on: June 18, 2018, 07:17:46 AM »

Would you say most of those cracks are about where the huge knot on the back is ? ....or are the  cracks a bit higher up ?
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Buzz

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Re: The Storm Damage myth
« Reply #13 on: June 18, 2018, 07:29:29 AM »

Those cracks look quite ugly, are you using ghastly match  balls?
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Re: The Storm Damage myth
« Reply #14 on: June 18, 2018, 08:05:21 AM »

Interesting experiment - have seen storm damaged bats that have gone for a good while, and one that went clean in two in its' first net.

An alternative thought to the 'it's not storm damage it's just overdried willow argument' - storm damaged willow is linked to, er, big storms. A comparison of when these have happened would certainly be informative, for example if there weren't many big storms in the 60s/70s then that would go a long way to explaining why bats weren't going in half in the 80s/90s. Can't remember who or where but I'm sure I've seen a batmaker or willow grower of some kind refer to a big storm of a particular year (90s from memory) and how it resulted in a load of damaged clefts.

Go  back further when I started senior cricket  mid 60s and early  70s no breakages  and no big bats until Botham used his Magnum and Googh his Jumbo   storm damage unheard of.
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