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By Bat Digest | Last Updated November 17, 2022
When we wrote a highly read review on the Mako Torq and its spinning handle a few months back we asked, “what will the baseball bat industry think of next?” Well, we finally have our answer: It’s the RIP-IT Helium BBCOR bat that will be available for the 2015 season.
At first glance we thought the idea of naming bats after stable gasses was a great idea. Light swings are en vogue these days and what better way to brand that idea than a bat named after a gas. 2015 could be Helium. 2016 they could go with Neon. 2017 could be Argon and then you’d be left with Chlorine in 2018–which no one would buy on that name. Surely 2019 would be Krypton to revitalize the bat line and who wouldn’t want a bat named Krypton? The gas-naming theme seemed perfectly sane.
And by a bit more, I mean a lot more. The bat isn’t just named after a gas, the bat is actually pressured with the gas inside. Yes, the 2015 RIP-IT Helium bat is air sealed through a 47 step process and then, like a basketball, pumped full of helium gas. The pressure is actually so much they need to get special clearance from the government to ship the bat around the country. Not kidding.
But what this helium pressurized cabin allows is more mass in the barrel to support the integrity of the sweet spot and barrel length without adding to the swing weight–because that added barrel weight to support its structure and function is negated by a lighter than air material pushing the bat away from the earth.
This idea, at least in part, solves the age old conundrum of metal bats whose science is in keeping the virtue of a big and strong barrel while also encouraging faster swings through a low swing weight (or MOI). From a pure ideas stand point this may be the best one I’ve ever heard in the bat space. #dontneedaspinninghandle
Like other 2015 RIP-IT performance baseball bats (Air Elite and Air), the 2015 RIP-IT Helium bat feels smooth and is unpretentious: it is a bat made to hit baseballs—not make you dinner. The Helium has a hand loaded swing weight like DeMarini’s CF7 or the Rawlings’ Velo and has a noticeably lighter swing weight than the Air or Air Elite also from RIP-IT. It comes with a 400 day warranty. The RIP-IT Helium is a 5 piece bat made of an aluminum alloy and perfectly sealed and tested to contain pressurized helium gas.
The overall rating uses seven different weighted metrics to determine our overall score. Half of total rating comes from the player and our exit speed tests (Player Rating: 25%, Performance: 25%).The other categories are Relevance (20%), Demand (10%), Durability (10%), Resell Score (5%), and Tech Specs (5%).
*: When a bat is denoted by a star (*) it is a preliminary rating. Expect it to be updated as we learn more about the bat and gather more data.
(PlaRa) Player Rating: We measure player rating from user reviews. Those users include our own hitters that we test at the lab as well as reviews we find online.
(ExVe) Performance: Performance measures the exit speeds and distances we capture in our hitting lab with HitTrax using these bats.
(Relv) Relevance: We measure the number of sizes and the MOI of the bat. Bats with a wider range of options get a better score.
(Dmnd) Demand: Demand is measured by consumer sentiment and the buzz around the bat.
(Drb) Durability: A bat’s durability is measured by user reviews as well as feedback from manufacturers.
(ReSl) Resell Score: Based on the price the bats go for used. Higher prices mean greater user demand which means, generally, a better bat. A resell value closer to its original price means a higher score.
(Tech) Tech Specs: We rate the bat on its technological advancements from previous years and compared to the industry at large. This is our chance to reward companies who are trying to innovate.
MOI or Mass Moment of Inertia is a measurement of bat swing weight. This quantifies how difficult it is to swing a bat. The industry often refers to this as things like End Load or Balanced but those words have been overused to the point of meaninglessness. We measure the actual swing weights of each bat we test using the industry-standard pendulum period, balance point, and scale weight. You can read more about that here.
The price is the original MSRP price of the bat.
The types of bats are single-piece alloy (SPA), two-piece composite (TPC), single-piece composite (SPC), hybrid (Hyb.), and wood (Wood). Hybrid bats are made of composite handles and alloy barrles.
The estimated date the bat began distribution.