“ Cricket Equipment „
To scuff sheet or not is an age old question for cricketers up and down the country! Many myths and stories are banded around for advantages and disadvantages of using them. This review will look into the pros and cons of using the scuff sheets.
Firstly and most importantly is type of scuff sheet. There are several types of sheets; completely clear, clear with fibreglass edges and full fibreglass. I favour the clear with fibreglass edges to protect the most vulnerable part of your bat, the edges. Most importantly is the quality of sheet, a cheap sheet will crack and break within one or two uses, which is useless for protecting your bat. Newbery "hammer edge" sheets are in my opinion the best scuff sheets around. A cost of around £5 each is more expensive than some, however is 100% worth it to protect your bat that costs upwards of £100!
The second factor to consider is bat protection. This is a bit of a no brainer, the scuff sheets protect the bat face from damage from a cricket ball. This is proven and so is hard to argue with.
Performance/Feel is an area there are many myths! Use of a scuff sheet adds about an ounce of weight to the bat, not enough to really make a difference. It also does not reduce performance of the bat, this is one myth that should be dispelled immediately. Some people prefer the feel of willow on ball instead of plastic on ball, but this is purely individual and there is no performance related issues with scuff sheets.
Overall, I see no reason why not to scuff up! Protecting your bat is a small price to pay for such an expensive bit of willow!
~Why fit anti scuff sheets to a cricket bat?~
Having bought a Slazenger cricket bat some time ago for our child to use, it has had a certain amount of heavy handed usage so when thinking about how to prolong its life, the idea of fitting an anti scuff sheet at the front face of the bat came about, which in turn lead to buying one of the anti scuff sheets sold under the 'Upfront Cricket' label. As the cheaply priced anti scuff sheets seemed to be something that may help to add strength to the bat as well as helping to prolong its useful life, the small cost incurred to buy the anti scuff sheet, which if I recall correctly was just under £2 to buy, seemed like a cheap and effective option.
The Slazenger cricket bat that the anti scuff tape was fitted to has been used as a general use practice bat which was from a lower priced range bought at a reduced price in store and although it hasn't faired too badly at all it was becoming worn at the front of the bats face, so the anti scuff strip was added for protection where it was most needed. The anti scuff strip comes on a simple backing that is easy to peel off when wanting to fit the strip in place, although care should be taken when attaching the strip, so as to get a nice smooth fit the first time around.
Once the strip was fitted in place on the face of the cricket bat it didn't really alter the versatility and playability of the bat at all in terms of harming accuracy of shots/ hits etc during practice. The clear plastic style material if placed with care creates a minimal alteration to the look of a cricket bat, although it can make it difficult for you to oil a cricket bat once the anti scuff sheet is in place so may not be of use to all players. Removing the sheet if placed directly onto the natural wood surface of a cricket bat may mean some of the willow from the front face is accidently removed at the same time, so if replacing one sheet with another a good deal of care is required.
~How the anti scuff sheets have performed~
In use the simple anti scuff strip has proven reasonably durable although it did come slightly unstuck at one end after a degree of use and needed some further attention with a little fibre glass tape to secure the edges and add a little more protection. As the Slazenger cricket bat we have is made from cheaper quality Kashmir willow it can be more prone to cracking and damage than UK grown willow is, so the fitting of this strip is something that has added a little extra protection where needed and so far it has worked well enough.
As the anti scuff sheet has been in place for sometime, the hitting surface/ front face of the bat has been better protected than it was and the sheet seems to have protected the front surface of the bat from knocks and bumps that are part and parcel of its expected usage. The modern design used on the bat which uses red, grey and black colours can still be seen with the anti scuff sheet in place as it has a slightly textured yet almost clear effect when placed correctly. Over time the surface has become knocked and marked which was expected and the sheet seems to have done what is was made for to a fair degree.
~Price and rating~
With the cost of the anti scuff sheet having been under £2 at the time of purchase it has given plenty of use and as such I feel it offers reasonably good value for money. These types of anti scuff sheets can be used when cricket bats have slight issues already, although they are not a complete cure for a cricket bat that is at the end of its useful life. Fitting one of these protective sheets can also help to provide a little extra protection from water damage and the ingress of excess moisture, which could in turn damage a cricket bat beyond redemption.
The cricket bat that has this sheet fitted to it has shown no cracking of the wood since the sheet was fitted which is pleasing to see. As I feel this product is a useful way to add extra protection that can extend the life of a practice bat at a low cost, I feel it ought to get a 4 star product rating. The sheets are easy and quick to fit and can be taped at the edges if wanted to add extra durability, although if fitted correctly they should work well enough with no extra attention other than a quick check over before and after use.
Occasionally in the summer I play a few games of cricket for the local side and was quite a keen player in my younger days. One of the issues I was already worried about was the condition of my bat and ensuring it was kept in tip top shape. After all the bat is the most expensive and important part of the game and it can be quite expensive if you don't look after your bat!
One of the many products I had to treat my bat and ensure it was kept in as good of a condition as possible was a fibreglass scuff sheet. I came across it by accident one day whilst searching for a new grip handle. Basically, this is a product designed to product your bat when you are out and about on the move or if your bat is stored somewhere where it may get scuff mats against it.
These sheets simply fit around the bat and protect it from scrapes, scratches and bumps it might pick up when you are carrying it around the various places it may go. I for one had my bat in cars, on buses, in trains compartments, in pack backs and on the back of cycles so something like this was ideal! However its very tricky to get on and its water tight. Think along the lines of a screen protector for a mobile phone and you will be right up the street of what this product is.
However, it cannot be said it is merely for this as removing it and putting it back on is a pain and will damage the length of time the scuff sheet can be used for. Once on it is best to keep it on. You can bat with it although some people may find it effects play. It does protect against your bat face being damaged by the ball, getting red scuff marks, helps with dints and other such scuffs.
You have to be prepared to add this to your bat full time to get the most use out of it. If going on a plane or such or storing your bat for a long travel period you may want to use it and take it on and off but for week to week use its too much hassle.
It does work though and when I took my first scuff pad after 3 months, not bad for £3, it had no marks at all and looked as shiny as new where as previous bats basically damage the first time you use them.
All in all a good product to protect your precious bat! Look after your bat and it will look after you or so they say
For some like me your bat is more precious than your least favourite child, a thing to be adored and looked after as though it was made from gold. Seriously bats are expensive and my current Grey Nicholls is a bat which cost nearly £200 pounds and has a lovely big sweet spot, however, like all pieces of equipment you have to look after it.
Scuff sheets are sheets which fit over the bat and help prevent scuffing whilst the bat is in transit, either in your cricket bag or in the boot of your car. They work on a very simple technology; they just fit snugly over the bat without scratching or removing the varnish and give the bat another layer of protection.
The sheet is made of a mix of plastic and fibre glass and you can bat with it, the sheet does prevent damage from the ball and indeed once put in is very difficult to get off. However, as you're unlikely to ever want to take it off then that's not a huge problem.
This is the kind of product which whilst only costing about 3-4 pounds extends the life of your £200 bat for months and years, letting you play yet another expansive cover drive.
Putting it on
The hardest part of the process is putting the sheet on the bat; you need to have the sheet on as a water tight fit. You don't want anything looser because of course anything which makes the bat wider makes it more likely that you'll edge to the wicket keeper. So you're best putting it on and then hitting a few balls in the net to get the sheet well embedded on the bat.
This is a little extra which adds to the life of the most expensive item in your cricket bag.
Protecting your cricket bat to prolong its life is a must-do in cricket. As we are not all pros and dont get given bats, saving our hard earned cash up to buy one it only makes sense to keep it in greater condition as possible. The fibre glass scuff sheet is similar to the normal scuff sheet. A plastic sheet that sticks to the frront of the blade of your cricket bat to protect it from the ball and stops cracking and damage, the only difference is that the plastic sheet is lined with strips of fibreglass vertically and horizontally in a criss-cross pattern. The usefulness of this is that it further strengthens the scuff sheet and becomes and even stronger barrier to protect the bat. At £4ish it is a great buy to protect you bat. The only downside to the fibre-glass sheet compared to the normal one is when removing the sheet the fibreglass is near impossible to get off the bat, however if you don't intend on removing it or you have a company do it for you its not a problem.
Protects your bat against damage. Extra strong reinforced sheets prolongs the life of a bat - use with edge tape.