Bat Willow

Cricket Bat Willow is characterised by extremely rapid growth and a shapely habit, these two factors combine to produce straight grained, lightweight wood ideal for high quality cricket bats. Making the finest quality cricket bats requires the careful selection of the world’s best raw materials.

The timber we use is Salix Alba Caerulea (Cricket Bat Willow), grown in England. The willow is renewably harvested across the whole of England and sold through the wood yards of Essex and Suffolk. Most manufacturers obtain their willow from suppliers in the south of England; the largest of which are J.S Wright and Sons. The willow is supplied as clefts; nowadays usually kiln dried, although J S Wright & Sons offers traditionally air-dried willow, which is seasoned for about a year.

Willow arrives at Laver & Wood in raw clefts pre graded by J S Wright & Sons. When the Willow is processed at Laver & Wood it will be regraded cosmetically. After it is pressed it is regraded again on performnace. Examples of these Willow Grades can been seen bellow and are as follows: Legend (Grade 2), Butterfly (Butterfly stained Willow), Special Reserve (Grade 1 Performance), Private Bin (Grade 1), Reserve (Grade 1 Elite) and Signature (Rare limited stock Grade 1 Elite Willow).

When crafting the perfect bat for you it is important to choose the right base material.  We hand grade all our English willow, and depending on the bat you have selected we can usually find a willow cleft with number of grains and the look that you want.

Laver & Wood’s handcrafted bats are available in following willow grades:

Signature – Limited Stock Rare Grade 1 Elite Willow: NZ$1150

Signature Willow is the best of the best in both performance and aesthetics. A stypical Signature cleft will have no blemishes on the face of the bat and a tight, clean and straight grain structure. Our Signature Willow is the very cream of J.S. Wright & Sons Willow.

It is highly unusual for us to have more than two pieces of Signature Grade willow available at any one time. Therefore we have a waiting list in operation. Each willow shipment is carefully graded and only one or two clefts per hundred will make the Signature grade

Grain structure: You can expect at least 8 clean grains in a Signature. Many will have upwards of 11-15 grains but these clefts are becoming even more rare due to recent Willow growing conditions in England.

If you are looking for a specific grain structure then do not hestitate to mention this when you are ordering or email info@laverwood.co.nz if you need any clarification.

Reserve – Grade 1 Elite: NZ$799

Reserve Willow is Laver & Woods Players Grade Willow. Reserve clefts must have high performance and be aesthetically very pleasing. Every cleft has gone through a rigourous grading process so you can be assured that your Reserve is going give you a bat that pings brilliantly and looks outstanding. In both Signature and Reserve grade you will also find some of our more low density clefts, so bigger bats in lighter weights become more possible than with the lower Laver & Wood Grades.

 

Grain structure: You can expect at least 7 grains in a Reserve. They will be clean straight grains on the face of the bat. If you are looking for a specific grain structure then do not hestitate to mention this when you are ordering or email info@laverwood.co.nz if you need any clarification.

Private Bin – Grade 1: NZ$699

Private Bin is outright Grade 1 Willow. Aesthetically sound and high performance. Your can expect a very attractive bat, that will perform to a high level. The odd blemish is not uncommon in a Private Bin but in general they will have a clean grain structure.

Grain structure: You can expect 6-10 Grains and it would be much cleaner than a Special Reserve.

If you are looking for a specific grain structure then do not hestitate to mention this when you are ordering or email info@laverwood.co.nz if you need any clarification.

Special Reserve –  Grade 1 Performance: NZ$499

Special Reserve clefts are selected 100% on performance. If they ping to the level of a Private Bin but have too many cosmetic imperfections, then they will be relegated to Special Reserve. If a cosmetical Grade 2 cleft performs too well to be regarded as a Grade 2 then it will be upgraded into this gategory. You may also find that some cosmetically stunning Grade 1’s that do not perform to the level of a Private Bin will also drop down into this category but could not be sold as Grade 2.

Grain structure: You can expect any where from 5-6 grains, blemishes and heartwood are common in this grade. If you are picky about grain structure then look to Private Bin or Reserve for your bat.

If you are looking for a specific grain structure then do not hestitate to mention this when you are ordering or email info@laverwood.co.nz if you need any clarification.

 

Legend – Grade 2: NZ$399

Legend Willow is Laver & Woods access Willow Grade. Cosmetically significantly inferior to Private Bin but some are comparible to Special Reserve. Theese clefts will not perform to the level of a Special Reserve but you will still find some clefts in this grade that will produce wonderful bats and for many cricketers, this is all they will ever need. When you are talking value for shots – tt is more important to get the specifications bang on for your game than it is too have a ridiculously stunning cleft.

Grain structure: You can expect 5 grains or more. Blemished, butterfly stains and heartwood common.

If you are looking for a specific grain structure then do not hestitate to mention this when you are ordering or email info@laverwood.co.nz if you need any clarification.

 

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