This season we have opened our new showroom and dedicated bat fittings workshop. Enabling us to see players during the week as well as Saturday mornings, Salix bat fittings take you into the heart of our manufacturing to make you the very best Salix bat - yours. This is where the magic happens...where the most advanced processes and depth of experience combine to create your dream bat.
As one of the last true bat manufacturers, we have retained our independent status and artisan attention to detail. Despite being a recognised brand with stockists throughout the country and overseas, we still hand make our bats incredibly intensively, individually and personally. But our size and experience give us unique resources of both skill and raw materials; we have huge reserves of clefts and our skilled in house processing from cleft to finish means that we can bring out the very best in each and every piece of wood.
We are proud of the fittings as they are not just an amplified way of selecting a bat, or adjusting weight or grip, but reflect these unique manufacturing abilities. As we have invested and developed over the years, especially in managing cleft density, profiling, pressing and sanding, our processes have become still more intensive and complex, giving players at every level the benefits, whether professional or club, classic or T20. For us, this is what bespoke really means – combining our experience and skill with your preferences and hopes to make a seriously special Salix for you.
Please scroll down for our opening times and more information about what sets Salix custom bat fittings apart.
The bedrock of Salix is our expertise and absolute passion for making the finest cricket bats. As Andrew himself said once, he can ‘make a bat with a penknife’, but the aim is to harness the variety within Salix's specialist manufacturing to offer meaningful options which have a real impact upon the finished bat.
The fittings therefore concentrate on establishing what sort of player you are and what you are looking for, and of course what size you need. We select the best piece of wood for you, within grade, which will normally be either a blade in progress (sanded or fitted) or a cleft (raw or pressed and/or profiled). From this we tailor as necessary the profile, pressing, shape, balance, sanding depth and handle... right through to choosing labels and grips. When all of these elements combine harmoniously, that's when you get real performance and a great bat – your bat. We believe that this is advanced custom made, as our multi-layered approach replicates and builds upon our artisan skills in ways not achievable either with cnc/fully automated production or outsourced/imported bats.
the new showroom: equipment, finished bats & specials
As well as our new bat fittings workshop, we have a stunning new showroom displaying our renowned equipment and luggage, shoes and finished bats. Coming to the source gives you the best access to our stock, as well as exclusives, samples and sale items.
We try to hold stock across the lines, but occasionally find that certain models and sizes sell out during the season. If you are travelling to see us then we always recommend a quick call to check on stock to ensure we have what you need; we are happy to reserve stock for you just in case.
For many players confident in their game, the finished bats are ideal and can be taken away on the day. Whether perfect finished stock, exclusive limited editions, developmental samples or factory bats, we offer a variety and quality only available at source.
We will give you time and space to look at the bats and equipment, but remain on hand to advise, guide and explain the properties and reasons behind any particular bat. Our whole brand ethos is based on continuous development, so for us your visits are a crucial exchange. Your feedback and preferences all become a part of our batmaking current and future.
bat reworking & repairs
As our batmaking is totally in house, so our repairs have always been. Our makers are also repairers and restorers. We have always completed essential repairs and refurbishments both in and out of warranty for our brands and others. Changes in the industry have also increased the number of alterations sought, not just repairs, but also weight reductions and full reworking of bats. Sadly the apparent increase in bat brands has not been due to an explosion of bat making schools or apprenticeships but rather the accessibility of outsourcing: buying in a part made product which is then sold as ‘handmade’ or ‘bespoke’. This often results in bats which are too heavy, out of balance, problematic, or simply unsuitable for their unlucky owner. We cannot always remedy them, but will do our best if we feel it is possible and worthwhile to adjust or rework a bat for you.
When we copy we try to capture the features and appeal of the original, whilst translating it into a current Salix. To make a copy we need sight of the original and will price the new one as the closest equivalent model and grade from the current range - for example an early Fera might become a current Arc. We can also work from old non-Salix favourites.
Over the years we have frequently been asked by students or hobby batmakers for materials to make a bat at home or school. Experience has shown us that the best way to approach this is to buy a partmade blade which has already been machined, pressed and fitted using our specialist machinery as these early stages are very hard to replicate outside of the workshop. This blade can then be shaped and finished. We can supply bats in grades 1, 2 or 3, plus sub-standards which are ideal as a cheaper way to experiment.
Saturday fittings – the showroom and bat fittings workshop are both open for the morning as shown above, and the rest of the workshop is normally available to see and for us to access as necessary. We see people on a first come, first served basis and spend as much time as circumstances allow.
weekday fittings – these are held in the bat fittings workshop only, as normal production is running in the main workshops. Again we do not normally make appointments, but see people as efficiently as possible within the confines of weekday production, whilst ensuring that we obtain the necessary information for the bat(s). Whether on a Saturday or mid-week, any bespoke bat will need to go back into production for many processes after your visit, even if we make to, or select at a sanded stage.
The priority is to achieve the right wood and specification and there is no fixed time or method to this – we concentrate on establishing the correct detail so that when you leave, both you and we know what we are working to achieve.
facilities/delays - early Saturday bat fittings can get busy, but we generally find that they are really enjoyable and players travel from around the country for the opportunity to have their Salix tailor made. We try to keep them fun with plenty to see and we help as much as possible with equipment if you are waiting for a bat fitting. There are of course seats, tea/coffee, loos and plenty of parking. Situated on an apple and pear farm, there are orchards and refreshments for dogs too.
pricing - there is no premium charged for the custom fittings, we simply work from our factory price list; please email if you would like a copy.
safety and comfort – if you arrive early then we would ask you to bear with us as we cannot open the workshop doors until machinery is isolated: we make the workshop as safe as possible but please take care as this is a working factory rather than a museum so children must be kept under supervision at all times.
As we open our workshops up to you, we also ask that you do not photograph or film without our prior consent and/or review - we are understandably protective of what we do. Lastly, these are agricultural buildings so bring an extra jumper (or two!).
We look forward to meeting you and to making you your Salix.