Caring for your Vyper Bat
Irrespective of make or finish of a bat, superficial face and edge marks will almost certainly appear, together with indentations or bruising of the willow. This will even happen in a Vyper bat.
We recommend the following principles for the preparation and maintenance of cricket bats. Following these age-old procedures will significantly reduce the possibility of damage occurring.
All natural faced bats must be treated using raw linseed or a specialist cricket bat oil. The main purpose of oiling is to maintain moisture levels within the blade, and hence reduce the chances of cracking and splitting.
A light coat should be applied to the face, edge, toe and back of the blade, only. Generally a single coat should be enough. Do not, under any circumstances, over oil.
Many players like to fit a clear Anti-scuff or similar cover. This doesn’t negate the requirement to ‘knock in’ the bat. The cover may assist the durability of the bat, but under no circumstances will it totally prevent surface damage.
Vyper bats have gigantic edges and toes, but to ensure the bat goes as well as it possibly can, and to ensure it’s longevity, they need careful preparation before use with a cricket ball.
The process of compressing the fibres in the face of the bat to prevent them from cracking or distorting is called knocking in. Use a wooden mallet for this process.
Tap the bat gently and repeatedly with the mallet all along with the face of the bat and the corresponding area on the edges where the face joins the side of the bat. Pay most attention to the areas of the bat most susceptible to damage: the edges and the toe. For the edges, hit an area of 5mm along the perimeter of the face, and gently hit the corner of the front edge at an angle of 45 degrees. Don’t strike the sides of the edges.
The process takes a long time: an hour or two is not enough. The more time spent knocking in the bat, the better it will perform. Once the bat is knocked in, you can either attach a plastic anti scuff (recommended) or apply two light coats of linseed oil with a soft cloth to the face and toe of the bat. Don't over oil the bat, you will ruin it.