1 Aug 2010
AKADEMA ACE70 FASTPITCH DESIGN SERIES SOFTBALL GLOVE
"Created to satisfy the needs of the competitive Fastpitch player, the Akadema Fastpitch Design Series is hand-crafted to increase the level of play on the field. Constructed of US Steerhide throughout the pocket and webbing, the back of the glove features exclusive AkademLyte leather, decreasing the overall weight of the glove and allowing for a faster break-in period and a more manageable feel. Smaller finger stalls used to decrease the distance between the thumb and index finger and Akadema Grasp Clasp Wrist System allow for increased playability. Endorsed by USA Softball stars Crystl Bustos and Monica Abbott."
Ok, so that is the company's blurb about this Fastpitch Glove. That's a lot of sales copy, adequately describing this line of fast pitch softball gloves. Sales copy is good, but does it tell the real story?
They sound pretty proud of this line of ladies Fastpitch Softball gloves. You know what? They should be. This is one heck of a nice softball glove, and for the price range it is in there really are not any competitors out there that can beat it. You can see why Monica and Crystl endorse these gloves; they are high quality.
The ACE70 is priced in the low middle of the range but the quality and build of this glove should have it in the upper range. This glove has some really nice features and it plays very well too.
Here are some of its features.
- 13" Slim Pattern
- B-Hive Web
- Grasp Clasp Wrist System
- Small Finger Stalls
- Deep Pocket
- Right or Left Hand throw available
The Akadema ACE70 fastpitch glove is black with grey 1/4 inch lacing that makes a nice looking accent. There is some nice embroidered script Akadema on the back of the glove and also the logo, which makes this a really sharp looking softball glove. The model and series name are embossed into the inside of the glove for added effect. You hate to admit it but how well a glove, or bat or shoes looks does seem to make a difference to how you play - or at least how you feel about that glove or shoes, etc. So, that being said, this is one sharp looking fast pitch glove.
This glove is not as heavy as most thanks to the use of AkademaLyte leather on the back of the glove. This lighter weight leather is durable but allows for a quicker break in period. When you first get this glove it will be very stiff. You will need to do some break-in. If you use the Akadema glove conditioner on the palm and pocket and pound some softballs in there and play a lot of catch it should break-in in a few weeks for you. The heavy Steerhide on the palm and fingers provides plenty of padding for those hot line-drives to SS or those high fly balls in Center.
The 13" slim pattern is the perfect size for a softball utility player. The deep pocket seems to just absorb the ball yet it gives it back quickly to make that fast glove to hand transition on the infield. The deep pocket helps you hang onto those fly balls in the outfield too.
Middle infielders, Shortstop and 2nd base will like the tight feel of the glove and the way it holds up to repeatedly slamming it into the dirt to grab that grounder up the middle. 3rd base will like the heavy palm and pocket to stop those hot liners coming down the line. As a pitcher you will appreciate the slightly larger pattern and deep closed web pocket to hide your grip as long as possible. Sorry batters. This will even make a great 1st base glove with its size and deep pocket.
That B-Hive web is a closed type web. It kind of looks like a honeycomb, thus the name I guess. It is made of the same top quality US Steerhide as the pocket and palm area. It is really thick too, looks to be about 1/4 inch and reinforced with that heavy 1/4 inch lacing. The B-hive construction makes it very secure and strong. Being a closed web you can use it to block out the sun on those bright summer days. As you break in the glove the web conforms very well to the ball and begins to give-in to allow easy closure by a smaller, ladies hand.
Akadema has a nice Grasp-Clasp Wrist System that incorporates an open back with an adjustable wrist closure using Velcro. This allows for a more comfortable and manageable fit. Rip back the velcro to put the glove on, then pull it tight to give you a snug fit. There is also a soft furry material on the top of this reinforced Grasp Clasp that cushions the top of your hand. It also absorbs some of your sweat so you don't slip around so much. There is a tag attached there. I would suggest cutting it off if it bothers you.
Along with the Grasp-Clasp system, Akadema designed in smaller finger-stalls to better fit smaller hands like most ladies have. This also makes a shorter distance between the thumb and index finger. You ladies will love this. You don't have to use the standard baseball glove anymore.
The only negative thing about this glove is those small finger-stalls. They are kind of small for most men. It will eventually conform to your hand but I would suggest moving into one of the men's ProSoft if you are a man with average sized hands.
Younger players may find the stiffness a bit much but it does break in easy enough. Get your Dad or Mom to help you. This will be a glove that you could use for many years. The lighter weight will be a plus for you.
Competitive softball players moving up into high school age looking for a step up glove will really like this fast pitch glove for its high quality leather and lighter weight. That lighter weight can help with your quickness at ball transfer. You know how important that is in this game. This glove should last you through your high school years and into college. If you take care of it, it should be one you could give your own daughter one day.
This glove could also be a great second glove for that super competitive A level player, or the college or post college player looking for a glove to use for those weekend tournaments. The lighter weight and ease of break-in will help this glove find a home in your equipment bag.
These features make the Akadema ACE-70 one of the best fast pitch gloves available today. This is a great utility players glove. Two Thumbs UP!
Remember, to discover how great this glove is you have to use it. So get out there and get it dirty.
Take care of it and it will take care of you on the field!
The author is a fastpitch softball enthusiast and has been involved in fastpitch softball and baseball for 20 years as a parent and coach. For more information on the ACE70 and others please visit http://www.BuyFastpitchGloves.com for some of the best fastpitch softball gloves and related accessories.