Type to search

Balls Buyer's Guides Gear

Pickleball Balls: The Ultimate Guide

Share
Pickleball balls on court

If you’re in the market for a pickleball ball, you may be wondering what to look for. There are a few things you should keep in mind when choosing a ball. In this buyer’s guide, we will discuss the different factors you should consider when making your purchase. We’ll also provide some tips on how to find the best ball for your needs! 

 

Table of Contents

Pickleball is Nothing Without the Right Ball 

The pickleball ball you use can have a significant impact on your game. If you’re playing with an indoor ball on an outdoor court, for example, you won’t be able to get the same level of bounce or spin. Conversely, if you’re playing with an outdoor ball on an indoor court, the ball may not bounce as high or spin as much. Therefore, it’s important to choose the right pickleball ball for your particular playing surface. 

Diagram of pickleball ball including dimensions.

Pickleball balls are made of hard plastic with holes.

A pickleball ball approved by the USA Pickleball Associate (USAPA) must follow certain standards including: 

  • Construction: It must be constructed of a durable material molded with a smooth surface and free of texturing except for a slight ridge at the seam as long as it doesn’t significantly impact the ball’s flight
  • Color: It must be of one uniform color, except for identification markings.
  • Size: The ball shall be 2.87 inches (7.29 cm) to 2.97 inches (7.54 cm) in diameter.
  • Weight: The ball shall weigh between 0.78 and 0.935 ounces (22.1 and 26.5 grams).
  • Design: The ball shall have a minimum of 26 to a maximum of 40 circular holes, with the spacing of the holes and the overall design of the ball conforming to flight characteristics. If used for competition they must have the manufacturer’s name or logo and the “USA Pickleball Competition” seal, or “USA Pickleball Approved” seal for non-competition applications.

The standards also include specifications on the bounce, hardness, and compression. 

 

How Do You Choose the Right Ball? 

There are a few factors you should keep in mind when choosing pickleball balls. This includes: 

  • Type of Playing Surface 
  • Indoor or Outdoor 
  • Playing Level 

Type of Playing Surface

The type of surface you’ll be playing on is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing pickleball balls. If you’re playing on an outdoor court, you’ll need an outdoor ball. Outdoor balls are designed to bounce lower and spin less than indoor balls. If you’re playing on an indoor court, you can use either an indoor or outdoor ball. However, keep in mind that indoor balls will bounce higher and spin more than outdoor balls. 

Outdoor Vs. Indoor Balls

As we mentioned before, the type of surface you’ll be playing on is one of the most important factors to consider when choosing pickleball balls. Indoor and outdoor balls are designed differently to accommodate the differences in playing surface and wind resistance. 

Indoor vs. outdoor

Indoor (on the left) and outdoor (on the right) pickleball balls are designed differently.

 

Indoor Pickleball Balls

Indoor courts are usually made of wood and create less bounce than a hard surface such as concrete or another outdoor surface. By using an indoor ball, you will make up for this.

Indoor balls have fewer and larger holes than outdoor balls and are lighter in weight than outdoor balls. This causes them to fly slower and less distance. The material they are made from is a softer plastic, which makes it harder to hit the ball with power, but easier to control. Indoor balls are quieter than outdoor balls. 

Outdoor Pickleball Balls

If you’re playing outdoors you’ll want to use an outdoor ball. Because outdoor pickleball balls are heavier and have less wind resistance, they can go farther and achieve more spin. The thicker plastic also makes outdoor balls more durable for use on hard and rough surfaces. 

Though outdoor balls are generally more durable, they are also more likely to crack, especially in cold weather. If you live in an area with cold winters, it’s helpful to keep a few extra balls around for when the temperature drops. 

Some manufacturers have begun making quiet pickleball balls to satisfy complaints from people living in communities close to pickleball courts. However, not all of these balls are USAPA-approved; as is the case for those made with foam. 

Playing Level

Another thing to take into account when selecting a ball is your playing level. While outdoor balls are typically harder than indoor pickleball balls, you can buy softer outdoor balls. 

If you’re a beginner, you may want to choose a soft ball. Soft pickleball balls are designed for beginners who want more control over their shots. They also bounce lower and spin less than hard pickleball balls. If you’re an advanced player, you may want to choose a hard ball. Hard pickleball balls are designed for players who want more power and spin on their shots. 

Tips for Finding the Best Pickleball Ball

Once you’ve considered all of the factors discussed above, you’re ready to start shopping for a pickleball ball! Here are a few tips to help you find the best ball for your needs: 

  1. Shop around: There are a variety of pickleball balls on the market, so it’s important to shop around and compare prices. 
  2. Read reviews: Before making a purchase, be sure to read reviews of pickleball balls from other players. This can help you get an idea of which balls are high quality and which ones aren’t. 
  3. Ask for recommendations: If you’re still not sure which ball to choose, ask your pickleball friends or pick up a few different types of balls and test them out before making a final decision. Keep in mind the preferences of your friends or family when playing together. 

Read more: Top Pickleball Balls Review 

By following the tips in this pickleball buyers guide, you will be sure to end up with the best pickleball ball for your needs! Be sure to keep these factors in mind when making your purchase: type of surface, playing level, and whether you need an indoor or outdoor pickleball ball. 

Finally, keep in mind that there is no one perfect pickleball ball for everyone. The best pickleball ball for you will depend on your playing style and preferences. So take some time to try out different pickleball balls until you find the one that’s right for you! 

Pickle On! : ) 

FAQ

Q: What is the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball balls? 

A: Indoor pickleball balls are lighter, softer, and easier to hit. Outdoor pickleball balls are heavier, have less wind resistance, and can go farther. 

Q: What are the best pickleball balls for a beginner? 

A: A soft ball is the best ball for a beginner. They are designed for players who want more control over their shots. 

Q: What are the best pickleball balls for an advanced player? 

A: A hard ball is the best ball for an advanced player. They are designed for players who want more power and spin on their shots. 

Q: Can I use my own ball in a tournament? 

A: No, the tournament officials will always choose a USAPA-approved ball that all players must use during the event. However, you can find out which ball will be used in advance so that you have time to practice with it. 

Q: What are some tips for finding the best pickleball balls? 

A: Some tips for finding the best pickleball ball include shopping around, reading reviews, and asking for recommendations. You will also want to take into consideration your playing level and whether you need indoor or outdoor pickleball balls. 

Q: Can I buy pickleball balls in bulk? 

A: Yes, pickleball balls are often sold in bulk. This can be a great option if you play pickleball frequently. 

Q: Do pickleball balls come in different colors? 

A: Yes, pickleball balls are available in a variety of colors. The most common colors of pickleball balls are yellow, orange, and green. However, pickleball balls are also available in a variety of other colors, such as pink, blue, and red. You may want to choose a color that is easy to see or that matches your pickleball paddle. 

Q: How long do pickleballs last? 

A: The lifespan of pickleball balls depends on the type of ball and how often it is used. A pickleball ball that is used frequently may need to be replaced more often than one that is used less often. You can expect to replace an outdoor ball every ten games, and less often for an indoor ball. Because pickleball balls are susceptible to extreme temperatures, you can increase their longevity by keeping them in a climate-controlled environment. 

Q: Can pickleball balls be recycled? 

A: At this time, most pickleball balls can’t be recycled. However, Cheetah brand makes a ball made from LDPE #4 plastic that can be recycled. You will need to check with your local center about their specific policy regarding pickleball balls. 

Q: Is there one perfect ball for everyone? 

A: No, the best ball for you will depend on your playing style, playing surface, and preferences. So take some time to try out different pickleball balls until you find the one that’s right for you! : ) 

Tags:

You Might also Like