Here is a complete guide on how to find the perfect Pickleball ball based on court, weather conditions, skill set, and material construction.
How To Find The Perfect Pickleball Ball?
Pickleball has been there for ages, and people are still interested in this game, all credit to its game structure. And the first thing one would ask while planning to get started with this game is which ball is right for me. There is no one-size-fits-all-all, and it all depends upon factors like the court, weather conditions, skill rating, material construction, and much more.
Difference Between Indoor And Outdoor Pickleball Balls
Want to know how to find the perfect Pickleball ball for your skill set? Don’t waste more time, and give this guide a quick read to make a wise decision.
1. Material Construction
It is pretty evident that Pickleball balls are made up of plastic, be it indoor and outdoor balls. However, the plastic used in each ball is different and determines its weight, durability, and hardness. This is why it is of foremost importance that you check what material is used to make the Pickleball ball you are interested in.
So, if you are most likely to play outdoor Pickleball matches, it is important to go for polyethylene plastic with a high-density rating, polypropylene, or TPE Plastic. This is because it helps to add weight and thickness to the ball, so there is no chance that wind interferes with its trajectory. It further allows players to generate power and speed.
In contrast, for indoor Pickleball matches, low-density polyethylene plastic, and part of the reason is that they are lighter in weight, feel thinner, and are hollow from the inside. They also have more negative space that allows players to get a hold of the ball and feel at ease throughout. If you are someone struggling with control, these balls may be the most appropriate.
2. Weight And Bounce Level
Pickleball ball weight can make a huge difference in the playability of a Pickleball ball, even if it is by just a fraction. For instance, a lighter ball means no power but better control. A heavier ball means incredible power and a fast swing but limited control and extra effort from the players’ end.
Balls created for indoor courts are lighter in weight and vice versa. This is why beginners are fond of using indoor balls, as they are easy to play with and feel light, whereas Pickleball experts prefer outdoor balls, considering that they provide them with power and speed. And if you are a mid-level player, do consider your skill set and then invest in the ball.
3. Color Of The Ball
Similarly, it is equally important to consider the color of the Pickleball ball, as it plays an important role in improving your game. For instance, if you are most likely to play outdoors, you will need a visible ball, even in dark and dim-lit conditions. Here, I usually prefer colors like red and orange.
Likewise, if you are most likely to use it for indoor matches, any color will work well. That said, I would advise beginners to go for bright neon colors so the ball doesn’t get lost in the audience’s vibrant clothes. And if it goes with your style, it will be a cherry on top.
If you are a player who gets easily annoyed by unusual and unnecessary noises while playing Pickleball games, this is especially important for you. This is because some balls are more noisy than others, and part of the reason is the plastic used in the construction. And do consider that noise also increases the chances of cracks in the ball.
That said, do consider that outdoor balls tend to be a bit noisier than indoor balls. So, comparing the sounds of these two types with each other would be useless. You need to compare balls of the same category with each other to get the appropriate analysis of their noise level.
5. Number Of Holes
It is equally important to look into the number of holes your preferred ball has. The usual difference between indoor and outdoor balls is that the former has fewer holes (approximately 26) than the latter (approximately 40). Hence, this influences their utility and your decision to buy one.
If you are someone who is bothered by weather interference while playing Pickleball, an outdoor ball is the right choice. This is because it disturbs the aerodynamics of the ball and cancels out the external factors. However, for indoor matches, where you are mostly looking for a slow pace and spins, indoor balls with fewer holes will work well.
6. Skill Set
While buying the right Pickleball ball, you also need to consider your skill set, as it evidently plays an important role. Beginners usually prefer slow-paced games because they are still in the learning stages. Whereas professionals are preferably fond of momentum and speed.
So, if you are a beginner who is in search of a ball that gives a slower pace and is easy to get a hold of, indoor balls may work for you. On the contrary, outdoor balls are best suited for experienced players looking for opportunities to play with speed and momentum.
7. Conditions On The Field
In the end, conditions on the field also guide your choice of the Pickleball ball, as it directly impacts your gameplay. It is a common understanding that each type of court has its own designated ball design and structure. For instance, you must use outdoor balls for outdoor matches and vice versa.
This is because balls designed for outdoor conditions have a specific structure, including more holes, a higher hardness rating, robust plastic construction, and minimal negative space. All this combined helps players resist wind interference and maintain the straight trajectory of the ball.
Similarly, it goes the same for indoor balls. Considering that indoor courts require you to throw the ball at a slower pace in a spin motion, they feel light, have a lesser number of holes, and have soft plastic construction. Hence, with these balls, you will be able to maintain stability, bounce, and control at a slower pace.
USAPA Guidelines For A Quality Pickleball Ball
USAPA, or USA Pickleball Association came up with some guidelines that help players get a perfect match of gear for their game. This also goes for official Pickleball balls. So, for a ball to be USAPA approved, the following are some conditions it must fulfill.
- The ball must have a non-textured surface.
- It must be made up of molded plastic.
- The diameter of a pickleball ball must be between 2.87 and 2.97 inches.
- The ball variance must not exceed 0.02 inches.
- The weight of the ball must be between 0.78 and 0.9 ounces.
- The ball hardness is measured on a D scale, with not more than 50-60 ratings.
- The ball should bounce at least 30 to 34 times when it is dropped from 78 inches in height.
- The holes on the shoulder must be between 26 and 40. They must not exceed 40 and must have a uniform distribution over the ball surface.
- Players can choose the color of their ball according to their preference.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are All Pickleball Balls The Same?
No, all Pickleball balls are not the same, as they are designed for different conditions. There are commonly two types of Pickleball balls, indoors and outdoors. Each has its own specialized structure, designed to survive specific conditions.
How Long Do Pickleball Balls Last?
The life of a Pickleball ball depends on its use, playing surface, and temperature on which it has been used; for instance, cold and outdoor conditions can easily crack these balls. Also, each ball is made up of different qualities, so the lifespan varies from model to model. I would say Onix balls typically tend to last for a longer time.
Can Beginners Use Outdoor Pickleball Balls?
No, beginners are not advised to use outdoor pickleball balls, considering they are really difficult to handle. It takes extra effort to take control of a fast-moving outdoor Pickleball with immense power, even from a professional player. Hence, starting your Pickleball journey with an indoor ball is always better.
Can You Use Indoor Pickleball Outdoors?
Though you can use indoor Pickleball for outdoors and vice versa, I would not recommend it. This is because there is a reason why they are designed for different conditions. And if you are using an indoor ball for outdoor matches, it won’t last you for a few matches.
What Kind Of Ball Is Used In Pickleball?
A round, perforated, smooth surface ball is used in pickleball. A Pickleball ball is the same size as a baseball. For indoor pickleball, a lightweight pickleball is used, having 26 holes in it. For outdoor pickleball, a heavyweight ball is used, having 40 holes in it.
What Is The Diameter Of A Pickleball?
Pickleballs have a diameter of 2.874”-2.972” and a circumference of 9.03”-9.34”. The mass of a Pickleball is between (22-26.5 g).
Choosing the right Pickleball can be challenging, especially if you are a beginner and don’t know where to start. Though no one pickleball ball size fits all, you can still do some research on the basics. I hope this guide has been helpful in determining which type of Pickleball is best suited for your skill set and gaming conditions.
Other Related Posts:
- Best Pickleball Paddles
- Best Pickleball Shoes
- Pickleball Court Dimensions
- Difference Between Indoor And Outdoor Pickleball
- Best Pickleball Nets
I, Jeena Noven, am a renowned pickleball expert and author with over 10 years of experience playing and coaching the sport. My passion and extensive knowledge of pickleball has made me a leading authority in the game, particularly in the field of footwear. I have written countless articles for https://pickleballcard.com/, a website dedicated to pickleball, sharing my insights and expertise on the best shoes for the sport. Through personal testing and reviewing countless different brands and styles, I have developed a deep understanding of the technical aspects of shoe design that make them suitable for the demands of pickleball. In my articles, I provide valuable information for both beginner and advanced players, covering everything from the basics of shoe fit and support, to advanced tips for maximizing performance on the court. As a dedicated pickleball player and expert in footwear, I am a valuable resource for players of all levels. My articles are not only informative but also engaging, making them a must-read for anyone looking to improve their pickleball game. I am constantly researching new products and trends in the industry and my readers can always count on me to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on the best pickleball shoes available.