What is the best pickleball in 2018? Can you even compare pickleball balls?
What makes one ball different from – or better than – another?
These are some of the questions that we hope to answer here. We have also taken a look at some of the best pickleball balls of 2018, and listed our verdict. Indoor play or outdoor play, our list will help you find the balls that will make your Pickleball game always fun, and friendly, competitive or both.
- List of 7 Best Pickleball Balls of 2018:-
- Best Pickleball Balls 2018
- In-Depth Pickleball Balls Buying Guide
List of 7 Best Pickleball Balls of 2018:-
|Best Pickleball Balls||Price|
|#1. Onix Pure 2 Outdoor Pickleballs||Check Price|
|#2. Jugs Sports Pickleballs||Check Price|
|#3. Onix Pure 2 Indoor Pickleball Balls||Check Price|
|#4. Gamma Sports Photon Pickleballs||Check Price|
|#5. Pickleball Central Top Balls||Check Price|
|#6. Tourna Outdoor Pickleballs||Check Price|
|#7. Dura Outdoor Pickleball Balls||Check Price|
One of the things that make Pickleball what it is, is the ball. Soft, light, full of holes like cheese, the pickleball sometimes drifts through the air like a feather and sometimes bounces down hard and angry on your opponent’s side of the court.
Keeping that in mind, there are new balls being released ever so often because the official rules keep changing as the game evolves. Here is a look at some of the newest and best pickleball balls that can make your game enjoyable.
Best Pickleball Balls 2018
This is the most loved pickleball set among pickleball enthusiasts. Designed for outdoor play, these balls are pretty strong and reasonably heavy to withstand extreme outdoor conditions and pierce the air without any deflection. I personally prefer these yellow balls over the regular orange balls as they don’t hold well for real games.
- The plastic quality is pretty good and
- The bouncing response is far better than the regular light balls
- Long lasting nature
- Great feedback and speed of travel is fantastic
- No notable disadvantage except high pricing for small packages
Overall, this is a great set of balls for perfect outdoor playing needs. If you buy in a double dozen (24 Pcs), cost per ball reduces substantially. So if you are a regular player, you can get the 24 Pcs set, as it highly cost-effective for such good quality balls.
Jugs Pickleball set can be a good choice if you are looking for indoor games. Though it says to hold well for both indoor and outdoor use, it cannot hold well for outdoor games as these balls are pretty light and prone to get deflected when harsh crosswinds hit.
- Value for money
- Perfect for indoor games
- The lime green color provides better visibility even in poor light conditions
- Not for outdoor games
- Balls are too light and cannot hold its path during heavy crosswinds
- Colors other than white and lime green are not well visible during low lighting conditions
- Prone to break or split during powerful smashes
These balls are not designed for outdoor use. If you are not a tournament player and looking for practice or recreational games, these balls are the best. You can buy in 3 different packages carrying 6, 12 and 36 balls respectively. Some colors are not vision-friendly. Stick to white and lime green colors that provide better visibility than other colors. Overall, this is a nice indoor pickleball set comes from a reputed brand that is easy on your wallet.
Consider this one if you are looking for a strong yet responsive ball for indoor gameplay. Actually, this ball can be used for the occasional outdoor game also. Quality of the balls is pretty good that allow even outdoor players adapt to the indoor game quickly as the bouncing potential even on synthetic courts is better.
- Balls are strong for indoor games
- Meets the requirements of USAPA for indoor pickleball tournaments
- Withstands well for indoor games
- Bounces well and holds the travel path well without deflection
- Seamed balls are prone to splits than seamless balls
- Not suitable for soft grounds
- You won’t get white colored balls
This ball set from Onix is marketed as indoor pickleball balls. But the balls are good to balance both indoor and outdoor gameplay until it’s played recreationally or for fun. But if you are looking for something sturdy enough to handle outdoor needs, this may not fit you.
Gamma Photon indoor pickleball is best for beginners and people looking for indoor practice. They are made of decent quality for indoor gameplay. It’s clearly mentioned that these are made for indoor games; so if you use it for outdoor, you will not get proper feedback from less hard courts.
- The fluorescent green is perfect for providing great visibility for indoor games
- They bounce better as they are at the little hard side
- Best set of balls for practice
- The extra hardness is not so friendly for indoor games
- Wobbles on hi-speed smash
Gamma sports photon indoor pickleball balls package is a good choice for indoor games as the color of the ball is well visible even at low light conditions. Apart from the indoor-friendly nature in terms of visibility, the balls are reasonably hard, and the seamless construction makes it extra durable.
This ball set is designed for the outdoor game by Top Ball. The package carries a dozen balls in green color. Since the ball is intended for the outdoor game, the holes are small. Small holes allow it to maintain its path without defecting during heavy crosswinds.
- Balls are strong for indoor games
- Holds the line well
- Has light seam projection that disappears after few games
- Bounces well, and the durability is good – No need of frequent replacements
- These balls are seamed, which may not give the sturdiness of seamless balls
- These balls stain almost all the surface it touches – sight color bleeding issue at the beginning
- You won’t get white colored balls
These balls are good enough to handle the outdoor game requirements. The seamed construction may not be strong enough like seamless balls. However, the seam disappears completely after few games. If you are looking for a budget-friendly outdoor ball, you can consider Top Balls.
One of the cheapest pickleball balls available in the market. You can get 36 balls for just $$. This roughly translates to $1.4 per piece, which provides great value for money. Coming to the quality of balls, they are made of seamed plastic with a well visible seam. Though it claims to satisfy outdoor tournament standards, these balls are on the little hard side.
- Good ball for outdoor pickleball practice
- Meets the requirements of USAPA for outdoor pickleball tournaments
- The ball is hard to withstand a few power shots
- These balls have well visible seam makes it little offset from perfect round shape
- Plastic thickness is less, prone to get out of shape soon
If you are looking for a pocket-friendly package for practice, you can choose this set. These balls may not hold well for real tournaments. But it’s pretty good for outdoor practices. Overall, this is a great value for money ball set for beginners.
Dura outdoor balls are perfect in terms of functionality. But if you are looking for something that is really rugged and durable, this may not be the perfect choice for you. These balls provide excellent bouncing and traveling capabilities for casual games and practices.
- Excellent bouncing potential
- Holds the line well without deflection
- Light in construction
- Too light plastic makes it fragile
- Tend to get cracked after few games
- Balls are brittle, contributing premature failure in the middle of gameplay
For casual and recreational games, these balls can serve the purpose without any issues. For serious gaming or tournaments, you may need to replace the balls too often.
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Now, you might need to read this guide to know everything about buying a pickleball that suits your needs.
In-Depth Pickleball Balls Buying Guide
Why won’t just any Pickleball do?
You could always get the cheapest pickleball available online or at a sports shop near you. You could also get a ball that your friends talk about, without really thinking much about specific features.
But try shopping for balls and you’ll see why it’s not an easy choice. To begin with, there are so many types out there. Dura balls, white balls, Top balls, Onix balls, bright pink balls, multicolored balls, neon green balls, balls with big holes, those with small holes. The options are endless, and it can be confusing especially when you’re just starting out with the game.
You can use any paddle you like in Pickleball, indoors or outdoors. But you’ll enjoy the best game only if you also use the right ball. This means, the right ball for indoor or outdoor play. Also, you need to make sure to use a good quality ball that doesn’t crack or break after a few hits from your paddle. The last thing you want while you hit your cheap plastic ball with a spin is to have it burst its seams – which, by the way, a USAPA-approved Pickleball ball will not always have.
What kind of ball is used for Pickleball?
A Pickleball is a molded plastic ball with holes on it. It doesn’t have any seams. If you’ve ever seen a Wiffle ball, you might see the similarities. The Wiffle ball is always white – the Pickleball is not. But both are plastic balls around 3 inches in diameter (the Wiffle ball is a little smaller and lighter). The main difference between the two is that the holes in the Pickleball are round while those in the Wiffle ball are oblong.
The Pickleball plastic can be as thick as the manufacturer wants. But the size is always 2.75 to 3 inches in diameter, and the ball weighs between 0.8 ounces and 1.02 ounces. The round holes on the pickleball don’t have a fixed number or size. But official tournament balls will have 40 holes.
The size of the hole depends on where the game will be played. Balls with larger holes are used indoors and balls with smaller holes are used outdoors. Originally, this difference probably didn’t exist. But the game is constantly evolving. As people started playing Pickleball in new locations, such as in recreation centers and schools, balls came to be designed differently to suit the location.
What types of Pickleballs are used for Outdoor Play?
Balls used in outdoor locations are made of harder, smoother plastic. There are a few brands of outdoor balls that you may have heard of, such as Dura, TOP, and Onix. These seamless balls are molded in a single construction process, out of molten plastic. When the balls cool, holes are drilled into them.
Outdoor balls have smaller holes for maximum wind resistance. These balls are also harder to control because of the hardness of the plastic. But they are designed for powerful, hard and fast play. If you play with an outdoor ball indoors, the high bounce and speed may cause injuries.
What types of Pickleballs are used for Indoor Play?
Indoor balls are usually softer so that they don’t cause injury. At the same time, the softness makes the ball bounce less. This is because indoor spaces are usually smaller. You don’t want a lot of play length or bounce. The soft plastic prevents the ball from bouncing too high or too far.
Indoor balls also have larger holes. The size of the holes makes these balls more flexible and easier to control indoors. If you were to take an indoor ball outdoors, you’d find out just how hard it can be to make an indoor ball fly in the wind.
There are certain brands that make balls specifically for indoor play, like Jugs, the Big Hole Dura, and the PickleballNow Indoor Ball. The Onix PURE Indoor ball is also made for indoor play but it’s not used in indoor tournaments because it doesn’t meet the official rules and regulations. It is good enough for a friendly game.
Can I use Indoor Balls Outdoors?
Clearly, using outdoor balls indoors can give you injuries. But what about the reverse? Many players prefer to use indoor balls outdoors because there is no practical reason not to. However, the softer ball can be harder to control in the wind. It’s still preferred by many players for the outdoors because it lets them enjoy longer rallies. With the outdoor ball, rallies are usually shorter because the balls are harder to control.
How to Check for Roundness?
If your ball is not perfectly round and has irregularities, it can become hard to control. So, when you buy your pickleball, you should check for roundness. A simple trick to do this is to hit the ball up in the air with the paddle face parallel to the ground, with some spin. If there’s no wind, a perfectly round ball will fall straight back to you again. A ball that’s not perfectly round will fall a little way away from you.
How often will the balls wear out?
Your indoor pickleball is likely to last longer than your outdoor ball. The outdoor ball is more vulnerable to weathering from the sun. These balls will eventually crack with heavy use. Weather can also make a ball go out of shape, so it doesn’t fly straight anymore. You’ll have to replace outdoor balls a lot more often than indoor balls.
Quiet practice balls
If you play in a community with noise restrictions, you can still practice. There are paddles designed for noiseless play. Many balls for practice (you can’t use them in official tournaments) made of materials like foam can come in handy. You can also use kids’ tennis training balls. These will be heavier and handier for practice on windy days.
What colors to choose?
The color is entirely up to you, depending on where and in what conditions you play. Balls meant for outdoor play are available in various colors, including white, orange, yellow and green. The yellow is the most popular, as it is highly visible. You want to be able to see the ball clearly while you play.
If you tend to schedule your practice games in the evenings, in low light, you may prefer the neon green balls. These balls are more visible in low light.
What about cost?
Online stores like Amazon carry pickleball balls of various prices. You can get a dozen balls for as low as $12 or you can buy large packs of 60 balls for a budget price.
We hope you find your favorite ball after checking out the buying guide & the list of best balls. Also keep in mind that with Pickleball balls, you get what you pay for. While it is possible to find premium balls at a steal on an online store, most cheap balls are going to end up broken and cracked sooner than the average-price ones from well-known USAPA-approved brands.