The modest-looking, colorful balls of pickleball may look like an insignificant part of the game. However, these spheres can turn any game upside down.
If you want to do so, get the best pickleball balls for your next match. I know the task is not easy, players are spending hundreds and thousands of dollars to get a right paddle. But, they don’t keep enough consideration when buying pickleball balls. Nevertheless, not all of them are worthy of being called the best.
Our Top Picks for Outdoor Pickleball Balls
Our Top Picks for Indoor Pickleball Balls
What’s the Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Pickleball?
Unlike any Pickleball Paddles, the balls are made particularly for indoor and outdoor uses. You can use outdoor balls for indoor games, but get ready for surprises.
When I compare pickleball balls indoor vs. outdoor, two things came into consideration – made and speed. You can easily differentiate these two ball types based on those two factors.
Indoor balls are lightweight, soft, and come with larger holes. Lightweight makes them easy to control, and larger holes make room for wind effect. As a result, the ball will travel longer rallies with minimum effort.
However, returning the volley is not that easy with this ball type. You have to be in control and check your strength before hitting the ball.
Dark color balls are more popular for indoor games. They are easy to detect in front of a light-colored gym or court wall.
It is more challenging to play pickleball outside than inside. So, the ball for outdoor play needs to be heavy, hard, and resistant to wind effect.
The thick walls of the outdoor balls make them more durable and heavyweight. You may need additional skills and techniques to control these heavyweight balls. The fast pace and slow ball bounce add more complexity to the game.
Smaller holes counter the complexity by minimizing the wind and weather effects. Yellow and orange pickleball are the most popular colors for outdoor balls.
9 Best Pickleball Balls 2021
I made a perfect list of indoor and outdoor pickleball balls. Not only that, but I have also considered the made, materials, performance, durability, and size. However, if you still have some doubts, the FAQ is there to clear it.
Let’s not wait anymore. It’s time to check some of the super pickleball spheres.
Best Outdoor Pickleball Balls
Outdoor balls for pickleball are more robust and durable than the indoor ones. Both wall thickness and hole placement play a vital role in determining the quality of the ball. I have picked the best six based on made, quality, and durability.
1. Onix Pure 2 Outdoor Pickleball Balls
Onix Pure 2 will give you the purest experience of an actual outdoor ball. Sturdy made, authentic bounce, and strategic hole positions make it the most perfect fit for being the best of the bests.
This bright colored ball is easy to spot even in gloomy outdoor weather. The smooth surface of this ball has strategically placed holes. So, the wind will have minimal effect on the movement of the balls.
Moreover, the hole positioning makes every bounce consistent.
Virgin thermoset pallets were melted and injected to make every Onix pure 2 balls. You will find these balls a bit heavier than the rest because of the construction. Heavyweight ensures a straight flight when firmly hit.
Onix Pure 2 offers exceptional durability despite the injection molding and welding of two halves along the seam.
2. Franklin Sports X-40 Outdoor Performance Pickleballs
With 4-colors and 40-holes, Franklin Sports X-40 will turn any outdoor game into a thrilling one. You will love the durability and perfect bounce of the ball. No wonder it came second in my selection.
This polyethylene made balls can endure any aggressive gameplay for hours. If you are looking for pickleball with a longer life, this is the right ball for you.
Both size and weight are optimized for perfect control. Each ball comes with a precise weight of 0.91-oz and 2.9-inches diameter. These are the USAPA approved features to ensure tournament quality performances.
Additionally, machine-drilled holes and a smooth surface will play on your side to control the speed and flight of the ball. It will offer one of the most fluid game experiences in any outdoor weather condition.
It is almost impossible to find any weak or soft spot on the ball surface. The seamless design made with rotational injection molding enhanced the durability and longevity of every Franklin Sports X-40 ball.
If you love the slow pace of pickleball games and don’t want to get too tired, keep pair Franklin Sports X-40 with your set.
3. Tourna Strike Outdoor Pickleballs
Tourna Strike is perfect pickleball balls for clay courts or any other outdoor pickleball courts. Bright yellow color enhances visibility even in the dim light while the manufacturing processes make it bounce more.
Weight and diameter wise, Turna balls compliance with all the requirements of USAPA regulations. Playing on any surface is effortless with this 2.9-inches ball.
The hardness of the ball is neither too sturdy nor too soft. It will make you control the ball much easier. 40 holes on the surface mitigate any wind or weather interference so that you can have a straight fly.
Just like your excitement, the bounce will be lively but low. So be prepared to use your maximum fitness and patience to wait for the ball.
4. Dura Fast 40 Outdoor Pickleballs
This is the most authentic ball from the company that invented the game of pickleball. Every Dura Fast 40 pickleball is seamless and offers extraordinary durability and bounce.
You don’t have to worry about the quality of the Dura ball. It is the official ball of every USAPA open pickleball championships and national tournament. Buy a set of Dura balls and bring the tournament-like feel in every game.
As an outdoor ball, Dura Fast 40 flies dead straight. Each shot is easy to control due to its weight and smaller holes. Precisely spaced holes reduce the wind effect and make the ball playable in almost any weather condition.
Dura stands for durable. So, the last thing you should worry about this ball is the durability. Thicker but smoother, seamless surface significantly extended the longevity.
5. TOP Ball (The Outdoor Pickleball)
- DURABLE POLY BALL- Rotationally molded for strength, straight flight and...
- ROTATIONALLY MOLDED - 1 Piece construction eliminates weak points and creates...
- 40-HOLE OUTDOOR BALL - Patented 40-hole pattern perfect for outdoor play....
The TOP stands for TOP Outdoor Pickleball. You will get top-quality performance from this highly durable and sturdy ball. Seamless design and accurately placed holes will help you to make straight and long flights.
Pro-level players found the ball jump up to 32-inches if dropped from at least 75-inches height. The bounce is consistent and goes with the ‘low-bounce’ nature of the game.
High-quality plastic makes a smooth and seamless surface of the ball. The weight and smooth surface optimized the pace and control with almost any pickleball paddles.
You will find the weight and size compliance with the USAPA regulation. Despite the smooth finish, the ball has a durability issue. A few users have found the ball break down quicker then it said in the product description.
Best Indoor Pickleball Balls
Indoor balls are light in weight, soft, and have larger holes on the surface. These features, combined, make the ball easy to maneuver with less effort. I have selected four lightweight indoor balls for their stunning performance in any indoor pickleball court.
1. Gamma Sports Photon Indoor Pickleballs
- USAPA APPROVED: USAPA approved for sanctioned tournament play; whether you're...
- HIGH VISIBILITY: The optic green ball is easy to see against both dark and light...
- ULTRA BALANCED: A win should be determined by skill, not imperfect equipment;...
Gamma Photon balls may not be as fast photons, but they are bright like a photon ray in any indoor condition. You can see the ball clearly, so controlling the shots are easier with this robust ball.
The optic green color is soothing for the eyes to track. Moreover, it makes the perfect contrast against any dark color gym wall. No matter if you are in the home, club, or professional court, Photon will not let you down.
Injection-molded halves are glued together to create a perfect balance. Yes, the construction makes the ball a little vulnerable to distortion. However, it will make the game challenging for your opponent as long as it keeps its integrity.
You will get the perfect bounce and fly. Thanks to the 26-holes perfectly placed with the machine. Every game will be an upbeat one with each of the lively bounce.
2. Onix Pure 2 Indoor Pickleball Balls
This indoor version of Onix 2 has all the great features of its outdoor counterparts. So, you already know how much you will love it during any pickleball game. Besides those features, it is one of the most consistent indoor balls in my selection.
Unlike the outdoor one, this ball has a larger but fewer hole to minimize any wind interference. Besides, the durability is much better than any other indoor balls.
If you are planning for a power-packed match with some heavy-hitting, go for the Onix Pure 2 indoor ball.
3. Jugs Pickleballs
Jugs balls are made for indoor use. However, you can also use these lime green balls in outdoor games. Highly durable, Jugs balls are easy to pick and follow in both bright and dimmed light conditions.
Two parts of the ball are glued together and retouched later for smoothness. But the seam is still visible, and you can expect a possible crackdown along this seam.
This lightweight ball makes a cracking noise after each hit that adds a little extra excitement in the game. Although this ball is used both indoor and outdoor, indoor performance is much better.
4. Franklin Sports X-26 Indoor Pickleballs
This is one of the diverse indoor balls you can have. No matter if you are playing on the gym floor, concrete court, or tennis court, the ball will behave almost equally with the same precision. Reviews show the ball can maintain its integrity even after ten competitive double or mixed double matches.
26 holes are perfectly leveled and placed to minimize the wind and weather interference. Thick walls endure any power shots and still bounce evenly. The smooth, seamless design ensures a straight fly in any game.
You don’t have to worry about the size and weight of this ball. It comes with a 0.9-oz weight and a diameter of 2.9-inches.
Related Readings: pickleball paddle reviews
Choosing the Best Pickleball Balls: Buying Guide
Now your options for the pickleball game ball are narrowed down to only ten. You can pick the perfect one from those ten if you consider the following factors.
Typically, pickleball practice balls are made with relatively low-density materials. However, balls for the tournament level pickleball come from high-density thermoset plastic. These types of plastics include melamine, acrylic, epoxies, etc.
Virgin thermoset pallets heated and molded holes to make high-quality pickleball balls. The virgin pallets are free from any impurities, so the ball walls are more durable and robust.
Aged thermoset pallets contain a mix of older materials that reduces the integrity a little bit. Thus, you will find them in making practice or affordable plastic pickleball balls.
It doesn’t matter how premium the material is, balls do not last that long in a pickleball game. Outdoor balls have a shorter life span than any best pickleball indoor balls.
Outdoor balls are harder and heavier than indoor ones. So, the hard and heavy balls crack quickly and after a few rounds. If not broken, outdoor balls lose the shape within a few rounds of play.
Indoor balls are soft, so they may not crack easily. However, you will find soft spots on the ball surface soon.
Although the durability may vary from brand to brand, it mostly depends on temperature, how hard the ball was struck, and the playing surface.
Diameter and Weight
Pickleball ball size and weight plays a crucial role in the game and also affect your skill level. So, you should pick the regulation-sized balls for both indoor and outdoor tournament play.
Outdoor balls are bigger and heavier than the indoor versions. The weight of any outdoor ball will be around 0.9-oz with a 2.9-inches diameter. Contrarily, indoor balls have 2.8-inches diameter with 0.81-oz weight.
The difference may seem insignificant in black and white. But these tiny fractions can affect your game while volleying the ball.
Pickleball playing balls are colorful and vibrant. They will make you feel energetic in any game. Typically, yellow and orange pickleball is the most popular for pickleball balls outdoor play. You will find other popular shades like white, lime, and lemon.
Indoor balls are generally dark in color. Midnight-dyed or multi-shade balls are among the favorite picks for any indoor games. Dark balls create a contrast with the light-colored walls of the indoor courts or gym.
Outdoor balls for pickleball are more consistent than their indoor counterparts. The manufacturing process is the main reason behind it.
The rotational molding method made the outdoor balls. This process removes any weak spot on the wall and makes the ball more durable and robust.
Indoor balls manufacturing uses injection molding. Two halves of the balls glued together at the seam. This process makes the ball more vulnerable along the seam. Besides, the wall lacks even thickness that results in soft spots.
Pace and ball bounce are the main factors to measure the performance of any balls for the game of pickleball. The fast pace and high bounce can be tricky to handle unless you are a pro. On the other hand, slow and low bounce will take too much strength to play.
Outdoor balls come with a fast pace and slow bounce. It requires greater maneuverability and reflex to deal with this ball type.
Indoor balls are slow but can take longer leaps. It almost behaves like a foam ball on the surface. Strength is more essential than the agility to handle this ball type.
Regulated height for any ball for pickleball is less than 34-inches when dropped from 78-inches height. It is set by the USAPA (USA Pickleball Association) to maintain the ‘low bounce’ nature of the game.
Despite a modest outlook, pickleball requires both patience and fitness at its best. The low bounce of the balls ensures the maximum use of both of the qualities.
FAQs on Pickleballs
Pickleball enthusiasts often ask a few common questions. I have rounded them up and included the most comprehensive answers. It will be unlikely for you to have any issues after reviewing the buying guide and the following queries.
How long does pickleball last?
The durability of any pickleball is short. Whether it is an outdoor or indoor type, the ball will survive a few rounds. A few games at its best.
The balls in the pickleball game endure tremendous impact, shock, and dent. So it is almost impossible for those plastic spheres to linger the lifespan.
Outdoor balls survive a bit longer than the indoor ones due to the sturdy made and manufacturing process. Moreover, the material also plays a role in the longer lifespan.
Indoor balls, on the contrary, are soft and survive for a short period. They are soft, and two shells are glued to make one ball. So it is not easy for them to absorb the relentless shocks and impacts.
What are the Specifications Need for Official Pickleball?
Official pickleball rules set the specification for the ball. Outdoor balls need to be 0-9-oz in weight with a diameter of 2.9-inches. Indoor balls need to have a 2.8-inch width and 0.81-oz weight.
Holes on the ball surface are supposed to be smaller in outdoor balls. But they must be more significant in the outdoor balls. 26 holes are being considered but don’t allow more than 40 holes for straight flight.
No pickleball can jump more than 34-inches when dropped from 78-inches height. Moreover, don’t forget to see the ball hardness on Durometer D scale (40-50 Score).
What are Pickleballs made from?
Pickleball spheres are made from thermoset pallets. These pallets are small beads of plastic. They are melted at high heat and either injected or rotated inside the molding to make the balls.
Thermoset plastic materials are diverse. They include acrylic, melamine, and epoxies. Virgin plastic beads are made outdoor, whereas old beads are used in making indoor balls.
Can I use Indoor Balls Outdoors?
It is prevalent to use an indoor ball for outdoor pickleball games. Indoor balls require less effort and energy to control. Therefore, if you prefer to be less agile and want to deal with sheer force, use the indoor ball in any outdoor games.
There is a catch – it requires a high skill level to control an indoor ball in outdoor games. Without proper control skill and agility, those indoor balls can surprise you with each rally.
Which Types of Pickleballs Do You Need to Use for Outdoor Game?
Outdoor pickleball balls need a lot of attention. Only a few brands (Onix, Dura and TOP) can produce quality outdoor pickleball balls. They are made of hard plastic for being used in outdoor play. Those balls are done in a single construction process and when they cool, they are drilled down with small holes.
Those holes are wind resistant that never make you uncomfortable to play in the wind. Outdoor pickleball balls are designed powerfully to play fast and never break on hard surfaces. But, they are very difficult to control without a lot of practice. Never try it indoors, because its high bounce can cause injuries.
Which Types of Pickleballs Do You Need to Use Play Indoor?
When you play indoors, you don’t get enough space for playing bounce. That’s why the balls are made with softer plastic than the outdoor ball to make sure it’s bounceless. Those balls have bigger holes that feel flexible to control. If you ever think to play outdoors with it, you will find out how hard it will be.
There are few recognized brands who make indoor paintball balls: Jugs, Dura and Onix. Unfortunately, Onix indoor pickleball balls don’t meet the official rules for tournaments. So, they only allow you to use it in a friendly game.
Selecting the best pickleball balls for your next game will be like a breeze now. You have the review of the ten best balls in the market with a complete buying guide. Besides, I have summed up all the answers to the most common queries.
You have to pick the most suitable ball that will match your paddle. I have no doubt your opponents will sense there is something new in your game and on the ball today.
What are you waiting for? Buy the best ball for your next game and triumph on every pickleball championship.