What are the best pickleballs?

Posted by Colton Michaelsen on

Best Pickleball Ball

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Which pickleball balls are best?

Pickleball’s history can be traced back to two sports-loving families in Washington state who improvised a miniature game of tennis using homemade paddles. The game has since spread around the world and turned into an officially regulated sport with professional tournaments. If you’re a casual player, however, all you need is a net, two to four paddles and a set of pickleballs to have fun. 

Pickleballs can be made in a variety of ways, depending on if you’re playing indoor or outdoor. The best one is the Onix Pure 2 Outdoor Pickleball, which is weighted for use in extreme weather and promises a consistent bounce.

What to know before you buy a pickleball ball Pickleball rules

If you’re a fan of tennis, it won’t take you long to understand Pickleball. The game is played on a court that looks like a regular tennis court, only much smaller. Pickleball nets stand 36 inches tall, while a tennis net is three feet above the playing surface. Players serve the ball underarm towards the opposite side diagonally. The serving team can only score when either team commits a fault. The first team to 11 points wins. However, you must win by two points if the score is close. 

Indoor balls vs. Outdoor balls

These two types of pickleballs are designed for the different elements and surfaces that you’ll encounter during a game. For outdoor games, you’ll need a ball that’s heavier, more durable and includes more holes. These balls use dense plastics to protect it from the rough surfaces. Their heavy weight keeps it from moving too much in the wind. Indoor balls on the other hand use larger holes, less weight and more texture in their materials. These balls are also quieter and offer more control.

Pickleball paddles

Pickleball paddles are different from tennis rackets or ping pong paddles. They fall somewhere in between the two designs. They use padded handles for a better grip but their surfaces don’t contain strings like a tennis racket. Instead they’re more like ping pong paddles with a flat surface. Traditional pickleball paddles are made of wood, but they can be quite heavy. There are also composite paddles made of more lightweight wood. The best paddles use graphite as their primary material, which are light and can be played with for long periods of time without wearing on your wrist.

What to look for in a quality pickleball ball Approved by USA Pickleball Association

If you take your pickleball seriously, you’ll want balls that are certified for professional use. The USA Pickleball Association has designated dozens of approved balls. The three most common brands are Top, Onix and Dura. They’re used in the official tournaments, opens and championships that are hosted by the association. If you’re planning some serious pickup games or hosting your own tournaments, you’ll want to make sure you have balls from these manufacturers. 

Authentic bounce technology

If a ball is off center in either shape or weight, it won’t offer a consistent bounce off the ground. When playing at a high level, you want to be able to rely on your ball to go exactly where you aim. A lopsided ball won’t always end up in the same spot. Onix brand balls use “authentic bounce technology” that promises “the most consistent and authentic rebound available.” They use materials that come in at a very precise weight every time. Onix guarantees a good flight with every serve. 

Color options

Playing outdoor pickleball can often be more challenging. Not only is there weather to deal with, but you can sometimes find yourself playing on unfamiliar courts. To have the best visibility, you need a ball color that differs from the court color. Most pickleballs come in yellow which is suitable for most environments. However, if you have trouble tracking this color outdoors, you may want a green pickleball. Conversely, a green pickleball may blend in too much with a green court, in which case a blue ball will be a better option. 

How much you can expect to spend on a pickleball ball

Pickleball balls cost $18-$40.

Pickleball ball FAQ How do you choose the right paddle for pickleball?

A. When gripping the paddle, look at the space between your fingertips and the base of your palm. If there is less than half an inch of space, then you have a good fit. If your fingers touch your palm, then you should opt for a larger paddle. 

How much do pickleball balls weigh?

A. Indoor balls weigh around .8 ounces while outdoor balls have a slightly higher weight of .9 ounces. 

What’s the best pickleball ball to buy? Top pickleball ball

Onix Pure 2 Outdoor Pickleball

Onix Pure 2 Outdoor Pickleball

What you need to know: This set of six Onix balls are made for outdoor use thanks to their higher weight and durability.

What you’ll love: They offer true flight technology and authentic bounce technology, which the company says will keep your serve more consistent. They also have smaller holes for better wind resistance. The balls come in a bright yellow color with a small Onix logo on one side. 

What you should consider: This model is no longer approved by the USA Pickleball Association.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top pickleball ball for the money

Franklin Sports X-26 Indoor Pickleballs

Franklin Sports X-26 Indoor Pickleballs

What you need to know: This set of 12 pickleballs are primed for indoor play and precision flight. 

What you’ll love: They’re approved by the USA Pickleball Association for professional tournaments. The standard pack features 12 balls, but if you want to make sure you always have pickleballs, they also offer a 100 ball set for $128. There are three colors: lime green, blue and yellow. They come packaged in a tube that makes for easy and convenient transport to the court.

What you should consider: Some reviewers complain that the blue balls are difficult to see.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Dura Fast 40 Pickleballs

Dura Fast 40 Pickleballs

What you need to know: The Dura Fast 40 is the official ball of the USAPA Pickleball National Championships.

What you’ll love: These high-performing balls have a precise flight, quick bounce and consistent weight and are highly durable for outdoor play on a hard surface court. Dura Fast claims their balls offer a longer lifespan than their competitors with up to 10 games in harsh conditions.   

What you should consider: There users say they received a bad batch of balls that cracked too easily. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Jordan Beliles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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