The Best Pickleball Balls for all Types of Play in 2023

Pickleball: The Fastest Growing Sport in America

Pickleball, a sport that has been steadily gaining popularity over the years, has now earned the title of the “fastest growing sport in America for the last two years.” According to recent major surveys, the number of participants in pickleball has reached nearly five million, with half a million new players entering the sport since the pandemic alone. This surge in popularity has led to an increase in innovation within the game, resulting in high-performance pickleball paddles, responsive pickleball shoes, and precision-cut pickleball balls.

The Importance of Choosing the Right Pickleball Ball

Just like yin and yang, a pickleball paddle and a pickleball ball are forever tied to each other. The game cannot happen unless you have both, and if you’re serious about the sport, having the right gear is crucial. When looking for pickleball balls to buy, there are a few key factors to consider.

Firstly, the material of the ball is important. A good pickleball ball should be firm and resistant to denting. If a ball can easily be pressed to create an indentation, it is likely to have dead spots and will not bounce properly.

Secondly, the holes in the ball should be evenly dispersed and cleanly made. The holes play a significant role in delivering balance, so any irregularities can cause the ball to waver or “waffle” in the air.

Lastly, it is essential to check the seam of the ball. Most pickleball balls are made in two halves, which are molded or glued together at the end of the production process. If the seam is weak or not evenly placed, the ball has a higher chance of splitting in half during play or producing unnatural bounces on court surfaces.

Indoor vs. Outdoor Pickleball Balls

Pickleball is played both indoors and outdoors, and the type of ball used can vary depending on the playing surface. Indoor surfaces, such as gymnasium floors, are generally smoother and more polished, while outdoor surfaces are rougher and harder.

Indoor pickleball balls are often softer and lighter because they do not have to contend with wind. Additionally, indoor balls may have bigger holes to ensure a higher bounce since indoor floors, typically made of wood, are not as strong as outdoor courts made of concrete.

On the other hand, outdoor pickleball balls are slightly heavier and made with stronger materials to withstand weather elements such as wind and humidity. These balls are designed with more abrasive-resistant materials to handle scuffs and impacts.

Our Selection Process

To determine the best pickleball balls for all types of play in 2023, we consulted with Men’s Health’s editors and writers. Our gear and commerce editor, John Thompson, put a number of pickleball balls to the test, evaluating their performance, durability, and color. We also considered customer ratings on trusted e-commerce websites to identify top-reviewed pickleball balls.

As the gear and commerce editor at Men’s Health, John Thompson brings extensive knowledge and experience in the world of sports gear. With a background in fashion, grooming, and technology, Thompson provides expert insights into the quality and functionality of pickleball balls.

In conclusion, selecting the right pickleball ball is crucial for optimal performance and enjoyment of the sport. Whether you play indoors or outdoors, considering factors such as material, hole placement, and seam integrity will ensure a consistent and satisfying playing experience. With the growing popularity of pickleball, there are plenty of options available, and with our expert guidance, you can find the perfect pickleball ball for your game.

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