The Wilson Tru 32 is the best all-around USAPA-approved pickleball ball for most players. Factors to consider when choosing a pickleball include indoor versus outdoor use, durability, and price considerations. Other excellent brands to consider include Onix, Gamma, Franklin, and Jugs Sports.
How to Choose a Pickleball Ball
Beginners don’t need to worry too much about USAPA approval for the pickleball balls they use, but as your skill level advances, it’s important to start getting used to USAPA-approved equipment, as that’s what you’ll be using in tournament play.
USAPA (USA Pickleball Association) rules state that an official pickleball must meet the following requirements:
- 2.87 inches (7.29 cm) to 2.97 inches (7.54 cm) in diameter
- weigh between 0.78 and 0.935 ounces’
- minimum of 26 to a maximum of 40 circular holes
- spacing of the holes and overall design of the ball must conform to flight characteristics.
There are also official USAPA guidelines for design, bounce, and hardness.
When choosing the best pickleball ball, you should be considering a number of factors including indoor versus outdoor use, color, performance, price point, and durability.
Indoor vs Outdoor Use
Are you selecting a ball for indoor play or outdoor play? Due to the difference in court surfaces and conditions between indoor courts and outdoor courts, the pickleball balls themselves are actually quite different.
Indoor pickleball balls are lighter and made of softer plastic. This makes them easier to control. They also have larger holes than balls for outdoor use. This increases their drag, making it harder for pickleball players to generate power.
Outdoor pickleball balls have smaller holes and are heavier. This is to allow them to resist the wind more in outdoor matches. They are also harder. This is crucial for durability, as the rough playing surface of outdoor courts will rip up and damage a pickleball much quicker than the comparatively smooth surface of indoor courts.
Performance vs Price Point
As with any sports equipment, you’ll need to keep your budget in mind when buying pickleball balls.
Cheaper balls will wear out quicker but are less of an investment, making them better for beginners who aren’t sure how long they will play the game.
More expensive balls are used for USAPA-approved tournament play. These balls provide a longer lifespan and a more consistent bounce on the pickleball court. If you are buying balls for a club, often join tournaments, or are a player of a higher skill level, it makes sense to invest in higher quality equipment.
Choosing a Color
Typically, you’ll find official balls in one of three shades: a neon green or lime green color, bright yellow, or white. Neon orange balls are also available.
There is no difference in performance between these balls. They have the same injection-molded construction, so the matter of color purely comes down to preference. The primary question you should ask yourself is: which color do you find easiest to see?
9 Best Pickleball Balls
Best Overall Pickleball
One of the top pickleball balls is the Wilson Tru 32 pickleball.
With its unique injection-molded design for stronger aerodynamics and a more authentic bounce, USAPA-conforming number of holes, competitive price point, and excellent performance, the Tru 32 always scores well in pickleball ball reviews. It’s an excellent choice for all skill levels—beginners and competitive players alike.
Best Indoor Pickleball Balls
Jugs are one of the top-selling pickleballs in the industry, and for good reason! They are consistent, providing reliable bounce and spin, while also being highly durable for a soft-plastic ball.
One of the best indoor pickleballs is the Jugs Sports Pickleball. Jugs pickleballs have an easy-to-see green color, making them excellent for the lower light of many indoor courts. Jugs balls also provide a consistent bounce.
Other top choices for indoor play include:
Best Outdoor Pickleballs
If you’re looking for the best outdoor pickleball, look no further than the Onix Fuse G2. These are commonly used for tournament play on outdoor courts. They have an excellent, consistent bounce, a long lifespan, and excellent production quality.
Other honorary mentions go to:
- Onix Pure 2 Outdoor Pickleball Ball
- Dura Fast 40 Outdoor Pickleball
- Franklin Sports X-40 Outdoor Ball
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