With so many pickleballs on the market, it can be a challenge to pick the right one for your game. This is intended as a simple guide to help get you started. Look out for future blog posts that will include more in-depth information about the many options available on PickleballCentral.
This time of year we see mostly outdoor balls being ordered since players want to enjoy the weather. Limiting your search to outdoor options doesn’t narrow your choices very far, however. The next step is to decide if you’re looking for a competitive ball or a recreational ball. Many of the pickleballs below have color options, however neon (or some version of it) is the most popular due to increased visibility.
Competitive pickleballs tend to play faster and bounce a little less. They are designed to reward good play and assist in shaping your shots with spin. In general the faster the ball plays, the harder the ball is, which means they will not last as long as softer pickleballs. The two most popular in this category are the Onix Dura Fast 40 and the Franklin X-40 Performance Balls.
There are a number of pickleballs which provide a competitive feel while maintaining a higher level of durability. These are one-piece balls with a slightly softer construction. The top pickleballs in this category are the CORE, Engage Tour Neon, SLK Competition and OSO.
If you need help in making a choice from the above, try our Outdoor Pickleball Sampler 12-pack which has 2 each of these 6 picks.
If you are not looking for a performance ball, try a recreational pickleball. These bounce a little higher so players have more time to set themselves up for shots and tend to be the most durable. Many of these balls are still USA Pickleball approved for tournament play, and all of them can be used for a great game of pickleball. Our favorite picks are the Onix Fuse G2, Penn 40, GAMMA Photon and Wilson TRU 32.
Do you have a favorite pickleball, or have you found a particular style that works best in your climate? Let us know which type has served you best in the comments.