Indoor Vs Outdoor Pickleballs: What Are The Best Balls?

Indoor vs outdoor

When you think of playing pickleball, what comes to mind? If the answer is “indoor vs outdoor” then you’re not alone. Most people know that there are two types of pickleballs but what are the differences and similarities? Although some indoor and outdoor pickleball balls can be used for both they are not the same.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the pros and cons of indoor vs outdoor pickleballs in order to help you make your decision about which ball is best for you and your game. Let’s get started!

What Kind of Ball Is Used In Pickleball?

Pickleball is played using plastic balls that resemble whiffle balls. While both are made with similar plastics, resins, and polymers there’s a fast way to spot the difference. 

The quickest way to identify the difference is by looking at the holes. Indoor balls have larger holes than their outdoor counterpart. The number of holes is another indicator, with 26 for the indoor pickleball and 40 for the outdoor.

The USAPA’s official rules include a variety of specifications for indoor versus outdoor play. The weight, size, hardness, number of holes, and bounce may all be adjusted. (Also read: How Big Is A Pickleball)

Indoor Vs. Outdoor Pickleballs: Whats The Difference?

Let’s compare indoor vs. outdoor pickleballs specifications and how they react on the court. 

Outdoor
  • Made from tougher, smoother plastic to help them endure the weather for longer. 
  • Heavier and less wind-sensitive 
  • Has 40 holes 
  • Allow for faster and harder hitting shots, albeit they will have less control. 
  • Usually result in shorter rallies 
  • Bounce higher 
  • Will be stiffer in the winter and softer in the summer.
  • Roughly 0.9 ounces in weight
  • Come off the paddle a bit harder and faster
  • A little harder to control vs indoor pickleballs 
  • Due to outdoor exposure and bouncing off, harsher outdoor surfaces must be changed more frequently than inside balls.
Indoor
  • Lighter in weight, and have fewer holes
  • Quieter bounce off of gymnasium floors
  • They typically don’t bounce as high
  • Roughly 0.8 ounces in weight
  • Made from softer plastic
  • Easier to control 
  • Power shots are harder with indoor pickleballs
  • Bonus: Less painful if you are struck by one!
Indoor vs outdoor whats the difference

What Pickleball Balls Do The Pros Use?

The Dura Fast 40 ball is the Pro ball of choice, but may not be the best ball for everyone. The Dura Fast 40 is susceptible to cracking in cold weather making it pretty expensive if you are playing for long periods of time.

During cold weather play, you may find yourself breaking 2-4 balls depending on the pace of the game. As a result, tournament-oriented players must endure the broken balls in order to practice with the same ball. The Dura is known for its playability, speed, and overall performance, despite its flaws.

How Long Do Pickleball Balls Last?

Most balls have a limited lifespan, so it’s important to replace them periodically. Depending on the type of ball you use, you may need to replace it every few months, or even every few weeks. To prolong the life of your pickleball balls, avoid storing them in extreme temperatures and humidity.

It is recommended that you replace your pickleball balls if they start to warp or lose their bounce. To check that the ball is still round spin the ball in front of you and keep an eye out for a lopsided spin or wobble. Indoor pickleballs tend to last longer than their outdoor friends due to court conditions and materials used. There are many factors that can affect the lifespan of your balls, including how often you use them and how well you take care of them.

What Is The Official Ball For Pickleball?

The official ball for pickleball of the USPA & The US Open Championship is the Franklin X-40. This is the standard ball used in tournaments and pickleball leagues across the world, so it should be readily available at most sporting goods stores and online retailers. One thing to keep in mind is that while the Franklin X-40 is considered the official ball of pickleball, there are some other great brands on the market. The USPA has approved over 50 pickleballs for tournament play, here is the list.

What Is The Difference Between A Pickleball And A Wiffle Ball?

The pickleball surface has 26 to 40 holes, and they are positioned uniformly. Pickleballs are available in red, yellow, and green shades, which makes them more visible in dimly lit areas. Wiffle balls, on the other hand, are white and have perforations on just one side. They are longer than pickleballs, and they have anywhere from 18 to 26 holes. A Wiffle ball will curve based on how players grip and toss it, without wrist movement. However, pickleballs do not usually curve unless topspin is applied.

Indoor Vs Outdoor - 5 Best Outdoor Pickleballs

1. Onix Pure 2

Outdoor Ball With a real bounce and true flight technology, the Onix Pure 2 Outdoor Ball is designed particularly for outdoor pickleball. For the best rebound on outdoor courts and greater wind resistance, the Pure 2 has smaller holes and precise weighing.

Due to the sophisticated process that joins the pickleball’s two pieces, the Onix Pure Pickleball has unmatched longevity. The seams of the Onix Pure 2 Ball are melted, instantly bonded together, and have an outstanding seam bond that can sustain even the most ardent play.

Pros:

  • Durable Ball: The Onix Pure 2 Outdoor Ball is made with a durable material that can withstand the wear and tear of outdoor play.

  • Better Rebound: The smaller holes in the ball make it better at bouncing back, giving you more control over your shots.

  • Long-Lived Seam Bond: The seams on the Onix Pure 2 are melted and bonded together, making it last longer than other balls on the market.

  • Unmatched Longevity: Thanks to the special process that joins its two pieces, there is no chance of seams splitting or coming apart over time – making this ball perfect for intense pickleball play!

Cons:

  • Durability and Quality Issues: The durability of the Onix Pure 2 Ball has been questioned by some pickleball players. They report that the balls become very bouncy, sometimes too bouncy for their liking.

  • Poor Rebounding and Lack of Control: The lack of control often results in a poor rebound off the court which can be a big disadvantage when playing outdoors on harder surfaces such as concrete or asphalt courts. In addition, it is difficult to execute tight volleys with this type of ball since its bounce is unpredictable compared to other types of balls on the market today

2. Tourna Strike Outdoor Pickleballs

Outdoor vs Indoor Pickleballs

It would be impossible to overlook the Tourna Strike Outdoor Pickleball when looking for the best outdoor pickleball balls. This ball complies with USAPA/IFP requirements for construction, size, weight, bounce, hardness, and design and is USAPA Approved for Tournament and Sanctioned play.

With a diameter of 74mm and a weight of 24.5 grams, it’s ideal for users of all skill levels. The quick bounce provides an all-around true and enjoyable feeling with mid-range toughness. The high visibility yellow of the Tyson McGuffin Signature Pickleball Camps official ball guarantees that you’ll never lose sight of it on the court.

Pros

  • Official: Complies with USAPA/IFP requirements for construction, size, weight, bounce, hardness, and design. Approved for tournament play.

  • Good Bounce: Quick bounce provides an all-around true mid-range toughness for an outdoor pickleball

  • Great Visibility: High visibility yellow of the Tyson McGuffin Signature official ball guarantees that you’ll never lose sight of your pickleball.

    Cons:

  • Sometimes Limited Availability: The Tourna Strike Outdoor Pickleball is a limited edition ball and as such, it is not always available for purchase.

  • Subpar Ball Control Compared To Others: Because of its bouncing characteristics, control over this ball can sometimes be challenging for players who prefer a slower playing ball with better control

3. TOP Outdoor Pickleball

Pickleball Centrals House Ball

Check out the TOP outdoor pickleball for a top-notch pickleball. They are designed to fly straight and bounce evenly and predictably.

A rotational molded one-piece structure is used in TOP outdoor pickleball balls to avoid weak areas and create weight distribution all around the ball.

Outdoor sports are ideal for the 40-hole pattern, which is patented. These balls have a ball life of 3–10 games in challenging conditions, matching the longevity of other top performance level products, and are USAPA/IFP authorized for tournament use.

Pros:

  • Durable Balls: TOP outdoor pickleball balls are built to last even in the toughest environments and conditions, making them perfect for outdoor sports play.

  • Reliable: They are made with a rotationally molded one-piece structure that avoids weak areas, giving them a consistent bounce and predictable flight path.

  • Approved by USAPA/IFP for Tournament Play: TOP outdoor pickleball balls are authorized by both USAPA (United States Association of Pickleball Professionals) and IFP (International Federation of Pickleball). This means they meet the highest standards in the industry for performance and durability.

Cons:

  • Some Report Durability and Quality Issues: Many people have complained about the durability and quality of TOP outdoor pickleball balls. Some customers have said that their balls quickly lost their bounce, while others claimed that their balls didn’t fly as straight as they used to.

  • Less Airtime: Players who enjoy plenty of airtime will find that TOP outdoor pickleball balls don’t provide them with enough bounce. In fact, they may even become frustrated with the lack of unpredictability when playing these Balls in comparison to other types of balls on the market today

4. Franklin Sports X-40 Balls

Franklin Sports X40 Outdoor Ball

The best outdoor pickleball offers a balanced flight pattern thanks to machine-drilled holes and is USAPA-approved for competitive play. And with these Franklin Sports Pickleballs, you can see that.

These are the official balls used in the US Open Pickleball Championships. They have a one-piece design with 40 machine-drilled holes. The Franklin outdoor pickleball balls are offered in packs of various sizes and a variety of bright colors.

Pros:

  • USAPA-Approved Balls: These balls are approved by the United States Association of Pickleball Professionals, which means they’re tournament-ready.

  • Balanced Flight Pattern: The machine-drilled holes in these balls create a balanced flight pattern that makes the game more enjoyable for both players.

  • Bright Colors and Designs: You can pick from a variety of bright colors and designs to suit your style, or choose one of the many popular team logos available as well.

  • Durable Design: These balls are designed to last through multiple rounds of play without losing their shape or performance characteristics.

    Cons:

  • Cheaper Alternatives: There are many other, cheaper options available when it comes to outdoor pickleball balls. For example, you can buy balls that are not USAPA-approved or have lesser quality construction.

  • Some Consistency Issues: Players have reported dead balls right out of the packaging, make sure you are buying the official Franklin X40.

 

5. Penn 40 Outdoor Pickleball

Penn 40 Outdoor Pickleball

Both novice and expert players are catered to in the Penn 40 Outdoor pickleball design, which aims for the greatest quality. These balls are ideal for casual play, competitions, and outdoor training. In addition, the USA Pickleball Association has approved them.

Compared to other balls, this one has a softer bounce and good durability for outdoor use. Each 40 precisely drilled holes offer the ideal properties for outdoor pickleball balls.

Pros:

  • Ideal Quality: The Penn 40 Outdoor pickleball balls offer great quality for casual play, competitions, and outdoor training.

  • USA Pickleball Association Approved: The Penn 40 Outdoor pickleball balls are approved by the USA Pickleball Association.

Cons:

  • Noisy Balls: When playing outdoors, the balls can make a lot of noise as they bounce around. This could be disruptive for people who are trying to relax and enjoy the peaceful surroundings.

  • Not Suitable for Indoor Play: These balls are not suitable for indoor play as they do not have the same properties as those used in tournaments and casual games.

Indoor Vs Outdoor - 5 Best Indoor Pickleballs

Indoor vs Outdoor pickleballs

1. ONIX Fuse Pickleball

Players who desire to switch between indoor and outdoor play will benefit greatly from the brand-new ONIX Fuse Pickleball. This new pickleball is made exclusively for indoor pickleball and offers the most realistic flight and bounce. Because of the excellent seam welding, the fuse ball is more durable. The ball is evenly balanced and contains holes that were carefully drilled.

All indoor pickleball courts can benefit from the Fuse indoor pickleball system. The ball bounces less on indoor surfaces like concrete or gym floor and has a huge hole pattern.

As the USA Pickleball Association requires, this also qualifies the ball for use in pickleball competitions (USAPA).

Pros:

  • Efficient: The Fuse indoor pickleball system is very efficient, resulting in more accurate gameplay.

  • Realistic Flight & Bounce: The ball features realistic flight and bounce, giving players a better experience when playing indoors.

Cons:

  • Availability: The Onix Fuse Indoor may be difficult to find due to supply chain issues.

  • Poor Court Play: The ball bounces less on indoor surfaces, which could lead to poor court play.

2. Gamma Photon Indoor Ball

Gamma Sports Indoor Pickleball

For official competitions, the USAPA-approved Gamma Photon indoor pickleball is ideal. It can be used for workout sessions, club play, and contests. High visibility optic green characterizes each ball. This simplifies viewing the ball in crowded areas, against both light and dark backgrounds.

It will make it easier to see the ball and increase your accuracy indoors, which is especially helpful on darker indoor courts.

With 26 precisely sculpted holes, each ball is constructed to be consistent and long-lasting. Thanks to this, the ball can fly at the ideal rate for indoor play.

The Gamma Photon indoor pickleball has a durable, 2-piece construction that outlasts most others. The X-26 indoor balls are among the best pickleball balls ever created, thanks to the USAPA’s endorsement.

Pros:

  • Is Ideal For Official Competitions: Gamma Photon is an approved ball by the USAPA, making it the perfect choice for competitive play.

  • High Visibility and Compliant with USAPA Standards: Each ball is built to meet high standards set by the USAPA, making it easy to see and play with in crowded areas.

  • 26 Holes Consistent and Long Lasting: Thanks to 26 precisely sculpted holes, each Gamma Photon Ball flies at the ideal rate for indoor play.

Cons:

  • Durability Issues: One of the main complaints about Gamma Photon is its durability. Many pickleball players argue that the balls quickly lose their bounce and become difficult to hit.

  • Limited Colors Available: Another downside of Gamma Photon is that it only comes in a limited number of colors, namely optic green and white.

  • Difficulty Popping Balls: Some people find it difficult to pop the balls due to their design – they are not as soft as some other types of balls on the market.

3. The Franklin Sports X-26 balls

Franklin X-26 Indoor Pickleball Ball

With 26 precise holes and only the best EVA materials, the Franklin Sports X-26 indoor pickleball produces a superior flight pattern and balance.

The X-26 has a constant bounce, is durable, and is playable for hours. The nice thing about these franklin balls is the availability in bulk, if you are using a pickleball machine this is a great choice pickleball.

Pros:

Superior Flight Pattern and Balance: The 26 precision holes in the Franklin Sports X-26 indoor pickleball produce a superior flight pattern and balance.

Durable: The X-26 is durable, playable for hours, and comes in bulk if you are using a pickleball machine this is a great choice of ball to use.

Available in Bulk: The Franklin Sports X-26 indoor pickleball is available in bulk which makes it easier to purchase for those who wish to use it on their own Pickleball machine or as part of an organized league’

Cons:

Seems and Construction Issues: The ball seems to be rougher than most balls, some people have noted that it could potentially damage your paddle.

Poor Quality Control: The balls have poor quality control, with some holes being too large or small and causing inconsistency in the bounce.

4. Selkirk Balls

The exceptional hybrid pickleball from Selkirk is ideal for beginners who want to play everywhere.

These hybrid balls are USAPA-approved and appropriate for players of all skill levels because they can easily handle indoor and outdoor settings.

Selkirk hybrid pickleballs are produced as an incredibly adaptable ball that is prepared for any pickleball court with 40 precisely placed holes.

They are, therefore, ideal for players who occasionally want to alternate between playing indoor vs outdoor pickleball (or vice versa). It is a wonderful option for beginning players because it is softer and more rubberized than other balls. Selkirk has produced an incredibly adaptable ball that is prepared for any pickleball court with 40 precisely placed holes.

Pros:

Adaptability: Selkirk hybrid pickleballs are USAPA-approved, which means that they can be used on any pickleball court and can handle indoor and outdoor settings with ease.

Versatility: As mentioned before, Selkirk hybrids are appropriate for players of all skill levels because they have 40 precisely placed holes. This makes them a great option for beginning players or those who want to alternate between playing indoor vs outdoor pickleball (or vice versa).

Softness: The softness of the ball prevents it from being too bouncy and provides a smooth experience when played by novice players or those with less experience.

Cons:

Not Durable: Because Selkirk hybrid pickleballs are not as durable as their traditional counterparts, they may not last for an extended period of time.

Out of round quickly: These hybrid balls tend to lose their round quicker than other options on this list.

 

5. Jugs pickleball

Jugs Affordable Indoor Outdoor Bulk Pickleball

Jugs is a brand that has established itself through time; unsurprisingly, it is among the most popular and reliable indoor pickleball on the market. Due to its strength and weight, it can withstand intense and prolonged rallies. It also has a great bounce, which is why recreational players love it. This ball will undoubtedly make your indoor Pickleball game more enjoyable.

Pros:

  • Durable and Versatile: Jugs is a durable balls that can withstand intense rallies and long games. It also has a great bounce, making it ideal for recreational players.

  • Affordable: Jugs is one of the most affordable balls on the market, so you can buy as many as you need without breaking the bank.

  • Great Bounce: The great bounce of this ball makes it perfect for recreational players who want to have an enjoyable without spending a fortune on balls

Cons:

  • Cheaper Than Quality Balls: Although Jugs is a cheaper ball, it does not have the same level of quality as other balls on the market. It may not last long and can be difficult to bounce.

  • Durability Issues: One downside to this ball is that it tends to wear down quickly, which can result in poor gameplay performance over time since you will need to replace it more often than with other balls on the market.

  • Poor Traction: The low rebound property of Jugs makes it difficult for players to keep control of the ball and maintain their position during play.

 

BONUS: Dura Fast 40

Dura Fast 40 Pickleball

We couldn’t wrap this post up without mentioning Dura Outdoor Pickleball balls. The Dura Pickleballs are made for high performance and are approved for sanctioned tournament play. The first ball was designed and built for pickleball, and the Dura Pickleballs are built for the sport. They fly true, straight, and fast. With 40 precisely drilled holes to ensure consistent flight and bounce, they’re engineered for outdoor & hard-court play.

Pros:

Excellent Performance: The Dura pickleballs are approved for sanctioned tournament play and have excellent performance.

Consistent Flight & Bounce: The 40 precisely drilled holes in the balls ensure consistent flight and bounce, they are the most consistent ball out of the box.

Easy To Handle & Control: The soft, grippy outside texture ensures easy ball control.

Cons:

Not Long Lasting: As we mentioned earlier in the post the Dura ball cracks pretty fast compared to other balls.

Costly to Replace: It can be costly to replace, if you’re playing multiple hours you could go through 3-4 balls which makes it an expensive endeavor.

Not Ideal for Indoor Play: While the Dura Pickles fly well outdoors, they may not travel as far or bounce as high when played indoors due to their smaller size and low weight

Our Thoughts On Which Ball To Choose

While there is no lack of choices when selecting the best pickleball balls, there are some balls that stand out from the crowd. The question is what style of pickleball are you playing?

Competitive Players: If you’re a more serious player looking to compete in official tournaments, I’d recommend the Dura Fast or Franklin X40 ball. Both balls have superior performance and control on the court.

Just Having Fun: I really like the Selkirk and Onix Fuse hybrid balls, It’s the perfect mix of performance and adaptability. They play well both indoors and outdoors and that’s ideal for most players that switch between the two.

No matter how you play I don’t think you could go wrong with any of the balls on our list. 

 

Conclusion

Hopefully, we have given you some good options and answered any questions regarding indoor vs outdoor pickleballs. However, many players, particularly casual players, use indoor balls outside due to their lightweight design and quietness.

If you’re a serious pickleball player, then you’re going to want a ball that offers better performance. The best pickleball balls will have a higher degree of control and react more consistently to your shots. They’ll have a faster bounce while they’re in the air and they’ll maintain stability while they land. When playing with the right pickleball balls you’ll have more control and be able to hit better shots.

Outside of personal preference, the weather will determine whether you play pickleball indoors vs outside. We strongly advise stocking up on each variety so that the weather won’t prevent you from participating in your favorite sport.

Now we want to hear from you. What is your favorite indoor vs outdoor pickleball and why?

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