People of all ages and abilities can play pickleball, which combines tennis, badminton, and ping pong, whether in a church parking lot or on a national scale. But tennis balls, birdies, and table tennis balls don’t work for pickleball! So, what is a pickleball made of?
In contrast to a standard Wiffle ball, a pickleball is made of lighter plastic and comes with drilled-in holes. The indoor pickleball has a smoother surface, weighs 0.8 ounces, and has 26 holes. There are 40 holes on an outdoor pickleball, and they are less affected by the wind.
During community play, there are also other kinds of pickleball being developed that are designed to be quieter…read on to discover that top-secret pickleball.
You’ve come to the right place if you’ve ever wondered what the balls are made of when you play or watch pickleball. Here, we’ll examine the world of pickleball balls and answer as many questions as possible. When you’re finished, you’ll know every kind of pickleball there is.
What Is A Pickleball Made Of?
Indoor and outdoor pickleball was traditionally played with a Cosom ball for the first 50 years. A kind of plastic ball brand called Cosom featured holes drilled into the ball that was larger. The ball became slower and more vulnerable to the wind because of this.
In addition, it was not ideal for indoor games where there was no wind.
However, pickleball has experienced a tremendous evolution over the past decade. Cosom is no longer played with, and the pickleball we use indoors and outdoors are drastically different.
Because of the development of the International Federation of Pickleball and USA Pickleball, pickleball balls have now been governed by equipment regulations.
Yes, that’s right. They aren’t the same old wiffle balls. And you can’t use a normal wiffle ball.
In today’s pickleballs, what is the material used for regulation and tournament use?
Light plastic material is used for regulation pickleball. Molds are usually injected with the material, which is then cooled to harden. In the next step, the pickleball is drilled with equally sized holes for a classic pickleball appearance.
A fun fact about pickleball balls: Depending on their use and the manufacturers’ preferences, they have between 26 and 40 holes in each ball.
Each pickleball court has its own unique characteristics, and there are two main types of pickleball, indoor and outdoor.
Taking a minute to review the differences between the materials of an indoor pickleball and the materials of an outdoor pickleball, let’s take a look at them one by one.
A ball that is meant to be played indoors should not be taken outdoors or vice versa. This is a mistake that we have made ourselves.
What Indoor Pickleballs Are Made Of
Pickleballs are indoor games played on indoor courts, as you might expect. Indoor pickleball courts tend to have softer, smoother surfaces than outdoor ones, which is one of the main differences between the two. It will be like wooden gym floors, which will be much less damaging to your ball.
A major defining characteristic of indoor pickleball is its plastic durability. To fit the smoother surface, the plastic is lighter and softer.
Many people don’t know this, but – outdoor pickleball has about 32 holes, while indoor pickleball typically has about 26 holes.
Also, they have a bit less bounce than outdoor balls, which gives the players greater control when they serve.
There is a slight difference in weight between an indoor and outdoor ball, with the indoor ball weighing slightly more than its outdoor counterpart. It is more difficult to generate power when passing light balls, thus leading to longer volleys between players.
Indoor pickleball is a perfect sport for playing indoors due to all these engineering facts. The goal is to enhance indoor pickleball and complement it. There is no other kind of ball that will give you the same kind of play.
However, many experienced pickleball players consider the weight to be a drawback as it lacks power. Indoor pickleball surfaces have a varying lifetime, but they are less likely to develop cracks than to grow soft over time.
Regardless, it needs to be replaced.
Indoor pickleball can be played outside if you prefer a lighter ball. However, it isn’t recommended.
Remember that a lighter-weight device is more susceptible to wind damage. It will also wear out much sooner because it’s not meant to be used on hard surfaces.
You may enjoy reading our guide Indoor Pickleball Courts
What Outdoor Pickleballs Are Made Of?
There is no other place for outdoor pickleball than outside courts. Tennis courts and other hard, rough surfaces are more likely to be used for outdoor pickleball, so outdoor pickleball can bear a little more wear and tear.
As a result, they last longer even when they’re exposed to hard surfaces or harsh weather.
In terms of weight, outdoor pickleball is only slightly heavier than indoor pickleball, weighing in at 25.51 grams. However, a small differential in weight can make all the difference in the world.
You may enjoy reading our guide Outdoor Pickleball Court
Players can use more force behind their hits with a heavier ball, making the game more intense and faster. Furthermore, since they’re meant for outdoor use, the additional weight means they will be less affected by the wind.
Moreover, outdoor balls are louder, pop faster, and are generally louder than indoor balls. Indoor balls have 26 holes, while outdoor balls have about 40 holes. Generally, the outdoor ball has more, smaller holes than the indoor ball, depending on who makes it.
As indoor courts tend to be softer than outdoor courts, outdoor pickleball is less common on them. Due to their exposure to rough surfaces and elements, they also crack more often than indoor balls.
My personal preference is to blow through indoor pickleball way more frequently than indoor balls.
How about foam pickleball?
Many pickleball courts are plagued by noise, especially those that are located in parks.
The thwack that occurs when the plastic ball hits the wooden paddle often discourages park districts and residential areas from building pickleball courts.
Several court cases have been filed about it.
What’s the reason?
Hitting a solid ball with a paddle makes much less noise than hitting the ball with a ball with holes.
Fortunately, one manufacturer, Gamma, came up with an improved and quieter pickleball made from foam.
While it’s not permitted for official tournaments, this ball is a great option for those who need to minimize the noise of the court.
You should keep in mind, however, that this foam ball is lighter than a standard pickleball, therefore it will not perform the same as a standard pickleball.
What Is a Pickleball Made Of? [Complete Guide]
There are a few other things you should know about pickleball besides the types of balls and the materials they’re made from.
Did you know that USA Pickleball defines specific ball specifications for tournament use?
USA Pickleball – Approved Balls
Balls approved for use at tournaments can be found on the USA Pickleball website. A total of 61 different balls are included on this list from a variety of manufacturers and colors.
A pickleball must comply with all requirements of the International Federation of Pickleball, regardless of whether it is yellow, white, or orange. If they aren’t standard sizes and weights, that’s all that is required.
You may enjoy reading our guide Pickleball Rules.
Manufacturers of the best pickleball
It is likely that you are familiar with some of the big players in the pickleball industry. There are many well-known brands of sports equipment, such as Wilson Sporting Goods.
TRU 32, their pickleball added in 2019, incorporates the best aspects of pickleball into one ball. An equally spaced 32 holes on the ball are made with a mold and thermoplastic resin.
One of the more popular manufacturers of USA Pickleball-approved pickleball is ONIX, a lesser-known mainstream brand but highly regarded among avid pickleball players.
Pickleball tournaments commonly use the ONIX DURA Fast 40, one of the company’s most popular balls.
Pickleball players will find that this is one of the best quality balls on the market due to the many holes punched into the plastic ball after manufacture.
One of the most popular outdoor pickleball ever is the Dura Fast 40, a fast-playing pickleball resulting from the name.
The Dura 40 is the only model used by some leagues. This is due to its popularity.
Final Thoughts – What Is a Pickleball Made Of?
There is growing popularity of pickleball in the United States as a fast-paced sport with a unique style. Players take their balls seriously, even though they don’t need much in the way of equipment.
USA Pickleball has a list of 61 approved pickleball balls that you can use when playing in tournaments.
There are many factors to consider when selecting the right pickleball. Most are made from injection-molded plastic, but there are still a number of differences to consider.
Most importantly, the ball you play with will depend on whether you’re playing indoors or outside. You can choose from a wide assortment of models from reputable manufacturers.
All three of them, however, will most likely play similarly and will be more than adequate. So, if you’re still learning the game, choose one and just play.
You may enjoy reading How to Choose a Pickleball Paddle
I’m Anna the writer, player, and publisher at Pickleballhop. I can definitely help answer any questions you may have about pickleball. In addition to writing and publishing content, I also work hard to ensure that all of our information is accurate and up-to-date. If you have any specific questions, please feel free to contact me and I’ll be happy to help you out.