Not all tennis balls are made equal! In this article, we teach you how to choose the best tennis ball suited to your skill level and type of play.
There are many different kinds of tennis balls made for varying skill levels.
Before you make a purchase, you should always choose your tennis ball based on your skill level.
This refers to whether you are an occasional/beginner player, or regular/intensive player).
Read on to find out more.
There's nothing quite like a slow ball that won't surprise you each time it bounces, either by being too fast, bouncing too high or spinning off unexpectedly. You also want a ball that you can't put much spin onto.
And don't overlook comfort… The ball should be pleasant to hit.
The best balls for you are pressureless balls with a soft core, as they're comfortable to hit. You may even want to use foam balls when learning a new skill, mini tennis balls designed for kids, or even "intermediate" balls for adults.
These balls are easy to recognise as they're often made from a mix of yellow felt and another colour.
They're pressureless and made from thick rubber to make them last longer.
To sum up, as a beginner, soft, pressureless balls are best.
Another thing to think about is how you'll use your ball. Training or competitions?
Training balls are generally designed to be thwacked repeatedly for hours on end. They need to suffer as little wear as possible, no matter how long they're played with.
So which do you think is the most durable type of ball?
The answer is pressureless balls with a hard core. To make them so long-lasting, they're made from very thick rubber and relatively thin felt that won't fray.
You often spot them in coaches' ball baskets as they're a cheap option. But did you also know that they're used in Nordic countries and at altitude because of their ability to withstand the cold and changes in atmospheric pressure?
Our advice is don't hesitate to buy these balls for the odd training session, but don't overdo it.
If you're looking for a more comfortable ball for your training sessions and matches, you clearly need a pressurised tennis ball.
This type of ball has air injected inside it. These balls are comfortable to hit and bouncy thanks to their soft rubber.
They often have fairly thick felt that enables you to put a lot of spin on them. If you don't just play flat balls, they're likely to take your opponents by surprise.
On a hard, smooth surface, their speed can be surprising. On a more porous surface, they'll pick up a lot of spin but will wear out faster. On clay, they'll be slower (soft ball and soft surface), will pick up spin, but will absorb moisture and become heavy as they swell.
While certainly more expensive and less durable, pressurised balls are still by far the most pleasant for regular and intensive players.