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How to Choose a Pickleball Ball

A pickleball balls and paddle on the bench.

Regardless of age or fitness level, pickleball can be played by anyone. This simple and fun game combines volleyball, tennis, and badminton elements and is easy to play as it consists of a few straightforward rules. Pickleball balls are one of the key components of the sport.

But not everyone knows them very well. They come in types on the market, and therefore it can be difficult to choose which one is best for you. But we’ve got you covered; in this article we will take a look at the two types of pickleball balls for your better understanding.

Types of pickleball balls

A colorful pickleball collection.

If you are new to the pickleball sport, you might have noticed something familiar about the small balls used to play the game. Well, when the sport began, pickleball players used the same lightweight, perforated Wiffle ball used in the classic backyard game. The modern pickleball ball is similar in design to the ball but consists of small changes tailored to the sport and the court.

Well, there are two types of pickleball balls you should know of; these are indoor and outdoor pickleball balls, and there’s a slight difference in the construction of each. The main difference is that the outdoor pickleball balls have thick wall construction for increased durability since the ball is used outside where there are certain elements. Let’s take a deep look into the difference between these two types of pickleball balls, and then in the process answer some of the common questions about choosing the right pickleball ball.

Hopefully, after reading this article, you’ll have a clear understanding of both types of balls. Hence, you’ll be able to choose the right one for your specific needs.

Outdoor Pickleball Balls

Top view shot of pickleball ball and paddle.

As I mentioned above, outdoor pickleball balls have a thick and heavier construction. They are harder, made of smooth plastic, and consist of about 40 drilled holes. Their weight and strong construction are indented to withstand the wind when playing outside.

They are less affected by the wind, meaning players can play effectively without worrying about the ball moving in the wrong direction. Because of their durable and heavier construction, pickleball balls come off harder and paddle faster than indoor balls. They have less drag and this makes them easier to hit hard.

However, as a pickleball fan who’s played the game before, I’ve noticed that outdoor pickleball balls are a lot harder to control and they require you to be fit to place accurately, and because of that, rounds are usually shorter. Sometimes the outdoor pickleball balls can crack or go out if round, but they can last a few rounds or even have a longer lifespan depending on the player’s style, playing surface, and also weather conditions. Hit the ball up into the air with a spin and watch how the ball will move.

I’ve done this myself. These outdoor pickleball balls are noisier. This is because of their larger and heavier construction.

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If the ball hits you, you might feel pain more than with the indoor ball which is less heavy in weight. The balls also come in different colors, be it yellow, orange, white, blue, green, etc. so you get to choose the color that you like most.

Models of Outdoor pickleball balls

Let’s take a look at the models of outdoor pickleball balls you can find on the market today:

1. TOP Pickleball (Outdoor)

TOP Ball (The Outdoor Pickleball) - 6 Count - Yellow - USAPA Approved for Tournament Play

This outdoor seamless pickleball ball is heavy and weighs about 25 grams. The ball is made in China through a rotationally molded one-piece construction process, and after cooling, holes are drilled into the ball. These balls have a thick wall construction for increased durability.

This was the first pickleball ball I bought for my first game; I love how it’s constructed and it comes in colors such as white, yellow, orange, and neo. You get to choose the color you prefer.

2. ONIX PURE 2 Outdoor Pickleball

Onix Pure 2 Outdoor Pickleball Balls (6-Pack) Specifically Designed and Optimized for Pickleball
The ONIX PURE outdoor pickleball balls were designed to withstand outdoor conditions such as strong wind. The ball is uniquely constructed using an injection molded process and consists of holes that are of the exact size. Because of this process, the balls are a lot more durable and their lifespan is longer.

The balls will bounce and bounce for a long time and you won’t have to worry about replacing them anytime soon. These balls are a great choice when it comes to choosing which ones to buy. They are also available in yellow, green, white, etc.

3. ONIX Fuse G2 Outdoor Pickleball

Onix Popular Fuse G2 Outdoor Pickleball Balls | The Balls Offer Superior Balance and a consistent Feel. 6 Pack – Neon Green – Pickleball Marketplace
These outdoor pickleball balls by ONIX also offer great durability and resist splitting. Their construction process is similar to the ONIX PURE and they are available in 4, 6, or 12 counts. They come ready to play right out of the box and you have two lovely colors to choose from too, which are yellow and orange.

The ball’s durability can stand the test of time and you do not have to worry about replacing it for a very long time.

4. Dura Fast 40 outdoor Pickleball balls by Pickle-ball Inc.

Dura Fast 40 Pickleballs | Outdoor Pickleball Balls | Neon | Two Dozen 24 Balls | USAPA Approved and Sanctioned for Tournament Play, Professional Perfomance
These are the most common pickleball balls used to play outdoors as they are considered the original balls for the pickleball spot. They were previously known as Dura 56 balls, but the manufacturer has recently changed the name to Dura Fast 40 because it consists of 40 holes which are also different in size. The Dura 40 pickleball balls are made in China and come in a variety of colors including white, yellow, orange, neon, etc.

I’m sure you now have a picture of what pickleball looks like, and you will make a better choice when it comes to choosing one. Now, let’s move to the next ball, the indoor pickleball ball.

Indoor pickleball balls

Indoor pickleball ball on the shadow of net.

Indoor pickleball balls are usually made from soft plastic and have larger holes when compared to outdoor ones. They are designed to be easy to control but they are a bit difficult to slam because of their drag. When playing with indoor pickleball balls, rallies are usually longer.

When you notice soft spots on the indoor pickleball balls, it’s a sign that they are wearing out, like the outdoor balls. Indoor balls rarely crack or go out of round. Their construction is slightly smaller and lighter building meaning they cannot be used to play outside because the wind can easily carry them off, making the game less exciting.

Since indoor pickleball balls are lighter in weight, getting hit by one will hurt less. The balls are also available in a variety of colors for you to choose from.

Models of Indoor pickleball balls

Let’s take a look at the models of indoor pickleball balls you can find on the market today:

1. Jugs Pickleball Balls (Indoor)

Jugs Sports Pickleballs, Vision Enhanced Green, 1 Dozen
This is a common pickleball ball used for indoor play. It is made of soft plastic and consists of big holes and an exciting bounce. The ball weighs about .85 ounces and is made in Taiwan.

Available in bright line-green and white, you have two exciting colors to choose from.

2. The Big Hole Dura Pickleball indoor balls

Dura Fast 40 Pickleballs | Outdoor Pickleball Balls | Orange| Pack of 6 | USAPA Approved and Sanctioned for Tournament Play
This is another ball mostly used for indoor playing. It is lighter in weight and has bigger holes intended to slow down the movement of the ball. The construction of the ball is seamless and is constructed through a rotationally molded one-piece construction proof and after cooling slightly bigger halls are drilled on the ball.

The ball is very durable and is available in orange, yellow, white, and neon. This is a good ball to choose for indoor playing, and you do not have to worry about replacement, as it is durable enough to last for a while.

3. ONIX Fuse Indoor Pickleball balls by ONIX Sports

Pickleball Marketplace Onix Popular Fuse Indoor Pickleball Balls are Ready to Play Immediately Out of The Box - The Balls Offer Superior Balance and a consistent Feel. 3 Pack – Orange
This is another durable indoor ball by ONIX Sports. The ball is designed to fly straighter and bounce more accurately and it’s durable. Its construction is heat-welded together for durability and is available in two colors, which are yellow and orange.

4. The Midnight Indoor Pickleball ball by

Pickleball-Balls 6 Pack by JoncAye, Orange Indoor-Pickleballs USAPA Compliant, Pickle-Balls in Mesh Ball Bag, Accessories for Pickleball-Paddle-Set, Pickleball Equipment, Gifts for Pickleball Lovers

This ball is specifically designed for indoor use. It weighs 0.85 ounces and is made of soft plastic. The ball is available in many different colors, such as black, red, pink, and indigo blue.

The construction of the ball is durable and you can rest assured you won’t need to spend more money replacing the ball for a long time. By now, I can assume you have a better understanding of both the indoor and outdoor pickleball balls and you will be able to make a better choice when it comes to choosing which one to buy. Below I have listed some frequently asked questions you may want to take a look at:

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the official Pickleball Ball rules?

Yes, the ball should strictly be of smooth molded material and have a uniform color, the diameter must be between 2.87 inches and 2.97 inches, and the ball must weigh between 0.78 and 0.935 ounces.

How long do pickleball balls last?

The lifespan varies from a few rounds to a very long time. Since outdoor balls are harder, they tend to crack after a while. On the other hand, indoors last longer since they are soft and will not crack.

Are all pickleball balls the same?

Pickleballs are not the same. Some are designed for outdoor playing while others are for indoors.