Tennis Balls at Sweatband.com
Tennis players spend a lot of time finding the ideal racket, but few tend to spend any time at all finding the right tennis balls for themselves. It’s important to have the right tennis ball to suit you as it can make a huge difference to your game.
There are lots of different types of tennis balls out there but they are mainly divided into pressurised and non-pressurised balls. After that, there are sub-divisions such as practice tennis balls, championship tennis balls, and professional tennis balls. Then there are tennis balls that are suited to different surfaces and environments. Regular duty, extra duty, high altitude, grass court. These are usually distinguished by the type of felt that surrounds the ball. You can also get different speeds of tennis balls: slow, medium, and fast.
There are different combinations of the above, eg:
- regular duty, fast, pressurised
- grass court, medium, pressure-less
- grass court, fast, pressurised
A pressurised tennis ball has internal air pressure that keeps it highly bouncy. When you first open a can of pressurised tennis balls, they will immediately start to lose pressure as internal air slowly seeps out of the rubber walls of the ball.
Pressurised tennis balls can become fairly useless after just one match or about a week, and this can end up being quite expensive, as tennis balls need to be continually bought and replaced. However, these balls guarantee good all-around performance and provide a consistent bounce.
Pressure-less tennis balls don’t have any internal air pressure but instead derive their bounciness from the harder rubber used in their creation. The balls aren’t as bouncy as pressurised tennis balls, but they last longer and are a smarter investment for beginners and recreational players. They can also be slightly easier to hit and are the more eco-conscious choice.
Things to Consider
Below is a list of things to consider when purchasing tennis balls. This may help you to find the perfect tennis ball for your specific needs:
For all adults, only yellow balls are required for tournament play. This colour is easiest to see when it is being hit by a racket, which is why it is used in all formats (for children, the stage 3 and 2 tennis balls have a red and orange stripe respectively to denote their pressure and difficulty level).
Tennis balls must have a mass between 56g and 59.4g (1.98-2.10 ounces) to be able to be used in competition. Tennis balls that are bigger or smaller than this are not allowed for tournament play.
You can choose pressurised or non-pressurised tennis balls. If you are a beginner, you can use stage 3, 2,1 tennis balls that have much lower pressure levels to make the ball slower and easier to hit.
Tennis balls must have a diameter of between 6.54 and 6.86cm (2.57 and 2.7 inches) to be eligible for play in clubs or tournaments. Children are sometimes given oversized tennis balls as they are easier to see and hit.
Tennis balls lose pressure over time, and the best way of checking this is to see how well they rebound after being dropped. High altitude tennis balls are designed to bounce lower at sea level, and practice balls will also have a lower rebound height.
Professional tennis balls are seen to be the absolute best, but they can cost a lot. Non-pressurised tennis balls are a smarter investment for playing with your friends but are rarely acceptable for tournaments.
Tennis Ball Care
The main thing you need to do is to avoid opening the can of tennis balls until you are about to start the match. That way the balls will be as “fresh” as possible. Once that air has started to leak out though there is nothing you can do to prevent it.