Complete Guide: Choose the Right Padel Balls
Padel balls are one of the most essential parts of a good padel match. Therefore, it is important that you take your choice of padel balls as seriously as you take your choice of other padel equipment such as rackets and shoes. There are many different padel balls available and they vary in weight, pressure and durability, giving them different characteristics.
In this article, we guide you in choosing the best padel ball for your needs, and we guide you in the different types of balls, their durability as well as their bounce. We also review how to extend the durability of your balls and how to best store them. Lastly, you get our recommendations for choosing a padel ball and learn why you can't play padel with a tennis ball.
Types of Padel Balls
There are 2 different types of padel balls; training balls and tournament balls. The difference between these padel balls is mainly to be found in the hardness of the balls as well as their felt. The training balls are a bit harder, which makes them to play with for a longer time. On the other hand, the felt is not as thick, so they don't have quite the same stable and continuous bounce as the tournament balls. The tournament balls are made to have a perfect bounce as soon as you open the tube, but don't hold that speed as long as practice balls.
The training balls are thus very good in a ball basket, where you are not so concerned about whether the bounce is 100% correct, but where it is more important that there is still some speed. On the other hand, tournament balls are good for playing matches where bounce is very important and where you can afford to change balls every 1-2 times you play.
Normal Speed vs Fast Padel Balls
The tournament balls of some brands are available in a speed version as well as a normal version. The speed balls have the same kind of felt as the normal balls, but they usually have a bit more pressure in the balls, which ensures an increased speed. This makes the balls more suitable for slower surfaces as well as play in colder conditions.
It is therefore very common to experience the same playing experience with a speed ball outside at 5º as you experience indoors with a normal ball at 20º.
How Can You Tell the Difference between Padel Balls?
In general, padel balls look similar; they weigh about 55-60 grams and they have a surface of felt and rubber. Manufacturers usually include in the ball's name if it is a particular version that gives the ball a certain characteristic. For example, Head has both a normal version, Head Padel Pro, and a speed version, Head Padel Pro S.
In addition to the name of the ball itself, they are also distinguished by different colour choices in the packaging such as the Head Padel Pro:
And the Head Padel Pro S:
What Is the Durability of a Padel Ball?
The most important thing about padel balls is that they are replaced regularly. Virtually all padel balls come in a tube under pressure (there may be exceptions), which means that as soon as you open a tube of padel balls, they slowly start to become softer. Even without having played with them, padel balls from an opened tube will basically be useless after 1 week. With balls that are played with, we recommend changing balls after 1-3 matches or after 1 week at the latest.
If you are playing with soft padel balls, they have a lower bounce, making it easier to decide the rally. Thus, rallies are shortened unnecessarily and the game changes significantly compared to the starting point. In WPT tournaments, balls are changed every 7 games, and advanced players open a new ball tube before every match.
How Many Balls Are Used for a Padel Match?
A tube with 3 or 4 balls is enough when playing padel. The server needs a ball for the 1st serve and a ball in his pocket in case the 2nd serve needs to be used. The last ball is often in the partner's pocket. Alternatively, the opponent has it or it is being placed up by the net. The point here is that there are no balls floating around the court during a rally. Firstly, there is a risk of falling over them, and secondly, you lose the point if you slip into a stray ball and therefore don't get your shot returned - it is your own responsibility to clear the balls from your half of the court.
In addition, it also ensures a better flow between rallies when the balls are effectively circulated to the server instead of you having to trudge around between each point to collect balls for the next rally. Therefore, it is not recommended to use 6 or 8 balls at a time in your padel match, as there will be too many balls to keep track of.
Padel Ball Pressurizer
By using a ball pressure tube, you can extend the life of your padel tennis balls. This way you can reuse your padel balls, so you don't have to open a new ball tube every time you play. The pressurizer is a short tube, typically with space for 3-4 balls, which you can set to a pressure of e.g. 11 psi, which a standard tube of balls comes with.
A padel ball can typically be pressurized 3-4 times and regain most of its original pressure. The pressure tube will not have optimal effect if your balls are old and have already lost much of their initial pressure. The effect is best if the balls are new and you put them in the pressure tube shortly after playing. This method can extend the life of your padel balls, saving you time and money. And it's good for the environment to use your balls for a longer time.
How to Best Store Padel Balls
It is advisable to store your padel balls at room temperature and out of direct sunlight. Both too high and too low temperatures affect the ball negatively, so leave them in the tube unopened until you need them. And if you want to use them again, put them back in the tube to protect them from light and moisture - and to keep them from being spread around all corners of your padel bag.
What Is the Difference between Tennis Balls and Padel Balls?
Although tennis balls and padel balls are quite similar, there is a big difference between playing padel with a padel ball and with a tennis ball. As a consequence, it is not recommended to play padel with a tennis ball. The main difference is that padel balls have a lower pressure and therefore bounce less than tennis balls. The felt of a padel ball is also a little bit longer to make it slower. In addition, padel balls may be slightly larger (about 6.50 cm in diameter) than tennis balls (about 7 cm in diameter), however, this is not always the case.
Which Padel Ball Is Best?
We are often asked which padel racket to choose. The answer depends largely on individual factors such as level of play and personal preferences. As for which padel ball to play with, the answer is no different; it depends on your playing level and what characteristics you want from the ball. And of course, it's important that the ball is suitable for the padel courts you play on, including whether it's outdoors or indoors and the surface of the padel court.
If you play on slow courts or you want more bounce in the ball, a fast padel ball like Head Padel Pro S or RS Champions Choice are excellent choices. If you prefer a padel ball with a normal speed, many players use the Head Padel Pro.
Looking for a Good Bargain on Padel Balls?
Because of the low durability, we always offer sharp deals on padel balls. A box of padel balls contains 24 tubes of balls, so buying this will provide you with several weeks of padel play. Share the box with your mates or keep it for yourself - don't miss out on the great deals on padel balls here.