What Kind Of Ball Is Used In Pickleball: A Guide To Pickleball Balls

October 21, 2021

Pickleball, which mixes features of badminton, tennis, and ping pong into a single game, is getting more popular by the day.

It’s played with a paddle and a plastic ball, which has holes in its surface to allow for more spin.

The game originated in the 1960s on Bainbridge Island, Washington. Since then, it’s become well-liked in senior communities across the country.

Pickleball, a fantastic, fun, and sometimes even competitive sport, can be enjoyed by everyone. Pickleball balls are bright-colored, bouncy, and they’re the newest craze to hit the net.

If you want to learn how to play pickleball but don’t know where to start, this article will help you choose the right ball.

What Kind of Ball Is Used In Pickleball?

Pickleballs are plastic balls with holes. The pickleball ball is a two-inch rubber ball that measures 1.4 inches in diameter. It’s not a tennis ball, nor is it similar to a Wiffle Ball. 

The Pickleball Association describes the pickleball ball as “a soft squishy ball designed for play on hardwood floors.”

A pickleball ball can be made of gel or rubberized materials, molded plastic, or an inflatable bladder to allow for a proper bounce. Most balls are yellow because people use them on outdoor courts covered with sand for traction.

Why Are They Called Pickleballs?

Pickleball was invented in 1965 by Joel Pritchard, who wanted to create a game that he could play with his wife that would be similar to tennis but easier.

He combined paddle tennis, which combines table tennis and badminton elements, the paddle used in canoeing or kayaking, and pickleball rules from another ping-pong style game called Wiffle ball.

The name comes from Pritchard’s dog Pickles, whose favorite toy was an empty plastic peanut butter jar. The sound made when bouncing around on the floor inspired Pritchard to come up with the name.

What Material Is A Pickleball Ball Made Of?

Pickleball balls use a non-toxic plastic composite material that can be molded and shaped into various sizes and shapes.

Making it involves using a mold to create the shape and then injecting carbon fiber or glass fiber underneath, which gives it its strength and durability.

The pickleball paddle is 15.5-17 inches long and weighs between 6-14 ounces. The ball itself weighs around 6-9 ounces and has an all-plastic exterior. The ball comes in yellow, neon, orange, and white colors.

The ball can be used in all temperatures all year round without being damaged so that you can use the ball everywhere!

The two main types of pickleball balls are composite and solid plastic. Solid plastic balls are inexpensive but don’t play as well as other options, especially in windy conditions.

Composite balls tend to be more expensive than solid plastic, but they play better because built-in vents keep them from becoming too light.

The balls are made out of rubber, making them bounce less than tennis or badminton balls. They also have holes that allow them to fit over the net naturally than regular balls would.

Are All Pickleballs The Same Size And Weight?

The answer is no; they are not. There are many different brands of pickleball on the market, and they differ in size and weight.

The first thing you need to know about pickleball is that they come in different sizes and weights.

Some are meant for beginners, while others offer a more advanced experience. If you’re new to the game, you should find one that is lightweight and easy to handle until you’re skilled.

The smaller balls used for pickleball can travel faster than tennis balls and have more mass, especially when they bounce on hard surfaces.

The Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Pickleball

Before you decide to purchase a set of pickleball, it’s necessary to understand the main differences between an indoor version and an outdoor version.

While both are essentially the same game with the same rules, some key specifications will affect your experience on the court. Size is one of these factors that can make or break your game.

The main difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball lies in the material of their paddles.
Indoor paddles are made of wood or plastic, while outdoor ones use aluminum or graphite.

Indoor pickleball sets are made to be used on a hard surface, such as a gym or sports court, while outdoor ones can be used on grass fields.

In addition to that, a net divides two teams during a match for indoor play while both players have unlimited access to the court for outdoor activity.

Indoor sets have small holes in the middle of each paddle to stay balanced when placed on the floor.
Outdoor sets do not have these holes because they would fill with water and become unplayable if played outside in rain and snow.

Outdoor paddles tend to be larger than indoor ones because players hold them further away from their bodies.

Indoor pickleball courts have walls on all sides, which makes it quite different from outdoor pickleball, where there is no wall on one side of the court.

In an outdoor setting, players must keep more in mind because they should focus on what’s happening in front of them and around the room.

What’s The Difference Between A Pickleball And A Tennis Ball? 

Pickleball balls are made by the same company that makes tennis balls. Moreover, they’re made using the same equipment, in the same way!

The main difference between the two balls is in their size. Pickleball balls are smaller than regular tennis balls and require less force to hit them over the net.

The game uses a shorter paddle than that used for tennis. These are also softer—between 30 and 40% less bouncy than regular tennis balls.

Such quality makes them ideal for seniors and kids who haven’t yet developed enough strength in their arms to play tennis.

The Art of Choosing Pickleball Balls

Not all pickleball balls are created equal. Some are of higher quality than others and will last longer with proper care. 

Your best bet when looking at prices is to find a mid-range ball that isn’t too cheap or too expensive. 

The best pickleball balls are lightweight and durable, making them easier to control during play.

They also come in bright colors for easy identification on the court! The balls are available in several colors: orange,  yellow, neon, white, and red. 

It would be best if you considered getting a set of six balls, so you always have one ready when it’s your turn at-bat. 

You can also purchase extra balls if you want to practice with a group of friends; it’s also cost-effective when buying in bulk.

Pickleball Paddles

A pickleball paddle is a small bat with a paddle-like face that players use to hit the ball over the net and back to their opponent. 

Paddles come in three different styles: Wood, fiberglass, and composite—each with discrete characteristics that may impact your game and style of play.

The standard pickleball paddle uses wood or composite materials such as graphite, fiberglass, or aluminum. They range from 22-28 inches long and can weigh anywhere between 8 and 12 ounces.

The length and weight will depend on your playing style. Paddles with larger heads tend to favor players who like to use power shots; those with smaller heads are often preferred by those who rely more on control.

A good pickleball paddle should be made of composite material, which offers stiffness that helps with power and durability that helps with longevity. The paddle handle should make it easy to grip without feeling like it’s slipping out of your hands. 

Wood paddles use either hard or softwood, such as maple or redwood, and require more maintenance than other paddles since they must regularly be polished.

How Often Should I Replace My Pickleball Balls?

As is the case with most sports, pickleball is an investment. If you are buying the right equipment, then expect to spend some money. Nevertheless, there are ways that you can save on your pickleball balls if you know how to look for them.

It is recommended to replace pickleball balls every three months to ensure top performance and playability.

Regularly replacement of pickleball balls is necessary because they become worn out over time.
When they become too worn, they lose their bounce and start to break apart. This means that playing with them will put you at risk for injury.

If old pickleball balls are starting to affect your game negatively, then it’s time to replace them with new ones.


Pickleball is a fast-paced sport, and some of the best balls available will be able to keep up with your pace. 

However, it’s important to remember that since this ball is so light, you will want it to be durable enough to last through more than one game.

Fortunately, there are plenty of pickleball balls at varying price points that can meet all your needs.

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