Tennis Balls - who knew there was so many to choose between….if you’re new to tennis! So this is where we come in to help you out with working out…..what the heck do I need and what’s best for playing with?
We’ve put together a key summarised and more detailed list for you to help with your decision. We’ve also detailed aspects that you may not have considered when buying tennis balls that’s right for you and how you can use this guide to find the right product on our site.
At first glance there can appear to be not much difference between tennis balls, but let us explain!
Tennis balls are made with a rubber core and covered in felt. Most balls are filled with compressed air. Having the right type of tennis ball for the surface and level you’re playing can make a significant difference to what you get out of the playing experience, whether for fun, training or competition.
Key Factors to consider are the following:
- What type of Tennis Ball you need
- Your Playing Level / Who or for what occasion you’re playing for
- What surface you’re playing on
- Playing Conditions
1. Type of Tennis Ball you need
So what are the differences between the different types of Tennis Balls?
You can check what “type” of tennis ball we are selling on every product page via the specifications section.
Lets explain…firstly check out our simply broken down chart.
|Type of Ball:||Suited For:|
|Regular Pressure Tennis Balls||Slower Courts (Clay, Grass)|
|Extra Duty Tennis Balls||Hard Courts (if extra durability is needed)|
|Pressureless||High Altitude levels above 4000ft|
|Foam Balls||Ages 3-5|
|Junior Stage 1 Red Balls||Ages 6-8|
|Junior Stage 2 Orange Balls||Ages 9-11|
|Junior Stage 3 Green Dot Balls||Ages 12-14|
Tennis Balls Pressurised vs Pressureless Tennis Balls
Practically a pressurised tennis ball has added internal air pressure into the the balls, enabling them to bounce easily. There are by far the most commonly used balls and will be seen in all major tennis competitions.
Pressureless balls do not have any compressed air inside. This means they’re slower and won’t bounce as much. You’ll want to use these balls at altitude (not common in the UK), outside this we wouldn’t generally recommend them.
Regular Tennis Balls vs Heavy Duty Tennis Balls
As defined by the name, the major difference is how long the balls will last! How is this done? They’re made with wool rather than nylon on the outside, they’ll feel softer to the touch and will be generally slower on court. For harder courts, heavy duty balls can be particularly popular, whilst for softer surfaces like grass or clay, regular balls are more widely played with.
Championship Tennis Balls vs Professional Tennis Balls vs Entry Level
|Playing Level||How the Tennis Ball is Made|
|Championship||Natural Wool, and woven felt, feels better for durability & consistency|
|Professional||Less Natural Wool and more synthetic fibers|
|Standard Entry||Mostly synthetic fibres|
Championship level tennis balls we generally recommend for training, and club level playing. The quality is great!
The difference between these balls is subtle, however when playing they can make a big difference at competition level. A professional level ball will typically provide a better “feel” so are typically used more in tournaments.
Learner & Kids Tennis Balls
You’ll notice we list Stage 1,2 and 3 Tennis Balls in our menus, in addition to Foam Tennis Balls. These are all intended for Children at different stages of their ability.
Stage 1 = Red Felt = Intended for Kids 5-8 years, they’re 75% slower than a normal ball and are larger too
Stage 2 = Orange Felt = Intended for 9-11 years, these are 50% slower and are normal size
Stage 3 = Red Felt = Intended for 11-14 years, and are about 25% slower than a normal ball. They’re also the same size as a normal tennis ball.
Extra Duty Tennis Balls
Designed specifically for hard surfaces like concrete, or asphalt. They’re made to be more durable due to their thick outer felt and should have a longer lifetime than standard tennis balls. These balls are popular in use because they balance out the fast speed seen on hard courts due to their extra “felt fluff”. You’ll see most Extra Duty balls referenced in their titles with “XD”.
2. Your Playing Level / Who or for what occasion you’re playing
Much of this has been addressed in the above section on Tennis Balls types. However there’s a small amount below to add to that.
This is subjective but we generally recommend slower tennis balls for lower level or skilled players and faster tennis balls for higher level players.
We have a “Player Level” chart below each Tennis Ball (on our product pages) so you can work out what’s right for you.
3. What surface you’re playing on
Slower Courts or Clay/Grass Courts = these treat tennis balls well, and won’t wear out so fast
Faster Courts or Hard Courts = are tough on tennis balls, we recommend extra duty balls so they last longer
4. Playing Conditions
Typically this isn’t an issue but in more unusual conditions this is a factor. These include:
- Weather Humidity - Typically Tennis Balls absorb moisture so the ball becomes heavier, so lighter and harder balls generally suit humid conditions better.
- Altitude - Typically balls at sea level go much faster, so pressurised balls at high altitude don’t make much sense. Therefore if you’re playing at altitude we recommend that you use pressureless balls.
Hopefully this summary guide about Tennis balls will help you in your journey finding the right Tennis Balls for you. Feel free to contact us if you need further help or have any other questions.