Pickleball Balls

Almost every kid has played wiffleball. Those plastic balls with holes on one side meant you could throw the ball with an amazing array of spins, dips and rises. That meant you could strike out your dad all the time. While the pickleball is plastic and has holes, that’s about where the similarities end. USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) has approved over 30 different balls for official tournament play.

Pickleball Balls

Almost every kid has played wiffleball. Those plastic balls with holes on one side meant you could throw the ball with an amazing array of spins, dips and rises. That meant you could strike out your dad all the time. While the pickleball is plastic and has holes, that’s about where the similarities end. USA Pickleball Association (USAPA) has approved over 30 different balls for official tournament play.

Differences from wiffle balls

  • While they are about the same size, the key difference is that the pickleball ball is designed to go straight but the wiffle ball is supposed to curve. 

  • The wiffle ball’s holes are oval shaped, and only are installed on one side. 

  • Pickleball balls holes are round and evenly spaced.

  • There are typically only eight holes in a wiffle ball but pickleball balls have 26-40 holes.


How pickleballs are made

There are three methods:

  1. The plastic is formed into two halves and then fused together. This does create a seam which must be carefully minimized.

  2. The plastic is injection molded as one piece. Holes are then drilled in designated places.

  3. The injection mold is created with the holes already in place in this one piece ball.


What is the difference between an indoor pickleball and an outdoor pickleball?

It is not unusual for indoor balls to be used outdoors. But outdoor balls should not be used indoors. The differences are:



Which balls are best?

The leading manufacturers are:

  • Franklin: known for a very durable indoor ball.

  • Dura: biggest strength is in relatively heavy outdoor balls. Also makes indoor versions.

  • Top: makes a seamless, one piece ball with drilled holes made for outdoors.

  • Onix: has both one and two piece balls made for outdoors. Makes a larger holed indoor ball.

  • Jugs: best known for indoor balls.


How long does a pickleball last?

This depends on how hard the players strike the ball. Balls should be regularly checked for cracks and whether they are out of round. Any cracked or out of round balls should be replaced immediately. Outdoor balls might last longer but sunlight and rough court surfaces can degrade them quickly too.


Does the color matter?

While yellow is the dominant color, a rainbow of options is available. The color matters only for visibility and personal preference. Experimenting with different colors where you play will help determine the best color for you.


Tennisracquets.com is your one stop shop for pickleballs, paddles, shoes and attire. You will have fun in no time thanks to our huge inventory. Why not start today? See our Getting Started with Pickleball for helpful hints.