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How to choose a tennis ball ?

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You should choose a ball according to certain criteria. The first one is your ability::

- Are you a beginner or occasional player?

- Are you a regular or intensive player ?

If you’re a beginner...

It’s best to go for a fairly slow ball that won’t surprise you with its bounce (speed, height and spin).

You’ll also be looking for a ball that doesn’t take much spin. Finally, don’t take your eye off comfort… Yes, the balls you choose should make sure that your first shots are enjoyable.

The balls that will suit your game are non-pressurised balls with a soft core that are enjoyable to play with. You could even opt for foam balls during your initial discovery of the game, for mini-tennis balls for children, or for so-called "intermediate" balls for adults. Easily recognisable, these balls are often covered with yellow felt combined with another colour.

Non-pressurised balls are made with a thick layer of rubber, making them longer-lasting.

In summary : as a beginner, go for soft non-pressurised balls.

 

If you’re a regular and/or intensive player…

Another criterion comes into play : for what use ? Training or competition?

Training balls are often designed to be smashed to pieces for hours on end. They need to last as long as possible without losing their playing capacity.

So which balls do you think are the most resistant? The answer is non-pressurised balls with a hard core. In order to resist, they are made with a very thick layer of rubber and felt that will not fray.

You may have seen them piled up in your tennis instructor’s mobile basket, chosen for their low price! Did you know that they are also used in cold countries and at altitude for their capacity to resist low temperatures and atmospheric pressure?

Our advice : don’t hesitate to buy these balls for the occasional training session, but don’t go overboard.

If you’re looking for a more comfortable ball to play with in training and matches, of course you have to go down the pressurised road.

A pressurised ball has air injected into its core. These balls are comfortable and lively thanks to the soft rubber used to make them. They are often covered with reasonably thick felt that takes and imparts spin.

If you don’t hit the ball flat, they’re likely to surprise your opponent.

On a relatively smooth hard court, they will surprise you with their vivacity.

On a rougher surface, they will bite with the spin, but can deteriorate faster.

On clay, they are slower (soft balls and soft surface). They will take spin but absorb humidity getting bigger and heavier.

Whilst they’re obviously more expensive and less durable, pressurised balls remain by far the most enjoyable balls to play with for regular and intensive players.

Our advice : try to open your tube 5-15 minutes before your game giving the balls time to soften up a bit.

 

See you soon.

 

Nicolas Escudé

Artengo product manager

Former world no. 17 on the ATP Tour

 
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