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Best Pickleball Ball: Top-notch & Durable Designs For Topspin and Bounce In Every Play

colorful pickleball balls in a basket

Last Updated: May 15, 2024

Whether you're a pro or beginner, you need a pickleball ball that you can control and lasts long on your turf.

The thing is...

With so many brands and off-brand products, how can you be so sure? Well, we compiled a list of the best pickleball balls on the market to narrow your options and take the guesswork out of your shopping.

In a rush?

Our top pick is the Onix Pure 2 outdoor balls. They hold up outdoors way better than most pickleball balls and maintain a consistent bounce and response they expire. 

Best Pickleball Ball Review

1. Onix Pure 2 - Best Overall

Onix Pure 2The best outdoor pickleball out there has got to be the Onix Pure 2. It's made with a molded plastic that plays perfectly in any weather condition.

The Onix Pure 2 is more than just a standard pickleball, so it's not approved for use in USAPA tournaments - pun intended. ūüėČ

Their specifications fall within official guidelines, but they aren't on the approved list.

Regardless, the Onix Pure 2 balls are for outdoor play. They feel heavier than regular outdoor balls and have smaller-sized holes, which give them unrivaled speed and control against strong winds.

Also, the balls have a true bounce - like a tennis ball - perhaps due to Onix Authentic Bounce Technology. They also give a good response on the paddle after shots.

Overall, the Onix Pure 2 is excellent if you want a ball that lasts and prefer fast-tempo gameplay.

The only drawback is it's not approved for tournament use, and they some of the most expensive pickleball. The balls are available in yellow and neon green. 

Pros

  • Guaranteed durability¬†
  • Faster response from its extra weight¬†
  • Maintains control on windy days¬†
  • Impressive feedback and response
  • True bounce similar to that of a tennis ball

Cons

  • Pricey¬†
  • Not approved for tournament use

Takeaway

Despite its hefty price tag, the Onix Pure 2 comes as a highly recommended and popular pickleball for outdoor play. But, you can save more if you buy in bulk.

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2. Dura Fast 40 - Best for Outdoor Tournament

Dura Fast 40 Pickleballs | Outdoor pickleball balls | Neon | Dozen/Pack of 12 | USAPA Approved and Sanctioned for Tournament Play, Professional Perfomance What's a better ball to use for your next USAPA or IAP-approved tournament than one used in the US Open, Bainbridge Cup, and the Spanish Open.

The Dura Fast 40 is a one-piece rotationally molded pickleball. Simply put, a hot glob of plastic is poured into a mold and rotated till the ball forms evenly. Basically, this makes it more durable since it isn't joined at the seams. Hence it has no weak point.

Clearly, "Dura" is short for durable. And like the Onix Pure 2, it's a heavy pickleball ball, so you literally feel its quality in your hands.

Speaking of which, the Dura 40, in typical fashion, has 40 holes with two different sizes. I say "unique" because they are designed with different sizes, an aerospace engineer's brainchild. Away from the aesthetics, the design makes the ball in any weather you encounter on the court.

However, what baffles me about the Dura 40 is that they are considerably larger than most official pickleball balls - approximately 2.9 inches in diameter - yet remain official. That's about an inch over the regulation.

Nonetheless, they maintain a great response and feel that it's comparable to the Pure 2. with an average bounce of 32 inches.

The only bad thing I can say about the Dura 40 as of writing is poor quality control.

Customers have reported receiving an oddball in their pack, which is resolvably possible, but nothing we experienced from the three packs we'd tried.

Another thing is that, like most fast pickleball balls, you can't predict how soon they'd go out of round. It's a case of the devil you know for most players.

All in all, it's a great ball if you enjoy using fast-moving hard balls. The balls are available in yellow, white, neon, and orange. Also, you'll save a lot more when you shop for larger packs.

Pros

  • Carefully designed for maximum playability
  • Topspin and bounce
  • Best for fast play¬†
  • Multiple color options
  • Endorsed by Kyle Yates

Cons

  • Not a durable as we'd like for their premium price

Takeaway

If you plan to organize a competition or intend to train with a tournament-approved ball, the Dura Fast 40 is the best pickleball ball for that.

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3. Onix Fuse  - Best Indoor Pickleball Ball

Onix KZ42003O Fuse Indoor Orange 3-Pack It's practically impossible to list the best pickleball balls without a name brand like Onix reoccurring. Not because they are a household name like Everlast - who's gone to shit, by the way - but because they deliver quality at competitive prices.

Long story short, the Onix Fuse are arguably the best indoor pickleball balls you can lay your hands on.

The first thing you'll notice is how their orange hue is conspicuous in any indoor lighting situation. We once used them when some lights were down in the gym, and no one went home with a swollen eye. I don't advise you to do the same.

Onix Fuse balls are designed for superior performance and durability indoors.

First, they have a seamless construction to reduce cracking incidents, which is a feature I've come to appreciate in any pickleball.

Also, their bounce and response are second to none among indoor balls. They share the True Flight Technology and Authentic Bounce Technology with the Onix Pure 2, except Fuse balls have larger holes and are slightly softer to match indoor play.

With that level of bounce, the Onix Fuse is equally okay for outdoor play, but not when it's windy. Its larger holes will frustrate shot accuracy under this weather condition.

Finally, as with most balls, a ball or two in a pack could crack prematurely after less than twenty-four hours of play. But then again, it can be attributed to how you hit the ball.

Pros

  • Unmistakable visibility¬†
  • Great indoors, decent outdoors
  • Soft response
  • Approved for tournament play

Cons

  • May crack after a few rounds (occasional)

Takeaway

These are easily the best indoor pickleball balls for recreational or professional play. The orange colorway was more visible to my experience, but yellow also fairs well.

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4. Jugs Indoor - Softest Indoor Pickleball Ball

Jugs Sports Pickleballs, Vision Enhanced Green, 1 Dozen The Jugs Sports indoor pickleballs are the best indoor pickleballs for regular use or training. They are inexpensive but perform even better than some more expensive balls.

The balls weigh only 0.8 ounces, making them one the lightest you'd ever use.

As a result, Jugs indoor balls have a notable bounce to them, which many players have come to cherish.

In a standard drop test from 75 inches, Jugs balls bounce as high as 37 inches. That's roughly four inches higher than most official pickleball balls. As a result, you'll notice a significant difference in your play when you switch to other balls - like playing a deflated basketball.

The balls have adjoining seams, which brings us to the major gripe with these balls.

Because of their rough and pronounced seams, they are likely to crack if handled by skilled players. Consequently, they don't last under intense use. Yet somehow, they are also recommended for outdoor use. 

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Great for fast-paced recreational play
  • Soft and more rubberized than most balls
  • Suitable for practicing unexpected bounces¬†

Cons

  • Can feel smushy soft for some players

Takeaway

If you prefer a fast game and are searching for cheap balls, the Jugs Sports Indoor balls tick all the boxes. But be prepared for the bounce you'll be welcoming.

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5. Pickleball Central TOP Ball - Best Outdoor Ball Alternative

TOP Ball (The Outdoor Pickleball) - 6 Count - Yellow - USAPA Approved for Tournament Play TOP balls are made by Pickleball Central - the Nike of the pickleball world. And the name TOP is short for "The Outdoor Pickleball."

As history has proven, these outdoor balls are designed to meet the best possible standards.

First, TOP balls have a top-tier one-piece design that's clear of seams for enhanced durability. So you don't have to fear that the ball will break or crack at the seams.

Also, you can compare them to the revered Dura Fast 40 or as a competition-approved alternative to the Onix Pure 2. TOP balls hardly sway when it's windy but last longer than Dura 40 balls.

While they have a pretty good average bounce of about 32 inches from a standard concrete drop test, they aren't Dura 40s. But they sure do a hell of a good job, playing as good as new till they crack.

The neon green TOP balls appear to be the most visible, but yellow, white, and orange are other available options.  

Pros

  • Standard bounce for any level of players
  • Tournament regulated pickleball¬†
  • Durable, stiff ball
  • Visible color tones

Cons

  • Defective (seamed) balls on occasion
  • Expensive

Takeaway

The Pickleball Central TOP ball is another impressive outdoor pickleball you can trust for tournaments or recreational use.

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6. Gamma Photon - Best Affordable Indoor Ball

Gamma Photon Indoor PickleballThe Gamma Photon is yet another affordable indoor pickleball for practice.

What's made it so popular is its striking neon green color that's hard to miss in an indoor or outdoor court, for that matter.

While the Gamma Photons are cheap balls, they meet competition requirements and are also approved as an official pickleball ball.

Subsequently, they feel like the right choice of balls for practice in school teams, academies, and recreational clubs.

The ball is a touch lively thanks to its harder consistency and, at the same time, brittle because of it. So, rather than go out of round on you, Gamma Photon balls are more likely to crack. Nevertheless, they play as good as new every day till the inevitable happens.

But don't expect the same consistency if you use them anywhere near the outdoors. Despite being harder than typical indoor balls, Gamma Photon indoor pickleball balls will deteriorate quickly outdoors. But hey, they're indoor balls anyways.

Pros

  • Bright contrasting neon green
  • Indoor ball for pros¬†
  • Consistent pop and bounce¬†
  • Suitable for outdoor use in friendly weather¬†

Cons

  • Harder than most indoor balls (just a heads up)

Takeaway

Gamma Photon balls are the best affordable indoor pickleball balls on the market. They are certainly not the cheapest but offer the best bang for your buck.

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7. Tourna Balls - Cheapest Outdoor Pickleball Ball

Tourna Strike Outdoor Pickleballs (12 Pack) - USAPA Approved, Optic Yellow (PIKL-12-OY-O) The Tourna balls are approved outdoor tournament pickleball balls for USAPA and IFP games. Yes, they are yet another pickleball with a straightforward name.

What's clearer is that they are decent options for when you need a break from the harder Onix and Dura balls. Tourna balls have bounce and hardness that's right in the middle of the ballpark for beginners.

The balls have 40 holes, as with most outdoor pickleball balls, to maintain a straight flight come rain or shine.

By rain; that'd mean a drizzle (if you're hardcore), but definitely not in a shower.

Despite a standard weight of 24.5 grams, the balls are noticeably lightweight and flimsy for serious players.

Besides, it's why they're incredibly affordable. So, I'll suggest you consider other balls if your court environment is particularly windy or if you've used better balls.

Lastly, Tourna balls are manufactured only in optic yellow but offer various package options from 6 to 200-ball mesh bags. 

Pros

  • Good bang for your buck
  • Extensive package deals up to 200 balls
  • Approved for USAPA and IFP play
  • Endorsed by Tyson McGuffin

Cons

  • Tricky control in windy games

Takeaway

Tourna outdoor ball is the best option if you're looking for a good deal on bulk balls to use in school or club practice.

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8. Penn 40 - Most Durable Outdoor Ball

Penn 40 Outdoor Pickleball Balls - Softer Feel for Recreational & Club Play - USAPA Approved, 6-Pack If you want the best outdoor pickleball and don't fancy following trends or name brands, you might seriously want to consider the Penn 40 outdoor ball.

These balls exhibit the superior performance of an Onix Pure 2, or Dura 40 pickleball players have come to love for a slightly lower price.

In a way, they are hidden gems.

What else do you call a pack of pickleball balls that rarely contains duds?

Well, maybe it's why they are higher-priced and equally not mainstream. Only players that appreciate this dynamic will find them worthy.

The Penn 40 outdoor pickleball balls have a standard 40 hole design to tame all weather conditions on the court. Plus, they are heavy-set, so you can hit shots more consistently. And they're USAPA approved balls.

Not to forget. Visibility is on point with the highlighter yellow hue of the Penn 40 outdoor balls.

Pros

  • One of the most durable pickleball balls
  • Delivers consistent bounce and feedback on shots¬†
  • Hard to miss

Cons

  • Relatively high price tag

Takeaway

If you are sick of balls breaking on you, you might want to give Penn 40 outdoor balls a try. You may pay a little higher at first, but say they work for your routine, you'll save more in the long run.

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What To Look For When Buying Pickleballs

green and orange pickleball balls

Type

Outdoor Pickleball Balls

It's not rocket science. Search for outdoor pickleball balls if you play most of your games outdoors.

An outdoor ball is designed to withstand the elements for improved performance and durability.

This type of pickleball is made of more rigid plastic and usually has 40 holes for better wind tolerance.

Since most outdoor courts are painted blue with similar colored surroundings, outdoor balls are brightly colored to contrast. The most popular outdoor pickleball color is yellow, but the other colors like neon green, white, and orange also have a high visibility on-court that you can use in the Lobster pickleball machine during practice.

Indoor Pickleball Ball

Indoor vs outdoor pickleballs have softer balls with considerably larger but fewer holes. Specifically, they are drilled with twenty-six holes for competition use or practice. I can't recollect seeing an indoor ball with fewer or more holes.

Consequently, indoor balls are easier to control but slow for hard hitters.

Unlike playing outdoors, you can also use darker-colored indoor pickleball balls. This is because the artificial lighting and pale hardwood floors of indoor courts actually contrast better with dark balls. Some even glow in the dark.

Unsurprisingly, these types of indoor balls attract a higher price.  

Bounce

The bounce specification of a pickleball, well, tells you how high the ball bounces. Bounce affects the tempo of the game and the control of the ball you have to some extent.

Typically, pickleball balls bounce within the range of 31 to 35 inches from the standard concrete drop test. To test bounce, drop the balls from your shoulder and compare results.

However, some balls like Jugs bounce even higher and are unmistakable during a game.  

Hardness

There are clashing opinions on how the hardness of a ball affects the safety and performance in a game. However, one thing is clear, no ball is unsafe just because it's "too hard."

Agreed, outdoor pickleball balls are harder and travel faster than indoor balls, but that doesn't make them killer balls.

The harder a pickleball, the faster it travels. However, the softer a pickleball, the easier it is to control.

Durability

There are no hard and fast rules on the lifespan of a pickleball ball. In truth, it's more in your hands.

Here are some factors that might affect how long your balls last:

  • Intensity of shots
  • Condition of court surface
  • Storage
  • Length and number of times you play weekly
  • Brand

While sweating it out in our rising sport, it’s normal for a pickleball to crack after a few games. But if you can get a week or two out of it, I'll say you've got your money's worth.

If a ball is harder, it's likely to break, and if it's softer, it goes out of round easier.

Durability also varies by brand, and it's up to you to find one that works for you. Some of the best pickleball ball brands are Dura, Onix, Pickleball Central, and others we've suggested in our pickleball balls review.

Watch how Coach David tests out the bounce on several pickleball brands: 

Frequently Asked Questions

What Kind of Ball is Used in Pickleball?

A hard plastic ball - similar to a Wiffle ball - with circular holes is used in pickleball.

Pickleballs have varying weights, holes, and sizes detailed for wind resistance, bounce, and durability indoors or outdoors.   

What are the Specifications of an Official Pickleball?

The ball must be made of durable molded material with a smooth surface and have a uniform color (except for its branding).

An official pickleball dropped from a height of 78 inches on a granite surface will bounce up to 30 to 34 inches. This test is carried out when the temperature is 24 to 27 degrees celsius.

Official pickleball balls generally weigh 22.1 to 26.5 grams (that's 0.78 oz and 0.93 oz).

The ball must carry 26 to 40 round holes with the manufacturer's emblazoned on it.

Finally, any ball picked by an organizer in a USAPA and IFP tournament must be included in the official list of both bodies. 

How to Choose the Best Pickleball Balls?

The easiest way to choose the best pickleball ball is to pick one from the top 5 name brands (Onix, Dura, Penn, Gamma, and Pickleball Central).

You can rest assured you'll find a quality one within your budget from those brands. Then, narrow your options down by picking one with the bounce or color you prefer.  

Can the Right Pickleball Improve Your Game?

Hard balls allow players who can't hit hard, likewise smashers, to hit killer shots because they move faster.

While I can't tell if a ball will improve your game, I can assure you a ball that's out of round will drop your performance.

The key to improving your game is actually hitting the ball consistently with the hopes that your opponent will make a mistake first. You don't have to sweat over speed, control, and the like. Just hit the ball!

Wrapping Up

As you must have figured out, the best pickleball balls are the ones that fit where you play, your style of play, and your budget.

If you are looking for the best outdoor pickleball balls, the Onix Pure 2 are tough, fast, and responsive balls you can trust for pickup games. The Dura Fast 40 balls will make worthy tournament-approved alternatives.

For the best pickleball ball, you can't go wrong with the Onix Fuse indoor balls.

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