NOT ALL PICKLEBALLS are created equal—so before your next match, consider trying out a specialized, precision-cut version that can help you rack up more points. Though most balls look the same, some are engineered with tech advances to withstand hours of the most intense activity—they’re precisely weighted, sized, and drilled to better suit indoor or outdoor courts, to maintain their bounce and durability, and/or to improve playability in certain climates.
Finding the right ball for you comes down to understanding which features meet your skill level and location. With the help of IPTPA-certified instructor Eric Ho, we’ve highlighted the standout components of six winners to ensure many great days of play.
1. COMPETE LIKE A CHAMP
Onix Dura Fast 40 Ball
Known as “Dura,” this ball was developed for outdoor, warm-weather matches and is the official ball of the PPA Tour, APP Tour, and Pickleball Canada tournaments. The design with 20 smaller holes and 20 larger holes—makes the Dura a fast-moving ball with an aerodynamic performance. Ho suggests this model for advanced players “who are more competitive, are training for tournaments, or want to prepare for the speed of the ball.” $13 for four-pack; onixpickleball.com
2. BUILT TO LAST
Core Impact Ball
Engineered to resist chilly temps, Impact balls (which come in multiple colors) reduce the effects of wind and inclement weather on shots. “For people playing in colder temperatures, many are considering Core pickleballs as they seem to last a bit longer than most,” says Ho. And the reinforced polyurethane exterior keeps them from losing their shape or splitting on the frostiest days. $17 for six-pack; corepickleballusa.com
3. SLOW AND STEADY
Franklin Sports X-26 Indoor Ball
Designed for indoor matches, the X-26 is made with premium EVA material and has 26 beveled holes positioned to help deliver a superb flight pattern and unwavering balance. “The goal of indoor balls like the X-26 is to create a bounce that is similar to an outdoor ball’s,” says Ho. “Also, because indoor surfaces can vary widely, from gym floors to concrete to even low pile carpet, using an outdoor ball could create unpredictable bounces and skidding.” $12 for three-pack.
4. YOUR GYM GO-TO
Onix Fuse Indoor Ball
Ideal for indoor tournaments, the Fuse has strategically aligned, precision-drilled holes that give it superior balance and true flight. The ball’s larger hole pattern ensures a consistent bounce off concrete and gymnasium floors, so players have more control game after game. And the seam welding down the middle of the ball offers greater durability, no matter how hard you hit it. $9 for three-pack; onixpickleball.com
5. THE BIG BOUNCE
Wilson Tru 32 Pro Ball
Featuring a patented 32-hole design with even distribution, this ball delivers excellent flight and bounce consistency. The Tru 32 Pro “has a higher bounce than a typical outdoor ball and harder, faster plastic than an indoor ball,” Ho says. Ultimately, the amplified bounce and durability “create more offensive opportunities for players, making for an exciting game.” $7.50 for two-pack; wilson.com
6. FIT FOR A PRO
Franklin Sports X-40 Outdoor Ball
As the official ball of USA Pickleball and the US Open Pickleball Championships, the X-40 has been consistent at the highest level of outdoor play, with 40 machine-drilled holes for a balanced flight pattern and tight, reliable spin. “It’s one of the two most popular outdoor balls in tournament play,” Ho says. “Some pros prefer the Franklin because the characteristics of the ball lead to longer, more exciting rallies.” $12 for three-pack.