While most people are aware of the popping sound that a tennis ball can make when you first open it, due to the pressure inside of the can, many people think that these are the only kinds of tennis balls there are. In fact, there are two main types of tennis balls: pressurized and non-pressurized. If you’re curious about the differences between the two, keep reading.
Why Are Tennis Ball Cans Pressurized?
There are three main reasons why some tennis balls are pressurized, including:
- Better bounce
- Better spin
- More speed
That being said, you’ll also need a lot of these balls because pressurized tennis balls generally don’t stay that way for long. Usually within two to four weeks of playing time, these tennis balls lose their bounce and their speed. This is one of the reasons you should keep more pressurized balls on hand at all times.
Tennis balls such as these have pressurized gas inside of them and it doesn’t take that long for that gas to leak out, which is what causes the balls to go flat and dead. One more thing to keep in mind is these pressurized tennis balls are pressurized and so is the can they come in; in fact, the inside of the can is usually pressurized up to 14 pounds per square inch (PSI), which is why it pops when you first open it.
What Are Pressure-Less Tennis Balls?
Pressurized and pressure-less tennis balls are different in many ways. There is a soft felt-like cover on tennis balls, and as this cover wears away, pressure-less tennis balls actually become more bouncy. That being said, they tend to become worse in the area of spin, so you’ll have to decide which is more important to you – the spin or the bounce.
Pressure-less tennis balls are heavier and sometimes cause more injuries over time, but this doesn’t mean that they aren’t good balls for practice. In fact, if you’re curious about pressurized versus pressure-less tennis balls, most experts make these recommendations:
- If you’re playing in a tournament or practicing with a partner, pressurized tennis balls work best.
- If you’re practicing with a tennis ball machine or a wall, you can go ahead and use the pressure-less tennis balls.
This brings us to the next topic: how can you stop pressurized tennis balls from losing their bounce as you play with them? Interestingly, you can purchase a tube that allows you to insert the balls into the tube and then use a standard bicycle pump to increase the pressure inside of the tube, thereby increasing the pressure in the balls themselves. Some of them even allow you to increase the pressure up to 14 PSI or even more so they come out of the tube filled with a lot of bounce and speed. This is one of the best ways to keep your tennis balls bouncier for a lot longer, enabling you to practice with them as long as you need to.
Pressurized or Pressure-Less Tennis Balls: Which Ones to Choose
With all of the pros and cons mentioned about these two types of balls, you might be wondering which type will work best for you. Below are a few tips to help you decide.
- Beginners should choose pressure-less balls because they stay in play longer.
- You can tell which type of ball it is by looking at it: pressurized balls are fuzzy and pressure-less balls are smooth.
- Pressure-less balls gain bounce over time; pressurized balls lose bounce over time.
- Pressure-less balls are heavier and take longer to learn to hit them correctly until you get used to them.
Once you keep these things in mind, it’ll be easier to choose the right ball in the end.