Pickleball Indoor vs Outdoor Balls: Choosing The Right Ball

Pickleball, an exciting game that many have come to love, offers not just fun but also some neat insights into equipment. Did you know that the balls we use for playing indoors and outdoors are different? Sounds intriguing, right? In this article, we’re diving deep into the world of pickleball balls and learning about their unique characteristics.

Understanding Pickleball Balls

When you first look at a pickleball ball, it might seem like any other small, plastic ball. But hold on a minute! Depending on where you’re playing – inside a cozy gym or under the bright sun – your choice of ball can significantly affect your game. Let’s uncover the mystery behind these balls.

Indoor Pickleball Balls

  • Material: Touch an indoor pickleball ball, and you’ll notice its softness. Made from a light, smooth plastic, these balls are designed to be perfect partners for wooden or gym floors.
  • Size and Weight: A bit about their size: indoor balls aren’t too heavy. They typically weigh between 0.81 to 0.88 ounces and are about as big as a small orange. Their lightweight nature means they can zip and zoom, making each game energetic and lively.
  • Bounce Characteristics: And if you’ve ever wondered about their bounce, you’re in for a treat. These balls have a unique bounce that’s quite predictable on indoor floors. So, as you get better, you can even anticipate their movement, giving you an edge in your games!
  • Durability: While they’re champs on indoor courts, these balls might not be the best choice for the outdoors. The soft plastic, while great for indoors, might wear out more quickly on rough surfaces.

Outdoor Pickleball Balls

  • Material: Outdoors, we need tougher gear, right? That’s where outdoor pickleball balls come into play. They feel harder and are made to face the challenges of the open environment.
  • Size and Weight: While they’re almost as big as their indoor cousins, they pack a bit more weight. These balls fall in the 0.88 to 0.935 ounces range. The extra weight helps them face off against the wind, ensuring your game doesn’t get blown away!
  • Bounce Characteristics: Outdoor balls have a unique trait – they don’t bounce as much. With their hard nature, combined with outdoor terrains, they present players with a different kind of challenge. But that’s what makes the game outdoors so fascinating, right?
  • Durability: Tough grounds? No problem! Outdoor balls are made for just that. They can handle the rough and tough of asphalt or concrete courts. These balls are made to last, giving you many fun games before needing a replacement.

Key Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Pickleball Balls

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Now, let’s quickly list the differences:

  • Material: Indoor balls? Soft and smooth. Outdoor balls? Hard and tough.
  • Bounce: Indoor balls? High and predictable. Outdoor balls? Not so bouncy.
  • Weight: Indoor balls? Light as a feather. Outdoor balls? A bit more heft.
  • Life: Outdoor balls can brave the rough terrains; indoor ones? Not so much.

When it comes to enjoying pickleball, knowing these differences can truly elevate your experience.

Choosing the Right Pickleball Ball

Choosing the right pickleball ball comes down to recognizing the environment you’ll be playing in. If you’re playing indoors, where elements are controlled and the wind is non-existent, a soft and light ball will be your ally. It aligns with the subtlety of indoor play, providing a response that’s fluid and gentle.

Venture outdoors, and a hard and slightly heavy ball becomes the necessary choice. Under the influence of sun and wind, you need something steadfast. This choice brings the fortitude to handle the outdoor challenges, moving with grace and resilience. The selection of the right ball isn’t merely about the equipment; it’s about understanding the harmony between the game and the environment.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions

  • What’s the main thing differentiating indoor and outdoor pickleballs?
    One’s soft and light (indoor), the other’s hard and slightly heavy (outdoor).
  • Can you switch them up? Play indoor pickleball with outdoor balls?
    You could, but the experience changes. The bounce and feel will be different.
  • I’ve noticed indoor pickleballs have larger holes. Why?
    Those big holes let the ball fly smoothly inside without much air slowing it down.
  • Is there any difference between yellow and orange pickleballs?
    Not really, just the color. It’s like picking a red shirt over a blue one. Personal preference!
  • How many holes does an outdoor pickleball have?
    They usually have around 40 holes, but sometimes it can be different based on who makes them. Always good to check when buying!


How surprising to discover the intricacies of pickleball balls? Every ball type offers a singular taste to the game, influenced by its material and bouncy texture. For your next game, indoors or outdoors, don’t forget these tips. Not only will you enjoy an exceptional game, but also a deeper understanding of the sport’s nuances.


  • Tumay Kilinc
    Web developer, Pickleball Hobbyist

    Hey there! I'm Tümay. I love writing about pickleball. I'm a 33 year proud parent who also works as a web developer. My journey into pickleball started when I introduced it to my son as a fun activity for us to enjoy together. Little did I know that it would become a shared passion that brings our family closer. With my background in web development I utilize my skills to create an engaging online platform where fellow enthusiasts can find everything they need to enhance their pickleball experience. From comprehensive equipment reviews, to guides my goal is to offer valuable resources that will take your game up a notch.

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