Pressureless tennis balls are a type of tennis ball that are designed to maintain their bounce and performance for a longer period of time than regular tennis balls. Unlike normal balls, which have a hollow core filled with air, a pressureless tennis ball is made of solid rubber with a durable, felt cover.
Choosing the right tennis ball is important for players of all levels. Experienced players make informed choices, while beginners often don’t understand the significance of selecting the proper ball for play, practice and learning. Even seemingly minor factors, such as the bounce of the ball on the tennis court, can have a significant impact on the overall game.
Every player should find high-quality, durable balls suited to their playing style. There are two main types of balls in tennis – pressureless and pressurized. Pressurized are more common and required for match play, but both can be good options if you understand their differences and pick the type that suits your game
What are pressureless tennis balls?
As their name suggests, this tennis ball is not pressurized with a mixture of air and nitrogen, as is the case with a pressurized tennis ball.
Due to the way they are made, they deliver good rebound and energy return without relying on internal pressure. A huge benefit is that they last longer than pressurized balls because they have thicker rubber and a heavier outer felt that is very durable.
Due to their non-pressurized nature, they are packaged differently, so you won’t see them packed in plastic tubes as usual. As an alternative, buckets or plastic and mesh bags are often used. The exception is the balls produced by Wilson, who pack them in cardboard tubes. Certain manufacturers pack them in plastic tubes without pressure.
Two and a half decades ago, Tretorn Micro began manufacturing new tennis balls using microcell technology with a very durable felt and thick rubber wall. Then several million tiny plastic cells were added over time that filled the center of the ball.
Balls without pressure were therefore created, but not as we know them today, because they were in between today’s pressureless and pressurized tennis balls.
Ideal for ball machines
Suitable for all types of tennis courts, be they hard, grass, or clay, they are especially good for indoor courts.
Just as there is a difference in how they are made between pressureless and pressurized balls, the feeling is not the same with all pressureless balls due to the difference in the rubber compound.
The most durable tennis balls of the best quality can be used for training when a tennis ball machine is used during practice. The use of these ball machines is great for training, so pressureless balls are a great option for guys and girls who are just starting to play tennis because of the mentioned performances they have.
A tennis ball machine shoot balls through rotating wheels, which exert enormous force and pressure. So, pressureless balls are excellent for this as they are made of very durable felt that will reduce wear and tear on the balls and extend their shelf life.
Tennis ball machines can be used at any time, without the need for a partner or coach, which makes them an ideal option for players who want to practice on their own schedule. As the bounce is more uniform over a longer time, they make practicing that new forehand a bit easier!
Where Can You Buy Them?
Pressureless tennis balls can be purchased through most major sports equipment retailers. You may also be able to find them at some local sporting goods stores or online retailers, but they can be more difficult to track down than a regular tennis ball.
Another great place to buy them is online. You can purchase a set in the same style as standard tennis balls, such as 3-star or professional balls, and they will come in an easy to carry mesh bag.
One well known brand who excel at this type of ball is Penn – these should be quite easy to find online.
Pressureless vs Pressurized tennis balls
Pressurized tennis balls are preferred in competitive matches and are the tennis professionals’ choice.
As their name suggests, they are manufactured by the injection of air and nitrogen during production. After production, factories store them in plastic tubes with a pressure of 14 PSI to maintain their internal pressure until use.
This type of standard ball is preferred because it provides the bounce that most players look for when playing competitive matches. Pressurized tennis balls are much lighter and therefore easy to place spin on.
Due to their weight, they also generate speed, so they move faster in the air.
Due to optimal performance, which includes ideal bounce and feel and better rotation, they are definitely superior to pressureless balls when it comes to professional players.
But everything is a matter of taste, so you should still choose balls according to your style, and not because of something you might see on TV during a tournament.
The problem with the standard ball is that their lifespan is much shorter. When a container of balls is opened, their internal pressure starts to reduce and the bounce of the ball also becomes more uneven after a while.
Even if you do not open the can of balls, the pressure will release after some time, which means that these balls have a relatively short shelf life. And when you buy many balls, this can be a decisive factor to save money.
Pressureless balls: Advantages and Disadvantages
Pressureless balls are often a very underrated type of ball, and they have an enviable number of advantages, but of course there are also disadvantages.
However, their advantages outweigh their disadvantages. Pressurized balls are usually favored, but here’s why you could make a good choice and put pressureless balls into your game.
The best reason why you should use pressureless balls is their life span, which is much longer compared to standard balls.
At matches, we can see that pressurized balls are changed after seven or nine games. A can of standard tennis balls at the highest level can last a maximum of a month, although a noticeable drop in quality can be seen after one or two weeks.
- Pressureless balls can last up to a year. This will save you significant money
- They are stored differently, so you will act more responsibly towards the environment with a lack of plastic.
- They are great when you use them with tennis ball machines.
- Plus, when they do start to wear out, they can be used for playing with your dog.
As for the disadvantages of these balls, they are not very elastic, especially when it comes to new balls. Much better performance is reached after a few hours of play because then they soften and have a better bounce. The balls are a little heavier, so their speed is lower.
More effort will be required for the desired topspin. They can also be an issue for players who suffer from conditions such as tennis elbow.
Now you know all about pressureless balls, and you have seen that they have certain advantages as well as some disadvantages.
They can be a great choice for you or for your child, who with hard work and effort could one day become a tennis champion like Rafa or Iga.
On the other hand, if you don’t like the way that they fly through the air or feel when you hit them with your racket, then standard tennis balls are the better choice for you.