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A Guide to Buying the Best Balls for Pickleball

by Jason Flamm on

In many ways, pickleball balls are very much the same. They typically:

  • Are light green or yellow
  • Have a diameter of 2.87 inches (73mm)
  • Weigh between .78 and .935 ounces (22 to 26.5 grams)
  • Oh, and they all have between 26 and 40 holes

It sounds simple enough. Yet, if you search for pickleball balls, you'll see more than a dozen brands offering multiple options.

What Ball Do You Use for Pickleball?
One of the fundamental aspects of enjoying a game of pickleball is choosing the right equipment, including the pickleball itself. Let’s start by answering on of the most common questions: what ball do you use for pickleball?

Whether you're new to the game or just wondering which pickleball balls you should invest in, we can help.

Note: The Dink has you covered when it comes to pickleball balls. Sign up today for your Pickleball Box and receive new balls every three months as part of your subscription!

Does the pickleball ball even matter?

Yes. The ball you choose matters very much. They can determine shot speed, bounce height, and how much money is coming out of your bank account each month.

When considering which ball is right for you, here's what you want to look for:

  • Bounce consistency (aka how it plays)
  • Durability
  • Cost
  • What ball is preferred by those around you

How it plays

How a ball plays is determined by its firmness and the material used to manufacture it. Often, you'll hear players say that a ball plays fast or slow. Some balls also bounce more consistently than others.

Have you met CHUCK yet?
Another new release in 2024 is the brand-new CHUCK pickleball from GAMMA. CHUCK is an outdoor ball with 38 holes compared to the traditional 40.


Durability in a pickleball ball refers to how long a ball will be playable. Balls crack, fall "out of round" (meaning they are no longer a perfect circle), and can even melt (in extreme heat). Some materials lose durability quicker than others.

Durability is also determined by how hard the ball is hit and the surfaces (paddle and court) on which it's played. All balls are made from plastic, and eventually, all become unplayable.


The cost of each ball can range from just a dollar up to several dollars. But, when you consider that some balls will only last a few matches, the cost of balls for a pickleball player can add up very quickly.

Looking to get your hands on some new pickleball balls? Visit Fromuth Pickleball today and use the promo code 10DINK to receive 10 percent off your next purchase!

What others are using

Perhaps the most important factor on this list is determining which ball the other players around you already use. Typically, whether you play in recreational play or leagues and tournaments, there are one or two balls of choice you'll want to invest in.

A note on color

Most brands offer a variety of colors, but the most common choice is light/neon green or light yellow. These balls are often the standard color among pickleball players and leagues because they contrast well with player's clothing and backgrounds. You can choose another color but expect a few odd looks thrown your way if you do.

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We asked our readers, “How often do you purchase a new paddle?” And, quite frankly, we were shocked by the results. Read how often you should change your pickleball paddle.

How to choose a pickleball ball for indoor play

The playing surface can help determine which ball is best for indoor play. Indoors, you don't have to worry about weather conditions, water, debris, or cracks in the court's surface.

But you do have to consider whether you're playing on a basketball court, concrete, or a rubber surface like Laykold (used by many Life Time Fitness locations). The ball will bounce higher on concrete or wood but can also skid across more easily. On a rubber surface, the ball doesn't bounce as well.

How to choose a pickleball ball for outdoor play

If you play outside regularly, you'll want a durable ball that can withstand a beating. Harder plastic is often better to prevent wear and tear and keep the ball from losing viscosity due to the weather and constant friction.

Before 2024, professional pickleball tours (the APP and PPA) used either ONIX Dura Fast 40 or Franklin X-40 exclusively for all their tournaments. Because of this, these were also the balls of choice for most amateur tournaments.

Since these are still the most popular balls, let's take a closer look at each.

Franklin Sports’ X-40 Now the Official Ball of the APP Tour
The APP Tour announced a major extension of its partnership with Franklin Sports. The Franklin X-40 ball will become the official and exclusive ball of the APP Tour and APP Next Gen Series, starting in 2024 and beyond.


Known as "Duras," the ONIX Dura Fast 40 (click here to purchase) is considered by many to be the most durable and fastest-playing ball on the market. Duras are often light yellow and affordable. During sales, you can find duras for about $1 each when buying in bulk.

If someone has played for over 3-4 years, they often prefer Duras. The most common problem with duras is cracking – though they are still usable if needed.


"Franklins" or the Franklin X-40 (click here to purchase) tend to play a little slower than Duras but are also considered very durable and consistent in their bounce and shape. Most pickleball tournaments these days use Franklins. They are typically light/neon green and affordable.

Dura lovers often hate Franklins and vice versa.

The New Ball in Town - Vega 40 Review
The Vega 40 comes in the high-visibility neon green color. They are built using the single-piece rotational molding technique. The 40 holes are machine-drilled into the ball for consistent performance from every ball.

Newer pickleball ball brands

In early 2024, The APP and PPA both signed deals to use new brands of balls. The PPA Tour signed a deal with Vulcan to use the Vulcan VPRO Flight, while the APP Tour signed an exclusive deal with OWL (though, as of mid-April, they are still using Franklin X-40s).

Selkirk and JOOLA (pronounced YOLA) are well-known brands for manufacturing pickleball paddles, but they have also released pickleball balls over the last year.

Vulcan VPRO Flight

The VPRO Flight has received mixed reviews; however, most have been negative. Early reports from pros claim that the Vulcan ball falls out of round quickly, causing inconsistent bounces.

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Vulcan blamed this on manufacturing issues, and the complaints seem to have subsided a bit since its initial release.

The Vulcan ball seems to play slower in hand battles and fly higher on drops. A higher price tag and limited availability means it's rare to find Vulcans being used in recreational play so far in 2024.


The OWL ball has yet to make its debut in 2024, though the brand is known for innovating pickleball equipment that plays quieter than regular pickleball equipment.

Selkirk Pro S1

Selkirk made bold claims for its Pro S1 ball (click here to purchase) by offering an industry-first, one-year, no-crack warranty. Their 38-hole pattern differs from most outdoor balls, which typically have 40 holes.

A Bold Claim for the Selkirk Pro S1 Pickleball
The pickleball world has been hurting for a more advanced ball. The Selkirk Pro S1 could be it.

The Pro S1 feels very durable out of the box and seems to be made of higher quality material than other balls.

Pro S1s last long and play similarly to Duras but have a higher price tag. However, the extra cost might be worth it, considering you can send them back if they crack.

JOOLA Primo Pickleballs

JOOLA Primo pickleball balls are rare to find in the wild. They play similar to Duras but cost around $3 a ball.

Which ball is right for you

As of April 2024, the most common ball found in recreational and tournament play is the Franklin X-40, followed by Duras, then everyone else.

PCKL Elite 40 Ball Review: Finally, A Truly Durable Pickleball
PCKL’s Elite 40 pickleball has some major advantages over other outdoor balls.

Ultimately, we suggest finding out what ball people around you use regularly and then buying those balls in bulk.

Because, if you're anything like us, you're already addicted to pickleball, and you're going to need a bunch of them.


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Jason Flamm

Jason Flamm

Jason is a writer from St. Louis. He’s been a coach in several sports and is currently working on his pickleball coaching certification. He loves to teach and share his passions.

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