Different Types of Tennis Ball
When you start learning to play tennis, it is probably that you will begin with one of three balls: a regulation ball, a shuttlecock, or a cushion ball. First and foremost, there are basically three Classes of Tennis Balls: Regular, Premier, and Practice. All of these serve their own purpose, and no matter how good you become, do not purchase solely on price tag. Each class has its own unique qualities that set it apart from the rest. For example, a regular ball is made with a soft rubber material that allows for great spin, distance, and bounce. A premier ball is often made of a hard rubber material, which offers more spin as well as better distance.
Two types of tennis balls can be used for both regulation and practice play; a high-pressure (HP) ball, which is used primarily for training and for regulation;, and a low-pressure (LH) ball, which is used at tournaments and for practice. The difference between these two types of balls is that a high-pressure ball is designed for high-performance play, while a low-pressure ball is designed for lower-play situations. Of course, regulation and practice balls all utilize the same materials; the only real differentiating factor is the type of surface they are used on: a regulation ball is made to grip a flat surface, while a practice or tournament ball is intended to grip a clay court or other high-grip surface. Another factor that separates the three balls is the pressure that is applied to them. A regulation ball experiences less pressure than a high-pressure ball, so it is easier to manage, especially in portable situations.
Here’s a quick and easy look at each of the Five types of balls:
Most players will agree that the most common tennis balls in use today are made from polycarbonate. They’re the balls you’ll find on most outdoor and indoor courts, and they’re also the ones you’ll find in most of the budget-oriented products as well. Polycarbonate is a durable, lightweight material that offers excellent resistance to abrasion and impact, but it is not particularly flexible or elastic. Because of this, regular-duty balls tend to be a bit slower than full-duty balls on most surfaces. For this reason, they are often used in practice sessions, where the pace can be kept to a reasonable level and the players can work on their technique and skills without too much worry about doing damage to the court.
Air-charged tennis balls are also known as “dollars,” and they are typically used on clay courts. They feature a non-compressible rubber core that provides a firm and consistent bounce. Although bounce is lessened in these balls, the surface is not generally soft, so they are not the best choice for high-bounce bounce areas, such as the green. Nonetheless, many top players use them anyway, since they provide a reliable service. Other pros prefer the low bounce of air-charged balls, which results in minimal spin.
Two types of clay-court play require differently shaped clay balls. Regulars are dome-shaped and have a pro-ball lip, which helps keep the ball in place when it makes contact with the court. The other type of clay court is the soft variety, which has a D-line or “Dillon square” molded into its center. While regular balls are more consistent, the D-lined variety tends to give the feel of less-than-perfect ping pong balls.
When compared to normal tennis balls, Cushioned balls feature air pockets between the rubber ring and the sponge. This helps to cushion the ball’s strike when it makes contact with the court. This is because when the air pockets are present, kinetic energy is transferred to the ball instead of being absorbed by the sponge. A major advantage of using cushioned balls is that they do not bounce too much, compared to other types of tennis balls. On the other hand, they can still give the bounce that professional players demand.
If you want your racket to last long and do not mind paying a bit extra for quality, then go for extra duty tennis balls. These serve as good practice aides but are not actually sold in large quantities. Usually, when you buy an extra duty ball, it comes with two balls – a standard and a putter ball. The manufacturer of these putter balls also sells extra-duty versions of their own line of products, so you may have a lot of choice when it comes to brands.