Guide: choosing your tennis balls

You should choose your ball based on several criteria.

The first criterion to consider is your skill level:
• Are you an occasional or beginner player?
• Are you a regular or intensive player?

Guide: choosing your tennis ball

If you're a beginner... 

There's nothing quite like a slow ball that won't surprise you each time it bounces, either by being too fast, bouncing too high or spinning off unexpectedly. You also want a ball that you can't put much spin onto.

And don't overlook comfort… The ball should be pleasant to hit.

The best balls for you are pressureless balls with a soft core, as they're comfortable to hit. You may even want to use foam balls when learning a new skill, mini tennis balls designed for kids, or even "intermediate" balls for adults. These balls are easy to recognise as they're often made from a mix of yellow felt and another colour.

They're pressureless and made from thick rubber to make them last longer.

To sum up, as a beginner, soft, pressureless balls are best.  

Guide: choosing your tennis ball

If you're a regular or intensive player...

Another thing to think about is how you'll use your ball. Training or competitions?

Training balls are generally designed to be thwacked repeatedly for hours on end. They need to suffer as little wear as possible, no matter how long they're played with.

So which do you think are the most durable types of ball?

The answer is pressureless balls with a hard core. To make them so long-lasting, they're made from very thick rubber and relatively thin felt that won't fray.

You often spot them in coaches' ball baskets as they're a cheap option. But did you also know that they're used in Nordic countries and at altitude because of their ability to withstand the cold and changes in atmospheric pressure?

Our advice is don't hesitate to buy these balls for the odd training session, but don't overdo it.


If you're looking for a more comfortable ball for your training sessions and matches, you clearly need a pressurised ball.

This type of ball has air injected inside it. These balls are comfortable to hit and bouncy thanks to their soft rubber. They often have fairly thick felt that enables you to put a lot of spin on them. If you don't just play flat balls, they're likely to take your opponents by surprise.

On a hard, smooth surface, their speed can be surprising. On a more porous surface, they'll pick up a lot of spin but will wear out faster. On clay, they'll be slower (soft ball and soft surface), will pick up spin, but will absorb moisture and become heavy as they swell.

While certainly more expensive and less durable, pressurised balls are still by far the most pleasant for regular and intensive players.

Our advice is to remember to open your tube 5 to 15 minutes before playing to give the balls time to soften up.


See you on the court. Nicolas Escudé, Artengo Product Manager, former ATP no 17

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