If you would have asked me what are the best pickleball balls 2 years ago I would have looked at you with an odd expression. At that time there was really 1 ball that everyone used and even though it wasn’t very good we lived with it.
Fast forward to today, we now have choices. There are about 5 types of pickleballs out there now and 3 ones that are used most frequently. Today, I’m going to reveal my pick as the best pickleball ball after extensive testing and use of all 5 types.
What Makes A Good Pickleball?
I’m glad you asked. Before I get to my picks I want to talk about what makes a good pickleball. I’ve broken it down into 3 essential criteria that a pickleball must have to be good. In order of importance they are…
In my best pickleball paddles article I talk a lot about how consistency in a paddle is the most important trait. Well, here we are again. Consistency in a pickleball is by FAR the most important feature. A good pickleball should always react the same given how hard it has been hit. No matter the age of the ball. If it’s hit at a certain speed it should ALWAYS react the same. Consistancy is so important in a pickleball because it has the largest effect on the game. There is one ball in particular that i’ll talk about later in this article that changes very much based on how many times the ball has been used in games. This is a really bad thing. A great pickleball has great consistency.
Touch is a very broad word that encompasses a few things. When I say touch I’m talking about about things like the feel of the ball, how hard or easy it is to spin and how well you can control the ball. There are certain balls out there that may start out with good touch and degrade over time, or start out with poor touch and get better as the ball textures. These are all qualities we noted when looking at the best pickleball balls. While touch can be subjective, we want a solid pickleball that always feels under our control.
Let’s face it, pickleballs aren’t exactly cheap. At around $2-3 per ball we want them to last. Now pickleball isn’t the most expensive sport in the world but balls can add up. What’s even more important is that there are a few balls that start out with good consistency and touch but as the durability of the ball degrades with play the consistency changes and so does the touch. This makes durability also important when it comes to finding the best pickleball balls.
The Best Pickleball Ball (My #1 Top Pick)
I’ll get right to it. The Onix Pure 2 is our choice for the best pickleball ball hands down. I’ll make this really easy for you, don’t ever buy any other type of ball. This one is the winner hands down.
Even though the Onix Pure 2 is a relative new comer to the scene, no other ball we tested even came close to rating as high as this one did in ANY of our tests. Let’s talk about why…
It’s really quite simple…The Onix Pure 2 is the most consistent, has the best touch and is the most durable out of any pickleball I’ve ever used. It’s the top in each of my 3 essential criteria.
As far as consistency goes, the Pure 2 feels the same right out of the box as it does after 200 games. The coating feels slightly rubberized and just has an amazing feel after you get used to it. Dinks are easy and effortless. Lobs and long shots are precise and repeatable.
The touch is amazing. I found the Pure 2 the easiest to spin out of all the balls we tested. Perhaps the slightly rubberized feel is to thank for this, but for whatever reason the Pure 2 plays amazingly well.
Durability. What can I say…This is the most durable ball I’ve ever used. Even after hundreds of games this ball lives on and amazingly still plays the same! I’ve never found another pickleball that can do this. As you’ll see in my next section the Dura Fast we tested plays completely different if you are on game 50 vs game 1.
Onix Pure 2 Pickball:
The Dura Fast 40 (An Old Friend Now Retired)
If you’ve been playing pickleball for a few years you’ll no doubt recognize the Dura Fast 40. It’s the ball we all learned the play on and is still played a lot depending on where you’re playing.
It’s been the top dog until the Pure 2 came along. But it’s time to give this legendary ball a rest.
Plagued with premature cracks, insane inconsistency depending on the age of the ball and just an overall not-so-great feel compared to the Pure 2, the Dura Fast has seen its day.
I feel bad trash talking my old buddy, but it really can’t compare with the Pure 2 in any way. It’s just a far, far inferior pickleball.
I’ve broken so many Dura Fast 40’s over the years I’ve lost count. Plagued with crack after crack, even on new balls I can’t recommend this ball anymore. On top of that, as the ball wears down due to play it becomes much lighter, losses the ability to spin and plays completely different than a newer ball. Bad, bad, bad.
Dura Fast 40 Pickleball:
TOP Pickleballs (Good, But Falls Short)
TOP (The Outdoor Pickleball) is one of the lesser used balls these days. I thought it only fair to include this ball as it is USAPA approved, so you may see it at some tournaments or clubs.
I’ve used TOP’s quite extensively as they were they ball my home club switched too after our Dura Fast’s kept cracking.
All in all, the TOP is a decent ball with above average durability. The touch is average and so is the consistency. I will say it beats out the Dura Fast 40 in durability but falls short in touch a bit.
The problem with the TOP pickleball is that it feels all over the place. The reason why it’s actually my 3rd choice. The TOP is made with a harder plastic that comes off the paddle awkwardly and to me this makes it the worst pickleball on my list.
Durability is better than the Dura Fast 40 but still falls short of the Onix Pure 2.
There really is no good reason to buy this ball. Buy the Onix Pure 2, trust me.
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