Next time you’re at a tournament hanging out with a group of pickleball players from different towns, ask them with a measure of naivety which ball they think is the best. Then sit back and enjoy the fireworks! It’s the ultimate pickleball enthusiast’s conversation-starter and an excellent source of entertainment. Because perhaps no other topic evokes as much passionate debate and opinion-making; in fact, in pickleball circles it is the equivalent of naively (or these days, perhaps stupidly!) asking a group of casual acquaintances at a cocktail party if they lean Republican or a Democrat.
Recently, Pickleball Savings asked a number of the world’s top professional players which ball they prefer. And we found that they unanimously and very quickly point to one ball – the Dura Fast 40 Outdoor. The reasons they gave for choosing this ball are quite interesting and worth relating to you.
The Dura was developed by the original pickleball manufacturer, Pickle-Ball Inc., which was sold in recent years, and more recently the Dura ball was acquired by Escalade Sports which is also the current owner of Onix Pickleball. Dura is the official ball of the USAPA Nationals, the US Open, and most all of the biggest tournaments in the world. Now, in 2020, it is also the official ball of the APP Pro Tour and the PPA Pro Tour. Professional players are now demanding that they play with the same ball consistently and Dura is their choice, so at least at the pro level there is one less variable to worry about from tournament to tournament. Pro players almost always demand to play outdoors or, if indoors, on a court with an outdoor sport-court surface. They don’t like to play on wood gym floors, or rubberized, or smooth concrete – so they almost never play with an indoor ball if competing.
The Dura is a manufactured in a plastic mold. It is made with a relatively heavy wall-thickness which gives it some durability (hence the name) and a heavier weight than most other balls. The 40 holes (again, the name) are milled after the ball is molded. The holes themselves are smaller than an indoor ball and milled in two different diameters which gives the Dura its excellent aerodynamics and characteristic playability.
The snob yet? If you are then here’s one last tip – which we will call “advanced” ball snobbery. If you are in a game, and your Dura rolls onto the adjacent court, then keep an eye on it and get your same Dura ball back. Even if they are playing Dura too. Now you know why. The two balls are different.
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