Planned obsolescence on tennis balls?

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by MarinaHighTennis, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    I remember just 3/4 years ago the Penn balls from Costco, etc. would last pretty much forever. In fact, with any STANDARD tennis ball. Now they don't even last a set without going dead or losing all felt forcing me to buy the ProPenn's which kinda last a long time. Penn shouldn't be doing this to us :(
     
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  2. magnut

    magnut Hall of Fame

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    Something is deffinitly off. I dont know if they are useing a different rubber compound or what. Balls definitly go dead sooner now. I finaly got sick of it and went with a ball pressurizer. I will also probably start useing tretorn micro x in the winter. It gets a little costly when balls only last an hour.
     
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  3. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    I know its horrible :( I just bought the Wilson Advantage tennis balls from the Tennis Warehouse Happy Hour and I hope it goes well
     
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  4. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Wilsons last 9 games.
    Penn maybe 2 quick sets.
    DunlopHDHardCourts last 3 sets, then get deader.
    But, nothing like serving rocks into the right hip pocket of your opponent...
     
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  5. RogueFLIP

    RogueFLIP Semi-Pro

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    I've been using the Costco Penn balls for the longest time as well. I open a can every set so I don't notice any decrease in longevity, but what I have noticed is I'm getting more often a can in the box that hasn't been sealed correctly and even though it'll make that pffft noise when I open the top, the balls are still dead.
     
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  6. IdrinkYourMilkshake

    IdrinkYourMilkshake Rookie

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    Wilson Extra Duty US Opens and 2 beer kegs to repressurize for my ball machine. Going on 1 year with heavy use. The felt is down a bit, but it reaches a point where it doesn't wear off much anymore. The tennis balls feel as firm today as they were when they were new. Have only lost 4 out of 100 to a crack/hole in the ball.
     
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  7. ChicagoJack

    ChicagoJack Hall of Fame

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    In terms of holding pressure, Wilson US Open balls seem to last the longest in my experience, and Penn is the worst. As for the felt lasting a long time, Dunlop makes and extra duty version that is pretty tough stuff.
     
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  8. MarinaHighTennis

    MarinaHighTennis Professional

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    Can you explain how you did that with a beer keg?
     
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  9. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    New Wilson US Opens do seem to hold pressure longer than Penns. However, for re-pressurizing Penns hold pressure better.
     
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  10. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Manufacturers will do whatever they can to maximize profits, and that often means cutting product costs.

    I agree Wilson US Opens seem to hold pressure best, but they are harder than other balls. My favorite balls right now are the Pro Penn Marathons. They are soft, consistent, and last longer than ordinary championship balls.
     
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  11. SFrazeur

    SFrazeur Legend

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    I've found marathons to have very good longevity in pressure and felt. However, they seem to be significantly livelier than US Opens.
     
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  12. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    You've actually hit upon one of my secrets. If I'm playing an opponent who is prone to over hitting the ball, I'll make sure I bring a can of Pro Penn Marathons. Otherwise, I might open up a different can of balls. LOL
     
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  13. blitzmage_89

    blitzmage_89 Rookie

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    3-4 years ago Penn balls were still being manufactured in the U.S. After a while they closed down the US plant and simply sourced balls from China and Thailand. I think companies like Wilson and Penn only contract their operations to a third party and they don't exactly own the overseas factory. As a result they really can't implement the same quality assurance they were applying back in the US.
     
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  14. BLX_Andy

    BLX_Andy Professional

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    Oh thank God I'm not the only one experiencing this.
     
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  15. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    Only Pro Penns were made in Phoenix, AZ factory. All Penn tennis ball manufacturing is currently in China. The Bridgestone/Tecnifibre factory in Thailand is making excellent quality balls for a variety brands, including the Yonex Tour balls that are my current favorite.

    Nice move -- close the USA factory and charge more for Chinese Pro Penn. I will boycott these forever.
     
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  16. West Coast Ace

    West Coast Ace G.O.A.T.

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    That's not true. Companies from the US and EU have manuf facilities in Asia; many have on-site personnel to ensure company standards are met. Others, and I've met many on flights to PVG and HKG, send people on 'surprise' visits.

    @MarinaHighTennis, you're crushing them! :)

    Poly strings are probably harder on the balls too.

    I've noticed my tennis balls are getting dirtier because facilities don't wash their courts very often. But I get a decent amount of time out of them, then more in the ball machine.
     
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  17. vsbabolat

    vsbabolat Legend

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    All Penn balls were manufacture in Phoenix until 2009 when the factory was closed. Even the Pro Penn is made in China now.

    Here is a nice video of a Tour of the old Penn Factory in Phoenix form 10 years ago.
    http://www.reliableplant.com/View/7667/tour-of-penn-tennis-ball-manufacturing-plant

    Here is the a Factory Tour of the Phoenix Factory before it closed in 2008:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zv-El3tPm9Y
     
    Last edited: Jul 7, 2013
    #17
  18. Chotobaka

    Chotobaka Hall of Fame

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    True -- there was a time when all Penn balls were an All-American product. They actually began making some balls in China circa 2006-2007. The Pro Penns were the last product line produce in Phoenix. A pity.
     
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