Softest and brightest tournament grade balls

Discussion in 'Other Equipment' started by maxpotapov, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    For the past 2 years I mostly used Slazenger Wimbledon Ultra Vis (tin can) tennis balls, as they are softer to my arm than anything else I've tried and brighter too. Maybe it is because of Milliken cloth or wool content, I don't know. Plus I could get them cheap at the local store, $4 a 4B can.

    Is there a softer alternative? I heard Babolat Roland Garros are good too, and maybe Dunlop A-Player. Please advise...
     
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  2. JDMasFCK

    JDMasFCK Semi-Pro

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    Pro Penn and the Babolat Roland Garros are the softest for me.
     
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  3. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Here's a good review of Pro Penn in the customer feedback section:
    Too bad they are Pro Shop specialty product and not available in retail
     
    Last edited: Dec 11, 2011
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  4. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Any other suggestions on arm and eye-friendly tournament balls?
     
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  5. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    #5
  6. Readers

    Readers Semi-Pro

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    I disagree with everything on this except the fact Wilson US Open loss more felt. This include the fact I can get Pro Penn from retail store.
     
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  7. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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  8. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    Sounds good! Are they easy on the arm because of softer/thicker felt, lighter weight, better elasticity or...?
     
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  9. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    I don't quite see any high profile tournaments that endorse Penn balls, is there any?
     
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  10. Readers

    Readers Semi-Pro

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    ?

    I was referring to this:

    "Too bad they are Pro Shop specialty product and not available in retail"
     
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  11. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    No, I got it!
    I was just saying, Pro or not Pro, Penn balls are probably for recreational or practice use only
     
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  12. Rjtennis

    Rjtennis Hall of Fame

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    I dont care for how the red Pro Penn balls play. Im in a leaugue that uses them and I find them to be very slow playing balls. After about a set of play, I notice a large drop off in free points on serve and they didnt play fast to begin with.
     
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  13. gregor.b

    gregor.b Professional

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    Yeah,same down here in OzSlazenger all the way. Except they are about $12 a can. The Wilsons slow down faster but seem to be in slightly better condition after 4 or 5 sets. Much harder ball though. Nowhere near as comfortable.
     
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  14. DeShaun

    DeShaun Banned

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    Lighter weight and much greater elasticity, it seemed.
     
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  15. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    They change too much over the life of a match for my liking too.
     
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  16. Ramon

    Ramon Hall of Fame

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    Try the Penn ATP balls. They are brightest balls I've seen. They are about as soft as the Penn Championship balls and they last longer.
     
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  17. Readers

    Readers Semi-Pro

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    Oh, I totally agree with you on that, the balls just refuse to bonce even when they are new.

    Even for practice I found Wilson US Open to be the better, as it does really cost that much more, and plays much better, they aren't stiff either.

    However I don't see why you want to change if you can get ultra vis tin can for $4. I need to pay $6.5(inc tax) per can here in Canada, and that's when they are on sale.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2012
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  18. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Penn ATP is the only decent ball made by Penn.
     
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  19. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    I could get them this cheap back in Brooklyn, NY. They were also available in Pa***on Sports for $3.99 + tax, and maybe at Dick's for about the same price
    Now I'm on the other side of the Atlantic, hence I need a cheaper and more readily available alternative, like those Babolat Roland Garros:

    I really need something more lightweight and soft for my arm, even Slazenger Ultra Vis can feel a little heavy and hard, fresh out of the (tin) can, especially on a colder day. But if ball is lightweight, it will be easier on my arm no matter what.

    On a side note, maybe this is the reason for modern racquets to become more and more stiff: together with poly, it helps hitting the rocks flying at you at 80-130 mph. What tennis industry should do instead, bring down the weight and decrease the pressure of tennis balls, to bring the game of tennis back to normal and safeguard players' arms.
     
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  20. JT_2eighty

    JT_2eighty Hall of Fame

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    Does anyone have thoughts on the Dunlop A-Player ball? :

    "The Abzorber inspired core is designed to reduce shock by 15% for more comfortable hitting while the felt is 20% brighter so you can always keep your eye on the ball. With its excellent hard court performance, this extra-duty ball has quickly become a TW playtester favorite."

    And as far as penn...

    Penn ATP regular duty balls are "The Official Ball of the ATP Masters Series." per TW as well.
     
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  21. MesQueUnClub

    MesQueUnClub Rookie

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    I bought a case last year of A-Player. They were lively and nicer than Penn, and held up alright for a while and then towards the end of the second set they started dying and then it was just downhill fast.

    I moved to Babalot balls since. They are lively initially, but after warmup or the first few games, they settle down and play well for a long time. The best I have played with. They are very easy on the arm as well.
    The only isssue I have had with babalot balls are idiots complaining that they are not high altitude balls, when they don't even know the difference between the 2, without looking at the writing on the packaging.
     
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  22. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    I wonder why they are lively at first, maybe felt is not too fuzzy or what?..
    Also, about those high altitude balls, I wonder how they play in normal conditions, at sea level. Softer, slower than regular balls? Might be good choice for learning/training purposes...
     
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  23. j00dypoo

    j00dypoo Rookie

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    Interesting views in this thread.

    I'm quite the opposite with Penn and Wilson. The Pro Penn+ balls are the best I've ever used. They are lively and stay that way for longer than any other ball. The US Open Wilson's that I've played with are generally terrible. Maybe it's the humid climate I'm in? The Wilson's fluff up like crazy and play extremely slow and low bouncing after a few games.
     
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  24. TaihtDuhShaat

    TaihtDuhShaat Semi-Pro

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    I love the Dunlop A-Players. They are extremely bright, lively, softer than the grand prix, a bit lighter feeling, and they dont fluff up- they get balder as they age so they still spin. They hold pressure well too; a very true hitting ball.
     
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  25. MesQueUnClub

    MesQueUnClub Rookie

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    I haven't hit with the high altitude balls at sea level, but I know they feel like hitting with rocks during winter and takes a toll on the shoulder.
     
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  26. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    How long ago did you play with the US Opens? I ask because when I used these balls a few years ago at a local tournament, they played exactly as you described.

    It had been a few years since I used them and a few months ago I started playing with the regular duty balls on clay. These are excellent balls. So I recently bought a few cans of the extra duty balls for hard courts. These still fluff up but not nearly as much and they retain their bounce still. I think they must have changed something in their manufacturing process.
     
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  27. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    I see, it makes sense: if they are 6% bigger in diameter, they must feel heavier on the racquet unless their mass is reduced proportionally (which is obviously not the case). Therefore, lower pressure with larger diameter does not really help in terms of arm-friendliness.
     
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  28. maxpotapov

    maxpotapov Hall of Fame

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    I'm confused, now you are talking about Pro Penns?
     
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  29. Thud and blunder

    Thud and blunder Semi-Pro

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    Mantis Tour - lively, soft, durable; my new favourite ball.
     
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  30. j00dypoo

    j00dypoo Rookie

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    I must have used them a couple years ago. I'll have to give them another try based off your experience.

    He was talking about the Wilson US Opens in response to my reply.
     
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  31. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    A few months ago, my normal Prince regular duty balls were starting to have bad batches. I played a set of dubs with the US Open regular duty balls and was pleasantly surprised that they did not fluff up like the extra duty I was accustomed to. So I've been playing with that ball on clay ever since.

    Decided to take a chance on 1 can of the hard court balls last month. They do fuzz up more than the regular duty but not so much that it inhibits spin. The bounce also stays fairly consistent. It's probably worth another try. The old versions of those balls were just terrible for my heavy spin game.
     
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  32. j00dypoo

    j00dypoo Rookie

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    Sounds good. I also hit a heavy ball with lots of spin and I play exclusively on hard courts, so I need the extra duty balls. I really like the Prince Tour hard court balls. They are my current go to and they are only $2.50 at my local shop. Wilson US cost substantially more.
     
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  33. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    My only problem with the Prince Tour extra duty balls is that I had several cans where something broke off inside the ball and it made a rattle. The bounces were great but the rattle was annoying. Never had that problem with Prince regular duty balls.
     
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  34. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    This winter the Prince Tour regular duty balls covers were a mess playing on a HC. Never happened in the past.
     
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  35. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    They are having QC issues with the regular duty balls. There used to be quite a few of us that were springing for cases of Prince balls every few months. I think there is only 1 guy left who buys them anymore.
     
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  36. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks for the tip. The club that only uses these balls just bought another 20 cases, good luck. Still have the best bounce in town, just need a shaver after the 1st set.
     
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  37. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Yeah, the regular duty fuzz up a lot more now. It's almost like they switched formulas with the US Open balls.
     
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  38. Magnetite

    Magnetite Professional

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    I personally like the Pro Penn or Penn ATP balls the best. Also, the Dunlop Grand Prix balls are nice.

    I find Wilson US Open balls to 'afro out' too quickly, and they become slow and lose their bounce after a few games. I find they slow the game down a lot.
     
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  39. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    They used to do this a few years ago, but lately I have not had that problem with them. In other news, I saw Wal Mart is now carrying Prince Championship Extra Duty balls.
     
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  40. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Prince Championship balls are not nearly as good as the Tour balls. Covers are not as bright or last as long. Loses pressure fast just like any other ball.
     
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  41. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Never tried 'em. Was just surprised Prince muscled their way into Wal Mart. Half the balls I bought there in the past were completely dead out of the can. You are better off buying from TW.
     
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  42. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    No problems with Penn regular duty balls. Tried the Prince balls, forgetaboutthem. Wilson Championship regular duty balls are far better and under $2.
     
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  43. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    I shall take your word for it. Life is too short for cheap tennis balls. :)
     
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  44. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Old guys with tender elbows will actually bag any ball but the regular duty Penns, red lettering. XtraDutyPenns are the worst.
     
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  45. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Luckily I'm not old.
     
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  46. oldcity

    oldcity Rookie

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    i never thought much about balls. usually use the cheapo rd penn champ balls and nobody pays any attention to which ones we use. our club sells the prince balls and they are always trashed after a set. I just recently tried a can of penn ATP balls and everyone commented on them positively, which was a surprise to hear anything. held up nicely even after several sets.
     
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  47. Ronaldo

    Ronaldo G.O.A.T.

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    Penn ATP balls are great and never get lost with any other ball, especially when you are on centre court.
     
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  48. ArliHawk

    ArliHawk Hall of Fame

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    I just tried a can of Babolat Roland Garros all court balls and am really liking them. Think I might have to order a case of these. Seemed to maintain bounce a little better than the Wilson US Open, which I also like.
     
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  49. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Regular or extra duty? My local store sells both those as their premium balls.
     
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  50. ArliHawk

    ArliHawk Hall of Fame

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    They just say all court on them, so I assume regular duty?

    Played about 3 hours with them on a hardcourt and they didn't fluff nearly as much as my Wilson US Opens.
     
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