Tennis balls?

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by lendledbergfan, Nov 4, 2010.

  1. lendledbergfan

    lendledbergfan Rookie

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    I am a recreational tennis player, I usually play only on open courts with my friends. I'm pretty good, though (for a recreational player ie) and a person who has actually played at the USTA level told that I might be around 3.0 level.

    I wanted to know which types of tennis balls should I use (I play on cemented hard courts). Right now we use Wilson Titanium balls which are readily available at Big-5 stores but they are only available in a can of 3. We are looking to buy balls in bulk, so any suggestions will be welcome. I live in the bay-area in California, where the temperature is usually hot and sunny and gets mildly cold during the night.

    We want balls that can be used for sometime -- like seven to eight sets, plus they should not be that light-weight too.

    Suggestions?
     
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  2. polski

    polski Semi-Pro

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    My experience is that the ball needed in a certain region varies drastically.

    I live in Metro-Charlotte and I have found that Dunlop's hold pressure the best. My second option is Wilson US Opens which is what our club sells primarily. I order Dunlop on line, but buy the US Open's when I am out and need a can for a match at the club.

    I have had bad experience with Penn & Gamma brands. As I stated, this can vary by region but these lost pressure quite quickly around here.
     
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  3. OrangePower

    OrangePower Hall of Fame

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    If you're playing on public hard courts, chances are no ball is going to last that well - they will pick up a lot of dust.

    I think your best bet is to buy the regular Wilson or Penn balls that you can get at Walmart or Costco. Should be able to find them for $2 or less per can. At your level, the deterioration is going to come mostly from the court and not from you whacking the ball that hard, so anything else will probably not give you value for money.
     
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  4. esgee48

    esgee48 Hall of Fame

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    Costco sells by the carton (16 tubesx3), PENN EXTRA DUTY. Best price in the Bay Area unless you happen to run across a sale at another big box sports retailer.
     
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  5. nguyen320

    nguyen320 Rookie

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    for me.. balls are balls it doesnt matter.. if they bounce then I play with em
     
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  6. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    For hard courts, I prefer extra duty balls from any of the major ball makers (Penn (ATP, Championship), Gamma, Wilson (US Open), Dunlop). Any of these balls will work for the average recreational player.

    I like Penn - especially the Penn ATP balls - and don't like Gamma - too hard IMHO, but use your own judgement in terms of what you prefer.

    I usually just buy a case from Costco since they are really cheap and that way you have enough to use for matches and also add new balls to my 75-ball hooper.

    I use new balls for matches, but if they balls aren't too bad after we are done with them, I usually throw them in my hopper, or just dump a bunch of new balls into the hopper once all those balls get too flat.
     
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  7. darrinbaker00

    darrinbaker00 Professional

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    I fully admit to being a snob when it comes to tennis balls. When I can help it, only Penn ATPs or Wilson US Opens touch my strings. Of course, being a 3.5 player who thinks he's a 4.0, they also touch my frames quite a bit. ;)
     
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  8. coyfish

    coyfish Hall of Fame

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    I don't like the titanium penn's. They bounce too high when new and die very fast.

    Dunlops are the longest lasting for the price ball. Or you can buy pressurized balls. Im pretty picky too and honestly they aren't that bad. They sound funny and bounce slightly lower but they are very playable especially at your level.
     
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  9. tennis4josh

    tennis4josh Rookie

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    I guess he means Pressureless balls like Tretron micro x.

    To the OP,

    I recommend Prince or Dunlop championship balls. Both are regularly on sale for <$2 at your preferred BIG sporting store. They both last longer than Penn and hold pressure well. How long they last will depend on how much you play with them and how hard you hit. Time is another contributing factor. Once you open a new can of balls, whether you play with them or not, they are going to loose pressure in week or so.If you play 3 times a week, 2 hours each, then you *may* be able to manage with one can of balls per week.

    I have seen many recreational players who open 2 or 3 cans at the same time, because they can't have long rallies and don't want to spend too much time picking up balls. If you are one of them, I highly recommend that play with only 3 balls at a time. That would motivate everyone to try to improve and have longer rallies. You don't have to worry about them lasting for a week. You can afford to open a new can every 2-3 days.

    -Josh
     
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  10. Live Wire VS

    Live Wire VS New User

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    From my years of experience, the Wilson Championship balls play the best and last the longest. These come in large packs from Sports Authority and sometimes Costco at reasonable prices. My alternate choice are the Penn Championship balls, but only if they have red labels. Otherwise, the balls with black labels usually die out after one session. My understanding is that the red-labeled balls are designed for clay courts and are a tad more resistive. Like the Wilson Championship Balls, these also come in large packs from Sports Authority and sometimes Costco at reasonable prices.
     
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  11. ReopeningWed

    ReopeningWed Semi-Pro

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    I'm also a snob about tennis balls, I use Wilson U.S. Open balls exclusively. They bounce great and play well until the third hitting session.
    IMO anything with Penn stamped on it is garbage.
     
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  12. mikeler

    mikeler G.O.A.T.

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    Prince and Dunlop have the highest bounces and hold their bounce the longest. If you don't hit too hard or with much spin, the Wilson US Opens are OK. I can rough up those balls in the warmup with all my topspin so I don't like them. If you must go Penn, only deal with the ATP version.
     
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  13. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Regular duty balls ( the balls you use for clay) will wear out faster on hard court, so they are less durable than extra duty; however, they will fluff up less on clay, whereas the extra duty balls will fluff up more on clay.

    http://tennis.about.com/od/tennisballfaq/f/faqballs018.htm

    If you are concerned about durability, I wouldn't use regular duty balls on hard courts.
     
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  14. bcart1991

    bcart1991 Semi-Pro

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    This line did not receive proper attention. Well played, sir.

    Gamma balls are really heavy (that's what she said).
    Penn do not last long.
    Wilson are good, as are Dunlop, but Dunlop are hard to find if you're not ordering online.
     
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  15. athiker

    athiker Hall of Fame

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    And the reason you don't want the extra duty felt fluffing up on clay is they will then pick up more clay particles and get heavier. Regular duty felt will pick up less dirt/clay.

    EDIT: We use mostly extra duty Penn Championship around here but occasionally extra duty Wilson Championship on our hard courts. Not scientific but the Wilsons seem a bit lighter for starters, not a bad thing in cold weather, and the Penns seem to stay firmer a touch longer...just a general feeling...but I see Penns here at least 5 to 1 over Wilsons. Both can be had for just under 2 bucks at the 2 major big box general merchandise store chains.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
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  16. MNPlayer

    MNPlayer Semi-Pro

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    If you are a person who really want to conserve balls, the Dunlop and Prince seem to last the longest (like, *way* longer than Penns for example). The tradeoff is that they are harder, so if you don't like that feel you have to use less durable balls. I like Wilson US Opens as they last pretty long but don't have that super heavy feel. I play with new balls in all semi "serious" situations anyway. For hitting around, who cares as long as they aren't totally flat?
     
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  17. coyfish

    coyfish Hall of Fame

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    Thanks :). Yep that is what I meant. The trenton X are the ones I hit with if im not mistaken. Didn't expect much but was pleasantly surprised. Only issue is that they sound like smacking a flat ball every time you hit.
     
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  18. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Agreed. To me, the Dunlop Gran Prixs have been the best quality and longest lasting. Recently came across the Prince Tours and they are excellent too, giving the Dunlops a run for their money. The Princes will probably be much harder to find.

    Just played a couple of times this week with someone elses Wilson Titaniums and they were OK. I never liked them in the past because they felt as hard as rocks and tough on my arm. They felt OK this time, probably due to improvements in my swing technique.

    All tennis balls are supposed to be made to conform to the same standards of size, weight and bounce. But, they do vary in quality of manufacture and there are some differences depending on which surface they were designed to be played on, (hard courts or clay). There are also balls designed for high-altitude starting at 3,500 feet.


    Here's an article that may be helpful (or add to the confusion).
    http://tennis.about.com/od/racquetsballsstringing/a/24typesballs.htm
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2010
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  19. dizzlmcwizzl

    dizzlmcwizzl Hall of Fame

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    I like the Slazenger ball but it is expensive, and hard to find.

    For a recreational player buying in bulk at less than $2.00 per can is the way to go. I play with the dunlop ball and you can get that online for about what you pay retail from box stores.
     
    #19
  20. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    If you are opening several cans then the durability of the balls don't matter, since each ball will be used less than average. Get the cheapest ball you can, likely the CostCo Penns.
     
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  21. Sakkijarvi

    Sakkijarvi Semi-Pro

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    My hitting partner just opened another new can of Penn balls today ... mushy and flat right out of the can as usual. Head balls in my experience are soft, get fuzzy very quickly. Soft and fuzzy.

    I prefer the Wilson Championship Extra Heavy Duty. I also like to hit through the court and the serve is an important weapon in my arsenal. I have had old guys break out 'gently used' Penns so they can deploy THEIR arsenal of dropshots and slices....
     
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  22. GPB

    GPB Professional

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    Check out this link http://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/showthread.php?t=216927, TW's guide to tennis balls.

    I personally like the Dunlop Grand Prix (extra duty) the best for hardcourts. After a quick fluff-up, they last a really long time (perfect for throwing into a hopper and practicing with).
     
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  23. bad_call

    bad_call Legend

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    running low so picked a couple cans of Penn xtra duty for hard court at the big discount store. wow they played great and held their bounce longer than expected. not my typical experience with Penn < $2 can balls.

    anyone else experience this phenomenon? thinking about picking up a case at Costco.
     
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  24. tennis tom

    tennis tom Hall of Fame

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    Nope, all the Costco penn's I've experienced are deadish and wear out quickly. You must have gotten an odd-ball "defective" can.
     
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  25. Annika

    Annika Semi-Pro

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    They sell lots of defective merchandise these days imo. Penn must be purposely selling them to Costco.
     
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  26. Live Wire VS

    Live Wire VS New User

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    I've always gotten the impression that the Regular Duty Balls are more water resistant than the Extra Duty Balls. The extra duty balls are pretty sensitive and when they touch water, they pretty much lose it all.
     
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  27. JRstriker12

    JRstriker12 Hall of Fame

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    Water resistant??? :confused: They both are covered in felt, I don't think water resistance is a factor. How much clay the ball picks up is a factor.

    On a clay court, the thicker felt of the extra duty balls will pick up more clay, making them slower and heavier. The regular duty balls aren't water resistant, they just pick up less clay since the felt is thinner.

    But in terms of lasting longer on hard courts in normal dry conditions, the extra duty will last longer on hard courts.

    I usually play on hard courts so I mostly buy extra duty for matches and to stuff into my hopper. If I play and the balls get wet, I usually throw them away and grab a few new ones from my case of balls.

    I do have Hard-Tru courts nearby, but after playing on Hard-Tru, I usually toss those balls away since they are damp or dirty. I usually don't play on hard-tru enough to justify buying a regular duty balls.
     
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