How To Make Tennis Balls Last Longer (Easy Guide)
Over time, your tennis balls will succumb to everyday wear and tear. This will inevitably reduce their level of performance, rendering them unsuitable for use anymore. Because the costs of replacements can get out of hand, finding ways of enhancing longevity is very important.
Here are a few essential ways you can make your tennis balls last longer:
- Keep your tennis balls pressurized.
- Store your balls in refrigerated conditions.
- Play on low-impact courts.
- Use a set of balls during tennis gameplay.
- Focus on durability when purchasing new balls.
- Use training balls.
Because buying tennis balls regularly can be costly, this article will provide helpful tips on making your tennis balls last longer so that you can play worry-free and use your current stack for longer. Read on for more.
1. Keep Your Tennis Ball Pressurized
One of the best ways to make your tennis balls last longer is to keep them pressurized. One of the ways in which you can keep your tennis ball pressurized is to keep them inside a sealed bag.
However, this is not a long-term solution because you have to open the bag and use them. Remember, once you remove the new balls from the sealed bag and start using them, they begin to lose pressure and eventually lose their bounce.
The good news is that there are several approaches you can adopt to help keep pressure loss to a minimum. As explained by Phys.org, there are several tools athletes use to keep their balls pressurized, particularly during storage.
For instance, tools such as PressureBall and Pump n’ Bounce provide the optimal conditions to keep your ball pressurized during storage. Essentially, these tools limit the loss of air pressure once the balls are removed from the pressurized pack.
But what if the tennis balls have already lost air pressure?
Worry not. It is possible to repressurize old balls and help them restore their bounce. To do this correctly, you will need to place the balls in a pressurized container. This is, however, a rather slow process. Nonetheless, while it will not restore your tennis balls to their former pristine condition, it will bring back their bounce.
2. Store your Tennis Balls in a Refrigerated Container
The tools above go a long way in keeping your tennis balls pressurized or repressurizing them when they lose air. However, if you are not willing to cough up some extra cash for a pressurized container, you can use one of the common appliances you most likely have in your home: a refrigerator.
Simply put, proper storage significantly affects the lifespan of your tennis balls.
One of the observable features of most Grand Slam events is that the tennis balls are stored in refrigerated conditions to help maintain their bounce. These conditions shrink the internal air volume, minimizing air leakage. This also significantly slows down the loss of air pressure.
A refrigerator, in this scenario, performs almost an identical task as a pressurized container. It creates the optimal conditions to prevent pressure loss, thus helping to extend your tennis balls’ usable life.
3. Play on Low Impact Courts
A 2017 study in the Journal of Sports Engineering links the rate of ball degradation with the degree of surface impact. According to this study, tennis balls are subjected to lower surface and racket impacts on grass courts relative to hard or clay courts.
It is easy to see why grass courts provide a softer landing surface compared to hard courts. In fact, hard courts are linked to faster ball degradation from an impact perspective when compared to clay or grass courts.
This means that tennis balls used on grass courts will feature a lower degradation rate over time, enhancing longevity. Keeping these results in mind, you can therefore make your tennis balls last longer by maximizing your play on low-impact grass courts.
4. Use a Set of Balls During Tennis Gameplay
The aforementioned study on ball degradation also revealed that the number of impacts and impact speed also significantly impact wear and tear. This means that those tennis balls subjected to a higher number of hits will degrade faster than those that are not.
This wear and tear manifests differently, including felt loss, air pressure loss, and reduced mass and stiffness. It should therefore come as no surprise that professional tournaments feature a set of balls for each match to counter degradation.
Therefore, you can make your tennis balls last longer by limiting the number of impacts on each of these balls. This means using a set of balls during your gameplay instead of just a few balls.
5. Focus on Durability When Purchasing New Balls
Not all tennis balls are created the same. Consequently, your tennis balls’ useful life will depend on the materials used and their degree of durability, or lack thereof.
While most modern tennis balls are made of a two-piece rubber shell and a hollow interior filled with pressurized gas, this shell is covered by different materials. These include wool, nylon, or felt, each of which scores differently in terms of durability.
For instance, tennis balls covered with wool are more resilient and retain their fluffiness longer than those covered in nylon. While some brands such as Wilson produce virtually identical balls in every aspect, this is not the norm in the industry.
Focussing on tennis balls that rank higher in terms of durability can thus potentially save you some good money in replacement costs.
6. Use Training Balls
Adopting a culture of using tennis balls for your training is a hack worth considering. This means less degradation on your tennis balls due to prolonged use and impact. A good place to start would be to use pressureless balls.
However, these balls tend to be heavier, which may compromise your gaming performance when you compete using regular balls. It is thus essential to get a good balance between the use of training balls and regular balls to get the best of both worlds.
This article shows that numerous factors affect tennis balls’ longevity, including the material, pressurization level, court type, and impact.
By focussing on purchasing tennis balls that rank high on durability tests and adapting your game for minimal impact, you can significantly enhance the useful life of your tennis balls.
Alternatively, you can take advantage of modern tools to keep your balls pressurized and minimize pressure and air pressure loss.