Indoor vs. Outdoor Pickleballs: What’s the Difference?

Pickleball is a fun and engaging sport, but choosing the right equipment is crucial for an optimal playing experience. One common question players have is, “What is the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleballs?”

These two types of balls are specifically designed to suit different playing environments, and using the right ball can significantly affect your game. At Dominator, we understand the importance of having the right gear, so we offer high-quality pickleball sets tailored to indoor and outdoor play. When taking a closer look at indoor vs outdoor pickleballs, the main differences between these balls include:

  • Material/hardness
  • Durability
  • Holes
  • Weight
  • Bounce
  • Speed

Understanding these distinctions helps you choose the right equipment for your game and play style. 

6 Key Differences Between Indoor and Outdoor Pickleballs

Before selecting your pickleball gear, it’s important to examine the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleballs and find your ideal play style. Having the right gear will make for more enjoyable play. Here’s a closer look at the six key differences between outdoor and indoor pickleballs

1. Material/Hardness

 Indoor pickleballs are typically made from softer, lighter plastic to suit the smooth surfaces of indoor courts. This material allows for a quieter game and better control. Conversely, outdoor pickleballs are made from harder plastic to withstand rougher surfaces and weather elements, ensuring durability and consistent play in various conditions. The harder plastic also provides more bounce. 

2. Durability

Outdoor pickleballs are designed for durability and are made from sturdier materials. This helps them resist cracking and wear from rough surfaces, as well as exposure to rain and other weather conditions. Indoor pickleballs, used on smoother surfaces, are less prone to damage and don’t require the same level of durability, focusing more on control and precision.  

3. Holes

The number and size of holes in pickleballs is a key difference between indoor vs. outdoor pickleballs. Most indoor pickleballs have 26 holes larger than their outdoor counterparts’ to reduce drag and maintain consistent flight. Outdoor pickleballs have 40 smaller holes to better handle wind and other outdoor elements, ensuring a predictable trajectory.

4. Weight

Outdoor pickleballs are generally heavier to stay grounded in windy conditions, providing a stable flight path. Indoor pickleballs are lighter and designed for precise control and quick reaction times on indoor courts. This weight difference is crucial in adapting to the respective playing environments, affecting the overall game experience.  

5. Bounce

The bounce of a pickleball varies depending on whether it is designed for indoor or outdoor play. Outdoor balls have a lower bounce due to their hardness and weight, which suits rough surfaces. Indoor balls have a higher bounce, complementing the smooth, hard surfaces of indoor courts. 

6. Speed

Outdoor pickleballs are slower due to their heavier weight and harder materials, which helps in windy conditions and on rougher surfaces. Indoor pickleballs are faster, providing quick play and rapid responses on smooth indoor courts. This speed difference is a significant factor in the pickleball balls indoor vs. outdoor comparison and can help you choose the best type of court for your play style. 

Can You Use an Indoor Pickleball Outside?

While it’s possible to use indoor pickleballs outside, it’s not recommended for optimal play. Indoor pickleballs, designed for smooth indoor courts, may struggle with outdoor elements like wind and rough surfaces. Their lighter weight and larger holes make them less stable outdoors, affecting game performance. For the best experience, use outdoor pickleballs when playing outside, since they are specifically designed to handle the challenges of outdoor play. 

Choosing the Right Pickleball for Your Game

Selecting the right pickleball is essential for an enjoyable and competitive game. Understanding the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleballs helps you make an informed choice about your equipment. Indoor pickleballs are crafted for precision and speed, while outdoor pickleballs are built to handle the elements and provide extra durability.

For the best game experience, equip yourself with the right gear. Explore Dominator’s selection of premium pickleball sets designed for indoor and outdoor play. Shop now and elevate your game with Dominator!