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

Since you’re reading this, I’ll assume you either play pickleball or are at least interested in learning more about this sport.

And if that’s the case, you may be wondering what the difference is between indoor and outdoor pickleballs.

Truthfully, there isn’t a huge one – but there are some key factors to know. So let’s take a closer look!

What are pickleballs and where did they come from?

Pickleballs are small, round balls that are used in a paddle sport of the same name.

The game is similar to tennis, but pickleball is played on a smaller court and with a lower net. 

The pickleball itself is made of plastic and has dozens of small perforations all over it. They have a diameter of approximately 2.86 inches, are hollow and weigh between 0.9 and 1 ounce.

The pickleball was invented in 1965 by three men from Washington state: Joel Pritchard, Bill Bell, and Barney McCallum.

Apparently, they were looking for a way to stay active during the long summer months.

They combined elements of badminton, tennis, and table tennis to create a new game that could be played indoors or outdoors.

The name “pickleball” comes from the fact that the game was “thrown together” like the local “pickle boat” crew race competitions.


What is the difference between indoor and outdoor pickleballs?

If you’ve ever been to a pickleball game, you might have noticed that there are different balls being used depending on whether the game is taking place indoors or outdoors.

But what’s the difference between these two types of pickleballs?

For starters, outdoor pickleballs are generally made of a harder plastic material, which can stand up to the elements without cracking or breaking or being impacted by wind.

Indoor pickleballs, on the other hand, are typically softer which is less likely to damage indoor surfaces. 

In terms of size, outdoor pickleballs are slightly larger than indoor pickleballs, which helps them to travel further in windy conditions. 

In addition, indoor pickleball courts are typically smaller than outdoor courts, which can also affect the speed and intensity of the game. 

Finally, outdoor pickleballs usually have a more textured surface than indoor pickleballs, which helps players get a better grip on the ball in wet or humid conditions.

So next time you’re at a pickleball game, be sure to pay attention to the type of ball being used – it just might make all the difference in your game!

Indoor PickleballsOutdoor Pickleballs
Softer materialHarder plastic material
Larger and fewer holesSmaller but more holes
Smoother surfaceTextured Surface

What are some of the benefits of playing indoor pickleball vs outdoor pickleball?

The great pickleball debate – indoor vs outdoor.

Some people say that indoor pickleball is better because the pickleballs don’t get as dirty and they bounce better on indoor courts.

Others say that outdoor pickleball is better because you can get more sun and fresh air. 

Here are some of the benefits of playing both indoor and outdoor pickleball:

Indoor Pickleball

Indoor pickleball is great for when you want to avoid the elements.

You don’t have to worry about the sun in your eyes or the wind messing up your shots.

The pickleballs also tend to bounce better indoors, making for a faster-paced game.

Outdoor Pickleball

Outdoor pickleball is a great way to get some fresh air and Vitamin D.

On the other hand, outdoor pickleball can be a lot more challenging – but also a lot more fun. 

The wider court gives you more room to make some amazing shots, and the higher bouncing ball means you really have to keep your eye on the game.

And, let’s be honest, there’s nothing quite like smacking a pickleball around on a beautiful summer day.

Indoor vs Outdoor Pickleball

What is the downside of playing with indoor pickleballs vs outdoor pickleballs?

There are some distinct drawbacks to playing indoor pickleball vs outdoor pickleball.

For one, indoor pickleball courts are usually made of hardwood or linoleum, which can be pretty slippery.

And if you’re playing with pickleballs that are new or have just been freshly waxed, they can be downright treacherous. 

Outdoor pickleball courts, on the other hand, are usually made of asphalt or concrete, which provides a much more stable surface.

And while the sun can be a bit of an issue outdoors (especially if you’re trying to play an opponent who’s wearing white), at least you don’t have to worry about getting sweaty and gross from being cooped up inside. 

So if you’re looking for the most challenging pickleball experience, you might want to stick to playing outdoors.

So, there you have it- the major differences between indoor and outdoor pickleballs.

Do you have a preference? Let us know in the comments!

And be sure to check out our other blog posts for more information on all things pickleball.


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