Many people confuse padel with tennis because the two sports have similar rules, courts, and even equipment, such as the ball.
You may wonder, “Can you play padel with tennis balls?” Due to their identical appearance, many players use the balls interchangeably. But let us tell the exact answer to this question.
Can You Play Padel With Tennis Balls?
Yes, you can, although tennis balls are not the preferred equipment for padel. Padel balls have unique characteristics, making them perfect for the game.
First, padel balls have less internal pressure. Hence, you can control and spin easier. Their surface is softer, too, allowing for longer rallies and a slower speed.
Tennis balls can make playing padel less fun since you may not perform as expected. It will result in unintentional mistakes, bad shots, and a drop in the quality of the game.
To fully enjoy the game and get the most out of your experience, it is advisable to use padel balls made exclusively for the sport.
What Does A Padel Ball Look Like?
A padel ball is lightweight and small. It typically has a diameter of 6.35 to 6.77 cm. To rebound, it demands a low-bouncing and durable material.
The ball has a vivid color and an eye-catching pattern that makes it pop out against the padel court. It also has textures to help it create spin, and players can control it easily during play.
Are Padel Balls Different From Tennis Balls?
These two kinds of balls are similar in appearance, size, weight, and material. However, you will also notice differences.
This comparison will help you picture how they differ from each other.
|6.35 to 6.77 cm
|6.54 to 6.86 cm
|56 to 59.4 g
|56 to 59.4 g
|Rubber and felt
|Rubber and felt
|135 to 145 cm
|135 to 147 cm
|10 to 11 psi
Tennis and padel balls look nearly identical, but they differ in size. If you’ve played either sport for a long time, you might notice that padel balls are smaller than tennis balls.
A tennis ball must range from 6.54 cm and 6.86 cm in diameter. A padel ball, on the other hand, has a diameter of 6.35 to 6.77 cm.
In some cases, tennis and padel balls can be the same size when they fall in the range of 6.54 to 6.77 cm. Nevertheless, the size range of padel balls is still smaller.
There is no difference between tennis and padel balls in weight. The International Tennis Federation has claimed that tennis balls weigh from 56 to 59.4 g.
Despite their smaller size, Padel balls are precisely the same weight as tennis balls, weighing between 56g and 59.4g.
Each sport uses a different type of racket. As a result, even if the ball is the same weight, how you strike it and how it rebounds will be different.
Tennis players who start playing padel have difficulty overcoming this challenge.
They tend to hit the padel ball with too much force, making it touch the glass wall of the opponent. And we call it an “out.”
Manufacturers use rubber to make the core of a tennis ball. Then, they cover the exterior with felt.
Rubber serves as the ball’s mold and gives it its spherical form. Meanwhile, felt is in charge of the appearance of the ball. Your tennis ball will look different depending on whether you use synthetic or natural fibers for the felt.
Interestingly, padel balls have the same materials, which are rubber and felt. Hence, those balls look so similar.
As a result, you may often see padel and tennis balls coming from the same brand and facilities.
The two balls have different rebound characteristics, but you won’t notice them until you really start playing. A padel ball has a lower rebound than a tennis ball does.
Tennis balls can bounce from 135 to 147 cm. The ITF determines the ball must hit that amount of bounce. If you join the Type 1 game, it can extend to 151 cm.
On the other hand, padel balls don’t need to give as much bounce. Instead, they must only rebound between 135 and 145 cm in height.
You might now be asking why a tennis ball has more bounce than a padel ball while they have the same weight. It’s when we consider their internal pressure.
Internal pressure makes pedal balls so different from tennis balls. It refers to the pressure of new balls and will lessen over time and use. So remember to replace your padel ball when needed.
According to the ITF, pressurized tennis balls often have a pressure of 14 psi. Meanwhile, padel balls come with less pressure, about 10 to 11psi. Most new padel balls have an internal pressure of 11.
Tennis balls have a more significant rebound because of their higher pressure. This feature is important, considering you will play in a larger court.
Please check this video to learn more about the differences between the two balls:
So can you play padel with tennis balls? Yes, you can. Tennis balls have some features in common with padel balls, such as their materials and weight. They are bigger, but the gap in size is minor.
However, the two types of balls differ in their rebound and internal pressure. Tennis balls can bounce higher and have more pressure, making it hard for padel players to control.
Although you can use the two balls interchangeably in some cases, we strongly advise letting each ball do what it’s supposed to. Then, you can enjoy your game at the ultimate level.
Thank you for reading!