indoor vs outdoor pickleball balls

Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Pickleball Balls [Compared in Brief]

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Pickleball is a popular sport that is beloved for its vibrant style and friendly nature. It is often played both indoors and outdoors while the balls used for the two conditions have some differences between them.

Indoor pickleball balls are softer, lighter, and have fewer holes compared to outdoor balls. Outdoor pickleball balls tend to be slightly bigger than indoor ones and feature more holes to lessen the impact of outdoor elements during games.

Today we will take an in-depth look at the key difference between indoor and outdoor pickleball balls and what features make them suitable for the two conditions.

Indoor vs Outdoor Pickleball Balls (Comparison Table)

FeaturesIndoor PickleballsOutdoor Pickleballs
WeightAround 0.8 ouncesOver 0.9 ounces
No of Holes2640
Rally LengthLongShort
Power HitsDifficultEasier
Elemental ResistanceLowHigh

Indoor Balls Features and Specifications


Indoor Pickleball balls are lighter than general ones and weigh around 0.8 ounces usually. The lightweight balls are lighter than most outdoor pickleball balls as the indoor conditions of the game does not require the balls to be resistant to certain outdoor conditions such as the wind.


Indoor pickleball balls also tend to be softer than their outdoor versions, which, however, does not affect their lifespan. The softness of indoor pickleball also makes it safer for indoor games as they don’t hurt as much if accidentally struck while playing.


Most indoor pickleball balls are smaller than the outdoor ones and also have a longer rally length. This is designed to support the games in a more consistent indoor environment compared to outdoor sessions.

Number of Holes

A standard indoor pickleball ball comes with 26 holes, bigger than the holes present in their outdoor counterparts. 

As indoor pickleball balls do not require to brave the outdoor winds, fewer but bigger holes allow better airflow, consistent bounces and better control in indoor conditions.


Since indoor pickleball balls are smaller and softer than most other outdoor pickleball, they tend to be quieter while playing and do not make much noise.

Elemental Resistance and Lifespan

Indoor pickleball balls are not designed to hold up against extreme outdoor environmental conditions and so, their elemental resistance is quite low compared to outdoor ones. 

On the other hand, since these balls are used to play in indoor environments, they suffer less wear and tear and enjoy a longer lifespan.


  • Easier to play longer rallies with indoor pickleball balls.
  • Well-textured surfaces of indoor balls allow more spins.
  • Can be used to play in both indoor and outdoor conditions for amateurs.
  • Longer lifespan compared to outdoor balls.
  • Easier to control and can be hit with precise trajectories.
  • Quieter than outdoor pickleball balls.


  • The increased drag makes it harder to hit powerful shots using indoor pickleball balls.
  • Not as resistant to elemental conditions compared to outdoor balls.

Top Pick: Onix KZ42006O Fuse Indoor Orange 6-Pack

After long research, I recommend this one as my first choice. It is undoubtedly one of the best sets of indoor pickleball balls out there you should get for the best performance.

Outdoor Balls Features and Specifications


Outdoor pickleball balls are heavier than most indoor pickleball balls, weighing over 0.9 ounces. Their heavyweight makes these balls suitable for outdoor conditions and adapt to environmental factors that may affect the game.


The outdoor balls are harder and firmer than their indoor counterparts, which makes them more resistant to wear and tear. Softer balls can also be used but most professionals prefer the harder ones for outdoor games. 

Although these balls support shorter rallies compared to indoor balls, you can hit powerful shots with ease using outdoor pickleball balls.


Outdoor pickleball balls are usually bigger than indoor ones and can be a little more difficult to control at times. Most players will notice that it is harder to get the same amount of spin from outdoor pickleball compared to indoor ones.

Number of Holes

Standard outdoor pickleball balls come with 40 holes that are built to suit external outdoor environments. These holes are vital to lessening the impact of wind on the pace of the game and changing the trajectories of the shots.


Since outdoor pickleball balls are harder and heavier than indoor ones, they tend to be louder and will make more noise as you smash on.

Elemental Resistance and Lifespan

Outdoor pickleball is specially designed keeping in mind the external terrain and environmental factors. These balls are well resistant to elemental conditions including uneven surfaces, irregular winds and changing weather. 

However, outdoor pickleball usually has a shorter lifespan than its indoor counterparts. It is not recommended to use the same ball for more than ten outdoor games as they will suffer wear and tear that might affect the overall experience of the games.


  • Well adapted to external terrains and environmental conditions.
  • Easier to hit powerful shots.
  • Fewer holes make it easy for the ball to follow correct trajectories even in irregular winds.
  • A harder ball makes it more resistant to wear and tear.
  • Preferred by professional players for outdoor games.
  • Bounces Higher.


  • Less spin and less control available.
  • Difficult to hit longer rallies using outdoor balls.

Top Pick: Onix Pure 2 Outdoor Pickleball Balls (Yellow, 6-Pack)

After long research, I recommend this one as my first choice. It is undoubtedly one of the best Outdoor Pickleball balls to have the best match overall.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Use Indoor Pickleball balls for both Outdoor and Indoor?

Ans: Indoor pickleball balls can be used to play in both indoor and outdoor conditions. However, indoor balls may wear away easily in outdoor terrains and often spoil the overall experience of the game if not replaced regularly. 

Beginners may enjoy using an indoor pickleball in outdoor games too, but most professionals prefer using the two balls for the named occasions.

Can You Use Outdoor Pickleball balls for both Indoor and Outdoor?

Ans: It is advisable not to try using outdoor pickleball balls for indoor games as they often tend to slip and skip away. These balls are heavier and harder which may hurt if it strikes anyone indoors. Since these balls are more difficult to control, it is better not to use them while playing indoor matches.

Final Words

Pickleball is an amazing sport to indulge in and the overall fun experience is definitely a rewarding one. People irrespective of age can play this game to spend quality time with their family and peers to light up weekends or simply have a great time. 

It is a fascinating game played both indoors and outdoors that can change the dynamics of your day! Choosing the right pickleball ball based on the preferred terrain is important for the best pickleball playing experience. 

Among all other pickleball equipment, choosing the right ball for the right surface is crucial. However, it is better to use an indoor pickleball ball for indoor games and outdoor pickleball balls while playing outdoors. Let us know which one you will be choosing and Enjoy Your Pickleball Games!

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